2002 Dodge Stratus SE Plus 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)
I am very mixed on this car. My father bought the car new, and passed it down to me 9 yrs later. He did all of the routine maintenance and also had nothing but issues , but being I was in college and my truck had crapped out I figured why not. The car finally died at 186,000 miles, when the trans went I dumped it. I had already bought a new car but being i almost rebuilt this one I tried and tried to keep it. I loved the styling of it and how it drove, even to this day, ( it is sitting in my driveway) I still think it looks sharp and especially for its day! however the here goes some of the repair list. at 42,000 miles my father rebuilt the rear end. at 90,000 i had to replace the fuel rail due to a fuel leak. With that I did the injectors. after 100,000 I lost track ,but here goes, I've done the belts ( routine) motor mounts, shocks , 2 ball joints cracked on me while driving 2 separate incidents, both axels , sway bars , hose from radiator cracked and leaked , thermostat , starter , water pump , head gasket , oil pan , and brakes. From my opinion the braking system in that car is terrible. Also the AC had issues, and it had no heat. the Windshield wiper motor was shot , and the oil light would flicker. I know reading this all seems impossible, but my mechanic was my fathers best friend so I rarely paid for anything so no it was not a mechanic having a good time, this car was a mess. the only saving grace that I would consider Dodge again is before this I had a durango and my father had bought the 2006 stratus to replace the 2002 mostly because I needed a car and he loved his 06 and never had any issues.
If your not a ocd car person get your wallet out. Its down hill quick once something goes wrong. Its like everything relys on everything. Condition is everything. If its been beat it falls apart litteraly ! 2.7 is a pocket rocket . mine is at 200000k and the water pump has given up. Putting it together now. Be warned repair here $585. Not cheap.
I bought this car used with 150,000 8 weeks ago. A week after I bought it, the check oil light came on. I took it to the shop and the oil pan was stripped and the transmission was leaking. The warranty covered a rebuilt transmission and new oil pan. The dealership had it for 3 weeks to do the repairs. Now 2 weeks after I get it back, the heat in the car goes out and it is only blowing cold air. I take it back to the dealership and they tell me it will take them a week to run diagnostics on it. I bought this car 8 weeks ago and have nothing but repairs. DO NOT buy this car!!!
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. Operator error.
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.
The rarity...noone knows what it is...I always get asked what kind of car it is.
Also the motor, the thing just pulls. And best of all you can still get more than 30mpg out of it.
Also the power seats.
Exhaust note could be a bit more aggressive...but that is easily rectified with an aftermarket one.