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Dodge Avenger, page #2

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About Dodge Avenger

Thus far, Dodge has used the name "Avenger" on two wholly different cars from different time periods. The first Avenger was a midsize, two-door coupe born in the mid-1990s. Noted mostly for its stealthy good looks, the original Dodge Avenger also featured a reasonably roomy cabin and an appealing blend of handling and comfort. It enjoyed some success both with critics and consumers, though at decade's end it faded away with little notice. After a long hiatus, the Avenger name resurfaced in 2008 when Dodge deemed it fitting for the successor to the Stratus sedan.

Unfortunately, the second-generation Avenger has not enjoyed the positive reaction of its two-door predecessor. Until a couple years ago, the Dodge Avenger was one of the least appealing midsize sedans available. A recent overhaul fixed many of the Avenger's faults, making it more competitive. But we still think most consumers will be better off looking elsewhere for their next family sedan, as the majority of the Avenger's rivals, both import and domestic, offer superior interior designs and a higher level of overall refinement.

Current Dodge Avenger 
The Dodge Avenger shares much of its engineering with the Chrysler 200 sedan. The differences between the two come down to styling, as the Avenger's more aggressive shape is aimed at a younger audience. Dodge Avenger buyers have a choice of two engines: a 2.4-liter, 173-horsepower four-cylinder or a 3.5-liter V6 good for 283 hp. The four-cylinder sends its power to the front wheels through either a four- or six-speed automatic transmission, depending on trim level. The V6 gets a six-speed auto with a manual-shift mode.

The Avenger's trim lines are SE, SXT, SXT Plus and R/T. The SE is reasonably well equipped, while moving up to the SXT and SXT Plus will get you features like automatic climate control, heated seats and an upgraded sound system with digital music storage. The R/T has leather seating and a sport-tuned suspension. Both the SXT Plus and R/T come standard with the V6.

The Avenger's interior boasts soft-touch materials and tight construction; both are among the best you'll find in a midsize sedan. However, the look is a tad generic, the available in-car electronics are a bit behind the times and there isn't as much space for passengers. As for the Avenger's engines, the base four-cylinder is barely adequate (especially with the four-speed automatic) and sounds unrefined. The V6 engine is very strong, however, boasting the most power in its class as well as strong fuel economy. Handling is also pretty good, although again, not quite up to the class leaders.

In total, the Dodge Avenger is a solid sedan that could be worth a test-drive, particularly if you're prioritizing a V6 power plant and value. But in general, we think you'd be better served by some other competing models.

Used Dodge Avenger Models 
The second-generation Dodge Avenger debuted for 2008 and is represented by the current model. However, the Avenger was so poorly received that it underwent a major overhaul for 2011. It has been unchanged since then, other than a renaming of trim levels for 2012 (originally Express, Mainstreet, Heat, R/T and an additional fully loaded Lux trim).

From 2008 through '10, there were three engine options: the current four-cylinder, a 2.7-liter, 189-hp V6 and a 3.5-liter, 235-hp V6. There were also three trim levels -- SE, SXT and R/T. The base four-cylinder-only SE came with air-conditioning, a CD stereo, full power accessories and cruise control. All-wheel drive was optional in that first year on models equipped with the 3.5-liter V6. For 2009, all trim levels received more sound insulation, the 2.7-liter V6 became a fleet-only engine option later in the year and the R/T trim was newly available with the four-cylinder engine. For 2010, the SE trim level was deleted and the Express trim added.

These early model year Avenger sedans suffered from a variety of ailments. Neither the four-cylinder nor the V6 engines were particularly good in regards to performance, refinement or efficiency. The interior was also far below that of the competition, with designs and materials that were best described as rental-car quality. If that wasn't enough to drive buyers away, the Avenger was also stuck with lifeless steering, excessive body roll and underachieving brakes. We highly recommend that you look at different used family sedans.

The first Dodge Avenger was sold from 1995-2000. Employing a platform derived from the Mitsubishi Galant and similar to the one used in the contemporaneous Mitsubishi Eclipse, the Avenger had the Chrysler Sebring coupe as its twin and debuted with two powertrains. The first was a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 140 hp mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic -- all borrowed from the Dodge Neon. The step-up engine was a 2.5-liter, Mitsubishi-built V6 with 155 hp, mated to a four-speed automatic. The Avenger's trim lines were base and ES.

Initially, the base model opened with the four-cylinder engine, 14-inch wheels, a radio and dual airbags. The V6-powered ES model came with an upgraded suspension, antilock all-disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, air-conditioning, a cassette deck and cruise control. Base models could add most of the ES's items, while ES models could add leather seats and a sunroof.

The Avenger's biggest changes came in 1997, when meaner styling adorned the body and new 17-inch wheels were made available to ES models. More significantly, both the base and ES now had the four-cylinder standard, with the V6 optional. For the Avenger's final year in 2000, Dodge made the V6 standard on both, and also loaded up the ES with a power driver seat, leather and keyless entry.

