At the Brussels Motor Show, the Jeep Avenger all-electric SUV was selected as European Car of the Year 2023. This little SUV is Jeep's first foray into battery-electric vehicles. As Top Gear reported, motoring writers from over two dozen countries cast their votes to determine the winner.
Top Gear's Paul Horrell remarked in these lines: "It took me by surprise when I saw this automobile. The experience was the complete reverse of what I had anticipated. The car's compact size makes it easy to park in tight spaces, and its smooth handling makes it feel like a much larger vehicle."
It scored 328 points and was voted number one by 21 judges, beating out the electric Volkswagen Kombi resurrection, the Volkswagen ID Buzz, and the electric Nissan Ariya family crossover, according to The Telegraph.
The newspaper says that the Jeep Avenger features an "attractive outward appearance evocative of the boxy American Seventies Jeeps," with the characteristic seven-slot grille initially seen on the original World War Two-era Willys Jeep. "In a class of nearly similar jacked-up superminis, it feels comfy and a touch special."
Jeep's goal is to dominate the electric SUV market, and the Avenger is a key element of that strategy. According to Tech Crunch, the company plans for electric vehicles (EVs) to make up 100% of European sales by 2030 and at least 50% of North American sales by the same year.
Auto Express reports that the Jeep Avenger will first be sold only in Europe and a few nations in North Africa. The CEO of Jeep, Christian Meunier, told Tech Crunch that there is "no real market potential in North America" for small SUVs like the Jeep Avenger.
At only 13.4 feet in length, the Avenger made its debut at the Paris Motor Show in October. According to a press statement from Stellantis, the company that now controls Jeep, designers aimed to capture the "brand DNA" of the company inside the "compact dimensions" of the new vehicle.
Jeep insists that despite its diminutive dimensions, the Avenger provides uncompromised off-road prowess and nearly 250 miles of driving range.
In 2024, when Jeep Recon and Jeep Wagoneer S will be entirely electric, they will be the first Jeep SUVs offered to purchasers in the United States.
Jeep is banking on government subsidies available in many European countries to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles. For example, a French buyer can get a 7,000 euro ($7,590) subsidy on an electric car that costs less than 47,000 euro ($50,964). Anyway, the Jeep Avenger is the Car of the Year 2023, at least in Europe.