Launch Report: Jeep Avenger offers new take on traditional values
27 April 2023
Certain automotive brands spark visions of prowess through name alone. Jeep is one of those brands. The marque is synonymous with tough, off-road driving and strong, rugged designs. The new Jeep Avenger aims to keep this style alive in a small SUV, available as a battery-electric vehicle (BEV), or with a petrol engine in some markets.
Jeep purists may struggle with the new Avenger. A small, front-wheel drive SUV that is predominantly driven by electric motors may go against the grain of a brand with 80 years of experience in rugged terrains. But it is a model that opens Jeep up to a new audience, those looking for a comfortable SUV with strong design, plenty of practicality and great environmental credentials. The Jeep Avenger is a modern Jeep, for the modern driver.
Bringing a brand to a new audience while also designing for fans of the heritage is a difficult task, but one that Jeep seems to have managed well. There is plenty of competition in the B-SUV segment, giving Autovista Group experts in Austria, France, Italy, Spain and the UK, an opportunity to analyse the model on its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, all presented in an interactive dashboard.
Jeep continues distinctive design
At first glance, there is no mistaking that this is a Jeep. Even if the name badge was removed, the iconic styling, updated for the 21st century, gives it away. The grill, with its distinctive bar design – even on the BEV version that requires no engine cooling – is located on the high and bulky front end.
The long bonnet runs into a squared cabin area, while the flared wheel arches highlight the strength of the car’s stance. Even subtle design cues introduced in a brand refresh a few years ago remain. The LED rear lights feature a ‘cross’ design that is reminiscent of the petrol cans carried by the first Jeep models.
The B-SUV has a 200mm ground clearance and a short overhang at the rear. This makes the Avenger a capable car on rough and bumpy terrain. But in reality, this is a Jeep built for the road. As a small but practical vehicle, it is designed for Europe and will not even be available in the carmaker’s domestic US market. It works, however, as the Avenger took the 2023 European Car of the Year title.
When it comes to driving, the Jeep Avenger may not reach the level of its brand stablemates in terms of off-roading. While the model does come with mud, sand and snow settings, it is being launched with a front-wheel drive configuration.
Yet with the pedigree of the brand, it would still likely be able to adapt to different terrains better than other B-SUV counterparts. Additionally, Jeep is planning to release a four-wheel drive model in 2024.
The high ground clearance and stiffer suspension do not impact driving comfort, and the lack of body roll in such a high vehicle means driving the Avenger is a joy. It feels planted on the road, tackling different road types with ease.
Jeep states that the BEV version of the Avenger can travel a range of 400km (WLTP), thanks to its 54kWh battery. It uses a variant of Stellantis’ eCMP platform which underpins a number of other electric and combustion-engine models in the company’s vast line-up. This means the Avenger benefits from research and development taken at a group-wide level while bringing a certain Jeep flair to its use.
Practicality all round
The cabin is a welcoming place and belies the Jeep Avenger’s smaller stance. It is a simple, minimalistic design with a narrow-strip dashboard running the width of the vehicle, and centre tunnel featuring an array of storage compartments.
The 10.25-inch infotainment screen floats above the dashboard, offering mobile connectivity via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, as well as displaying certain vehicle functions. There is also a screen behind the steering wheel, providing crucial driver information including speed and distance. The dashboard also houses a number of physical piano-style buttons – lacking in many modern vehicles but in keeping with the ‘rugged’ appeal of Jeep.
Rear passengers benefit from plenty of legroom, while the high roofline provides good headroom for even the tallest of passengers. The boot offers another example of the Avenger’s good practicality, its 380-litre capacity matching that of some family hatchbacks.
View the Autovista Group dashboard, which benchmarks the new Jeep Avenger in Austria, France, Italy, Spain and the UK for more details. The interactive launch report presents new prices, forecast residual values, and SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.