Home » The Cute Electric Jeep We Can’t Buy Is Key To How Stellantis Is Actually Beating Tesla In Europe

The Cute Electric Jeep We Can’t Buy Is Key To How Stellantis Is Actually Beating Tesla In Europe

Jeep Avenger Tmd
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Here’s a wild fact to start your day: Tesla is now just the third biggest electric automaker in Europe by sales. Volkswagen Group is first, with more than 20% of the market. Stellantis is actually second. Stellantis! What’s extra wild about this is that Stellantis, so far as I can tell, doesn’t sell a single pure electric car in the United States.

Is there some fun-with-numbers going on here? Sure. The number of different brands and vehicles that VW and Stellantis have to sell to even catch up with a single Tesla model is hilarious but, given the existence of shared platforms, it’s not quite as big of a deal as that sounds.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

For all the rah-rah about Toyota lately, it’s sitting on a truly weird recall for about 1.85 million RAV4s. Ford and GM haven’t gotten the rah-rah treatment in a while, but one analyst thinks the companies are maybe good buys. Finally, we’ll talk about the Fed because like talking about the Fed and it’s important if you wanna buy a car.

Happy Thursday!

Stellantis, Europe And The Jeep Avenger

All New Jeep® Avenger, The First Ever Fully Electric Jeep Suv
Photo: Jeep

Let’s not get it twisted. Tesla still sells a lot of cars in Europe. In August of 2023, the Tesla Model Y and the Tesla Model 3 were the #1 and #2 best-selling EVs across all of Europe.

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A reason why Tesla is so profitable is that, other than a handful of S/Xes, that’s basically all the company sells in Europe (or anywhere else). The Volkswagen Group is the biggest overall seller of EVs in that part of the world because it has the ID.4, and the Enyaq, and the ID.3, and the Cupra Born, and the Q4 e-tron. If you were curious, all of those cars I just named are built on the same VW MEB platform.

Stellantis, amazingly, is second. How? Similar to VW’s model, Stellantis has a ton of brands and many of them have market-specific loyalty. There’s the Opel Mokka, Citroen C4, and Peugeot 208. There’s also the Fiat 500e, which is the eighth most popular EV in Europe.

And now, there’s the Jeep Avenger. We previously wrote about the car, pointing out that it’s similar in a way to an electrified Renegade, though it’s actually about six inches shorter. In EV form, the front-wheel-drive EV has a WLTP range of 250 miles (340 miles in purely urban driving) and starts at about $42,000 (before local credits) depending on where you buy it.

The little EV just went on sale in Europe and has already earned the European Car of the Year award as well as, more importantly, about 40,000 pre-orders according to Stellantis.

Via The Detroit Free Press, here’s the CFO of Stellantis explaining why that’s a big deal that Stellantis grabbed about 16% of Europe’s EV market share in Q3:

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“The next threshold for us as a company is: How do we get to 20%? Give us a little bit of time and energy to do that,” Knight said. “But, as a group, that’s something we’re very focused on. I think that position for us as being No. 2 in the market and overtaking Tesla was sort of an important psychological hurdle for us as a business.”

It’s not not a big deal, and strong early sales from the Avenger are a good sign. Can Stellantis build a vehicle that’s capable of breaking into the top 5 in Europe? That’ll be a better sign for the company and the Avenger could be that car.

As for why we’re not getting it, the Polish-built EV was developed with Chinese automaker Dongfeng and currently only comes in 2WD. It also wouldn’t qualify for a tax credit. The idea of Americans getting excited about a Chinese-designed, Polish-built EV that’s as expensive as a Tesla (after credits) and doesn’t spin all four wheels is hard to swallow.

Toyota’s Weird RAV4 Recall

Toyotarav42018jpg

I feel like this is a first. At least, I can’t remember a similar recall recently. Toyota is recalling almost 2 million 2013-2018 RAV4 SUVs in the US because of a fire risk that comes from replacement 12-volt batteries.

What?

