For the first time, a Jeep has received the top honor of the long-running Car of the Year awards, announced on January 13 at the Brussels International Motor Show. This year’s winner is the new Jeep Avenger electric SUV, which is available in Europe, Japan and South Korea. It will not be sold in North America.
The Avenger is also Jeep’s first pure electric vehicle. Debuting last October, it uses a single motor with an output of 154 horsepower (115 kilowatts) and 181 pound-feet (260 Newton-meters) of torque. It drives the front wheels, though a dual-motor Avenger is in the cards for future all-wheel-drive models. The 54-kWh battery provides a range of 249 miles in a WLTP cycle, although in urban settings at slower speeds the range can approach 342 miles. It can charge quickly via a 100 kW connection, ranging from 20 to 80 percent in 24 minutes.
In his Car of the Year win, the Avenger received a total of 328 votes, including the best 21 votes from a 57-member jury representing 22 European countries. Another vehicle up for grabs is the VW ID. Buzz, finished second with 241 overall votes and 16 best votes. In third was the Nissan Ariya with 211 votes, giving the top three vehicles of the year the all-electric podium for only the second time in the award’s history. Last year, the Kia EV6 took the overall win, followed by the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
Another contender for the 2023 award is the Kia Niro, bringing internal combustion power to fourth place. Renault Austral landed in fifth place, followed by Peugeot 408 and twin Subaru Solterra / Toyota bZ4X rounding out the seven finalists.
While Jeep has no plans to bring the subcompact Avenger to the United States, a larger EV will grace North America in the form of the Recon. While the Wrangler Unlimited is a four-door, Jeep emphasizes it is not a replacement for the Wrangler but will have considerable off-road capability with its electric powertrain. More information on Scout 2024 should arrive later this year.
See Rambling About Cars podcast for further EV discussion, available below.