I just traded in my 2004 Stratus after 7 years and 130,000 miles. I never had any major mechanical failure, just regular maintenance. It was a very reliable car. It was hands-down the best car I've ever had. I only traded it in because my family just needed something a little bigger.
I bought my Stratus in the summer of 2004. It was a fleet vehicle. Which meant to me that it was basically a rental and we all know what people do to rentals. Nevertheless, I got it for a great deal. Although the car is a base model with a few add-ons, it's quickly become one of my favorite places to hang out. I've heard people complain about bad trannies in these cars, and there is some truth to the statment in that Dodge in general has unrealiable trannies, not specific to the Stratus. Furthurmore, if you buy from the dealer, the car comes with a great powertrain warranty. In every car company there are lemons, but my Dodge is a peach.
Bought this car used with less than 70,000 miles on it. It has TONS of power, hugs the curves, and rides smooth. I might say it has too much power-I'm always having to slow it down on the freeway, because it's up to 80mph and over without even feeling like it. Looks sporty and gets alot of compliments. It does make a bit of a whining noise on hills, but there's no decrease in power at all. My only issue with it is the cab forward design makes stop lights hard to see sometimes-I have to lean forward. But a small inconvenience compared to how amazing this car drives and handles. And I got my first speeding ticket in it!
I was going to just pass this car by when I was looking, I'm glad I didn't. I needed a car to go back and forth to work in and this car fits that job to a T. It's no rocket but compared to my old '99 Neon it feels like one. I really am glad I found an R/T as there don't seem to be a lot around here. I've added a few things to help out the fun factor (Brembo rotors w/ new pads, K&N filter, Tornado air foil) Can't argue with build quality as it is a Chrysler so I'll forgive some of it, but as a work car or just for running around town it's great!
From the first day I had the car it jumped forward at a deadstop almost rearending people. PCM and TCM reprogrammed six times. Now Speedometer is off. Had a caliper bolt fall out while going 70mph on a highway. Caliper came free, locked the front passenger rim. Cheap plastic parts inside car CONTINUE to break, cheap plastic cooling housing separated and started leaking, various codes kick for no reason. A/C lines clogged and flooding passenger side. Stay away from this peice of junk.