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Via Reuters:

The recall covers 2013-2018 model year vehicles. Toyota said some replacement 12-volt batteries have smaller top dimensions and if a hold-down clamp was not tightened correctly, the battery could move when the vehicle is driven with forceful turns potentially short circuiting, increasing the risk of fires.

So the replacement batteries used, presumably installed by dealers, weren’t being tightened all the way? This is a weird one.

Are Ford And GM Oversold?

Ford Maverick Hybrid Xlt 07

Ford and GM have not exactly been stellar investments lately, as both are down double-digit percentages in a year where the S&P 500 is up about 10%. So, why would anyone suggest buying either stock?

Barclays analyst Dan Levy has upgraded both from a hold to a buy as both are “historically cheap” and trading at revenue multiples that are low even for them.

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From the Bloomberg story on his recommendations:

“Valuation hasn’t typically been a case to own Ford/GM — investors argue they are cheap for a reason,” Levy wrote in a note to clients on Wednesday. “Yet we believe given historically depressed multiples, attractive upside exists.”

[…]

GM shares are trading at four times its 2024 estimated earnings, which is the stock’s lowest multiple since reentering the public markets 13 years ago, according to Levy. Similarly, Ford is currently trading at about 5.5 times, below its historical level, he added.

Imagine how much Ford would be worth if they built a Maverick that had a rear-mounted electric motor? That’s all I’m saying.

The Fed’s Actions Still Aren’t Great For Borrowers

Federal Reserve Chairman Powell
Photo: Federal Reserve

A global pandemic and a response that has no historic parallel resulted in governments like the United States spending a lot of money. Inflation happened (for complicated reasons) and the Federal Reserve Bank, aka the Fed, reacted by raising rates and trying to slow things down a bit.

In theory, the Fed deciding not to raise rates again after their last meeting should be a good sign for people worried about rising interest rates (i.e. anyone hoping to finance a car or sell a car that’s going to be financed). Car rates are too high, with new auto loan rates hitting nearly 10% in October.

But the Fed does more than just set rates and Cox Automotive’s Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke explained yesterday why you shouldn’t expect rates to go down any time soon:

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A major contributor to the increase in bond yields in recent months has been the liquidation of the Fed’s balance sheet, otherwise known as Quantitative Tightening (QT). The Fed has sold off $224 billion in Treasuries and Mortgage-Backed Securities since their July 26 meeting. Their balance sheet peaked last June and has shrunk by more than $1 trillion so far.

The last time the Fed tried to shrink the balance sheet in 2018-2019, they stopped well before selling off $1 trillion.

This time, QT is happening as the U.S. Treasury is flooding the bond market to fund the U.S. government’s deficit spending. When bond supply exceeds demand, bond prices fall, and yields rise. Hence, the Fed can leave policy words unchanged. Still, their actions are deliberately contributing to higher long-term rates, which matter more to consumers and businesses than what the Fed charges banks to borrow.

Yup. Cash deals or short-term leases (36 months or less) are starting to look increasingly attractive.

The Big Question

Could Jeep sell the Avenger EV here? Would Americans buy a FWD Jeep?

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Daniel MacDonald
Daniel MacDonald
8 months ago

Jeep: Jeep should sell that here-even if it was a gas or hybrid model instead of the somewhat polarizing Renegade. Though I assume a gas hybrid engine was not part of the engineering. Still this Avenger looks better than any small SUV they’ve sold here besides the original XJ cherokees, I’ll bet it would kill it in the USA.

Toyota: Agreed, I would say easily half the used cars I’ve bought a previous owner hadn’t bother reinstalling the battery hold down(s). Unless Toyota issued a service bulletin causing dealers to mis-install smaller batteries I don’t really see what the CYA is for them on this. I would think this would apply to literally every car ever made.

