The Jeep Avenger's crowning as the 2023 Car of the Year must count as one of the industry's most unlikely success stories.

Back in the autumn when it was revealed, the Avenger, designed, engineered and built in Europe, was billed as the Jeep that showed the famous US 4x4 brand was finally taking Europe seriously, and ready to make a lasting impression here.

Yet such comments we'd heard before when it unwrapped the likes of the Renegade and Compass, both compact SUVs in different segments more favourable (or not, as it turned out) with European buyers. 

Which is why any proclamations of almost doubling sales for Jeep in Europe from its peak year of 168,652 in 2018 to 300,000 were met with a fair degree of scepticism.