June 22, 2024

Didcot Gateway

Building Cars, People First

Jeep Avenger Review (2022) | Autocar

From the outside, the Avenger looks like a robust and tough little thing. There’s lots of hard black cladding around the bottom, but leaving those surfaces unpainted saves €1000 (£875) in scuff and scrape repair costs over the car’s life, says Jeep. I don’t recall ever seeing a T-Cut bill that high, but I get the point, and the net result is aesthetically pleasing.

All of which is quite some buildup, so it’s a relief to find that this Jeep is really rather likeable to drive. Engaging it is not, yet it is not supposed to be. Instead, it is the kind of car thoughtfully designed and engineered to be useful and usable in real-world driving conditions, yet still with enough character not to make it just another identikit small SUV.

Its best feature is how compact it feels without being compromised for space inside. That boxy shape lets you know where all four corners are, and there’s good visibility and a sensible width that makes it an easy car to place. It is also keen to turn in and holds a line in a corner with well-controlled body movements and good grip, although the steering is overly springy and artificial on initial inputs off the straight-ahead.

The Avenger rides well, though, even on some fairly scarred roads on our test route in the hills above Nice. It’s a little on the firm side, in part a by-product of the 18in alloys of our test car, yet never uncomfortable and still with an overall suppleness that leads you to think the engineers really took on board the whole ‘make it work in Europe’ mantra. This car feels like it sits towards the more sophisticated end of the class.

We didn’t go off road but did drive on one stretch of road that was missing half of its asphalt and had craters that looked like they’d been dug with an excavator. The Avenger swallowed it all up, making the point that it’s as robust as it needs to be on anything you’re ever likely to encounter in the real world. More real-world ticks come from the performance, which is plenty good enough and smoothly and briskly delivered, and the range, which looked to extend to around 217 miles based on our drive on a mixed-roads test route.