Timbuck2
Timbuck2
8 months ago

I just can’t drive a jeep. It’s sad because it used to be a cool brand but now it’s just crossovers driven by people who think they’re trendy by having the jeep badge. I think a lot of people feel the same way now and it shows in their slowing sales. If they’re gonna do an EV it needs to be a basic, cheap, smaller wrangler type of vehicle. Like an electric Jimny.

Hike
Hike
8 months ago

I get why QT and high rates make cash deals appealing, but I don’t understand why that makes short term leasing appealing. Is it a bet that rates will be lower in 3 years when the lease ends?

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago
Reply to  Hike

Yes – but also monthly payments on a 3 year lease are lower than the same car on a 5 year loan. Because you’re only paying for 40-50% of a new car rather than 100% of a new car.

Plus the $7500 EV subsidy for leased cars that aren’t built in the US.

Last edited 8 months ago by Urban Runabout
Dan Bee
Dan Bee
8 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

This.

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
8 months ago

The Avenger is sporty looking, but a small, two-wheel drive EV probably wouldn’t cut it here unless you could pick it up for $30k or less. At its current, no rebates available $40k plus price point, it would have to compete with many better alternatives, so probably a no go. Yank that EV crap out out and hybridize it and it might sell.

Cyko9
Cyko9
8 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Oh, man, a hybrid Avenger could be a RAV4 killer! As is, I think it’s too expensive for the US. People driving small Jeeps probably wouldn’t mind the FWD, but it’d have to be Bolt-level cheap.

The World of Vee
The World of Vee
8 months ago
Reply to  Cyko9

are people really interested in buying a jeep smaller than the renegade in the US though?

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
8 months ago

The RAV4 recall is weird. They’re supposed to have a Group 35 battery. Some online parts catalogs listed a Group 24 battery as a possible replacement. That’s a heavier and larger battery. It will physically fit into the space but it’s sketchy. It also doesn’t fit the cables very well due to its size. Whereas the Group 35 fits like a glove.

Considering that a lot of chain parts stores used to offer complimentary battery replacement with purchase, it’s likely a fair number had incorrect batteries installed by folks with unknown skillsets. If the computer says it’s correct they’ll slap it in and call it a day.

Japolkin
Japolkin
8 months ago

A million years ago, I worked for Sears and occasionally helped out with battery installs. When it got cold and people were desperate, we’d do all sorts of creative things to make whatever we had in stock fit. Of course, you could fit a small family under the hood in those days, so you could engineer some interesting fitments

Ben
Ben
8 months ago

The Renegade is small, cheap, and doesn’t sell well these days. The Avenger would be even smaller, not cheap, and, well, you can do the math.

They might sell a few to city folks looking for an easier to park crossover, but city cars haven’t traditionally done that well here and I don’t see this changing that.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago
Reply to  Ben

Cars are too expensive these days — So many buyers are more motivated by lower price tags and more realistic about what size and capability they need for 90% of the time.

MrLM002
MrLM002
8 months ago

Could Jeep sell the Avenger EV here? Would Americans buy a FWD Jeep?

1.) I’m still of the opinion the Avenger is not A jeep, it’s a European unibody 4 door CUV with independent suspension. The first mass production electric Jeep should be the original Wrangler Magneto concept (basically a BEV engine swapped manual Wrangler). It doesn’t matter if it only goes 35 miles to the charge, the development cost is nil, production cost is minimal, and I’d buy 4 of them.

2.) Hell yes Americans would buy a FWD Jeep. I’d argue that a SWB Jeep should be FWD based so it’s more likely to understeer than oversteer in 2WD but to be a Jeep it should have a solid axle up front, bof construction, etc. I’ve saw a FWD Jeep conversion done as a military APU truck on ebay not too long ago, pretty odd but pretty cool.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
8 months ago

Could Jeep sell the Avenger EV here?”

I’m sure they could… but they would be better off selling a larger EV in North America… something at least the size of the Compass.

“Would Americans buy a FWD Jeep?”

Many Americans have already bought many Jeep Compass’ and Jeep Patriots in FWD form.

So yes, Americans will buy a FWD Jeep.

