Should the Jeep Avenger EV Be Offered Stateside?

The wee crossover has its advantages, but also comes with compromises.

2023 jeep avenger
  • 2023 Jeep Avenger formally debuts at the Paris Motor Show, ahead of sales in Europe starting early next year.
  • The EV is powered by a 54-kWh battery, giving it a range of 249 miles in the WLTP cycle, with a single motor driving the front wheels.
  • The Avenger is smaller than the Renegade and the Compass and is intended to compete with other subcompact EVs.

    Jeep has said electric models are on the way. But the company didn't promise that its home country would be the first to receive them, or that all of them would be offered here.

    The brand used the Paris Motor Show for the official debut of the Avenger—it's first battery-electric model—dusting off a vintage Chrysler/Rootes nameplate in the process and rolling out a pocket-sized crossover. It's our first truly detailed look at the upcoming electric mini Jeep.

    It's not easy to get a sense of the Avenger's scale in photos, as the electric Jeep is rakish enough to give the impression of being about as large as a Compass or a Renegade. But in reality, the Avenger is much shorter than both models, with an overall length of about 161 inches. That makes it an entire foot shorter than the Compass. And it's about 20 inches shorter than the Volkswagen ID.4.

    The Hyundai Ioniq 5, for another example, is an absolute giant with an overall length of 182.5 inches, despite appearing like a small hatch in photos. And a Kia EV6 is still a couple inches longer than that.

    2023 jeep avenger
    The Avenger is far shorter in length than the Renegade and Compass.

    Such a footprint does not buy the Avenger a lot of room underneath, with the wee crossover being powered a 54-kWh battery driving only the front wheels.

    That's right: the Avenger features a single-motor layout with 156 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque on tap. And for the kind of duties it will perform in European cities, this approach is just about right, prioritizing range over power or all-wheel drive capability.

    Jeep says the Avenger will offer 249 miles in the very optimistic WLTP cycle, which would likely mean an EPA range of just over 200 miles, were it to be offered stateside.

    Still, the small Jeep won't be sent out into the world without some basic off-road skills. The short overhangs buy the Avenger some very favorable approach and departure angles, while Jeep's Selec-Terrain system offers snow, sand, and mud modes. With 18-inch wheels and 7.9 inches of ground clearance, the Avenger should handle some moderate off-road tasks without much effort.

    But is it also something we could use stateside, even with a FWD layout? The main argument in favor of the Avenger being offered stateside, as we see it, is the relative deficit of small and inexpensive EVs at the moment.

    2023 jeep avenger
    The interior features a 10.25-inch infotainment display along with a digital gauge cluster.

    Most of the EV debuts of the past two years have seen pricey crossovers, sedans, and pickup trucks, with just a handful of exceptions like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which is only incrementally larger than the Bolt hatch. The Mini Cooper SE Electric may offer modest dimensions but not that much range to reach a truly wide audience.

    There are arguments against the Avenger's fit for the US market, and it appears Jeep's parent company, Stellantis, was persuaded by them, at least for the time being.

    The Avenger is estimated to go on sale in Europe with a sticker just around $33,000, prior to any incentives. This is an unofficial number for now, so take it with a generous helping of organic, sustainably sourced salt.

    Other electric Jeeps are on the way—none quite this small, but slated to feature dual-motor layouts.

    Should Jeep offer the Avenger stateside, or is it not well suited for North American buyers? Let us know in the comments below.

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