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Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Cars.com Staff
September 1, 2008
Vehicle Overview The Dodge Avenger shores up Chrysler's midsize sedan lineup. The Avenger succeeds the Stratus and plays a sportier second fiddle to Chrysler's Sebring sedan. Trim levels include the SE, the midlevel SXT and the sporty R/T. The midsize sedan market is populated with dozens of able competitors; comparable Avenger sedans include the Kia Optima and Ford Fusion.
New for 2009 The 2009 Avenger has a reengineered acoustic dampening system that's designed to reduce cabin noise levels. All-wheel drive is no longer available.
Exterior The Avenger sports a racer-boy look, complementing the Sebring's styling. The rear end looks much like the one on the full-size Charger, and the side profile draws elements from the compact Caliber. Up front, the Avenger SE includes a black grille, while the SXT and R/T have a chrome crosshair grille.
At 190.9 inches long and 71.8 inches wide, the Avenger is about the same size as the Fusion and both longer and slightly wider than the Optima.
Body-colored handles, grille, and front and rear body parts
Optional body-colored side mirrors and chrome grille
Optional rear spoiler
16-inch steel wheels with full covers (SE), 17-inch aluminum wheels (SXT) and 18-inch chrome-clad wheels (R/T)
Interior Inside, the cabin trades the Sebring's metallic textures for varied shades of plastic. A 60/40-split folding rear seat accommodates longer items from the trunk. For even more-oversized cargo, a fold-flat passenger seat is standard (SXT, R/T). With 100 cubic feet of cabin volume, the Avenger slightly trails the Optima (104) and is about even with the Fusion (100).
The 2009 Avenger gets a dark gray interior option, replacing the light gray interior.
Standard cabin air-filtration system
Standard power windows, locks and mirrors
Standard floormats and trunk mat
Standard in-dash 12-ounce can cooler
Available stain-resistant seat fabric
Heated seats and heated/cooled cupholders
Under the Hood The Avenger is available with three different engines: a four-cylinder, a V-6 and an E85-capable V-6. All-wheel drive is no longer available.
173-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 166 pounds-feet of torque (SE, SXT)
Flex-fuel 186-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 with 191 pounds-feet of torque (optional in SXT)
235-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 with 232 pounds-feet of torque (R/T)
Four (SE, SXT) and six-speed automatic transmissions (R/T)
Safety Safety features include:
Standard front-seat-mounted side airbags
Standard side curtain airbags
Accident Response System that turns on interior lights, unlocks doors and cuts fuel to the engine after airbags deploy
Electronic stability and traction control (optional on SXT & standard on R/T)
Antilock braking system (standard on SXT and R/T)
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