Why Won’t We Get the All-Electric New Jeep Avenger in the U.S?
Jeep has finally taken the cover off its first all-electric SUV, the new Avenger. The new Jeep was previewed by Jeep CEO Christian Meunier at the Paris Auto Show on Monday. That’s right, Paris, because the new all-electric Avenger is part of Jeep’s new electric vehicle portfolio for Europe. Sure, we may get a new Avenger or something like it in the U.S., and that’s why this new SUV matters.
The Avenger is built in Poland, for Europe
At the unveiling, Meunier said, “Avenger represents a key milestone for the brand as it is the first of a portfolio of all-new Jeep BEVs to be introduced in Europe.” He added in a Jeep press conference that it was designed for Europe, not the U.S., where many cities are prohibiting gas-powered vehicles and electric vehicles are selling better.
Jeep said the new Avenger is “right sized for Europe,” which means that its smaller than many of the SUVs the brand sells in the U.S. at just 147 inches long. Though it looks large, it’s shorter than a Mini Cooper, which is 152 inches long. The Avenger fits into Europe’s growing compact B-SUV market for small SUVs.
The Jeep Avenger only makes 156 horsepower
Though we can’t buy one here, the Avenger is an SUV of note for us in that it previews Jeep’s new 400-volt electric powertrain. The new powertrain is a joint venture between Stellantis (Jeep’s parent company) and a European company. It makes just 156 horsepower, so don’t expect Tesla-rivaling acceleration, and it has a range of about 250 miles. Jeep says that European drivers average about 18 miles a day, so a 250-mile range should me days of worry-free driving.
The Avenger is a Jeep, so it can go off-road
The new Avenger, though, is a front-wheel drive electric SUV, which can go off-roading. It’s the first front-wheel-drive Jeep to get hill descent control, and Jeep’s Selec-Terrain system allows a driver to tell it what kind of surface you’re driving on. For its size class, it has an impressive 7.8 inches of ground clearance. It also has short front and rear overhangs for good approach and departure angles. In Europe, where steep roads and driveways are normal, that will be a huge help.
Jeep’s other 4xe-branded vehicles are all four-wheel drive off-roaders.
The Avenger has some goodies that could appear on more U.S. Jeeps soon, too
The Avenger has Level 2 autonomous driving capability, which means that it can use its sensors to adjust your speed and to keep the vehicle centered in a lane. It also has Traffic Jam Assist, which helps you get through tight traffic situations. The new Avenger is equipped with skid plates, 360-degree cladding, and encased protected headlamps to protect in low-speed impacts. The skid plates’ color is molded into the plastic so if they get scuffed, it’s less noticeable.