- The Jeep Avenger has been named European Car of the Year for 2023 – but it’s not on sale in the US.
- It’s Jeep’s first all-electric car and surprisingly small for an SUV at 13.4 ft.
- Jeep CEO Christian Meunier thinks it’s too compact for the North American market.
Jeep’s all-electric Avenger was named the 2023 European Car of the Year at the Brussels Motor Show on Friday.
The compact SUV is Jeep’s first battery-powered electric model. The award was voted on by a jury of automotive journalists from twenty countries, according to Top Gear magazine.
One was Top Gear’s Paul Horrell, who commented: “This car stuck with me. I expected not to like it, but experience proved otherwise. It’s very usefully small, but drives like a refined bigger car.”
It received 328 points, and 21 judges ranked it first, eclipsing Volkswagen’s electric Kombi revival called the ID. Buzz, and the Nissan Ariya, an electric family crossover, The Telegraph reported.
The Avenger features an “attractive exterior design reminiscent of the boxy American Jeeps of the 1970s along with the signature seven-slot grille first seen on the original World War II Willys Jeep,” according to the paper. “I feel comfortable and a bit special in this class of virtually identical superminis.”
The Avenger is part of Jeep’s drive to become the leader in electric SUVs. The manufacturer wants electric vehicles to account for all sales in Europe by 2030, and at least half in North America, Tech Crunch reported.
But according to Auto Express, the Avenger will only be available in Europe and some North African countries.
There is no “real market potential in North America” for small SUVs like the Avenger, Jeep CEO Christian Meunier told Tech Crunch last year.
The Avenger, which was unveiled in October at the Paris Motor Show, is just 13.4 feet long. Designers sought to embody the “brand DNA” within “compact dimensions,” according to a press release from Stellantis, which owns Jeep.
Despite this, Jeep says the Avenger offers “uncompromised” off-road capability despite its size, as well as a range of nearly 250 miles.
The Jeep Recon and Wagoneer S will be the first all-electric Jeep SUVs available to U.S. customers, but production isn’t expected to begin until 2024.
Many European countries offer government subsidies to help drivers buy electric vehicles, which Jeep hopes will boost sales. In France, for example, buyers can get up to 7,000 euros ($7,590) for an electric car that costs less than 47,000 euros ($50,964).