M K
M K
8 months ago

Yeah, a few years ago about half the lineup was available with FWD. Was about the time I stopped taking the Jeep brand seriously….I’m sure someone got fired, the 2023 models look like they only come in AWD now.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago

Many Americans have NO IDEA what wheels push or pull their cars – nor do they really care.
Most Jeep buyers are making that purchase decision based more on image and aesthetics – not how capable it is of rolling down an unpaved trail.

Cerberus
Cerberus
8 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

This here. I remember trying to explain to someone that their CRV wasn’t AWD by pointing out that there was no rear differential. They still didn’t seem to believe me. I imagine there are a lot of people of similar cluelessness and lacking awareness of their ignorance who just assume anything with a Jeep badge is 4WD (well, most likely AWD if anything, but they certainly don’t know the difference).

Jdoubledub
Jdoubledub
8 months ago

I had an Opel Mokka as a rental car in Scotland and enjoyed my experience with it; other than the 6 speed shifter being a little too vague for me.

Driving in Scotland really highlighted lane keeping assist technology for me. The roads are so freaking narrow and that car was so wide that lane keeping really saved my bacon countless times.

The technology made way more sense on those narrow roads than they do on the insanely wide lanes of the US where they mostly just nag you for changing lanes without a turn signal.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  Jdoubledub

Or because the DOT line painting truck accidentally put a slight jog in the line marking the shoulder, God, Hyundai’s assist features are freaking terrible.

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago

I think they could, but at this point, American basically require AWD or more, whether they need it or not. The psychology behind AWD is now ingrained, especially on a NON-sedan. IOW, all CUV/SUV must have AWD.

Tarragon
Tarragon
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

The AWD requirement is so weird and frustrating.

I’m in the snow belt. I went to special order a BMW 330e without xDrive (their AWD) and the dealer didn’t want to order it for me. “If you don’t take it I won’t be able to sell it.” This was in the heart of low car inventories so yes they could have sold it; even if it was someone flying in from the south to buy it.

This is a dealer known for always selling at MSRP, never above, never below and they offered me 75% off xDrive. I didn’t take it because the 330e xDrive is like like 3-5% less efficient then the RWD. I was moving from another PHEV with longer range so I knew I wanted every bit of range, And hey RWD.

They did eventually sell it to me at MSRP without xDrive but they asked for a large non-refundable deposit. I gave them them the money (and a dirty look) but I got the car.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  Tarragon

They really love pushing the factory fuel economy delete option, don’t they?

Tarragon
Tarragon
8 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I’ve never heard it called that but I love it.

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

Thanks Audi and Subaru for your advertisements!

Cerberus
Cerberus
8 months ago

I stopped buying Subarus when they stopped selling FWD versions as they drove much better with better performance, mileage, response, and character without really suffering any issue in the snow for lack of AWD. Of course, they do sell a 2WD car again, so I have one.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago
Reply to  Parsko

What’s truly ridiculous is seeing Mercedes-Benz E Class Coupes and Convertibles in places like LA or Florida with 4Matic badges on the trunk.
Why are they even a thing?

Parsko
Parsko
8 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

EXACTLY this. Let’s just ruin the worlds collective fleet fuel economy because….. AWD.

Japolkin
Japolkin
8 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

Performance, of course

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
7 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

I cannot find an Alfa Giulia TI without 4 wheel drive around Chicago. I’m looking at 2 wheel drive because it is lower by about 0.5 inches and lighter

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
7 months ago

Special Order?

Adam EmmKay8 GTI
Adam EmmKay8 GTI
7 months ago
Reply to  Urban Runabout

I said finding, not buying…

Delorean859
Delorean859
8 months ago

A FWD Jeep? Yes. Under the Avenger name? No. At risk of another historic name potentially being ruined, I think the Jeep Eagle would work fine. The front-end reminds me of the Eagle and the Eagle wagon was basically the prototype of the modern crossover (a lifted wagon with 4wd). Make a dual-motor model and have the Golden Eagle as a trim level for it.

