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Dodge Avenger, page #2

Dodge Avenger Price Analytics

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

Chrysler recalling 49K Chargers for headlight components

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 10:14:00 EST

Chrysler has issued a recall for about 49,375 2011 and 2012 Dodge Chargers with halogen headlamps due to a problem with the lights. The automaker says that there could be an issue with the jumper harness and other related components.
The automaker says that 43,450 cars are affected in the US, 2,850 in Canada, 375 in Mexico and 2,700 outside of North America. The vehicles will have their headlight assemblies, including the jumper harnesses and bulbs, inspected and potentially replaced. Dodge says that its engineers investigated reports of that were similar to what was found when it recalled about 10,000 police Chargers in 2012 for overheating light components. There have been no injuries or accidents related to fault, according to Chrysler.
The automaker will be in contact with affected owners, and schedule the service. Naturally, any repairs will be free of charge. Scroll down for the company's full announcement.

South Dakota dealer filled to brim with classic cars

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 16:27:00 EST

Other than the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and Mount Rushmore, South Dakota isn't generally a hot topic, but that just means that cool stuff can hide in the open waiting to be discovered. Case in point: the classic car dealer Frankman Motor Company that operates three locations in Sioux Falls, SD.
Unearthed by the folks at Bring a Trailer, Frankman is a treasure trove of vintage, American iron. Their collection is full of the type of vehicles your irresponsible but cool uncle would show up with when you were a kid. Even better, these cars are priced at a level a working man can afford.
If you are lusting about a cruiser then Frankman has a 1956 Cadillac Deville Hard Top Sedan (pictured right) with 82,896 miles for $12,975. It's painted a color called Cascade Grey, but looks more like a pastel purple in pictures. While it needs some repairs to the accessories, the Caddy runs and drives, which is all you really need.

Dodge Journey gets new $24,895* SE V6 AWD model

Wed, 12 Mar 2014 15:31:00 EST

While the Dodge Journey crossover remains largely unchanged for the 2014 model year, there are two new flavors of the seven-passenger CUV on offer: the butch-looking Crossroad, and the SE V6 AWD, pictured right, which makes its debut today. As its name suggests, this new Journey model features the automaker's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, and offers all-wheel drive, which, with a starting price of $24,895 (*excluding $995 for destination), reduces the cost-of-entry for an AWD-equipped Journey by $1,800 versus the SXT AWD model. Scroll down for the official press blast.

25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango SUVs recalled over brake feel

Mon, 10 Mar 2014 14:33:00 EST

Chrysler has announced that it is recalling over 25,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango SUVs from several markets over concerns about brake feel under hard braking. The affected models are from the 2012 and 2013 model years, although the actual dates of production aren't available. 18,700 are in the US, while 825 are in Canada, 530 are in Mexico and a further 5,200 outside of North America.
According to a statement, Chrysler was informed of the issue by a component supplier for the Ready Alert Braking system, which primes the brakes in anticipation of an emergency stop. A component in the system was restricting the flow of brake fluid too much.
As Chrysler is quick to point out, the way the brakes functioned was in compliance with regulations and there are no reported cases of drivers losing braking power. Instead, the issue rests with what Chrysler calls a pedal feel that "was not consistent with customer expectations." So it would seem Chrysler is being proactive and fixing a problem not because there's a legal issue at work, but simply because it doesn't feel the way the manufacturer wants it to. Well done.

What's the deal with Chrysler demanding colleges crush their Vipers? [w/video]

Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13:30:00 EST

Students and teachers at a Washington community college are up in arms following an order from Chrysler that it must destroy the pre-production Dodge Viper that was donated to the school's automotive technology program ten years ago.
The Viper in question is said to be the fourth off the production line, based on its VIN, and has had its emissions controls disabled, allowing its ten-cylinder engine to produce 600 horsepower, according to a report from Yahoo! Autos. As one of the first Vipers ever produced, the school's AT instructors claim it could be worth $250,000 in a museum, while a local news report purports that Jay Leno once tried to purchase the car, but the sale was prevented by Chrysler.
As pointed out by our friends at Autobytel, though, there are a lot of things in this story that don't quite add up. Immediately noticeable from the news report embedded below - which shows the car at South Puget Sound Community College - is that the car in question is not a 1992 model. When the Viper went on sale in 1992, it was only available as an RT/10 with a (flimsy) soft top, like the red car shown above. But the car featured in the report from KING5 News (inset image) is clearly a hardtop Viper GTS, which didn't enter production until 1996. And even if, as reported by a local newspaper, the hardtop featured is a prototype, it doesn't explain the lack of another iconic feature of the first Vipers - their distinctive side pipes. This kind of pokes holes in the school's argument that this is the fourth Viper to ever roll down the line. At best, this appears to be a pre-production Viper GTS.

