Used 1996 Dodge Stratus

1996 Dodge Stratus
List price range
1996 Dodge Stratus

Pros - Not Available

Cons - Not Available

Dodge Stratus years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

If the string of recent hits from Chrysler hasn't convinced you that a revolution has occurred within the company's ranks, then the Stratus will. Stylistically, aesthetically and technologically, this car is a triumph in the compact class.

Actually, the Stratus isn't compact inside. Classified by the EPA as a mid-sized sedan, it boasts more interior volume than Ford Contour, Mercury Mystique and Nissan Altima. Ergonomics are first rate, with dials and switches that look and feel more substantial than the price tag would indicate. Patterns and textures within are satisfying, and the seat fabric is grippy, holding passengers in place during spirited driving. Rear seat room is a marvel of packaging, though the low cushion could be raised somewhat for better support.

Externally, the Stratus is more mainstream than its corporate cousin, Chrysler Cirrus. We prefer the Stratus though, because the body color grille reduces the visual largess of the car's protruding snout. The sheetmetal is very attractive, with soft bulges and extremely-cab-forward design lending the Stratus an air of character often lacking in sedans. Changes for 1996 are minimal. amounting to revision to the color chart inside and out, as well as the addition of a power sunroof option which is due midyear.

The recipe for fun resides in the Stratus ES equipped with the 2.0-liter twin-cam four-cylinder engine and a five-speed gear shifter, or a 164-horsepower V6 hooked to Chrysler's new Autostick automatic transmission. Base models can be had with a 2.0- or 2.4-liter inline four, but the smaller engine is the only one that comes with a manual transmission as well. For 1996, the V6 powertrain gets a revised torque converter for more responsive performance, but we like the manually shifted 2.0-liter motor better.

Pop the trunk and you'll find 15.7 cubic feet of storage. It's easy to load that space up with stuff too, because the lid opens up high and wide. No banged heads on protruding trunk latches here! Up front and underhood, the vital fluids are well-marked. Large block letters and yellow trim highlight the oil dipstick, coolant reservoir and windshield wiper fluid, among others.

This car is about ease of use and operation. Perhaps it isn't as soul stirring as a Ford Contour V6, or as perfectly engineered as the Honda Accord; it is a fantastic value, and we recommend that you consider the Stratus if a family sedan fits the bill.

1996 Highlights

Excellent midsized sedan gets a more responsive torque converter when equipped with the 2.5-liter V6. New colors and a power sunroof are also new for 1996.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1996 Dodge Stratus.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

This car saved my life numerous times!
Hi there! I bought this car after my crappy old van died and left me and my BABY stranded in the creepy part of town. I was nervous about getting another used car for fear that this would happen to us again, but low and behold---this Dodge Stratus turned out to be my DREAM CAR! Not only does this car completely suit me both as a college student, graphic designer, and single mom, but it's SO FAST and yet SAFE at the same time. I can't even tell you how many times I've had to slam those reliable brakes to avoid some jerk on the road or how often I've just barely started to proceed from a red light to a green when my Stratus GUNS forward like it's got an EIGHT cylinder under the hood! LOVE!
Decent family transportation
I had this car from 1996 to 2000 and put about 65,000 miles on it in that time. The motor and transmission were trouble free for the entire time I owned the car. The steering rack was replaced under warranty along with the tie rod ends. I also had to have the interior control module replaced under warranty due to a failed dome light. This car was basically fun to drive, but I do wish I had bought the VR6 GTI I had also been looking at.
Great car for the money
I've had my Stratus ES for almost 4 years now and I absolutely love it. Even though I had to put a new tranny in it at 115K, it's been extremely reliable. I put at least 25K on it a year driving from MD to Cape Cod several times a year plus to clients as far as 150 mi. per day. It's strong, great in the snow and the Auto Shift is awesome. Very spacious inside, room enough for 5. I have 171K on it now and it's still going.
This car is HORRIBLE!!
I have only had this car for just over a year and I have had HUGE problems with it. It was back at the dealership 5 days after it was purchased because it was leaking transmission fluid.A year later, the same thing happened my transmission leaks only this time when it goes in for repair at a Dodge dealership, they find that I'm also leaking oil. Now my engine is burning oil internlly and I need a whole new engine!!!!!!! Fortunately for me I bought an extended warranty that will (hopefully) cover the cost of the new engine and transmission repair.I found out that this model year is well known for transmission problems as well as head gasket problems.
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Features & Specs

22 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
22 city / 33 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
132 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1996 Dodge Stratus features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • 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 1996 Dodge Stratus
Used 1996 Dodge Stratus Overview

The Used 1996 Dodge Stratus is offered in the following submodels: Stratus Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan, and ES 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1996 Dodge Stratus?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1996 Dodge Stratuses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 1996 Dodge Stratus for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used 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 1996 Dodge Stratus.

Can't find a used 1996 Dodge Stratuss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Stratus for sale - 3 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $25,438.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $25,139.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Stratus for sale - 9 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $13,394.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $19,992.

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Should I lease or buy a 1996 Dodge Stratus?

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.

Check out Dodge lease specials
Check out Dodge Stratus lease specials