For the first time ever, a Jeep has received the highest honours at the prestigious Car of the Year awards.
At the Brussels International Motorshow earlier this month, Jeep’s debut EV, the Avenger, was announced as Car of the Year. Competing with the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, Nissan Ariya, and Kia Niro, the American manufacturers received top honours in the 60th edition of the global awards ceremony.
The Avenger claimed a convincing victory with 328 votes for Car of the Year, including 21 best votes from a 57-member jury representing 22 European countries. Runner-up was Volkswagen’s ID.Buzz with 241 votes and 16 best votes, while the Nissan Ariya came in at third with 211 votes. For the second time ever (and second year running), the podium was all-electric. Last year, it was the KIA EV6 that led the pack, with the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric and the Hyundai Ioniq taking up second and third.
Debuting in October of 2022 – and available in Europe, Japan and South Korea – the Avenger is Jeep’s only fully electric vehicle, running on a single motor that pushes out 155 kW of power and 160 Nm of torque. The single motor drives the front wheels, however a dual-motor model is part of future planning, in order to release an all-wheel-drive Avenger. Within the WLTP cycle (the global standard for determining cars’ emissions) the 54 kWh battery provides a range of 400 km, however driving in slower-speed areas could increase the range to around 550 km. The battery can be fast-charged through a 100 kW connection, in which case it is capable of powering up from 20-80% in 24 minutes.
The Avenger will be limited to certain global markets, however, Jeep has said that a larger EV, the Recon, will be available in North America. Due for release in 2024, the Recon is set to still have the considerable off-road capability with its electric powertrain. Neither are earmarked for South African introduction at this point.