You’ve come a long way: month 1 with the electric Jeep Avenger | CAR Magazine

You’ve come a long way: month 1 with the electric Jeep Avenger

Published: 11 June 2024

► Month 1 with the Jeep Avenger EV
► It’s on the e-CMP2 platform
► Is it the best Stellantis EV – or Avenger? 

What does the Jeep brand mean for you? If that’s already difficult I’ve got another question: what do you think of the Jeep Avenger EV?

If you’re feeling baffled, I don’t blame you. Once a masterclass in brand identity, it feels like Jeep is a bit lost within Stellantis, desperately trying to stamp its identity on whatever platform it’s given – rather like a schoolboy doodling band logos on an exercise book or making his tie a little too short.

Jeep Avenger EV - front on on the road

At first glance, the Avenger EV is a long way from what many imagine a Jeep to be. Granted, its handsome, crossover form means it sits high and looks robust on the road – but scratch the surface and it feels very ‘unJeep.’

Front-wheel drive, compact and nippy, it’s the furthest the brand has travelled from its rugged, militaristic origins – and it’s trying to compensate: everywhere you look there are Easter eggs that aim to retcon this product into Jeep’s close-knit family. Most common is the classic grille logo that appears on top of the dash, on every wheel – and indeed below the actual grille.

Either way, it tries very hard to assert its Jeep credentials, which has the opposite effect. In many ways it’s the ultimate expression of the Stellantis group’s e-CMP2 platform sharing strategy: the Avenger EV shares components with at least six cars at the time of writing: the Peugeot E-2008, Fia 600e, Vauxhall Mokka and Corsa Electric, DS 3 and Citroën e-C4, with the Lancia Ypsilon and Alfa Romeo’s Milano patiently waiting their turn around the corner. It shares its body with a hybrid and petrol version too.

Jeep Avenger EV - side profile

The plot twist here, though, is that for all its identity issues, initial impressions of the Avenger are good. And that’s not just my view; look among the various ‘fun’ design features, and you’ll find a European Car of the Year award sticker. That’s not something any of those siblings have won. 

Jump inside and the accolades start to make sense. It feels robust, which is very much on brand. In addition to a touchscreen, there’s a deep tray which acts as a holder for sunglasses, keys and so on. The use of the external body colour on the inside helps extend the rugged outdoors vibe. Then there’s the iPad-style folding cubbyhole cover, but we’ll get to that another month.

The Avenger’s 50.8kWh (net) battery and motor produce 154bhp along with a healthy 192lb ft of torque. It takes 9.0sec to get to 62mph from a standing start, but like most EVs it’s fast enough to 30mph. It has a healthy range on paper too; Jeep quotes 249 miles, but we’ll see how realistic that is.

Jeep Avenger EV - driving and interior shot

The Avenger EV starts at £39,600 but rises to £42,125 with our particular combination of options. The biggest cost comes with the Sun and Volcano roof bi-colour paint at £1100, while the infotainment pack (that gets you the 10.25-inch screen) costs £500. Black leather with grey stitching adds a further £900 to the price, while a puncture repair kit adds an additional £25.

Push to start and then push to select gear, and the Avenger chirps into life. Quick to 30mph, handy in Normal mode and nippy in Sport, it feels perky enough to be interesting, but not well equipped to trouble the MG 4 XPowers or Cupra VZs of this world.

Early drives reveal decent chassis dynamics too, with bodyroll kept relatively in check. Like many EVs, the Avenger suffers from tough damping that can’t quite contend with hefty battery cells and broken British roads at the same time. It’ll be interesting to see how it handles off-road conditions, then.

Jeep Avenger EV - rear dynamic shot

Light steering and relatively wooden brakes may hamper enjoyment – but we’ll see what that’s like after flicking through the various modes. This toggle is a place where the Avenger tries to puff up its off-road credentials, offering Eco, Normal and Sport – as well as Mud, Sand and Snow modes. That’s some hubris from a front-wheel-drive EV, so over the next few months I’ll seek out some conditions to see whether they’re for show or actual use.

So what makes it a better choice than its platform mates? What does it do better or worse than them – or just differently? Put the electric rivals to one side and there are other cars to benchmark it against: the Avenger already comes in petrol form, as well as e-Hybrid and 4xe hybrid due later this year. The latter is four-wheel drive, so in theory the most ‘Jeep’ of the lot. With that in mind, I’ll try to work out if my car really is the best version of Avenger, let alone the best car on this Stellantis EV platform.

Jeep Avenger EV - distance shot

Anyway, I’m off to hunt for more Easter eggs and work out what being a Jeep owner – EV or otherwise – means in 2024.

Logbook: Jeep Avenger EV (month 1)

Price: £39,600 (£42,125 as tested)
Performance: 50.8kWh battery, e-motor, 154bhp, 9.6sec 0-62mph, 93mph
Range: 249 miles (official), 221 miles (tested)]
Energy cost: 15.0p per mile 
Miles this month: 98
Total miles: 334

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes