Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition review: star of the Stellantis EV universe

David Linklater
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Jeep's first pure-EV is a small car for the big city.

Specifications

See All See All
Base price
$69,990
Body type
sport utility vehicle
Fuel Type
electric
Maximum power kW
115
Range (km)
398
Maximum torque Nm
260
0-100 km/h
9
Pros
  • Delightful design detail
  • Polished ride and handling
  • Does a great job of feeling Jeepy
Cons
  • Not exactly quick
  • No power adjust for front passenger
  • Not much rear legroom

Mention of our Avenger test vehicle to an office millennial sparked some vague joke about Marvel movies. For Gen X or older it might produce a mental picture of some dodgy Hillman from the 1970s.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
Avenger? Sounds familiar, even if the car is a whole new thing.

In fact, even just sticking to cars, Avenger has been a Hillman, Chrysler, Talbot and Dodge. It can be many things to many people.

For Jeep – part of the Stellantis group that now owns all of the above brands and the Avenger name, remember – it’s now the moniker of its first-ever pure-electric vehicle (its Renegade/Compass/Grand Cherokee 4xe EVs are plug-in hybrids) and its smallest production SUV ever. Although the original wartime Jeep is a tad more compact still. Fun fact… but not that relevant.

So yes, Avenger is even smaller than the Renegade (less than 4.1m long) and definitely a city SUV. But Jeep also argues it’s tougher than your average EV shopping trolley and has plenty of Jeep-worthy features, including 200mm ground clearance and a super-practical cabin.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
Avenger is genuinely small: just 4.1m long. Supermini-sized.

The Stellantis connection means that the underpinnings are part of the same platform family that gives us the Opel Mokka-e and Peugeot e-2008. Although those are distributed by another company in New Zealand, so you won’t see all three in a showroom together. Confusing.

Avenger really does have a unique feel on-road (and slightly off it), and it’s packed with Jeepy design detail.

Jeep reckons it’s done a lot to the platform though, to make Avenger feel a bit more spesh: more than 600 component changes, even stuff like longer-travel suspension and extra drive modes to give better performance off-tarmac. Although you’re not going too far off-piste in this BEV version: it’s FWD only, with a 4xe (probably PHEV) and even ICE/hybrid (which the platform allows) likely to follow at a much later date. For now, BEV is the focus for Jeep with this model.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
Doesn't need a grille. But could it have been a Jeep without those 7 slots?

Know what? We’ll accept all that. Avenger really does have a unique feel on-road (and slightly off it), and it’s packed with Jeepy design detail without getting too cheesy.

What’s actually unique to the Launch Edition? Well, it’s the only edition for now.

Chunky bits on the outside include a Jeep 7-slot grille (which is not really a grille, it’s an EV silly), inset headlights, bulbous guards and brand-signature trapezoidal wheelarches. It wears the Stellantis corporate “e” (same as a Peugeot) but it also has some cute Jeep easter-egg signatures, like tiny grilles embossed on the alloy wheels, a graphic of a boy looking through at telescope on the bottom-left of the windscreen (with stars at the top right of course), even a tiny ladybug on one of the exterior mouldings. Jeep says the rear lights are styled to look jerry cans, as on the Renegade, although they’re a lot more subtle here.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
That thing that bugged us about the Avenger's roof moulding. Photo / Damien O'Carroll.

In fact, a lot of the Avenger is quite grown-up… for a baby SUV. The cabin is delightful and surprisingly classy; even the harder plastics (there are plenty) are interesting shapes and the slender 10.25in infotainment screen is a welcome relief from the monster displays of some BEVs.

The modest power isn’t enough to stress the front-drive configuration, but don’t be too quick to sneer at the provision of sand and mud drive modes on this city car.

As is the provision of a row of proper physical switchgear. Just not sure why the virtual instrument panel has a fuel pump icon with a plug in the bottom corner, pointing right (the charging port is on the left). There for a forthcoming PHEV version, perhaps; but surely it could be digitally designed-out for this pure-electric model?

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
Interior has lots of character and lots of physical switchgear.

There’s an impressive 34 litres of storage space around the cabin, which makes the Avenger feel a lot bigger than it is. The wireless phone projection is brilliant, as is the angled charging pad.

