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In-depth reviews

Jeep Avenger - Engines, performance and drive

Previous Jeeps have often compromised on-road manners for their ability off-road, but not the Avenger

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

3.8 out of 5

Price
£23,390 to £38,700
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Despite riding higher than some of its rivals to provide generous ground clearance, the Jeep Avenger has an inherently stiff structure and firm suspension, which means body control is very good. We did note a tendency for the ride to feel fidgety at low speeds, but once the pace has picked up, things smooth out, and the Avenger manages to provide a comfortable ride overall.

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We feel that the steering could do with a bit more weight and feel, but the upside of the light setup is it makes the car super-easy to drive around town. That’s also aided by the good all-round visibility and squared-off bonnet that makes it easy to place the car on the road. The high-res reversing camera on the models we’ve tested also helps with parking, though slotting a car of this size into any spot is hardly a difficult task.

In the electric Avenger, the brake regeneration isn’t strong enough to allow for one-pedal driving, which is a shame for a car so adept at city driving. In fact, it can be hard to discern when you’re driving in the regular ‘D’ mode, which allows the car to coast more, or the ‘B’ mode, which activates the regenerative braking, because its effects are so subtle.

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The Avenger may only be front-wheel drive for the moment – a 4xe all-wheel drive version is coming in 2024 – but Jeep hasn’t totally neglected the Avenger’s competence off-road. In addition to the usual Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, there are Mud, Sand and Snow settings,  and a hill descent system. Our experiences were limited to lightly rutted dusty tracks, but we’d wager the Avenger could show its SUV rivals a clean pair of heels over wet or slippery terrain.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed 

The pure-petrol uses a turbocharged 1.2-litre three-cylinder (also used in the Peugeot 2008 under the ‘PureTech’ badge) engine that produces 99bhp and 205Nm of torque, and is paired exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox. The official 0-62mph time is 10.6 seconds, which may sound slow, but the petrol Avenger provides a decent amount of punch, and doesn’t need to be worked very hard when accelerating up to motorway speeds.

The Avenger e-Hybrid’s mild-hybrid powertrain combines a 1.2-litre petrol engine with a 28bhp electric motor and six-speed automatic gearbox. The e-motor is integrated directly into the transmission, and is powered by a small lithium-ion battery. According to Jeep, its 0-62mph time takes 10.9 seconds, while its top speed stands at 114mph – the same as the pure-petrol model.

The all-electric version uses a single electric motor to drive the front wheels. It pumps out up to 154bhp and 260Nm, which is enough to propel the Avenger from 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds. In Normal mode, the little SUV accelerates at a leisurely pace, clearly not in a hurry to go anywhere. Switching to Sport mode unlocks the maximum power output and delivers a big hit of torque when you first put your foot down, but it feels much the same after that. Either way, the electric motor feels punchy enough for most situations, especially when you’re in town. It’s only pulling onto motorway slip roads or when overtaking that the Avenger can feel a little short on shove.

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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