• (4.5) 37 reviews
  • Available Prices: $4,329–$12,025
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 25
  • Engine: 173-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD
2011 Dodge Avenger

Our Take on the Latest Model 2011 Dodge Avenger

What We Don't Like

  • Torque steer when accelerating hard (V-6)
  • Six-speed transmission's hesitancy
  • Snug cabin
  • Small trunk

Notable Features

  • Exterior and interior updates for 2011
  • Optional 283-hp V-6
  • Optional navigation system
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick

2011 Dodge Avenger Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

With all the attention surrounding the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan — thanks in part to a breakout Super Bowl commercial — its sibling, the Dodge Avenger, has been quite overshadowed. Like the Chrysler, the 2011 Avenger receives noteworthy changes inside and under the hood, but its exterior didn't change as radically as did its sibling's when it transformed from the Sebring into the 200.

That's a problem, because the Avenger is going to need all the help it can get to stand out in the crowded family sedan segment, which is getting better every year. Witness the redesigned 2011 Kia Optima, winner of Cars.com's Best of 2011 award.

The 2011 Avenger rides well, but that's overshadowed by lingering quality issues and a cabin that's not as comfortable as its competitors.

We tested the midlevel Mainstreet trim level, which has a base price of $21,245. Options — including 18-inch aluminum wheels, a 3.6-liter V-6, heated front seats and a touch-screen audio system — pushed the as-tested price to $24,880. To see how the Avenger compares with some key competitors, click here.

Quiet & Confident
With the optional V-6 engine, the Avenger was one of the quietest non-luxury cars I've driven lately. Road noise is nearly nonexistent at midrange speeds, as are noises from other cars around you. Dodge made a number of changes for 2011 aimed at quieting the car like installing an acoustic glass windshield, laminated side windows and new sound-absorbing material. If quiet is what you want in a family sedan, check out this car.

The Avenger's suspension was also overhauled for 2011, and the results are good. Unlike some cars, in which you can feel shimmy when you hit particularly nasty bumps, the Avenger's suspension is especially tight, with no unnecessary wiggles to sully the driving experience.

The suspension tuning skews to the firm end of the spectrum, but there's enough damping to soak up any rough stuff before it disturbs you. Body roll is well-managed, too. Overall, it's one of the better examples of melding the competing qualities of ride comfort and handling poise.

The quiet cabin and composed ride make you feel like you're riding in an entry-luxury sedan, but that impression withers the longer you're in the car.

New V-6, Underwhelming Transmission
An all-new 3.6-liter V-6 is optional (a 2.4-liter four-cylinder is standard), and it makes the Avenger an acceptably quick car. Still, it can't match the forceful acceleration of the Toyota Camry's optional 3.5-liter V-6, which still impresses even if it has been around for a few years.

You may feel some torque steer when accelerating hard in the Avenger — the car pulls a little to the right — but the bigger issue with the drivetrain is the six-speed automatic transmission that teams with the V-6. It contributes to the car's quietness by readily upshifting to higher gears to keep engine rpm low — and engine sounds to a minimum — but numerous complaints cropped up during our test. The transmission pauses slightly between gear changes when upshifting, and a few of us noticed balky shifts in low gears, along with unrefined kickdown at highway speeds. We're left to wait for a better transmission to pair with the new V-6.

Gas mileage estimates for the four-cylinder Avenger with the four- or six-speed automatic are 21/30 mpg and 20/31 mpg city/highway, respectively, which is a few mpg shy of what competitors like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Kia Optima achieve. Meanwhile, fuel economy for the V-6 Avenger is midpack: it gets 19/29 mpg. That bests the Fusion V-6's 18/27 mpg rating, is similar to the Camry V-6's 20/29 mpg estimate and slightly trails the Accord V-6's 20/30 mpg projection.

A Snug, Modestly Improved Interior
One of the problems with the 200 and Avenger is that they're not as roomy as many competitors, which have grown in size with recent redesigns.

The Avenger's tighter confines manifest themselves in a few ways. When you sit in the driver's seat, everything feels close to you — from the roofline to the side windows to the front passenger seat. Front headroom is decent, but our test car's all-black interior — including a black headliner — made us feel like we were sitting in a cave.

The Avenger's front bucket seats are unusually small and unsupportive, and that compromises comfort. The snug cabin also means less room for backseat passengers to spread out; it's workable for adults, but there's not much room to spare.

Trunk space also suffers; at 13.5 cubic feet, the Avenger's cargo area is small for its class.

Trunk Space Compared (cu. ft.)
2011 Dodge Avenger13.5
2011 Ford Fusion16.5
2011 Honda Accord14.7
2011 Kia Optima15.4
2011 Toyota Camry15*
*14.5 for SE, XLE trim levels

Dodge has been busy remaking the interiors of many of its 2011 models. The effort has met with mixed results, with models like the Durango SUV and Grand Caravan minivan now fitted with upscale, refined cabins, while others, like the Avenger and Journey crossover, gain interiors that are more stopgap than superlative.

To a large degree, the Avenger's new interior is the automotive equivalent of an old house getting some new siding. The dashboard and door panels have been skinned in nice materials, and the instrument cluster has a new design, but you don't have to look too closely to notice things that weren't addressed — things like cheapo adjustable map lights, wobbly steering-column stalks and a gear selector that moves sloppily through its gates. The shortcomings are even more glaring when you compare the Avenger with a car like the redesigned Optima, which has one of the nicest interiors in the segment.

Safety
The 2011 Avenger was awarded Top Safety Pick status by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety thanks to its performance in front, side and rear crash tests, plus a roof-strength test (the Avenger received Good scores — the best possible — in all four tests). It also has a standard electronic stability system.

Other standard features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags and active head restraints for the front seats.

For a full list of safety features, check out the Standard Equipment & Specs page, or see how various child-safety seats fit in the Avenger with MotherProof.com's Car Seat Check.

Avenger in the Market
Despite numerous improvements to the 2011 Avenger, they don't go far enough to make this sedan more appealing than any number of competitors, like the Camry, Fusion and Optima. When you compartmentalize the Avenger's attributes, you can praise various aspects, like its composed ride and quiet interior, but in the end you have to weigh the car as a whole. When you do that, there's a lot left to be desired.

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Consumer Reviews

(4.5)

Average based on 37 reviews

Write a Review

Great car for price

by Atl4sb51 from on November 9, 2017

Car has been fantastic. Great value car that is dependable. Seats are. It the most comfortable but again, for the price can't beat it

Read All Consumer Reviews

3 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2011 Dodge Avenger trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Dodge Avenger Articles

2011 Dodge Avenger Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Dodge Avenger Express

Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Dodge Avenger Express

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
A
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $3,900 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

36mo/36,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years