I had the car two years and it was a OK car for what i gave for it. It sits low so its a bit odd to get in and out of. I have a thermostat housing crack (made of plastic) and it was under and back side of the engine so it was very hard to change out. Then the timing chain went out and they replaced two of them but they had to pull the cam shaft pulleys to get to it ($1,300). so if you have to work on it it sucks. It was quick and great gas mileage. Bottom line is don't pay a lot for the car. someone hit me and i got more for the car than i payed so it worked out for me.
Bought this car with 16,000 miles on it for wife to drive back and forth to work ( about 60 miles daily round trip). At 38,000 miles the radiator cooling fan went bad and Dodge would not help with that repair (bad electronics). 40,000 miles later; 78,000 miles, the lower ball joints failed. There was a recall on certain SXT models for the same failure but not on mine according to Dodge--cheap parts. The car now has 92,000 miles on it and the upper control arms and traction bar are bad and another score for cheap parts. Will be getting a new vehicle and it will not be anything MOPAR builds--am looking at Nissan. Stay away from Dodge products is the best money saving advise I can give you !!!
I got my Stratus back in '07 from Enterprise Rentals. Only major problem I've had was a crankshaft issue and that was after having it for 7 years. I've done some changes like different chrome rims for something sportier (including wheel adapters), a rear spoiler, fog lights (yellow strobes), a muffler system that allows more air exhaust (and sound), new shocks and a better stereo system. Planning on hunting down a supercharger for it (keep hearing the police used to use this model)...otherwise, my baby's a creampuff! Be careful on doing electrical work, for it'll seem like you'll lose your battery charge, but the way Dodge builds their cars, it's a lil tricky but manageable as long as you're careful. Pretty good on gas and currently researching the pros and cons of changing gas type from the low end to at least mid-grade. Just take of it and it'll take care of you.
I bought this car with the intention of paying it off very fast and using it as a spare. Well, 6 years later I just paid it off and its been my only for 105k miles. It was previously a rental and I'm imagining it got dogged out before I bought it because a head gasket blew within 6 months. The used car warranty covered it and I've been rolling ever since. Ive had minor issues such as sensors having to be replaced, brakes, lights, and the auto window went out, but other than that I cannot complain. Still picks up well between 50-80 mph and is decent on gas. The paint on the passenger side is oxidized, but hey, its 6 yrs old.
I bought a 2004 Dodge Stratus SE almost new and paid $11,500, well below what I would have paid for an equivalent Japanese make. I was willing to look past its relatively outdated powertrain and somewhat sluggish performance in stop and go traffic until I hit 57k miles on the odometer. After that, I was taking this car in for costly repairs on a regular basis. For instance, I was replacing brakepads every 10k miles, the shocks needed replacement every 20k. After coughing up about $13,000 in repairs & maintenance in six years, I had enough. I'm back driving a Toyota Camry with no issues. My advice: invest a little more money in a Toyota, Honda and save yourself time and money down the road.