New Jeep Avenger electric SUV: 4x4 brand’s first EV arriving in 2023
Jeep’s first EV offers 249-mile range with an all-wheel-drive version to come; the Smart #1 and Hyundai Kona Electric rival is expect to start from over £30,000
Jeep has held off from launching an electric car for quite some time, but now the American 4x4 brand is stepping into the zero-emissions age with some gusto. It’s already announced plans to launch four all-new electric cars by 2025, and this is the very first: the all-new Jeep Avenger.
When it hits the road in 2023, the Avenger will be one of many small electric SUVs on the market, with the baby Jeep EV facing stiff competition from the likes of the Hyundai Kona Electric and Smart #1, plus its own Stellantis group stablemates including the Vauxhall Mokka-e and recently facelifted DS 3 E-TENSE.
Jeep’s first EV sits on a new version of the e-CMP platform used for the aforementioned Vauxhall and DS as well as the Peugeot e-2008. It’s simply called e-CMP2, with Jeep giving its car’s shorter front and rear overhangs compared to the rest of the car on e-CMP platform, and at least 20cm of ground clearance to help improve the Avenger’s off-road potential.
What’s more, Jeep has confirmed that there will be an all-wheel-drive version, something that has never been offered in any of the Stellantis Group’s electric cars before. Though the AWD Avenger variant will come later, with all models at launch being front-wheel drive just like the DS, Peugeot and Vauxhall electric SUVs.
Jeep Avenger range, battery, performance and charging
The Avenger features a 54kWh battery (51kWh of which is usable) that in front-wheel drive models is used to power a single electric motor producing 154bhp and 260Nm of torque. Jeep says the FWD Avenger’s official range is 249 miles, or as much as 342 miles in stop-start city traffic.
That 249-mile range means the Avenger can travel 40 miles further than the Vauxhall Mokka-e can before needing a top-up, but doesn’t quite match the range of rivals like the Smart #1 or 64kWh Kia Soul EV. The Jeep’s 100kW maximum charging speed means a 20-80% top-up takes just 24 minutes from a suitably fast rapid charger. Meanwhile a regular 7.4kW wallbox should fully replenish the 54kWh battery in around seven hours.
Performance stats for the Avenger line-up are still under wraps, as are any details about the forthcoming all-wheel-drive model’s powertrain. An additional electric motor for the rear wheels will probably increase energy consumption, so we expect the AWD Avenger to have a range closer to 220 miles.
The Avenger will come with a heat pump that’ll help to more efficiently warm the cabin and pre-condition the battery for charging, as well as a hill descent control and a total of six driving modes: eco, normal, sport, sand, mud and snow.
Interior, practicality and technology
Every Jeep Avenger will come with a large 10.25-inch central touchscreen mounted high up on the dashboard, that’ll run an Android-based infotainment system and feature wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. Entry-level models also get a seven-inch digital driver’s display, while pricier versions get another 10.25-inch unit behind the steering wheel.
Below the central screen are a row of physical switches for the climate controls, and a dial for media volume, with the gear selector buttons underneath. On the centre console you’ll also find the electronic parking brake and the switch for the drive modes. The rather chunky three-spoke steering wheel gets physical controls as well – something of a rarity in 2022 – but no paddles for the regenerative braking because like all Stellantis EVs at the moment you only get a single ‘B’ mode for stronger regen.
Boot space in the Jeep Avenger stands at an impressive 380 litres, which is more than you get in either the Mokka-e or Smart #1. In fact, it’s just five litres shy of the luggage capacity offered by the Cupra Born and Volkswagen ID.3 hatchbacks, both of which are much longer EVs.
We had a brief opportunity to sit in a static display model and found the Avenger offers a little more rear-cabin space than the Mokka, and decent headroom to accommodate those around six foot tall. The optional panoramic sunroof might have an impact in this department, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Styling, customisation options and pricing
At just under 4.1 metres long, the Avenger is shorter than the already compact Hyundai Kona Electric and Smart #1, as well as the Renegade SUV it’ll sit below in Jeep’s line-up. However, the baby Jeep EV has chunky, more off-road-ready look to it than any of its rivals or sister cars thanks in-part to pronounced wheelarches, and large black plastic bumpers and side cladding.
Up front, there’s a blanked-out version of the brand’s iconic seven-slot grille and the blue ‘e’ badging already worn by plug-in hybrid Jeeps. The rear gets a set of X-shaped tail lights and a gently sloping roofline. The Avenger also sits noticeably high, while the short front and rear overhangs should help maximise cabin space, and improve approach and departure angles when tackling inclines off-road.
As well as seven paint options and alloy wheels ranging from 16 to 18 inches, Avenger customers will be able to customise their cars extensively using any of 100 accessories that’ll be available via dealerships, including graphics for the bonnet, roof and sides. This should ensure no two Avengers look the same.
UK pricing and equipment lists have yet to be announced, but we know the Avenger will be offered in the usual array of Sport, Longitude and Limited trim levels. A First Edition model will be available at launch, too, featuring all the bells and whistles.
We expect prices for the Jeep Avenger to start from over £30,000. UK customers will be able to reserve their Jeep Avenger from January 2023, with deliveries unlikely to begin until summer of that year.
Future Jeep EV plans
The new Avenger is just one of the four brand-new electric cars Jeep is planning to introduce by 2025. Next up is the Recon 4x4 (right) that’ll be available exclusively with electric power and has been designed to go off-road, allowing it to serve as a zero-emissions alternative to the brand’s iconic Wrangler.
Jeep is also working on an electric version of its flagship Wagoneer SUV (left), which has a target range of 400 miles and, Jeep says, will be capable of 0-60mph in around 3.5 seconds. The electric Wagoneer and Recon 4x4 will arrive in Europe in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
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