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2002 Dodge Stratus

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$837 — $4,541 USED
Sedan
5 Seats
24-25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 5 trims

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Side, curtain-type airbags are a new option for the midsize Stratus sedan. Early in 2002, a limited-production R/T sedan is scheduled to join the existing R/T coupe, incorporating a rear spoiler, a specially tuned suspension and 17-inch tires. Both the sedan and compact Stratus coupe were redesigned for 2001. The sedan was created by DaimlerChrysler and is manufactured in Michigan. The Chrysler division also offers a Sebring sedan and convertible, but Dodge has no soft-top model.

The Stratus coupe is based on the same platform used by the Mitsubishi Galant, and while DaimlerChrysler designs both cars and builds them at its Illinois plant, the engines are from Mitsubishi. They are classified as compact cars by the cars.com measuring standard, due to their shorter wheelbases. Here, too, Chrysler has an equivalent under the Sebring badge. Offered in SE and the upscale ES trim levels, the Stratus sedan can be equipped with a four-cylinder or V-6 engine.

Exterior
The sedan’s styling resembles that of its coupe cousin, even though the two body styles share no sheet metal. Chrysler’s Sebring sedan uses the same roof and side panels as the four-door Stratus, but the two have different front and rear styling. Dodge is notable for its crossbar-style grille, which gives a considerably different front-end look than that displayed by the Sebring series. On a 108-inch wheelbase, the Stratus measures just over 191 inches long overall. Tires are 15 inches in diameter ...
Vehicle Overview
Side, curtain-type airbags are a new option for the midsize Stratus sedan. Early in 2002, a limited-production R/T sedan is scheduled to join the existing R/T coupe, incorporating a rear spoiler, a specially tuned suspension and 17-inch tires. Both the sedan and compact Stratus coupe were redesigned for 2001. The sedan was created by DaimlerChrysler and is manufactured in Michigan. The Chrysler division also offers a Sebring sedan and convertible, but Dodge has no soft-top model.

The Stratus coupe is based on the same platform used by the Mitsubishi Galant, and while DaimlerChrysler designs both cars and builds them at its Illinois plant, the engines are from Mitsubishi. They are classified as compact cars by the cars.com measuring standard, due to their shorter wheelbases. Here, too, Chrysler has an equivalent under the Sebring badge. Offered in SE and the upscale ES trim levels, the Stratus sedan can be equipped with a four-cylinder or V-6 engine.

Exterior
The sedan’s styling resembles that of its coupe cousin, even though the two body styles share no sheet metal. Chrysler’s Sebring sedan uses the same roof and side panels as the four-door Stratus, but the two have different front and rear styling. Dodge is notable for its crossbar-style grille, which gives a considerably different front-end look than that displayed by the Sebring series. On a 108-inch wheelbase, the Stratus measures just over 191 inches long overall. Tires are 15 inches in diameter on the SE sedan, but 16-inchers are standard on the ES model.

Interior
Five-passenger seating includes two front bucket seats and a 60/40-split, three-place rear bench that folds to yield additional cargo space. Trunk volume is an ample 16 cubic feet, but the opening is rather small and high. An abundant standard-equipment list includes air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt steering column, a rear-window defroster, and power windows, locks and mirrors. The standard four-speaker stereo includes a cassette player.

Under the Hood
The base Stratus SE comes with a 150-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that teams with a four-speed-automatic transmission. A 200-hp, 2.7-liter V-6 is standard on the ES sedan and optional on the SE; this engine is borrowed from Dodge’s full-size Intrepid sedan. An AutoStick feature for the automatic transmission permits manually selected gear changes by tipping the gearshift lever; it is optional on the ES sedan.

Safety
Multistage front airbags deploy at one of three levels, based on impact speed and crash severity. Curtain-type airbags that deploy along the side windows and antilock brakes are optional.

Driving Impressions
Expect no surprises from the Stratus. It delivers a pleasant driving experience but doesn’t try to be anything more than a family sedan. But that perception might change when the new R/T sedan joins the lineup.

The V-6 engine is potent and quiet, but the four-cylinder actually performs with sufficient eagerness to satisfy most owners. The smaller engine produces a tiny amount of additional noise from beneath the hood. The Stratus is easy to drive and maneuver, and it offers a spacious interior, comfortable seating and a big trunk. Though harsh pavement can produce some unpleasant reactions, the ride is generally smooth and easy. Considering its road-going behavior and how much equipment is standard for a reasonable sticker price, the four-door Stratus is well worth a close look.

 
Reported by Jim Flammang  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2002 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

3.7
20 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(3.8)
Interior Design
(4.1)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(3.5)
Value For The Money
(3.6)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

Great car!

by sjb814 from Mechanicsville, MD on April 24, 2018

I use this car daily and I love it! It still has get up and go after 16 years. It is a nice practical, great first car. Read full review

(4.0)

Very good car.

by Smandy21 on October 9, 2017

I have the 2 door coupe with the 5 speed manual transmission. Bought this car new. Have had a few issues with the driver’s door hinge. Very reliable car but can be difficult and costly to find parts ... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2002 Dodge Stratus currently has 0 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2002 Dodge Stratus has not been tested.

Latest 2002 Stratus Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Stratus received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

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.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

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.

What is included in 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).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

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.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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