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Jeep Avenger

Jeep Avenger Could Work In America, But It's Not Coming

A baby EV Jeep: Too small or just right?

  • Jeep announced a flurry of new electric cars yesterday.
  • One of the most intriguing was the new Jeep Avenger, but there's a problem.
  • Jeep says it won't sell the Avenger in the States.

Jeep is really leaning into an electrified future. To that end, Jeep announced a number of new electric SUVs this week. One of the concepts was called the Jeep Avenger, a sub-Renegade sized fully electric SUV. A small all-electric crossover might be exactly what the American market never knew it needed, but there's a problem: Jeep has said the Avenger won't be sold here.

Jeep Avenger

That's a bit of a letdown because well-priced EVs are still few and far between. The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt are two of the most obvious examples when it comes to truly affordable electric cars. And while Jeep hasn't announced the price of the Avenger for the European market yet, its size leads us to believe that it would start below the $30,000 mark. So we're left scratching our heads as to why Jeep wouldn't want to get the jump on upcoming cars like the Chevrolet Equinox EV and steal a little market share from Nissan in the U.S.

It certainly looks the part. Its seven-slat front grille, chunky fenders and high-riding stance all scream Jeep. It's far more muscular than the seriously blobby Bolt and Leaf, and Jeep's tougher-looking designs have resonated with its hardcore fanbase for decades. It looks perfectly tailored to tackle the urban jungle, and that's exactly what the Avenger was built to do. But if you want to go even further afield, Jeep says "this new SUV will offer impressive ground clearance, breakover and approach angles for its segment." Plus it promises a modern interior and fresh tech.

Jeep Avenger

If all that wasn't enough, consider the wonders a new powertrain might do for a smaller Jeep. Right now, the Renegade is saddled with a peewee powertrain. Its turbocharged 1.3-liter four-cylinder makes 177 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque. In our testing, it took the Renegade nearly 10 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill, and we don't feel its powertrain is worth a second mention. But a smaller Jeep might hugely benefit from the instantly available torque that electric powertrains deliver.

What about range? The Avenger will be built on Stellantis' STLA small platform, and as a result range is said to be around 250 miles. That might not sound like a ton when there are a plethora of EVs that crack the 300-mile mark, but it's right on par with the Bolt (259 miles). Plus, 250 miles on a single charge is more than enough to tackle the suburban sprawl of cities like Los Angeles and Dallas.

Jeep Avenger

The Avenger is an enticing proposition, but Jeep says it's too small for the American market. While we know small cars are on their way out, small SUVs are a hot segment, and we think the Avenger fits perfectly into a class that has but a few fully electric entrants. We know the recently announced the larger Jeep Recon will be coming here, but a small electric crossover with tough looks might have been a bull's-eye for Jeep. Too bad we'll never know for sure.

Edmunds says

Even without driving it, we know we'd be plenty excited about the Avenger. Maybe Jeep will change its mind, eventually.