Complete with 51kWh of usable battery capacity (54kWh total), the Jeep Avenger gets an official WLTP driving range of 249 miles in between charges. It’s clever stuff, too, as the batteries on this updated platform have been shuffled about so that they’re stacked beneath the seats and boot rather than laying flat like a mattress, which has freed up more foot space for passengers.
The styling of the dash reflects the exterior looks, with an eye-catching body-coloured insert running along the fairly minimalist architecture. Our 1st Edition test car got electric seats with lumbar adjustment, which were supportive enough and broadly adjustable. The lesser models make do with manual levers and don't have the lumbar support. If you are larger in any direction you might find these lack support in places.
The dash is logical with a simple row of air-con button beneath the standard 10.25-inch touchscreen, which is is a big step forward over previous Jeeps, and far better than the infuriating system in a VW-Group electric car. The Jeep's ‘Uconnect’ system has decent graphics, a physical home button so that you can hop back to the main screen instantly, and you can personalise the home screen widgets to make it easier to get to the features you regularly use.
The screen isn’t the quickest to respond but it does do a fine job overall, and we’d still say that the system in the Kia Niro is better overall, but you get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus built-in TomTom sat-nav, over the air software updates and all the features you want.
As for how it drives, the Jeep Avenger is a really well-judged little car that feels more than grown-up enough to cope with long journeys with the kids on board. The steering is quite light but there’s enough bite to it to give you confidence as you swing through roundabouts and car parks, and Sport mode weights it up nicely for faster country roads.
Even though it ‘only’ does 0-62mph in 9.0sec, which is slower than may alternative electric cars, the Jeep feels fast enough in most situations, but does lack some of the punch you expect from electric cars, even when in Sport mode. This is the only setting which unleashes the full 154bhp - in Normal you get 107bhp and Eco restricts you to a wheezy 80bhp. Pressing the accelerator pedal to the floor quickly releases the full beans so you can overtake or pull onto a motorway though. Even so, it is actually surprisingly good fun even on nice, fast, sweeping roads.
Despite having a bit more sparkle to the handling than you may expect, the Jeep Avenger is also really comfy. The suspension soaks up all but the worst of the creases and ruts in the road, and there’s very little wheel bounce and suspension noise, so it feels smooth. There is a little more tyre and wind noise than you might expect after stepping out of an ID.3 or Born, but it's not obtrusive.
One noise that might prove more divisive is the 'click' made by the indicator. It has a two-tone beat which makes it sound like a 1980s synthesiser back beat
It’s a very composed and easy-going commuter, as well as a fun little SUV for about-town runs.The Peugeot e-208 (which also uses the earlier version of the Jeep’s e-CMP platform) may be a bit more incisive in its handling, but the Jeep is an unlikely candidate for delivering the best blend of handling vim and ride comfort of any of the models with these underpinnings.
In fact, more importantly, it’s one of the best small electric cars of any when it comes to balance of ride and handling. Jeep hasn’t forgotten its off-road routes, either, and all Avengers get Selec-Terrain, which lets you choose the off-road surface you’re on so that the car’s electronic systems can be adjusted to make the most of available traction. It really is the best of the small cars when it comes to off-road ruggedness, but it is only available with front-wheel drive and it can’t tow anything either.
Jeep Avenger Range, Battery and Charging
The Jeep Avenger gets a usable battery capacity of 51kWh (a total capacity of 54kWh), and an official WLTP range of up to 248 miles - that's really efficient. The battery comes complete with an eight year, 100,000 mile warranty, as is becoming industry standard for electric cars. That range figure is for cars wearing the 16-inch wheels; with the larger rims fitted to top spec models that's reduced by three miles.
You also get a heat pump as standard in the Jeep Avenger, which makes the car more efficient in cold weather, so your driving range won’t be so affected if you have the heating on high when it’s chilly outside. It’s a really useful addition, and a valuable one as you’ll pay over £1,000 for a heat pump in plenty of electric cars that cost a lot more than the Jeep.
