Dodge Avenger

The Dodge Avenger is a chameleon of sorts. First introduced as a two-door coupe by Mitsubishi Motors between 1995 and 2000, Chrysler re-launched it as a four-door sedan in 2007.

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About the Dodge Avenger

The Dodge Avenger replaced the similarly sized Dodge Daytona and the Dodge Stealth. The car is built by the Diamond Star Motors imprint--a collaborative effort of Mitsubishi and Chrysler. The car’s architecture bases itself on the Mitsubishi Gallant platform before the Chrysler FJ platform was used.

The Dodge Avenger, a successful car for the companies, is still made today.

The early Dodge Avenger coupe models are known for their reliability and performance, but early models (pre-1999) lack ABS, which severely undermines the safety of the vehicle.

The early four-door sedan models also have their problems. Consumer complaints about the quality of the interior led to a redesign in 2011. The vehicle’s air conditioning has its problems as well. The shift stick on the Avenger is fragile and prone to breaking.

According to several magazines, the Avenger fails to perform as well as other midsize sedans with the same body type and mechanics. Although affordable, the Avenger has too many problems to make it a suitable choice when so many superior cars remain on the market.

New improvements have reduced the faulty or cheap components, but the Avenger is still just an average car.

The Dodge Avenger has achieved success on the Motorsport circuit. The National Hot Rod Association used the Avenger coupe body style (due to its contoured shape) extensively throughout the 1994 and 2000 season. The second generation sedan model was used in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup.

The Avenger achieves modest sales at best, selling about 64,000 units in 2001.

Dodge Avenger Features

The 2012 Dodge Avenger looks a bit more promising than its predecessors.

Dodge offers the 2012 in four trim packages: the SE, the SXT, the SXT plus, and the R/T.

The SE offers a 2.4-liter, four-speed engine that provides 30 miles per gallon on the freeway. The SXT offers the same engine but with a six-speed automatic transmission that gets 31 mpg. The improved trim on the SXT includes heated exterior mirrors and automatic temperature controls. The SXT starts at $21,495.

The SXT Plus offers everything the SXT has to offer but upgrades the engine to a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with an output of 283 hp. Engine oil cooler, fog lamps, 18-inch aluminum wheels, and a media center are also included. The SXT Plus starts at $23,995.

The R/T model includes everything the SXT Plus has to offer as well as 18-inch Spider Monkey aluminum wheels, remote start, sport suspension, different cloth on the interior, sport stripes, a body color grille, and a leather steering wheel. The R/T starts at $25,995.

Starting at a base $18,995 the Dodge Avenger is an extremely affordable car.

Dodge Avenger Evolution

The Dodge Avenger Coupe was built between 1995 and 2000. The coupe model uses one of two engine types: a 2.0-liter 420A I4 engine or a 2.5-liter Mitsubishi 6G73 V-6 engine. A five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic transmission is available.

The original Avenger coupe offers two trim models. The Highline represents the base model with the 2.0-liter engine (until the 2.5 was made standard in 2000). The ES stands as the higher model with the 2.5-liter engine. A Sport Appearance Package was available in 1997 with bigger wheels, a spoiler for the deck, and other sporty options to the base model.

Dodge added ABS brakes to the Avenger in 1999, so if you need a bit of extra safety, choose a later model.

The coupe was discontinued in 2000 and replaced by the Dodge Stratus. It would be seven years before a new Avenger arrived on the scene, this time as a four-door sedan.

The new Avenger was launched in 2007 for the 2008 model year as a replacement for the beleaguered Dodge Stratus. It has a standard front engine, front-wheel drive design with a four-wheel drive option.

Five different engine types have been offered on the Avenger: a 2.0-liter, a 2.4-liter, a 2.7-liter, a 3.5-liter, and a 3.6-liter.

In 2011, the Avenger received a facelift and mechanics upgrade. On the outside the car displays a new grille and a smoother bumper. Navigation, display, and the dashboard also show improvements. A 2.4-liter, 173 hp engine is standard on the base model of this Avenger. A redesigned suspension system improves handling on the model.

The early Avengers, as mentioned above, have a less than stellar track record for performance and reliability. If possible, go for the later models.

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