Lackluster Dodge Dart sales trigger layoffs

Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:00:00 EST

Hidden amidst the overall very positive sales figures that Chrysler released earlier this week were a few disappointments, the biggest of which may be the Dodge Dart. While Dodge sales in general were down 11 percent from a year ago, the Dart's poor figures stood out from the rest - with 4,888 units sold, the Dart was down 37 percent in February.
It comes as little surprise, then, that the automaker has announced layoffs at its assembly plant in Belvidere, IL. According to The Daily Herald, Dodge will temporarily lay off 325 workers "to balance vehicle supply with current sales demand." Put more simply, there are more Darts than buyers at the moment...
We don't think the Dodge Dart is a bad car, but it's playing in a market that offers a few standout sellers, like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. According to AutoPacific analyst Dave Sullivan, as quoted by The Daily Herald, "great incentives on the Dodge Avenger" are also partly to blame for the Dart's poor showing.

Consumer Reports says these are the worst new cars of 2014

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 13:00:00 EST

Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.

Chrysler killing off the 200 Convertible, Dodge Avenger

Sun, 23 Feb 2014 16:00:00 EST

When Chrysler rolled out the first-generation 200 to replace the Sebring range in 2010, it included replacements for both the sedan and the convertible. The Sebring Coupe, however, was left out of the mix. And now that the second-generation Chrysler 200 is descending upon us, Auburn Hills is paring things down even further. But this time, it's the convertible that reportedly isn't making the cut. Shame, too, since the rendering above shows what could have been quite an attractive droptop.
As our compatriots at Edmunds point out, sales of the convertible model accounted for less than five percent of overall Chrysler 200 sales, and at those numbers, the considerable cost of engineering a new drop-top couldn't be justified. With the Toyota Camry Solara and Volkswagen Eos also gone from the market (well, the VW isn't gone quite yet), the discontinuation of the Chrysler 200 Convertible leaves the affordable convertible segment largely to the sportier likes of the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro and smaller European offerings like the Mini Cooper and VW Beetle.
The Chrysler 200 Convertible isn't the only derivative being left behind with the new model: so too is the Dodge Avenger. That will leave a glaring hole in the Dodge lineup, with nothing to bridge the gap between the compact Dart and the larger Charger. Whether the Dodge brand has any plans to replace the Avenger with another model, not to be based on the 200, remains to be seen.

Roadkill pits every project car against each other

Sat, 22 Feb 2014 19:49:00 EST

The guys behind Motor Trend's monthly Roadkill series have collected nine of their favorite project cars from their videos and pitted them against each other in a battle royale to determine a winner. It's 44 minutes long, but it's completely worth the investment of time.
The cars run the gamut from a 1973 Chevrolet Ramp Truck, a 1975 AMC Pacer and a legitimately impressive 1967 Chevy Camaro, and they are pitted against each other to see which is the fastest around an autocross course. The drivers include Roadkill's two hosts and Motor Trend's Johnny Lieberman and Carlos Lago. It's reminiscent of the best episodes of Top Gear and worth a watch.
So it's the weekend - the perfect time to relax. Grab your preferred beverage, get comfortable and enjoy 44 minutes of some seriously ratty but utterly cool project cars as they are throttled within an inch of their lives (or past it). Scroll down to check out the video.

Chrysler extends fuel tank warranties on LX cars, NHTSA ends probe

Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:45:00 EST

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ended its investigation of 153,817, 5.7-liter and 6.1-liter Hemi V8-powered 2006 Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Magnum models after reports of stalling. Chrysler has responded by granting a lifetime warranty on the fuel tanks for these vehicles.
NHTSA received 299 reports of engines stalling while the models were stopped or driving at low speeds, and began an investigation. The government agency found that the control valve shutoff float in the V8s' 19-gallon fuel tank could malfunction if the fuel had too high of an ethanol content. In many cases, the valve would break in the open position, allowing the tank to be overfilled, which would then cause the cars to stall. However, there were no accidents reported, and the vehicles could be restarted immediately.
There will not be a recall on these vehicles because, "the condition represents a low risk to motor vehicle safety and is adequately addressed by Chrysler's extended warranty," NHTSA said to The Detroit News.