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Long-term review

Jeep Avenger - long-term review

£39,600 / £42,125 as tested / £519pcm
Published: 30 May 2024
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Jeep Avenger Summit

  • Range

    248.5 miles

  • ENGINE

    1cc

  • BHP

    154.2bhp

  • 0-62

    9.6s

Farewell, Jeep Avenger: your fall from grace was disappointing

If I look back over all the long-term test cars I’ve been lucky enough to run, the majority have grown on me across the six months or so I’m charge of the keys. Normally, as I peel back the layers, stumble across new functions or collect warm comments from neighbours I form a bond and my appreciation for the designer’s and engineer’s efforts deepens. With the Sun Yellow Avenger, unfortunately, it’s gone the other way.

When we first drove one around a year ago, we were understandably bowled over. Here was yet another small EV crossover, but one that seemed to uphold Jeep’s tough-as-old-boots image, whilst simultaneously going against everything the brand stands for. That’s the power of good design. But it didn’t just look right, it drove with an easy-going agility and just enough zip to make it the perfect urban runabout. We couldn’t think of another EV that nailed its brief so squarely, so named it our 2023 Electric Car of the Year.

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Fast forward six months, and the newest member of the TG Garage looked every bit as good outside the Rix residence, attracting positive attention wherever we whirred. The boot was a bit small, but the back seats were plenty big enough for my two small kids. The acceleration was leisurely, but the real-world 200-miles range was enough for my purposes. It was beginning to mould seamlessly around our lives.

Then the problems began - not the entire electronic system crapping itself, that came later -  I’m talking about the cheap interior materials really starting to stand out (spending time in a Volve EX30 will tend to highlight these things), a lack of cupholders that actually, y’know, hold your cup and that flappy magnetic storage cover thing that was intriguing at first but quickly became pointless and a magnet for mung.

The heater stopped working first. Back to Jeep for a reflash. Then it refused to charge, lost all power, and threw up a dash like the Oxford Street Christmas lights. More laptopery back at the dealership before eventually it seemed to be bug-free and operating fine. By then though the damage was done, confidence lost, and the mourning process began. Mourning for a car that is so nearly brilliant, but for a few cut corners in the build quality and some demons in the electronics.

In 2023 we told you the Avenger was a brilliant car; we may have got overexcited… it’s merely quite good. When it works.

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