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Drew Dowdell

2011 Dodge Avenger released

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2011 Dodge Avenger

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Drew Dowdell - Chief Editor CheersandGears.com

Dodge released pictures of the 2011 Dodge Avenger to virtually no fanfare today, and really, why should they? Dodge says that the Avenger has been completely overhauled for 2011 but the car itself will look familiar. Familiar is a bit of an understatement since we think that the only people who would notice any changes from the exterior are current owners.... and even then it would be more along the lines of "something about you change, but I can't put my finger on what".

The biggest changes happen inside and under the hood the new Pentastar V6 takes up residence producing 283 horsepower (good for a best in segment title) and 260 ft/lbs of torque. The 2.4 liter "world gas" engine returns in a recalibrated form for smother operation. Both engines are mated to a new 6-speed automatic.

Dodge also mentions that the dirty bits that hold the car up have all been reworked... including 26 out of 30 suspension bushing which only makes you wonder about those last 4 bushings that didn't get changed. Track is in inch wider, tires are wider, and the vehicle is lower, which should all add up to a more affirmative driving experience. We'll let you know more about that when we drive one.

The 2011 Avengers new interior is where most customers will notice the difference. The 2010 Avenger's interior was positively bottom of the pack with almost no redeeming qualities. Dodge chucked the whole thing and started over. All new instrument panels, new seating, new color schemes, (unfortunately Dodge only shows us the charcoal one), a host of sound deadening upgrades, and ambient lighting combine to create an interior worthy of contemporary competition. Dodge also makes available new technology with bluetooth phone integration bluetooth streaming audio and a full on infotainment system with music identification and a hard drive capable of storing 6,700 songs.

The Avenger was reintroduced in 2008 as a Dodge Stratus replacement. I've always liked the look, but dispite being on the market just three years, the look has grown tired. After seeing the drastic, and in my view necessary, changes on the 2011 Chrysler 200 that replacing the Sebring name, I am disappointed by the minimal exterior changes for the 2011 Dodge Avenger.

*Note to Dodge media relations. Those are probably the worst promo pictures I have ever seen. Gray metal flake paint with gray background makes every picture look grainy.

C&G Media Gallery: 2011 Dodge Avenger

Chrysler Media: 2011 Dodge Avenger

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Front Fascia: Good

Profile: Still awkward but they didn't have much to work with so I cut them some slack

Rear Fascia: A little bulbous

Interior: High quality I'm sure, but bland as all hell

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I never had a problem with the way the Avenger looked, most people don't besides the kink and the somewhat abrupt roofline. Still it's was never the car's weak point. The interior, powertrain, and driving dynamics were. Those look to all have been address. I can't wait to take one for a spin.

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I never had a prob;em with the way the Avenger looked, most people don't besides the kink and the somewhat abrupt roofline. Still it's was never the car's weak point.

Matter of opinion. I never liked how it looked in any way. The front fascia is passable, but I was hoping for something more along the lines of a '200' improvement, rather than a modest tweak.

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Matter of opinion.

That it is. Whether they changed it or not for the MCE would still have people who do and don't like it.

However, the Avenger's exterior isn't universally loathed like the Sebring's, so no there wasn't anything horribly wrong with it.

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I'm mostly curious about the suspension improvements. The Pentastar V6 seems like a good engine from what I've read so far, the interior is certainly an upgrade, but it's the suspension changes that will really make or break this version. Simply lowering the car and widening the stance one inch doesn't sound like enough. It's really up to those 26 new bushings to pull the car through. It can't perform like the flabby previous version that was at best at Grand Am SE levels.

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I was one who thought the Avenger exterior didn't need much. Now that I've seen the new version, I must say I'm a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps it is the stark, black & white photos... not exactly a jazzy way to intro a car.

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the chrysler dealer i was at the other day had a new 010 Avenger R/T with leather stickered at 18k .........

when i saw that and compare it to this, I think I'd go back and get the deal on that 010 before its gone and not waste the money on the 011.

That said, suspension improvements and the v6 are the big draw for 011. The interior is different, black is apparently not a good color for it. Like the Caravan, it's not a huge improvement, but any is welcome.

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The interior is different, black is apparently not a good color for it. Like the Caravan, it's not a huge improvement, but any is welcome.

And you would know that because you've sat in it? On design alone it look much better, but any tactile judgments based on a couple of photos is foolish.

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I was one who thought the Avenger exterior didn't need much. Now that I've seen the new version, I must say I'm a bit underwhelmed. Perhaps it is the stark, black & white photos... not exactly a jazzy way to intro a car.

Going for the fall/winter in Michigan look to the pics, I guess...the contrast of the rear 3/4 shot makes the decklid look black against a gray car..

I guess with all the other new/revised models coming out, there wasn't enough $$$ for a reskin of the Avenger.

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And you would know that because you've sat in it? On design alone it look much better, but any tactile judgments based on a couple of photos is foolish.

well the exterior styling still is repellent so i probably have no need to get into the car unless i am either at Avis or i see it says '10 grand off sticker' or they slap a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty on it or that new v6 posts surreal acceleration times.

they didn't fix 'the hump' on the outside, so it's almost immaterial what its like inside.

kind of like if i heard oprah waxed her bikini line, it still don't make me wanna get indoors.....

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well the exterior styling still is repellent so i probably have no need to get into the car unless i am either at Avis or i see it says '10 grand off sticker' or they slap a 5 year bumper to bumper warranty on it or that new v6 posts surreal acceleration times.

they didn't fix 'the hump' on the outside, so it's almost immaterial what its like inside.

kind of like if i heard oprah waxed her bikini line, it still don't make me wanna get indoors.....

You'd be too busy jizzing all over the Sonota to bother anyway. ;)

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I am actually damn bored with the Sonata. But i see so many of them, they are popular. I like the Optima better.

I could forgive Chrysler for not fixing the hump on this thing if they would have DRAMATICALLY revised the front end on this car. Its a very upright, plain, blocky face that needs some aggression and modernizing. I think a Mitsubishi Charger front beak on the thing might have been ok.

Edited by regfootball
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