Last edited 8 months ago by Delorean859
Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
8 months ago
Reply to  Delorean859

This! Except bring Eagle back as a brand, toss the Compass and “Cherokee” in there as the Summit and Vista, this EV can be the Vision or what not, Leave Jeep the Renegade/Wrangler/Gladiator/Grand Cherokee/Wagoneer.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
8 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Stellantis does not need more brands.

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

I don’t think Eagle has a strong enough following to need new cars to use old nameplates. In fact, I don’t know if they have a following at all.

Fuzzyweis
Fuzzyweis
8 months ago
Reply to  JumboG

I know, they missed the boat by about 40 years, AWD cars with decent ground clearance was totally their wheelhouse. And some of the Jeep offereings now aren’t very Jeepy.

Urban Runabout
Urban Runabout
8 months ago
Reply to  Fuzzyweis

Or just call them Dodge Colt and Dodge Vista.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
8 months ago
Reply to  Delorean859

I agree that ‘Avenger’ is a lousy name to give to Jeep. Just shows that Stelantis’ marketing people know nothing about Jeep’s or Dodge’s brand history or heritage.

But I don’t think Eagle is a great name to use either with the Jeep brand name.

I would name a new small electric Jeep after a small southern US town or region. Something like Buckeye, Yuma, Paducah or some other town name that I like that sound of in relation to the Jeep brand name.

Or failing that, call it the Jeep EJ… which is in line with other Jeep names like CJ, YJ, SJ, etc.

Utherjorge
Utherjorge
8 months ago

EJ is beautiful. That’s a great one.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
8 months ago
Reply to  Utherjorge

Exactly. And I’m a guy with no formal marketing experience and can come up with that. So what the fuck is with the skill level and brand knowledge of Stellantis’ marketing people?

Or maybe it was just them being lazy.

Last edited 8 months ago by Manwich Sandwich
Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
8 months ago

I think the Stellantis marketing people are smart enough, because there was never a car sold in Europe called the Dodge Avenger. There was the Hillman Avenger, which was later the Chrysler Avenger, but the chance of a European buyer in 2023 getting salty over that name being used on a Jeep is right around nil.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Fusion

but the chance of a European buyer in 2023 getting salty over that name being used on a Jeep is right around nil.”

No they won’t get salty. But why settle for a name that is not in the brand’s naming tradition? They’re being lazy and not even trying to select a good or great name that would be in keeping with the Jeep brand.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
8 months ago

One of the things I’ve been worried about with the tax credits only being for American made EVs is that we may never see real choices for rational sized EVs. Without the option to import EVs from other markets, we’re likely going to be stuck with larger, more expensive options. Which blows.

Jeep could probably sell this just fine, but it would probably make more sense to throw a different front end on this and sell it as a Dodge. But unless Stellantis decides to build it here, it’ll never be able to compete.

Mr. Fusion
Mr. Fusion
8 months ago

That is a good point, and while I appreciate the IRA for what it is, I too worry about unintended consequences.

I wish they would design a carve-out to the effect that the IRA provisions only apply to categories in which North American brands are actually competing. And then they should extend those same carve-outs to the Chicken Tax.

The Chicken Tax limited (by levy) foreign companies from importing small trucks & vans to the USA. So what happened? The domestic manufacturers completely abandoned the small truck & van market. So now nobody is competing in that space. How is that helping American consumers?!

If Detroit refuses to operate in a particular segment, whether EV or ICE, then let the imports flow freely.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
8 months ago

A FWD Jeep, sure. As pointed out below, they sold plenty of cheap FWD Jeeps over the last ~15 years. But they did offer AWD. The current FWD-based Jeeps have tanked in sales, but they aren’t that cheap now, and/or are some of the oldest designs on the market.

