This is a great little car. The dirty little secret is that the Stratus R/T coupe is built on the Eclipse GTS platform. So you get the American muscle body lines, with the Japanese reliability. I bought this car used at 100K miles, and it now has 210K miles with 0 problems. These are really built rock solid. Performance is also great and the suspension is a lot beefier than the eclipse.
Please note, that these cars are completely different from the sedans. Which were built by Dodge.
The only downside is that these cars are very rare. If you want a Stratus R/T coupe in manual....you are going to have a hard time finding one, since according to Dodge they built only 750 of these per year.
The rarity...noone knows what it is...I always get asked what kind of car it is.
Also the motor, the thing just pulls. And best of all you can still get more than 30mpg out of it.
Also the power seats.
Exhaust note could be a bit more aggressive...but that is easily rectified with an aftermarket one.
This is the second Stratus I have owned and I still love it! My car has 175000 miles on it and it still is running strong. No leaks at all. I bought it used with a little under 150k miles on it. To my knowledge the only major part to be replaced is the clutch. The car doesn't handle the greatest, but then again it isn't a sports car (though I like to drive it like one). I mostly drive short trips around town and I get consistently 25 mpg. When I am traveling I get up to 28 mpg. The trunk space is fantastic! I have a big speaker box, and a wheelchair, and I can still fit all my groceries in there too! This car can hold it's own when it comes to power. If you can shift you can win!
I love the overall look of the R/T models. I am partial to the 2001 and 2002 years. It has nice smooth lines and a laid back look. I also like the size of the doors and windows...it's proportionate. Today's cars have giant doors and little tiny windows.
The cupholder system! There is only one unless you open the center consol (which is a dumb idea). When you are using the cupholder you have to reach around or over the drink to shift. Not the worst thing to have to deal with.
I bought the car for my wife, we have had it for 6 months and the only thing it has needed was an oil change. It came with after market mods like act Clitch and AEM air intake and Borla exhaust system. And aftermarket stereo system.
Handling at high speeds is great
Low speed turning radius leaves much to be desired
I bought this car 05/2006 and when I test drove the car it was flawless. I fell in love! But months down the road, one thing after another happened. First it was the awful windshield complications, then the noisy dashboard which in actuality cracked somehow, the brake rotors I have to constantly get replaced, the rear view mirror wiring is really awful I have to rig it everyday just to get light in my car at night, my radio completely went out had to completely buy a new radio system, motor mount, don't even get me started on engine complications. Too much to detail. Couldn't pay me enough to buy another Dodge. Wouldn't recommend Dodge. Period.
The cup holders. That's it.
A new company overall. Thinking about dodge makes my stomach hurt..