The 2004 Dodge Stratus comes as a coupe and as a sedan. The sedan gains influence from Chrysler in its design and the coupe stems from a Mitsubishi design. Even though this car has two different influences, the sedan still manages to look like a four-door version of the two-door coupe from the front. The SE and ES trims only remained available for half the year and then stopped production. The most evident place to see its outside influences is under the hood. The sedans share the 2.4-liter and 2.7-liter engines built by Chrysler and the coupes share the powertrains of the Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Body Styles: coupe, sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Dodge Stratus SE Sedan, Dodge Stratus SXT Sedan and Coupe, Dodge Stratus ES Sedan, Dodge Stratus R/T Sedan and Coupe
The sedan version of the 2004 Dodge Stratus shows many upgrades for the year. It gets a new front fascia, a redesigned steering wheel with mounted audio controls, and new door panels. Dodge also restyles the interior fabrics, the auto-dimming rear-view mirror, and the wheels. It offers new paint colors and a downgraded braking system, and the R/T trims get a monochromatic grille. The coupe version features new matte silver finish accents on the center stack and doors.
The standard exterior features of the 2004 Dodge Stratus include 15-inch steel wheels, remote trunk release, full wheel covers, and power mirrors. The SXT trim adds 16-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass, and a rear defogger. The ES trim adds 16-inch chrome alloy wheels. The R/T trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. Cargo capacity for the sedan and the coupe totals 16.3 cubic feet.
The interior standard features for the 2004 Dodge Stratus include cloth bucket front seats, a split-folding rear seat, cruise control, power locks, a tilt steering wheel with mounted cruise controls, air-conditioning, a trunk light, power steering, a 12V front power outlet, and a four-speaker CD-controller stereo system with an in-dash CD player. The ES trim adds an eight-way power driver’s seat with manually adjustable lumbar support, and a trip computer. The R/T trim adds an external temperature display, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel with mounted audio controls, a compass, and a six-speaker CD-controller stereo system with an in-dash CD player. The R/T coupe features a seven-speaker stereo system.
The sedans and coupes use average-quality materials, with the sedans getting the better-quality materials. Competitors employ materials of a better quality, though. The layout of the controls feels intuitive, except the controls for the stereo seem too low. The gauges look easy to read. Passengers enjoy adequate room, but entry and exit to the coupe is a bit difficult due to the low roofline. The headroom and foot space feels tight in the coupe and three people fit snugly in the rear seat of the sedan.
Performance & Handling
The SE, ES, and R/T trims contains a 2.7-liter, dual overhead cam (DOHC), V-6 engine that produces 200 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a four-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission remains optional. The R/T coupe uses a three-liter, V-6, single overhead cam (SOHC) engine that produces 200 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque. The SXT draws power from a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque.
The 2004 Dodge Stratus provides adequate power for daily city driving. The four-cylinder models do not seem as lively as some of their competitors. Shifting gears with the automatic transmission feels smooth. The firmer suspension causes the R/T version to feel a little bumpier on rough pavement, but the sedans offer a smoother ride. Steering feels responsive and the coupes display better handling than the sedans. The brakes offer ample stopping power. Although wind and engine noise gets sufficiently muffled, tire noise is pronounced.
The standard safety features of the 2004 Dodge Stratus include four-wheel anti-lock brakes, an engine immobilizer, vented front disc and solid rear disc brakes, stability and traction controls, driver and passenger airbags, electronic brake force distribution, fog lights, and child seat anchors. Dodge also offers an emergency interior seatback release and a remote anti-theft alarm system. Side and curtain airbags for the driver and front passenger remain optional.
EPA Fuel Economy
Dodge Stratus SE Sedan: 19/26 mpg city/highway
Dodge Stratus ES Sedan: 19/26 mpg city/highway
Dodge Stratus SXT Sedan: 20/27 mpg city/highway
Dodge Stratus SXT Coupe: 21/29 mpg city/highway
Dodge Stratus R/T Sedan: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Dodge Stratus R/T Coupe: 18//26 mpg city/highway
- Fun to drive
- Good value
- Attractive shape
- Optional side and curtain airbags
You Won't Like
- Poor history of reliability and quality
- Subpar interior materials
An adequate, fun car, but your money would be best spent on one of the competitors.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Nissan Sentra