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SUV originator primes itself to make it big in the UK and across Europe with a battery-powered B-segment SUV

Jeep's cars have never really caught on anywhere in Europe outside of Italy (where its success is largely a by-product of its relationship with Fiat) and, remarkably, only about one in 100 SUVs sold in Europe is a Jeep. After many false dawns, then, here’s the car Jeep’s new owner, Stellantis, hopes will change that: the Jeep Avenger.

Now, having already taken the European Car of the Year gong, the Avenger arrives in the UK with much clout. 

The big reason for this is it's the first Jeep designed and engineered for Europe in Europe, and it will also be built here. So European-centric is this Jeep, in fact, that it won’t even be sold in the US.

At 4.08 metres in length, the Avenger – Jeep's smallest road car yet – is pitched at the heart of the booming supermini SUV segment, competing against the likes of the Ford Puma and Renault Captur, and is electric. Talk about on-trend.

Indeed, Jeep Europe boss Antonella Bruno calls the Avenger “the right car at the right time”.


Keenly priced it will be, too, starting at £35,700 here in the UK (although this does boost all the way to £39,000 before options), with a simplified range of trims and easy-to-add packs and colour options to make the buying process as simple as possible.

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The Avenger will begin life as a front-wheel-drive model with a 154bhp, 192lb ft electric motor. There is a 51kWh (usable) battery that is good for a 249-mile range, it can charge at up to 100kW and a heat pump comes as standard to add 10% more to the range than would otherwise have been possible.

Petrol and hybrid versions will launch next year too. This was originally just planned for Italy, Poland, and Spain, given their lack of EV infrastruture, but such was the outcry that it will come to the UK as well. Next year, a more powerful four-wheel-drive 4xe model will also arrive, but further details on that have yet to be divulged.

Jeep avenger 02 side panning

UK driving impressions by Will Rimell

JeepAvengerSummit SunExterior63

You might think something so small and so front-wheel drive would feel like a watering-down of Jeep’s go-anywhere mantra, yet the billing here is that this is the most capable model in its class. While that aformentioned four-wheel-drive version is to come, for now Jeep says the Avenger’s capability comes from its 20deg approach, 20deg breakover and 32deg departure angles, its 200mm of ground clearance and its pared-back front and rear overhangs, which are 30mm shorter than those on other Stellantis models built on the familiar eCMP2 platform that’s been adapted and improved for Jeep’s off-roading needs.

Those numbers make it at least the equal of the Jeep Renegade off road, says Jeep. Ah yes, the Renegade, the other small Jeep that sits in the B-SUV segment. Jeep says the Avenger doesn’t replace that car but rather complements it, and anyway, the two go after very different buyers given how broad a segment B-SUV is. The Renegade is also a useful amount bigger, at 4.24 metres long.

Those eCMP2 origins (think Peugeot e-2008, Vauxhall Mokka Electric et al) make for a much better starting point for a model that’s good to drive, rather than trying to reinvent something off the Renegade’s platform. This does, though, result in huge similarities both inside and on the road with Avenger siblings. This is no bad thing, mind: it’s those eCMP2-based economies of scale that allow Jeep to build the Avenger profitably. (There’s a reason Land Rover has never dropped below the Evoque in size, because the smaller the car and the lower the retail price, the bigger the volumes must be to cover the development costs). The drawback is that it just doesn't feel very… Jeepish.

Jeep Avenger static front 3/4

From the outside, the Avenger looks like a robust and tough little thing. There’s lots of hard black cladding around the bottom, but leaving those surfaces unpainted saves €1000 (£875) in scuff and scrape repair costs over the car’s life, says Jeep. I don’t recall ever seeing a T-Cut bill that high, but I get the point, and the net result is aesthetically pleasing.

All of which is quite some build-up, so it’s a relief to find that this Jeep is really rather likeable to drive. Engaging it is not, but it is not supposed to be. Instead, it is the kind of car thoughtfully designed and engineered to be useful and usable in real-world driving conditions, yet still with enough character not to make it just another identikit small SUV.


Anyway, the Avenger’s roots aren’t the kind you need to hide, but it does have its own distinct character and touches inside – such as lots and lots of storage, 34 litres of which are in the front cabin alone. Admittedly that’s a somewhat meaningless number, even more so Jeep’s tongue-in-cheek observation that this equates to 580 ping-pong balls (which is nothing compared with the 2443 rubber ducks you can get in the back of the car with the rear seats folded). But the upshot is lots of convenient cubbyholes, the best of which is a useful tray, running two-thirds the width of the dashboard, that’s great for glasses, keys, phones and the like.

