Used 1997 Dodge Avenger Coupe

1997 Dodge Avenger
List price range
1997 Dodge Avenger


  • Good looks, big back seat, inexpensive, optional V-6 engine, standard ABS


  • Performance can't live up to image

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Nobody misses the Dodge Daytona. You will recall that the Daytona was a front-wheel drive sports coupe based on the K-Car chassis. After a decade on the market with minimal changes, Chrysler mercifully pulled the plug on the Daytona, replacing it with the Mitsubishi Galant-based Avenger sports coupe in 1995.

Avenger competes with the Ford Thunderbird and Chevrolet Monte Carlo; whereas the Daytona was marketed as an alternative to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Smaller, lighter and less powerful than the Bird or the Monte, Dodge has managed to squeeze nearly as much interior space and as much performance ability into the smoothly styled Avenger.

Based on Mitsubishi Galant underpinnings, the Avenger comes in base and ES flavors. The standard engine is the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit found in the Neon, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The five-speed makes the Avenger quite fun to drive, offering sprightly acceleration. Formerly an option on ES models, for 1997 Dodge makes this powerteam standard on the uplevel ES and drops the price accordingly.

Also new this year is a 17-inch aluminum wheel and tire option for the Avenger ES, but to get these items you've gotta pop for the V6 engine, which is available on base Avenger for the first time. The 2.5-liter V6 is hooked to a four-speed automatic. No manual is available with the V6, and that's a shame. So equipped, the Avenger is slower than the standard model, and is woefully inadequate in comparison to the Thunderbird LX V8 and Monte Carlo Z34. To redeem the Avenger, Dodge prices it between base editions of the Ford and Chevy.

After just two years, Dodge revises the Avenger's front and rear fascias to give the car a more aggressive look. We like the new rear treatment, but the front air intake is simply obnoxious on the 1997 model. Fresh colors inside and out, as well as additional stereo speakers on model equipped with cassette stereos, make the car more appealing.

Overall, the Avenger pleasantly surprises. An accommodating sporty coupe, the Avenger's only shortcoming is weak engine choices, though we've heard rumors about a 200-horsepower plus test mule sporting R/T badging. With prices for the top-of-the-line Avenger ES on par with base editions of competing products, the Avenger is a tempting piece indeed.

1997 Highlights

Front and rear styling is updated, while ES models lose the standard V6 engine. The V6 is available on base and ES models, and includes 17-inch wheels and tires on the ES. New colors inside and out and two additional speakers with cassette stereos further broaden the appeal of this roomy coupe.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Dodge Avenger.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

We have been quite happy
This was the choice of my wife as it was to be her primary car. We have put 197,000 miles on it with no major problems. We recently replaced the front end struts.
This car is charming but flawed
This was my first car. Much like a first love it holds a special place in my heart. The car looks beautiful and the engine still runs smooth at 138,000 miles BUT I have brought it to my mechanic so many times that we could be best friends. The ball-joints, the tie rods, the struts have all been replaced. The struts are bad again after an additional 25,000 miles. Now, the transmission took a dump and it looks like my car has skin cancer. The car is charming yes, but after you get married to it, it will soon become lazy and consistently start to break in little annoying increments until you will want a divorce. If you are a risk taker, go for it, but you might get burned. other fish in the sea
Great Car, but now I've got a baby
I loved this car, but just had a baby and got a 4-door sedan (NOT a mini-van). I knew I couldn't keep driving a sports car, but didn't want to become a soccer-mom just yet. I wish I could have kept the Avenger.
Fun Car to Drive
Mid priced sporty coupe with exceptional interior design; the car handles well!!
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Features & Specs

19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Dodge Avenger Coupe features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1997 Dodge Avenger
Used 1997 Dodge Avenger Coupe Overview

The Used 1997 Dodge Avenger Coupe is offered in the following styles: ES 2dr Coupe, and 2dr Coupe.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Dodge Avenger Coupe?

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Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 1997 Dodge Avenger Coupe.

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Find a used Dodge Avenger for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $20,360.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Dodge Avenger?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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