The Dodge Avenger was a fairly appealing coupe in its day as long as the V6 was specified. The front seats were comfortable, and unlike in most cars sporting two doors, the Avenger's rear seat actually offered some semblance of comfort for adults. The Avenger also held the advantage of actually looking like a coupe instead of a bland sedan with two fewer doors. However, the Avenger's record for reliability is notably poor. As such, we wouldn't recommend it as a used-car purchase.

Auto blog

2015 Dodge Charger Pursuit is ready to serve and protect

Fri, 08 Aug 2014 13:29:00 EST

Okay speed freaks, it's time to update your cheat sheet of police headlights, as Dodge has just unveiled the new 2015 Charger sedan's police variant, the Pursuit.
Like previous Charger Pursuits, the 2015 model is based on a modified version of the civilian sedan, featuring the same basic batch of mechanicals and sheetmetal, while adding a number of items specific to the five-oh.
For 2015, cops can select from the same 3.6-ltier V6 and 5.7-liter Hemi V8 available to the civilian population, with former turning out 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque and the latter packing 370 ponies and 390 lb-ft. Even loaded down with equipment, Dodge claims the Hemi-powered cop car can hit 60 miles per hour in under six seconds, while both engines are expected return 26 miles per gallon on the highway (thanks to the V8's four-cylinder mode). Rear-wheel drive is standard with both engines, while V8 Pursuits can be fitted with all-wheel drive.

Dodge pulls New Girl and The Office stars for new Dart spots

Wed, 06 Aug 2014 20:01:00 EST

Dodge is hoping that a heavy dash of humor helps it move some more units of the Dart with a hilarious ad campaign called Don't Touch My Dart. The spots star actors Craig Robinson, best known for his role as Darryl on The Office, and Jake Johnson from New Girl as neighbors and friends playing a game of one-upmanship over Robinson's new car. Johnson is envious of the ride and just wants to touch it.
The ads are pretty funny if you're a fan of somewhat absurdist humor, and Robinson has just the right amount of over-the-top seriousness to really make the commercials work. They have kind of a Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote vibe with Johnson constantly in inept pursuit of what he wants, but he clearly isn't getting it.
The first four spots in the campaign are already online, but according to Dodge this is just the beginning. The company says that it's planning about 24 different versions of these ads in various lengths to play on TV and online. You can check out the ads titled First Scratch, Birdhouse Police Garage Door and Voice Touching below, along with the brand's release about the new ads. There's also a pretty good gag on its YouTube page with Robinson protecting his Dart.

Jay Leno gets his denim mitts on Dodge's new Challenger Hellcat

Mon, 04 Aug 2014 12:30:00 EST

The 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is definitely the performance car of the moment. The fact that in the near future, people will be able to buy a 707-horsepower muscle machine straight from a major automaker for $59,995 and with a factory warranty almost seems absurd. We drove it recently and found the Hellcat to be just as much of a beast as its numbers would suggest. Now, it's a certain comedian's turn behind the wheel in the latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage.
This week's guest is Dodge President and CEO Tim Kuniskis, and he's there to drop all sorts of interesting factoids about the Hellcat. For example, its Pirelli P Zero tires retail at around $300 each, he says. That makes its smoky burnouts a rather expensive proposition. Kuniskis, who recently hinted at a mystery Woodward Dream Cruise debut, also talks about the genesis of the 2015 SRT project with a goal to get over some of the standard Challenger's weight and size disadvantages. The fix is a supercharged V8, massive brakes and other goodies to smooth over the platform's more glaring shortcomings.
Leno appears to get a big kick out of the Hellcat. However, he can't seem to stop bringing up his desire to drive one with a six-speed manual. They obviously exist, but Kuniskis has an eight-speed automatic for the retired Tonight Show host to try out. Of course, as with any Hellcat video, there has to be at least one burnout. Despite the expensive tires, it seems like enthusiast's law at this point - and dear ol' Jay wouldn't want to break any rules, would he?

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat ringtone revs up [w/video]

Wed, 30 Jul 2014 16:01:00 EST

The best (or worst, depending on your views) thing about smartphones is that you're able to carry lots, and lots of useful stuff around in your pocket. That means you can always have a phone, messaging service, email, flashlight, calculator, dictionary, encyclopedia, and literally thousands of other things on your person at all times. Now, we can add one more thing for you to carry about in your little slab of aluminum, glass and plastic - a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat.
Now, you obviously can't carry around a 707-horsepower muscle car around in your pocket. That'd be ridiculous, impractical and uncomfortable. You can, however, carry around the noise made by said muscle car's 6.2-liter, supercharged Hemi V8, thanks to a new, free-to-download ringtone from the folks at Dodge and SRT.
We can't embed the ringtone here, so if you'd like to hear exactly how it'll sound when your phone goes off, you'll need to head over to the SRT Hellcat's page. If that's more trouble than it's worth, the same ringtone was attached to a tiny speaker on the press kit for the mighty Challenger, and was captured on video by our own Seyth Miersma (don't worry, he's already been soundly dressed down for shooting a video in portrait mode).