I like the Avenger – I like it, but it’s smaller than a Bolt or Soul (but looks bigger thanks to the styling). I’m not sure if Jeep branding will be enough to overcome that and sell at a price premium, while not offering AWD. Dodge could get away with that and could use some product injection, but then the Dodge branding isn’t as strong. If they could slip in the mild hybrid Avenger too at an entry price in the lower 20s, having a broader lineup would help give dealers a fresh, interesting product (which the Hornet isn’t going to be). Otherwise I think it’s at risk of just ending up a compliance car.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
8 months ago

They could sell the Avenger here, but I don’t think it would be a huge success. With the recent price decreases, the Model 3 and Model Y are reasonably good values (and even better if you qualify for the tax credit). Tesla fans and Elon are annoying, but Tesla makes nice vehicles that have access to a reliable charging network. Aside from the Bolt, I don’t see a good reason to buy a non-luxury EV other than the Model 3 or Y. Jeep could sell a lot of Avengers if they sold them at a substantial loss (i.e. like the Bolt), but I am not sure why Jeep would do that.

Also, compact non-Wrangler Jeeps have not exactly been a sales success. Buyers don’t appear to want them. Why would the Avenger be any different?

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Yeah, I dont see what advantage it has over a Model Y, other than not looking like an over-inflated Model 3

Renescent
Renescent
8 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Would not surprise me if China were willing to back a ‘sell at a loss’ tactic for market share.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago

The Current Renegade was one of the two Euro jeeps that were languishing on dealer lots when everything else was bloating in price if you could find one. I have a hard time believing a $40K electric version would sell at all. Let alone a Dongfen version.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

Yeah, but the Renegade was a legit hit when it first came out, not like it was a dog all along, it just got stale. The Avenger is at least new

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago

Jeep should absolutely sell the Avenger here. I’d wager a guess that 95% of American Jeeps never see more than a gravel road anyway, so who cares if it’s front wheel drive? This is what the majority of people buying a Jeep actually need, and I’ve long been a proponent of the Bronco Sport for the same reason.

It looks great, Ford is selling piles of them, and it’s all the size and capability that the vast majority of buyers actually need and can use. I also think that one of the reasons Jeep has fallen out of favor is due to their dreadful fleet fuel economy and lack of legitimate (the 4Xe models are hot garbage don’t @ me) electrification.

Now more than ever fuel economy/emissions are on the minds of a lot of shoppers and a damn Pentastar V6 SUV or Wrangler that might hit 20 MPG on under perfect conditions isn’t going to cut it. I think this is something people would buy…and it’s not like Jeep has any of that in their lineup right now outside of the Wrangler, and even those need deep discounts to move.

ElmerTheAmish
ElmerTheAmish
8 months ago

Agreed. As long as Wrangler looks – and performs – the business, that feeling/image alone will sell the Jeep brand, even if it’s a FWD subcompact SUV.

There’s a lot of work to do at Jeep to make a competitive lineup that doesn’t solely rely on the Wrangler swagger, but a good electric wouldn’t hurt the brand, regardless of how many wheels are propelling the thing.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
8 months ago

What makes the 4Xes hot garbage? I’ve suddenly started seeing 4Xe Wranglers, including with fleet plates, everywhere here in Denver.

Jeep turned into capital-b BRAND, so the cynical thing happened and they tried to cash in by filling every crossover niche with mediocre Jeeps. In a world where every BRAND doesn’t need to grow by double digits per year, I’d love to see Jeep go back to being just a company that makes cool, fun off-road stuff. Slap Chrysler or Dodge grilles on the rest of the Jeep lineup and carry on.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago

In truth, the 4Xe is kind of superior in many ways to an ICE or EV only version. the little 4 banger turbo be damned, it is still a positive to get to work and back on Electricity (jeeps in any form are not known for fuel economy) and then not be hindered by that when going on a trip or on a trail or two.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

I don’t know why NSane doesn’t like them, but the 4xe Wrangler feels like it should get better gas mileage. It’s rated for about the same gas mileage as the normal V6, and worse than the I4 gasser. The ability to commute on electric is good, but it would have been nice to at least match the I4 efficiency, if not a bit better. It feels half-assed, especially for the premium price (though the $10k premium becomes $2500 if you can get take advantage of the tax credit, the Sport isn’t available, so you’re starting at 50k/42500 after rebate).