What’s actually unique to the Launch Edition? Well, it’s the only edition for now and the local Jeep aren’t 100 per cent sure what won’t be in future models compared with this, but it’s comprehensively equipped: loads of driver assists including a really good adaptive cruise setup, hands-free power tailgate, LED headlights, heated front seats and even a massager for the driver (thank you, Peugeot). Although there’s been a teeny bit of corner-cutting with the front-passenger seat, which also lacks the power adjustment you get on the other side.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
Decent boot, with a decent loading width of a metre.

It’s actually pretty decent at being an SUV (well, for its size), with a generous 380-litre boot and false floor so you can mix and match volume with load-through when the seats are folded. Jeep has also ensured the hatch width is over a metre wide, for easier loading… of things that are a metre wide.

The back seats are more for kids (or grandkids), though. The opportunity cost for practicality elsewhere is a paucity of rear legroom, although the back can be adult-sized with a little compromise from those up front.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
The biggest compromise in Avenger packaging is the rear seat; it's pretty tight.

The Avenger has the latest 54kWh battery for this platform, which is also filtering across the rest of the cars within the group. Jeep claims excellent energy density and 51kWh usable capacity, for a range of 400km. We easily did 300km-plus of fast motorway driving and that claimed figure is certainly achievable with a bit more urban driving in the mix.

It ain’t fast (0-100km/h 9sec) but it’s beautifully smooth and the steering, ride and handling really are a cut above the other cars in this platform. Or at least, this car really does have its own character. The ride is more compliant thanks to the longer-travel suspension and while there is noticeable body roll in corners, it’s all nicely controlled. It feels extremely well-sorted all-round.

Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition.
It's only FWD, but you still get off-tarmac drive modes.

The modest power isn’t enough to stress the front-drive configuration, but don’t be too quick to sneer at the provision of sand and mud drive modes on this city car. Past 2WD Peugeots and Fords have had similar systems and the tech really can help you get through low-traction terrain when you really need it. But no, you won’t be taking this on a Jeep Jamboree.

Avenger was European Car of the Year for 2023, which is a pretty good indication of how well Jeep has executed this iteration of a shared platform. We’re fans now, too. It’s a great city SUV in its own right and a great base for a more off-tarmac oriented machine, if that’s what Jeep decides to do with future versions.

JEEP AVENGER LIMITED LAUNCH EDITION
BATTERY: 51kWh battery with single electric motor
POWER: 115kW/260Nm
GEARBOX: Single-speed automatic, FWD
0-100KM/H: 9.0sec
RANGE: 420km (WLTP)
PRICE: $69,990

How much is the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition?

Funny story: it was launched at $67,005 late last year to take advantage of the Clean Car Discount (which made it a neat $59,990), but now the rebate has gone it's been realigned to $69,990. This is the Launch Edition (50 only); specification/pricing for the ongoing model yet to be announced.

What are the key statistics for the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition powertrain?

Avenger is based on a familiar Stellantis platform (Opel e-Mokka, Peugeot e-2008) but has the very latest 54kWh battery. It's front-drive, with a modest 115kW/260Nm.

Is the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition efficient?

Jeep claims the new Avenger battery is very dense (51kWh usable); so even though it's still quite small by modern BEV standards, you get a generous 400km-plus range.

Is the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition good to drive?

Avenger has real character on-road: the long-travel suspension gives give a soft ride (which feels right for a Jeep) but it's also really controlled. It's certainly fast, but we're okay with that; because it's fun.

Is the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition practical?

It's full of practical touches for a baby SUV, like generous cabin storage and an impressively-sized 380-litre boot. The opportunity cost is a rear seat that's tight on legroom - fine for children and occasional adult passengers, though.

What do we like about the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition?

Jeep has take a shared platform and given it real Jeep character. There's great attention to design detail and it's a fun-to-drive machine.

What don’t we like about the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition?

As Jeep's first pure-electric model Avenger is a headline-grabber, so it might be hard for some to swallow the concept of it being FWD-only (at least for now). The front passenger misses out on power adjust and massaging in this Launch Edition and the rear seat is a tight on legroom.

What kind of person would the Jeep Avenger Limited Launch Edition suit?

Somebody who wants an electric city car that's bursting with character and capable of longer-distance driving. You don't need to be a Jeep devotee... this is a hugely likeable little thing by any measure.

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