The long-running Car of the Year Awards, which were unveiled on January 13th at the Brussels International Motor Show, were the first Jeep to win top honors. This year’s winner is the Jeep Avenger, a new electric SUV sold in Europe, Japan and South Korea. Not sold in North America.
The Avenger is also Jeep’s first pure electric vehicle. The engine, which debuted last October, uses a single motor with 154 hp (115 kW) of power and 181 lb-ft (260 Newton-meters) of torque. It drives the front wheels, but a dual-motor Avenger is included on the card for future all-wheel-drive models. A 54 kWh battery provides a range of 249 miles on the WLTP cycle, but in slow urban environments that range can approach 342 miles. A 100 kW connection allows fast charging and ranges from 20 to 80% in 24 minutes.
In winning Car of the Year, the Avenger received a total of 328 votes, including 21 votes from 57 judges representing 22 European countries. The other competing vehicle was a VW ID. Buzz finished second with a total of 241 votes and a maximum of 16 votes. In third place was the Nissan Ariya, who received 211 votes, making this year’s top three cars the podium for the second time in the award’s history for an all-electric vehicle. Last year, the Kia EV6 took the overall win, followed closely by the Renault Megane E-Tech Electric and the Hyundai Ioniq 5.
The other contender for the 2023 award is Kia Niro, pushing its internal combustion engine power to fourth place. Renault Austral finished fifth in his list, while a Peugeot 408 and Subaru Solterra/Toyota bZ4X twin rounded out his seven finalists.
Jeep has no plans to bring the subcompact Avenger to the US, but a larger EV will grace North America in the form of the Recon. The Wrangler Unlimited size four-door jeep emphasizes that it is not a replacement for the Wrangler, but it does have considerable off-road capability thanks to its electric powertrain. Details about the 2024 reconnaissance are expected to arrive later this year.
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