That said, the idea of having a Wrangler on EV power for rock-crawling and for commutes is pretty nice. I definitely looked into one while a dealer was marking them down, but I’m not going to use the capabilities, so it wasn’t worth it for me. I think that it could be a good thing for a person who will use it, though I wish it were just a bit better.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

This. The fact that it offers no improvement whatsoever in fuel economy is just…odd. Do I think that being able to commute/rock crawl on electricity is neat? Definitely, but with how good plug in hybrid technology is getting Jeep’s just seems half-baked compared to what else is out there…although maybe “hot garbage” was a wee bit harsh

Who Knows
Who Knows
8 months ago

Weighing over 5000 lbs is going to make it worse at everything, from efficiency to offroading. I always hate coming across big, heavy vehicles that are stuck. It’s so much easier to unstick something smaller and lighter, and the lighter vehicles don’t sink and dig into loose and soft road beds nearly as much in the first place.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  Drew

you have to lug around the battery and motors when on gas. I imagine that has a lot to do with it. It does have the benefit of combined HP, so maybe that is more than or at least equal to the V6?

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  JDE

That has something to do with it, of course. But most PHEVs are at least as efficient as the gasser, and this hybrid uses the I4 engine, so I’d like to expect at least the same fuel economy as that. It does have good torque and hp, and someone who is going to use the EV for their commute and would otherwise purchase the V6 is going to be pleased. It’s the person who is considering the I4 that is going to have a rough decision, and may want to go gasser if they do a lot of longer trips.

In a perfect world, you’d get better gas mileage than the gasser and the electric range and power boost, as you do in most PHEVs. I think it would be acceptable with the same economy. As it is, it feels disappointing. I wouldn’t go as far as hot garbage, and I definitely see a use case for people who want a Wrangler. I’d just like to see them improve it.

1franky
1franky
8 months ago

I’ve also noticed a ton of them with rental plates around Denver, I suspect the rental car companies are able to get some sort of tax credit for them thru the IRA, and after all the crap they’ve caught the past few years for renting cars that don’t meet winter traction requirements to ski tourists having a fleet of jeeps at the airport to upsell customers to is probably a good bet for them.

JumboG
JumboG
8 months ago
Reply to  1franky

What do the Irish have to do with tax credits in the US?

Trust Doesn't Rust
Trust Doesn't Rust
8 months ago

Right off the bat, Jeep would need to change the name. North Americans need at least another 20 years to get the bad taste out of our mouths associated with the name “Avenger”.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago

Partner with Marvel, make Jeep Avengers in color schemes for each of the Avengers. You’ll drum up excitement and create an association with an entirely different Avenger than the previous model.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
8 months ago

Marvel disagrees. If anything, they missed the boat and should have used that name when Infinity War/Endgame were all the rage.

Taargus Taargus
Taargus Taargus
8 months ago

People here, at the Autopian, have a bad taste in our mouths from the Avenger. But I’d be willing to bet that most of this country have no idea it ever existed.

If I walked around my workplace with a picture of a Dodge Avenger, I would expect maybe 3 or 4 people may guess correctly. And most would respond with “never heard of it”. It was a detestable POS, but hardly anyone bought one with their own money anyway.

Last edited 8 months ago by Taargus Taargus
Citrus
Citrus
8 months ago

I’ll take that bet.

Because middle-class Americans rent cars and poor Americans buy heavily depreciated cars, and that’s the life cycle of the Avenger. So everyone who rented remembers it as the worst part of their vacation, and everyone on a buy here pay here lot has been pressured to take one home.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago

Could Jeep sell the Avenger EV here? Would Americans buy a FWD Jeep?

