2000 Dodge Stratus Review

Pros & Cons

  • Huge interior, good looks, decent price.
  • ABS optional, mediocre crash-test scores.
List Price Estimate
$436 - $1,110

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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you value having a boatload of standard features over a high level of refinement or performance, the Stratus may be the car for you.

Vehicle overview

You want a car with room for five, oodles of cargo and interior space, and no-charge extras like air conditioning and eight-way power seats? Don't turn the page! With the Dodge Stratus you nab a midsize sedan with access to it all. Plus, the Stratus looks more stylish than its corporate cousin, the Chrysler Cirrus, thanks to its soft bulges and extreme cab-forward design that lend an air of character you can't always find in sedans.

Dodge's 5-year-old midsize returns with a new entry-level model, the SE. Now, you might be thinking entry level basically means a body, tires and a bunch of holes in the dash where the pricey options should go. Nope. The SE has standard A/C, a tilt steering column, tinted glass, a rear window defroster and a full-folding rear seat with a lockable seatback. And, for no additional money down, you can pump up the power parts, in the form of the windows, locks, mirrors and driver seat.

If all of that hasn't tantalized you enough, the Stratus also comes in a higher-end ES version. Optional upgrades include leather seats (free), an in-dash CD, remote entry and a security system. If you forego those, you still end up with the standard 2.5-liter V6, an AutoStick, lumbar support and fog lamps, among other features. If you want to impress your pals by spotting the difference between the ES and SE, here's your tip: The SE comes with steel wheels, while the ES has cast-aluminum. Not free but still available to both the SE and ES are such bonuses as a sunroof and a Cold Weather Group (engine-block and battery heaters).

Last year's 132-horsepower 2.0-liter inline four returns as the standard engine for the SE, but for no extra charge, there's an optional 150-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four. The 2.4-liter is hooked to a four-speed automatic transaxle, while the 2.0-liter buyers will be doing the work themselves with a five-speed manual transaxle. Available only to the ES is a 2.5-liter V6 putting out 168 horsepower, and it's mated to a four-speed automatic transaxle with the AutoStick. When you pop the hood, you'll appreciate that the vital fluids are well marked. Large block letters and yellow trim highlight the oil dipstick, coolant reservoir and windshield wiper fluid, among others.

Tucked underneath the Stratus is a modified double-wishbone independent suspension. The SE stops via power front disc and rear drum brakes, while the ES brings it to a halt with four-wheel ABS disc brakes; if you have the four-cylinder, it's a front-disc/rear-drum ABS combination. The steering system also varies between the models, with power rack-and-pinion standard for the SE, but speed-sensitive, variable-assist rack-and-pinion for the ES.

When the redesigned Stratus bows in 2001, it'll also be slightly larger, but the 2000 model is nothing to sneeze at. 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.

The Stratus is about ease of use and operation, as well as affordability. Perhaps it isn't as soul stirring as the Ford Contour V6, or as beautifully engineered as the Honda Civic, but it is a fantastic value, and we recommend that you consider the Stratus if a family sedan fits the bill.

2000 Highlights

A new entry-level SE replaces last year's Base model and comes with so much standard equipment. The upper-level ES steps up to a 2.5-liter V6, and new colors also debut.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2000 Dodge Stratus.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Best In The Long Run
ES 4dr Sedan
2000 stratus with 2.4l automatic. Bought about 2004 with around 60,000 miles. Have 222,000 miles in 2010. Around 100k timing belt (4 or 5 hundred $), around 125-150k ac compressor ($400 part I bought a used reconditioned one for less). 180k water pump went bad and was on same belt as timing. So redo the timing belt. (4 or 5 hundred $). 220k I overfilled Freon and destroyed my refurbished ac compressor). Few brake Jobs. Had to replace two driver side tie rod ends (fairly cheap). Had problems around 100k with blower resistor. Replaced it several times till someone suggested soldering it myself. Was cheap and lasting fix. This car looks like it will make 300k and still drives like new!
Love My Car
SE 4dr Sedan
32mpg - The rear window defroster was fixed under warranty. Alternator brushes replaced recently; it is one of the best alternators made. Left rear automatic window opener not working anymore. Some road noise. Transmission seems to slip a little on acceleration, then catches. Trunk release mechanism quit working suddenly, about the same time as the left rear speaker. Maybe the wiring harness got pinched. Fan only works on high now; settings went out by increments. Cup holders are too small. The radio volume fades, so I keep turning it up. I turn it off and on and it comes on really loud. Very weird. But I really like this car and enjoy driving it.
Many small problems
SE 4dr Sedan
When I bought this car in 2000, I was upgrading from a 95 base Neon. At the time I thought I was making a smart decision, guess I was wrong. Although there have not been any major problems with the car, there have been many small ongoing problems. In 5 years, I've put 39k miles on it, and am on my 4th set of brakes and rotors. In the last year, my hood has rusted through, and the bushings AND bearings have gone. In 5 years, I've also had to replace the engine mounts TWICE. With the cruise set at 65, I get 20 MPG. In suburb driving, I get 16-17. Expected better mileage. Dealer said this is all normal wear. Funny, never had these problems with any other car. Wish it had Intrepid's reliability.
Good car for the money
ES 4dr Sedan
My wife and I have had this car for about three and a half years now, and we've really had no major problems with it. It gets good gas mileage for a V6 and gets you where you want to go in a hurry. The only problem that we've had has been the air conditioning, but hey, the windows roll down with no trouble at all. Also the driver's side door courtesy light switch stopped working, but that's also a cheap fix (about 7 dollars for parts). My wife's been in a couple accidents in it, and after being fixed it is still just as reliable as when we first got it. It's a great car, but I'm ready for something a little bigger, because the family is growing.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • 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 2000 Dodge Stratus

Used 2000 Dodge Stratus Overview

The Used 2000 Dodge Stratus is offered in the following submodels: Stratus Sedan. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan, and ES 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 2000 Dodge Stratus?

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Which used 2000 Dodge Stratuses are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 2000 Dodge Stratuss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Dodge Stratus for sale - 11 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,166.

Find a used Dodge for sale - 8 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $20,147.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge Stratus for sale - 7 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $8,399.

Find a used certified pre-owned Dodge for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $20,225.

Should I lease or buy a 2000 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.

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