Jeep avenger 07 dashboard

The Avenger gets a pair of 10.25in screens, one for the driver display and the other for infotainment that supports full Android Auto and Apple CarPlay wireless connectivity.

A modified H-point (hip position when seated, basically) allows for greater leg and head room for rear passengers over other related models, says Jeep. It is claimed the Avenger can seat five adults, although it feels tight in the back. It’s still only a tiddler, after all.

The car's interior does feel like a variant of its Fiat and Peugeot siblings, but for those who don't regularly swap between different cars, this is no bad thing, because it is still a nice place to be. One caveat is the £750 body-coloured dash option is needed (ours matched the Sun Yellow exterior) because, without it, it lacks a bit of personality, especially for a Jeep. 

Its best feature is how compact it feels without being compromised for space inside. That boxy shape lets you know where all four corners are, and there’s good visibility and a sensible width that makes it an easy car to place. It is also keen to turn in and holds a line in a corner with well-controlled body movements and good grip, although the steering is overly springy and artificial on initial inputs off the straight-ahead.


On some fairly scarred roads on our initial test route in the hills above Nice back in 2022, the Avenger rode well – albeit a little on the firm side, in part a by-product of the 18in alloys of our test car (16in and 17in are available on lower trims), yet it was never uncomfortable.

On UK roads, the same rings true, with a few exceptions. Over a route of mixed roads just north of Swindon, the front-wheel-drive crossover felt solid, had good visibility, provided as much oomph as you need from the 154bhp motor and offered more than decent range. We managed as much as 5.1mpkWh and Jeep claims 248 miles from the 54kWh battery.

Autocar Jeep Avenger interior driving

On our test route in France, its ride offered an overall suppleness that led you to think the engineers really took on board the whole ‘make it work in Europe’ mantra. But, sadly, that wasn't something felt here in the UK. It seems the British B-road wasn’t part of the testing phase because we felt every blemish on some of the less pothole-ridden stretches at both high and low speeds. Dual carriageways were also a tad too bumpy. Compared with the near-identical and much smoother DS 3 E-Tense, this was a shame. 

On both occasions, we didn't get a chance to take the Avenger off road, but a demonstration at the UK launch showed how incredibly capable the small EV is. This is quite an impressive machine.

Jeep Avenger off-road

Some real-world ticks come from the performance, which is plenty good enough and smoothly and briskly delivered. More regen in the B mode would be nice, and you’re likely to avoid the Eco driving mode as it saps much of the power (and caps it at 81bhp, unless you kick down). Normal (which caps power at 107bhp) and Sport (for the full 154bhp) modes are also offered, alongside Snow, Sand and Mud, each of which tailors the electronic controls for those conditions. You get hill descent control as standard too.


The Avenger, then, leaves you wanting more. It looks fantastic, is proportioned brilliantly for its size and offers a snippet of Jeep’s legendary off-roading capabilities in a small electric package. But it does sadly lack the refinement of something that costs as much as £39,600.

However, never before has Jeep had such a competitive and on-trend product to sell in Europe, and you can see the Avenger doing very well indeed, should the dealer network be able to scale up to the right size and quality needed to help deliver the car – something already being planned for the UK to "lead the next generation of Jeeps" the brand told us.

So the Avenger won’t change the world, but it’ll surely change Jeep’s world. 

Jeep Avenger driving front

Mark Tisshaw

Title: Editor

Mark is a journalist with more than a decade of top-level experience in the automotive industry. He first joined Autocar in 2009, having previously worked in local newspapers. He has held several roles at Autocar, including news editor, deputy editor, digital editor and his current position of editor, one he has held since 2017.

From this position he oversees all of Autocar’s content across the print magazine, website, social media, video, and podcast channels, as well as our recent launch, Autocar Business. Mark regularly interviews the very top global executives in the automotive industry, telling their stories and holding them to account, meeting them at shows and events around the world.

Mark is a Car of the Year juror, a prestigious annual award that Autocar is one of the main sponsors of. He has made media appearances on the likes of the BBC, and contributed to titles including What Car?Move Electric and Pistonheads, and has written a column for The Sun.