Americans don’t buy the $30K small Jeeps we already have here, a $42K EV version (that is even smaller) seems no more likely to succeed in the long run.

Citrus
Citrus
8 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

I mean it’s not the size that makes small Jeeps lot poison, it’s the fact that they’re not very good.

V10omous
V10omous
8 months ago
Reply to  Citrus

I only mention that because smaller vehicle for more money is not usually a winning formula here like it can be in Europe or elsewhere.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago

Would Americans buy a FWD Jeep?

While the supply of Renegades is high, I see a fair number of them, including a not insignificant percentage of them with FWD. There’s a certain sort of buyer who will buy the Jeep for the image, far more than the capability, plus the buyers who will cross-shop Jeep with other small crossovers and choose the one with the look, price, and color they want. And Jeep has colors and appearance people like.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
8 months ago

Jeep had a similar TSB (I don’t think it ever reached recall status) about undersized replacement batteries shorting on the hood of the JK. I took my JK in for another recall (brake line chafing on the front wheel well insert) it came out with a rubber isolator over the battery to address that TSB.

Also, I’d love an AWD PHEV Maverick, but I doubt I’d love the price that would come with Ford making one.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

If it meets the criteria for the tax credit, a PHEV AWD Maverick could get a fairly high price without scaring me off. Of course, if others beat them to the punch, they’re gonna have to put together a competitive package.

Spartanjohn113
Spartanjohn113
8 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Technically speaking, an AWD Maverick could just operate with a second, smaller motor mounted on the rear axle and a slightly larger EV battery. That *should* only be a $1,000-$2,000 premium. However, based on recent pricing history, I could see Ford making it a $4,000 option available on only the Lariat trim.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
8 months ago
Reply to  Spartanjohn113

Yeah, that is more my concern – Ford’s (and most automakers, really) love of locking away desirable options behind the highest trim.

Scruffinater
Scruffinater
8 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

If Ford made an AWD PHEV Maverick I would pay a pretty unreasonable price for it, and I’m probably not alone. It would check soooo many boxes. So yeah, you’re almost certainly not gonna love the price 😛

Still, pretty please with cherries on top Ford please build one! More options more better.

Outofstep
Outofstep
8 months ago
Reply to  Scruffinater

Definitely not alone. I’ve been clamoring for a PHEV Maverick and would put down a deposit immediately if it actually happened. The first company to make a Maverick sized PHEV for not too unreasonable of a price is getting my money. Hell even if it is slightly unreasonable I’d probably still jump on it.

Drew
Drew
8 months ago
Reply to  Scruffinater

I’ve got a (refundable) deposit down on a Maverick right now. What I’m hoping for is my name to be early on the list for a 2025, just in case they announce a PHEV for the refresh. I really don’t know if I’d take a 2024 after the decontenting (heated wiper parks and the Securicode pad were both things I wanted), but they said I can cancel and get my deposit no matter when or why, since the Mavericks sell.

Dan Bee
Dan Bee
8 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

Oh, an AWD PHEV Maverick would be a dream. It’s not too hard right, as the Maverick shares a lot of guts with the Escape and Corsair which both come in PHEV flavor.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
8 months ago

Jeep sold a shitload of Patriots and 1st gen Compass’s in America and most were FWD.

Der Foo
Der Foo
8 months ago

As long as they don’t sell the Avenger under that name, they might do well. One catch though, those models were the low end of the price spectrum for Jeep. So, an EV would also need to be equally affordable to recreate those sales.

JDE
JDE
8 months ago
Reply to  Der Foo

Get it to 30K or less and Call it a compass. It might sell, but I am not sure to be honest the current compasses do not sell well anymore either.

Paul B
Paul B
8 months ago

Would the Avenger sell in North America?

Yes.

But: I’m not sure about it being sold under the Jeep name here.

Usernametaken
Usernametaken
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul B

Apply Chrysler/Dodge/Citroën/Fiat/Opel/Peugeot badging.

Job done

Last edited 8 months ago by Usernametaken
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