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Reviews: 2008 Dodge Avenger


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Reviews: 2008 Dodge Avenger

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Avenger will compete in a tough market segment, going up against leaders like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, as well as the newly-improved Malibu . It will be a tough fight. The new sedan may slip in a few categories, but it definitely stands out on the design front. And for many potential buyers, we think that will more than overcome its shortfalls.

The Car Connection

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For all its newness, the Avenger assumes much the same place in the automotive sky as the Stratus. It's got some style and it's got some space, but this Dodge is built to a price, and you can tell when you put it next to a Honda Accord, Nissan Altima or Toyota Camry.

Even Dodge admits to us that the Japanese-label competition has a stranglehold on the market for midsize sedans, and the 2008 Dodge Avenger will have to scrap with the Ford Fusion and Pontiac G6 for what's left over.

This doesn't sound very aggressive to us.

Edmunds

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cheap interior? check!

nasty styling? check!

weak motor? check!

PLEASE explain to me why the Avenger gets optional AWD and the Charger does not?

I could be bugging, but I could have sworn I saw an AWD Charger on the lot recently...could it be a 'quiet' change to '07 option list?
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eh... the styling is growing on me.

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Ick.

Chrysler used to have better interiors than GM or even Ford in the mid to late `90's, and I wish I could figure out what is going on with Chrysler. It's like they're stepping back to before the 1980's, because most of their cars (even the basic K's) had or eventually had a soft-touch dash.

I agree that GM and Ford have moved far beyond Chrysler when it comes to mainstream products. The LX cars are competetive, but the Pacifica is the best.

If all Chrysler interiors were as well assembled and used as high-quality materials as the Pacifica, no one would be complaining. It's world class.

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The Avenger I sat in during the Washington auto show was adequate. Nice outside, a nicely-styled interior, and so much better looking than the Sebring, but still nothing I'd want over a new Malibu, Altima, or Aura.

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I like it...but the problem is..THE 2ND GEN WAS A STEP BACK FROM THE FIRST GEN IN TERMS OF FIT AND FINISH....i wonder how the avenger stacks up against the original cloud cars....due to the fact that half the dash was soft along with all the armrests and such(first gen)...and it seems that avenger is all plastic.

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Some other highlights from the review:

The R/T's suspension has been tuned for performance buyers. The steering is tighter and more direct. There's a very good road feel, especially for a front-driver, with no noticeable torque steer.

The suspension is equally crisp but not so stiff as to be objectionable if you were driving on, say, the potholed roads of Michigan . The R/T easily sliced through aggressive turns, and stayed firmly planted when we hit some squirrely whoop-de-doos.

The powertrain package, with its six-speed automatic, is highly competitive in the segment. It's quick and responsive and the exhaust note gives you a sense of confidence under hard acceleration.

Nice to see they upgraded the suspension from teh Sebring and made it fun to drive. So the powertrain is good...I don't get why everyone thinks it's uncompetitive...it's only lacking about 20 or so HP compared to the most powerful ones.

Dodge designers hoped to match Avenger's handsome exterior with a stylish interior, and at first glance, it's got a nice look, especially the R/T's two-tone package. But the cabin is nonetheless the sedan's weak link. While Chrysler Group, on the whole, has upgraded its interiors in recent years, it's simply not kept pace with the industry's moving benchmarks

No surprise...sadly

There's a notable difference in road feel with the SXT. Steering is lighter, not mushy but just not nearly as well-connected as with the R/T. And the suspension is lighter, less firmly-planted. We'd urge Dodge to offer the R/T suspension tuning with at least this mid-line model.

2008 Dodge Avenger R/T

Base price: $23,500

Now that's a good deal....and where else can you get a color like this on a midsize sedan? Also the looks have grown back on me.

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As much as a lot of people complain about this car, I think the R/T is a great deal.

Knock the styling all you want, it is aggressive or at the very least, not a bland vanilla mobile like the rest of the cars in this class.

I also really like the design of the interior, whether or not it has the softest plastics in the industry.

An aggressive (or maybe just "different") looking midsize sedan that handles AND rides really well, with a pretty powerful engine mated to a 6speed auto, AND a stylish interior for $23,500?

Maybe it's just my opinion, but that is a real good deal. I suppose an extra $1500 could get you an Aura XR, and $23,500 gets you an Accord SE V6 but then again, I think the Accord is a rather ugly vehicle. A Camry LE V6 runs $23,500 but you can't even get wheels larger than 16".

Edited by bcs296
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I could be bugging, but I could have sworn I saw an AWD Charger on the lot recently...could it be a 'quiet' change to '07 option list?

GOD, someone at DCX has a clue finally then. I suppose the northern dealers couldn't stop bitching, "give me a car I can SELL".

what is with all these slab sided straight horizontal dashes these days. the dash never flows into the doors anymore. I think everyone has given up on the driver oriented interiors of cars like the auroras and my old 95 tbird. and that pisses me off.

Edited by regfootball
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GOD, someone at DCX has a clue finally then. I suppose the northern dealers couldn't stop bitching, "give me a car I can SELL".

what is with all these slab sided straight horizontal dashes these days. the dash never flows into the doors anymore. I think everyone has given up on the driver oriented interiors of cars like the auroras and my old 95 tbird. and that pisses me off.

I see lots of Chargers on the roads here in New England. they seem to have no trouble selling it without RWD. I think the reason they left AWD out was symbolic of the old Charger, which was RWD only. Plus there's the 300C or the Magnum for those who prefer AWD.

I been wondering the same thing reg. It looks much more graceful if a dash flows into the door panels. That's how it is on the Intrepid, yet that design element didn't carry over into the LX cars. Maybe since it was a fad in the 90's (everything from the Intrepid to the Windstar had it), they've decided to move away from it. I think Audi still does it though, and some Korean cars.

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GOD, someone at DCX has a clue finally then. I suppose the northern dealers couldn't stop bitching, "give me a car I can SELL".

what is with all these slab sided straight horizontal dashes these days. the dash never flows into the doors anymore. I think everyone has given up on the driver oriented interiors of cars like the auroras and my old 95 tbird. and that pisses me off.

That was a well known edition, and essentially because though they weren't sure if it was needed or not, enough people wanted one, that they simply added the bits to one and wallah--AWD Charger. Only odd part is the raised suspension height seems to stand out more on this car than it does the 300 or Magnum.

As for the Avenger, I somewhat like it too, but it doesn't "wow" much at all. I sat in and played with one at the auto show, and actually liked certain things about it a little more than the Sebring, but overall they were about equal--they feel solid inside and out, but the materials don't impress visually or tactically, and there are a lot of details and lines that still seem too chunky or just unattractive. Things like a 3.5L, 6-speed, AWD Avenger R/T should definitely get some people's attention.

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