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. Despite a midlife overhaul that corrected many of its initial glaring faults, the Avenger has always been one of the least competitive midsize sedans. Consumers will find that most competitors, both import and domestic, offer more space, superior interior designs and a higher level of overall refinement.
Current Dodge Avenger
The Dodge Avenger shares much of its engineering with the previous-generation 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. There is 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 and R/T. The SE is reasonably well equipped, while moving up to the SXT will get you features like an upgraded transmission, automatic climate control, a power driver seat and a six- (rather than four-) speaker sound system with satellite radio. The sporty R/T comes with the V6 engine as standard, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, remote start, heated front sport seats, leather and cloth upholstery, Bluetooth and an upgraded audio system.
The Avenger's interior boasts soft-touch materials and tight construction, but the look is a tad generic, the available in-car electronics are 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, and also returns commendable 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 if you're prioritizing a V6 power plant and value. But in general, we think you'd be better served by most other competing models.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Dodge Avenger page.