Dodge Avenger Review: Avenging Its Old Self

The revamped 2011 Dodge Avenger lives up to its name.

By Ky Henderson

2011 Dodge Avenger

For most guys, the name Avenger conjures up images of Iron Man, Captain America, and Scarlett Johansson in a skintight black bodysuit. So in order for a car to live up to that name, it had better be technically impressive, American-made, and good-looking.

The Dodge Avenger hails from Detroit, so it’s got the whole American thing down. But this incarnation of the Avenger, first released in 2008 — Dodge also produced an Avenger from 1995 to 2000 — has had some trouble in the tech and looks departments during its brief lifespan. So for 2011, Dodge decided to revamp the car. And the results show.

First, the hardware. The base engine remains the same — a 2.4-liter, 173 hp four-cylinder. It’ll get you where you need to go, but not nearly as quickly as the all-new 3.6-liter, 283 hp V6. And at 29 mpg on the highway, it’s only marginally less economical than the four-banger. The six-speed automatic transmission occasionally had trouble putting power to the pavement, but as I found out during an arguably ill-advisedly speedy turn onto a rural highway after exiting the interstate, the Avenger’s updated suspension can definitely handle some fun in the corners.

Outside, the car looks virtually the same aside from some minor sheet metal tweaks and a new grill. Which is just fine — the Avenger mimics the muscular styling of the Charger. The car’s old image problem was really with the interior, but the Avenger’s new cockpit boasts eye-pleasing styling and higher-end materials. There’s still plenty of room, especially up front in the standard bucket seats — great-looking leather and fabric options are available, though there is one fabric choice that results in unsettlingly shiny seats — and controls are easy to figure out and exactly where they should be.

The $23,840 Avenger — that’s the base price with the V6 — has some steep competition from classmates like the Honda Accord, the Ford Fusion, and the Subaru Legacy. But the 2011 revamp will provide competition to them as well.

TAGS: Avenger, car review, Chrysler, Dodge

 

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Robert Griffith (Sat, 25 Feb 2012 18:38:12 +0000): I love how every review is the same between all auto magazines, as well as all magazines reviewing cars.. Yes it is closely priced.. great.. but drive a dodge with 200K miles on it and compare the reliability to that of a similarly priced toyota and honda.. then show me how well it does.. My 2009 Ford has been in the shop about 15 times.. my 2001 toyota with 200K miles on it has been in the shop less then 4 times..

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