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Long-term review

Jeep Avenger - long-term review

£39,600 / £42,125 as tested / £519pcm
Published: 19 Jan 2024
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Jeep Avenger Summit

  • Range

    248.5 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    154.2bhp

  • 0-62

    9.6s

Jeep Avenger vs Honda e: why Jeep's small EV makes more sense

You’ve probably heard about the adorable Honda e being killed off in the UK and Europe. If you haven’t, I’m sorry to break the news. It’s a travesty, it really is. First introduced in 2020 it rocked our world with its cute retro-futuristic face, interior like a hi-end Japanese living room and best of all… a fish-tank function on the full-width screen. I ran one for eight months and fell in love with it so much that I tried to buy it off Honda (to no avail), because not only did it look as fresh as a frosted pint glass, it drove brilliantly too – with proper big car refinement and fluidity.

Admittedly, it’s a car that worked particularly well for me at that time for three reasons: I wasn’t paying for it, I lived in London and we were in the midst of a pandemic and therefore had nowhere to go, and my children were of the miniature variety.

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If your requirements fell somewhere outside of those parameters, the Honda e did have some hefty drawbacks: it was expensive for a city car (prices started from over £30k), the real-world 100-mile range was pitiful and the back seats and boot were cramped. I’m certain it will go on to become a collector’s item, but it was a fairly serious misjudgement from a company who intended on, y’know, selling any.

Which got me thinking about the Jeep Avenger. In many ways it has a lot in common with the ‘e’. They’re both compact electric cars intended for urban use, both look great and lean into their company heritage, both cost similar money and have zero sporty pretensions. But there are differences, subtle ones, that left Honda on the wrong side, and Jeep on the right side of the sales charts.

Firstly, the Avenger is an SUV. Forget whether that actually means any added utility any more (clue: it doesn’t), it’s fashionable, it’s what everyone wants and as luck would have it joins up neatly with the Jeep badge. Secondly the 249-mile range is double the Honda’s and that makes it actually useful beyond shuttle runs to the shops, plus you have to charge it and feel the grip of range anxiety less often. Finally it’s that fraction bigger – still just as manoeuvrable around town, but with space for your kids to grow into in the back and a decent-sized (well, compared to the Honda at least) boot. For image conscious urban types, Jeep has made the perfect car for our times. Unfortunately, Honda didn’t.

Confirmation the Avenger’s charms are working their magic came when an identical-spec car rolled into the golf club car park behind me, proving what I already suspected, that Jeep has nailed the ‘desirability’ brief here. First comment from my co-Avenger? What do I think of the dance music baseline beat of the indicators? Bit much we both agree. Other than that, it’s off to a strong start.

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