Jeep Avenger long-term test: report 3

The Avenger is Jeep's first electric SUV, but can it tempt a new wave of buyers to consider the iconic American brand? We're living with one to find out...

Jeep Avenger at Gridserve

The car Jeep Avenger Summit Run by Mark Pearson, used cars editor

Why it’s here To see if the trendy Avenger can successfully forge new ground for Jeep and to see how it stacks up against its many polished electric SUV competitors

Needs to dispatch commuting, work and family life without any range anxiety issues and cope with a wide variety of everyday duties 

Miles covered 2649 Price £39,600 Target price £39,017 Price as tested £42,125 Official range 244 miles Test range 183 miles 

14 February – The road to nowhere 

It’s always instructive to see what others think of the cars I get to drive and to see if they like or dislike something I’ve chosen. So far, the Jeep Avenger has gotten the thumbs-up from nearly everyone who’s looked at it or travelled in it, which is good: they like its chunky exterior styling and they admire the cheeriness of the interior.

So do I. However, one morning recently my Avenger let me down. I hopped in and thumbed the starter button to be greeted by a blank infotainment screen and an equally blank driver display. A bonging noise alerted me to a red triangle warning sign on the dashboard, and an illuminated spanner symbol.

Jeep Avenger LT rear - broken down with RAC van

While the car seemed drivable, in that it could still go and stop, the lack of any instrumentation made it unusable. Abandoning my trip to the What Car? office, I contacted my local Jeep dealer who came and took the car away to fix it. A few days later, it was back. It turned out all that was needed was a reboot and it was once again well.

I should point out here that Jeep came in last place out of 32 manufacturers in our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, so I’m hoping this isn’t an arbiter of things to come. Mind you, the same sort of problem with the infotainment system happened to me recently with a Smart #1 I was running, and similar with a plug-in hybrid version of the latest Skoda Octavia before that, so people are beginning to wonder if I’m living inside some sort of weird electromagnetic field.

Jeep Avenger panning shot left

In better news, I’ve seen slight gains in the indicated range on the digital dashboard as the weather warms up, as high as 243 miles in one case, which is very close to its official maximum of 244 miles. In the real world, though, my rough calculations would still seem to put the real-world range at around 180-190 miles.

My colleague James Tute borrowed the Avenger recently for a short holiday, and he concurred, reckoning 190-200 miles as a limiting maximum. He drove mainly over a mix of city roads and some dual carriageways, so bearing in mind that he might have been touching higher speeds quite often that’s not a bad result.

He liked the car generally, commenting on the simplicity of the interior, the driving position that could easily accommodate his 6ft 3in frame and the ride comfort around town, although he thought it could feel a little floaty at motorway speeds.

Jeep Avenger Mark charging

He liked the ease of charging, too. Find an appropriate charger and my Avenger can be charged up quickly. Its maximum charging speed is up to 100kW, for a 10-80% top-up in around 25 minutes. That’s faster than you can charge rivals like the Kia Niro EV and MG ZS.

I nearly always plug into my more humble 7kW home wall box, though, so for me, I have to wait just over eight hours for a 0-100% charge. That’s something I usually leave to happen overnight so I have a full charge in the morning. All I need then is a fully working infotainment system and a digital display and I’m all set up for the day.

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