I'm sad others have had bad experiences with this car because mine has almost 160k miles on it and it drives like the day I bought it.
I've had to do a few minor things, replace the radiator and the brackets that hold the rear shocks rusted through prematurely, but it really has been an awesome car for me.
11 years later I have had no issues at all with the engine or transmission.
The only thing I hate about it is that the clip under the front bumper hangs so low that I parked too close to a parking block and broke that plastic piece in half.
This is a great little car. The dirty little secret is that the Stratus R/T coupe is built on the Eclipse GTS platform. So you get the American muscle body lines, with the Japanese reliability. I bought this car used at 100K miles, and it now has 210K miles with 0 problems. These are really built rock solid. Performance is also great and the suspension is a lot beefier than the eclipse.
Please note, that these cars are completely different from the sedans. Which were built by Dodge.
The only downside is that these cars are very rare. If you want a Stratus R/T coupe in manual....you are going to have a hard time finding one, since according to Dodge they built only 750 of these per year.
Worst car I have ever purchased. The car eats batteries and tires, burns a quart or so of oil every month. Replaced the tube that goes into the gas tank, rusted through. Motor on the power window on drivers side had to be replaced, sun roof sticks so you have to push it up to open it while holding the button down. Clear coat on the car is turning white so now I have a black car with big white spots on it. Turning radius? There is none, a semi is easier to turn. The front end needs work constantly & I drive like an old lady. The front end is so low to the ground it constantly bottoms out entering & exiting drives, parking lots, etc. Horrible traction in snow or rain.
Just bought it. i don't know what these babies are complaining about my brother owned it before I did and it never went through all the high numbers these other peoples vehicles have. Maybe if they were to take care of it correctly they wouldn't be throwing away so much money.