The 1998 Dodge Avenger is a midsize sedan manufactured by Chrysler and sold under the Dodge marque. Chrysler first introduced the Avenger back in 1970 as a rebadge of the Hillman Avenger from South Africa, and its production ended in 1981.
The newer, 1998 Dodge Avenger was introduced last year as a re-badge of the Mitsubishi Galant. It replaced the dying Dodge Daytona, which had ended production in 1993. The 1998 Dodge Avenger marks the second year of production for this front-wheel-drive car.
Body Styles: two-door coupe
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.5-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Dodge Avenger, Dodge Avenger ES
For the 1998 model year, the Dodge Avenger features new interior fabrics with a black and gray color scheme. The Avenger ES trim now offers a new Sport Package that gives it unique exterior appearance and performance upgrades. The ES also gets 16-inch aluminum wheels and a rear sway bar for better handling.
The 1998 Dodge Avenger is a two-door coupe built on a modified version of a common, widely-used automobile chassis. Consequently, several vehicles bear a striking resemblance in exterior design to the Avenger.
The Avenger has a wheelbase of 103 inches and a length of 190.2 inches. The car uses a fully-independent double wishbone suspension with variable speed rack and pinion steering.
Chrysler has tried to squeeze as much interior space inside the Dodge Avenger as possible, while still keeping it smaller and lighter than its main competitors. The company’s efforts have paid off well: the Avenger has a very spacious cabin for its size.
The front bucket seats offer lots of legroom and headroom for two adults to sit comfortably. Surprisingly, the rear bench offers just as much space as the front, with enough room for two passengers. Nevertheless, tall passengers may find it difficult to sit in the back comfortably for a long period of time.
One common criticism of the 1998 Dodge Avenger is that it is difficult to get in and out of the car. On a positive note, the vehicle’s trunk has a wide and flat floor for maximum storage space, and the rear seats can be folded down for additional luggage space.
Even though the 1998 Dodge Avenger has a low floor, visibility is good in all directions. However, the visibility suffers slightly because of the wide roof pillars and tall parcel shelf in the back.
Up front, the instrument panel is easy to read, even though the auxiliary gauges are a little too small for comfort. The controls are placed in a user-friendly and accessible way. However, the radio controls are placed too low and the buttons are too small to be easily utilized while driving.
Performance & Handling
The 1998 Dodge Avenger can be fitted with a choice of two engines: a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 140 horsepower (hp) and 130 lb-ft of torque, or a 2.5-liter, V-6 engine that delivers 163 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque.
The four-cylinder engine can be fitted with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox, but the V-6 is only available with an automatic shift. Both engines offer adequate acceleration from a standstill, but the four-cylinder engine tends to be less refined and noisier than the other V-6 engine. Moreover, the four-cylinder struggles when paired with the automatic gearbox.
The four-cylinder engine works better with the manual gearbox, but the V-6 engine is still significantly smoother and more powerful. It is quite a lively engine, but lacks power at low revs. The automatic transmission also takes some time to downshift, but it is not a major problem.
Both models offer adept handling, and they can zip around tight corners with good road grip and limited body lean. The 1998 Dodge Avenger offers responsive steering as well.
The Avenger received five out of five stars for driver and passenger safety during frontal-impact tests conducted by the NHTSA.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Avenger, 2.5-liter V-6, automatic transmission: 20/27 mpg city/highway
- Refined and powerful V-6
- Spacious interior
- Responsive steering
- Good road grip and handling
You Won't Like
- Poor acceleration with four-cylinder and automatic shift
- Confusing radio controls
Attractive, capable, and well-priced.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo
- Pontiac Grand Prix
- Mitsubishi Eclipse