The Dodge Avenger was introduced to the market as a front-wheel-drive coupe in the mid-90s. Since its launch, the Avenger has had a spotty track record within the auto industry. It took a hiatus for seven years from 2000 to 2007 before it finally returned and became a contender in the mid-size sedan segment on behalf of Dodge.
Dodge Avenger Coupe (1995-2000)
The first Avenger was produced as a two-door sports coupe, which had surprisingly good room in the cabin and provided a comfortable ride. The exterior was designed to illustrate a fair bit of sportiness.
The Avenger was released to replace the Dodge Dayton with two available modes, the base and the ES. It was built on a 2,634-mm (103.7-inch) wheelbase and utilised a 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder engine churning 104 kW. The ES model had a 2.5-litre V6 alternative providing 115.5 kW. The base trim is available in both 5-speed manual and automatic transmissions, while the ES only provided automatic options and was hard to modify.
A facelift in 1997 brought changes to the rear bumper, trunk lid, and the front fascia. The ES models received anti-lock braking until 1999. The Avenger had scheduled improvements at this time to be structurally stiffer and powered by stronger four and six-cylinder engines.
So for the year 2000, the base Avenger models came with new standard features, including cloth fabric on the seating and standard 16-inch wheels with luxury wheel-covers. The higher-rated ES got a power driver's seat and leather upholstery as standard equipment, while the sport package was an option.
Two key fobs were available with a keyless entry system, and two new colours were available. The Dodge Stratus then replaced the Dodge Avenger in 2001.
Dodge Avenger Sedan (2007-2014)
The Avenger returned in early 2007 as a 2008 model vehicle to replace the Dodge Stratus in the market. It utilised a transverse front-engine with front-wheel drive, and looked like a predecessor to the Charger.
Some of the interior features of the re-born Avenger included a chilled storage compartment in the top part of the dashboard, easy-care anti-microbe upholstery, and heated cup-holders. There were also LED headlights and interior lighting. The engine options for the 2008 Avenger included a 2.4-litre GEMA inline 4-cylinder naturally-aspirated "World Engine" with dual variable valve timing.
The engine’s 125 kW and 220 Nm peak output, though, was tempered by an ancient four-speed automatic transmission. There was an option for a five-speed manual gearbox, though, for drivers who were more stick-shift-inclined. The other option was a 2.7-litre V6 SXT and a 3.5-litre V6, as well as a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel made by Volkswagen. The output for the 2.7-litre engine was 135 kW and 256 nm of torque though it would be linked to Chrysler's new six-speed automatic transmission. It was built off the same platform as the Sebring with a MacPherson strut front end and multi-link rear.
The general stability of the car was remarkable, as was the ride quality. The ride experience could be described as not plush but satisfactory in isolating the passengers from the vagaries of moderated highways. The power-assisted rack and pinion steering is well-weighted and does not suffer from vagueness or kickback under load. It is not direct but would be consistent and linear, which provided some confidence, particularly on winding roads.
On the flat roads, the Avenger seems adequate, but hills take a toll on it. The interior packing is pleasing with enough space at the front. There’s sufficient room for two large adults and a child at the back. The plastic accents are hard, and there are a lot of them, though the tones are light and uplifting. The control knobs are quite big and easy to use. They are marked particularly for the controls on the rear of the multi-function steering.
The size of the luggage capacity is impressive for its level but slightly spoiled by the boot opening, which is not as big as one would expect. The rear seats can fold flat to provide more carrying capacity and long road capability. There are convenience touches as well, which lift the car above average. There is a chilled storage compartment, at the top of the dash, which could store half-litre cans.
The SX models are available with 17-inch wheels, a single CD sound system with four speakers, cruise control, remote door lock, and five three-point belts. There are non-stain cloth seats, power windows, and air conditioning aboard.
Production ceased for the Dodge Avenger in 2014. Unfortunately, there is no indication of a second comeback this time around.
If you have an Avenger and would like to maintain it in running condition, you’d need parts for it. Easier said than done, especially with a car that is no longer in production. Your best bet would be the used car parts market, and access to it is what we offer at Carpart.com.au. You’re most welcome to search for auto parts and accessories sellers from our site and learn everything about cars from our blogs!