2015 Dodge Viper getting small increase in power

Tue, 29 Jul 2014 10:45:00 EST

The Viper is used to being the most powerful car in the Dodge and SRT stables, but the arrival of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat means that's no longer the case. The serpentine supercar is, however, reportedly getting a small boost in output for 2015, amounting to all of five horsepower.
The increase was uncovered by Road & Track courtesy of the SAE J1349 certification process to which Detroit's Big Three automakers submit themselves and which reports the Viper's output at 645 hp instead of the 640 it was rated at until now. There are a hundred factors that could have contributed to the relatively mild boost in output (best guess? nothing at all changed...), but we doubt anyone's going to complain about some extra horses under the hood.
The five-horsepower boost brings the Viper that much closer to the 650-hp Chevy Corvette Z06, not to mention the 707-hp Hellcat, but the Viper's impressive power-to-weight ratio ought to mean it'll have little problem keeping up in a straight line - which is just one of the reasons why Chrysler won't shoe-horn the Hellcat into the Viper: as R&T points out, the supercharged engine is too heavy and the blower makes it too tall to fit in the Viper's engine bay.

Dodge to sell off first Challenger SRT Hellcat for charity

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 18:35:00 EST


Want to get your hands on a new 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, and can't wait to be the first to get one? Las Vegas will be the place to be on September 27. That's where Barrett-Jackson will auction off the very first example. And you'd better bring your checkbook, because the bidding is sure to be fierce with all the proceeds going to charity.
The supercharged Challenger with VIN 0001 has been hand-painted in Stryker Red (usually reserved for the Viper) and features special badging, documentation and accompanying memorabilia - not to mention, of course, that 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi V8. The car will be on display this weekend as well at Barrett-Jackson's Hot August Nights auction in Reno.

Weekly Recap: New bosses try to jump-start Cadillac and Lincoln

Sat, 26 Jul 2014 12:00:00 EST



Both of America's domestic luxury brands seem to be stuck in neutral.
It's ironic that Cadillac and Lincoln got new bosses within days of each other this month. It's also a commentary on the fact both of America's domestic luxury brands seem to be stuck in neutral.

Coal-rolling Ram dually does tandem beer-shooting burnout with ATV in bed

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 20:03:00 EST

Sometimes a video comes around that just makes you shake your head in disbelief. Take for example these guys from Nebraska in their dually diesel flatbed Ram, doing a smoky burnout. Lighting up the tires is nothing new, but these folks take things a step further by having another guy on an ATV in bed that is also smoking the tires. Finally, people are sitting on a couch in the bed taking the whole show in, as beer cans shoot out of the stacks.
There have been several stories recently about the scourge of rolling coal, i.e., diesel trucks modified to lay down a thick, black smoke screen, sometimes for vaguely political reasons. Whatever your opinion is on it, breathing in this much nasty stuff isn't exactly great for your health. Of course, it turns out that burning rubber is pretty awful, too. Both diesel and tire emissions contain cancer-causing Group 1 carcinogens. Combine them with the cigarette smoking here, and these guys are an oncologist's nightmare. Scroll down to take it all in for yourself. Warning, there is a little explicit language.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in the works

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:56:00 EST

In Autoblog's recent First Drive of the 2015 Challenger SRT with the 707-horsepower Hellcat V8 we found its engine to be as brutally powerful as the numbers would suggest, even if it wasn't the best handler. However, the muscle-car-styling just isn't right for some buyers that need four doors and proper rear seats to haul around the family. It appears that Dodge has their backs, though, because the Hellcat is very likely on its way into the Charger in the near future. Imagine the looks on your passengers' faces when you stomp down on the throttle.
According to Road and Track, when Dodge submitted the Hellcat for engine power certification to the Society of Automotive Engineers, the company included the Charger on the paperwork. That showed that the automaker wanted the engine checked out for the sedan, too. R&T reckons the 707-hp Charger would hit the road about a year from now, clearing the Challenger for a year of exclusivity with the powerplant.
When the Charger SRT Hellcat does hit the road, it may carry a very special accolade. Assuming nothing beats it in the meantime, it might be the world's highest horsepower production sedan. Think on that for a second. Even a Mercedes S65 AMG only has 621 horsepower, though a good bit more torque at 738 pound-feet to the Dodge's 650 lb-ft. So while the beastly engine is getting put into other models, where else would you like to see it? The Ram? Grand Cherokee? Let us know in Comments.

40+ cars that barely avoid the gas guzzler tax

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:59:00 EST



The Gas Guzzler schedule, with mpg ratings and charges that haven't changed since 1991, lays out which fuel-swillers owe what to Uncle Sam.
I started thinking about the "Gas Guzzler Tax" - considerably less well known as The Energy Tax Act of 1978 - when I was driving Dodge's new Challenger SRT Hellcat last week. Unsurprisingly for a car that can burn 1.5 gallons of gas per minute at max tilt, theoretically able to empty a full tank of premium in about 13 minutes, the Hellcat will be subject to the Gas Guzzler Tax schedule when it goes on sale.