Used 2000 Dodge Avenger Review

Edmunds expert review

An attractive luxury/sport coupe with competent handling that deserves more power underhood.

What's new for 2000

Base Avengers get new standard equipment, including the 2.5-liter V6 and automatic transmission from the uplevel ES, new cloth fabric on the seats and standard 16-inch wheels with luxury wheelcovers. A sport package is optional. A power leather-trimmed driver's seat is included with ES trim for 2000. Two key fobs come with the remote keyless-entry system this year, and two new colors are available. The Avenger will be completely redesigned and take the Stratus nameplate for 2001.

Vehicle overview

Nobody misses the Dodge Daytona. You will recall that the Daytona was a front-wheel-drive sport 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 in 1995.

Avenger competes with the Chevrolet Monte Carlo and Pontiac Grand Prix, whereas the Daytona was marketed as an alternative to the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro. Smaller, lighter and less powerful than the GP or the Monte, Dodge has managed to squeeze nearly as much interior space but not as much performance into the smoothly styled Avenger.

Base and ES flavors are available. For 2000, Dodge has dropped the four-cylinder engine and manual transmission, making a wheezy 163-horsepower, 2.5-liter Mitsubishi V6 hooked to a four-speed automatic the only powertrain choice. So equipped, the Avenger is woefully inadequate in terms of performance compared to the Grand Prix GT and Monte Carlo SS.

Refinement is not the Avenger's trump card, either. Both the Honda Accord Coupe and Toyota Camry Solara are better assembled and constructed of higher-quality materials. But, of course, you pay for perfection, and this sporty Dodge costs thousands less than competing models from Japan.

Other changes for 2000 include revised cloth seats and larger wheels and tires for the Base model. ES versions get a standard power driver's seat and leather upholstery. Ice Silver and Ruby Red paint colors debut. Next year, an all-new Avenger arrives and is expected to be larger, structurally stiffer, and powered by heartier four- and six-cylinder engines.

Overall, the 2000 Avenger is high on practicality and style but low on power and refinement. An accommodating coupe, the Avenger's only real shortcoming is its weak engine. If you're looking for performance, shop elsewhere. But with prices for the top-of-the-line Avenger ES on par with base editions of competing products, and substantial rebates sure to be a mainstay to move 2000 models off the lots, the Avenger is a tempting piece indeed.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.