On a 90 minute drive on mixed roads in Normal mode with the extra 'B' selected to give more regen braking, we averaged 3.9 miles per kWh when the outside temperature was around 9oC. On a different day in a warmer climate that rose to near the claimed 4.9.
Charging is via the CCS or Type 2 socket located at the rear of the Avenger, where you’d expect to find the fuel filler cap. These are the standard socket types in Europe and are compatible with every home charger, and with the vast majority of public charging stations, too.
A 100kW maximum charging speed means that you can have a 10-80% charge in under 30 minutes, or a 100 mile top-up will take around 20 minutes. Plug into a 7kW home charger and the Avenger will be fully charged in eight hours (the cable you need to plug into a home charger is provided as standard). The Jeep can accept up to 11kW AC though, which could be handy at some public chargers.
Jeep Avenger Price
Prices start at £35,700 for the entry level Longitude and rise to £39,600 for the Summit - that's an increase from what we were originally told. Options include various 'packs which bundle together tech and cosmetic niceties which could easily nudge the price over £40k.
Even the basic Avenger will get hill descent control, alloy wheels, reversing sensors and that 10-inch touchscreen system. Mid-spec 'Altitude' models will add adaptive cruise control, a bigger digital driver’s readout, bigger alloys, upgraded upholstery and more, but it’s a bit poor that you’ll have to pay extra for heated seats - they are essential on electric cars to make the most of that winter range as you use the heater less.
You’ll also be able to buy one on a subscription method – a bit like that offered by VW and Volvo, where you pay a single fee per month to use the car and have all the additional costs covered, so you only pay for the electricity.
These subscription costs, and the conventional monthly PCP finance deals that will also be available, are yet to be confirmed but will certainly make or break the Jeep’s success – it needs to be affordable to take on the MG4 and MG ZS EV.
Jeep Avenger Practicality
The Jeep is surprisingly roomy despite being only 4.08m long; that’s around 10-20cm shorter than most rivals like the Ford Puma, Nissan Juke and Renault Captur. Short as it is, Jeep has managed to find 380 litres of boot space and a bit of underfloor cable storage in there, although there’s no ‘frunk’ storage space under the bonnet of the car. It’s certainly big enough in the boot to take a chunky outdoor buggy, and the boxy shape of the Avenger means there’s good height to the boot space, which is ideal if you’ve got a dog that likes to sit up and stare wistfully out of the rear window.
Space in the back seats is suitable for a small family, but you'll be pushing it with lanky teens. You don’t get a central armrest back there, but there is enough headroom for an average-sized adult to feel comfy even on a longer run, and you get a couple of charging USB-C sockets as well. The seats fold down in a 60/40 split, and you should be able to get a full-sized bike in with them down – albeit with a bit of faffing about.
There’s plenty of space up front for even a tall driver to find a natural-feeling driving position, and there are loads of storage cubbies around the cabin to stow your stuff away, too. The magnetic, soft-touch plastic lid over the central console, which actually peels back in sections like those used on iPads is quite a nifty thing and reveals a deep storage area between the front seats. In the 1st Edition there’s also a wireless charging cubby for your phone. Overall, the Jeep Avenger is one of the most practical small cars around, although we would have liked some sliding rear seats for even more versatility.
Jeep Avenger Verdict
The Jeep Avenger is a really fun yet practical little electric SUV. For balance of comfy ride and balanced handling, Jeep has hit a sweet spot. It’s also practical, looks great and promises to be efficient. Yes, it’s got major competition from all kinds of rivals, from the cheaper and bigger MG4 and MG ZS EV, right through to conventional hatchbacks and SUVs like the VW ID.3 and Peugeot e-2008. Even with all of those alternatives, the Jeep Avenger makes sense in a lot of ways. As small electric cars go, it doesn’t get much better than this.