2011 Dodge Avenger LUX Review


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2011 Dodge Avenger

Relevant Connection: 2011 Dodge Avenger Specs, Comparisons and Prices

THE AUTO PAGE
By JOHN HEILIG

SPECIFICATIONS 2011 Dodge Avenger

Model: 2011 Dodge Avenger LUX
Engine: 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower/Torque: 283 hp @ 6,400 rpm/260 lb.-ft. @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Wheelbase: 108.9 in.
Length/Width/Height: 192.6 x 72.8 x 58.4 in.
Tires: P225/50 R18
Cargo volume: 15 cu. ft. (est.)
Fuel economy: 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway/21.9 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 16.9 gal.
Sticker: $27,255 (includes $750 destination charge and $2,960 in options)

The Bottom Line: While some may dismiss the Dodge Avenger as a Stratus re-bodied, it is more than that. We found it to be a solid car with, thankfully, few frills to detract from the virtues of the car. It isn't the greatest sedan in the world, but it is definitely in the league with the very good ones.

All too often, the test cars we drive are the top of the line models that are overloaded with accessories. While I'll never be the one to complain about the latest in techno-gadgets (except probably the ones from Ford that make the audio system nearly unusable), these goodies tend to detract from the basic car we're driving.

The Avenger's option list is relatively short; $1,795 for the 3.6-liter V6 engine that replaces the base 2.4-liter four, $475 for the Boston Acoustics sound system, $395 for the media center that includes a 30 GB hard drive with a 4,250 song capacity (my iPod has 200), and $295 for the redline two-coat pearl exterior paint. So there was little to distract us or detract from the basic car.

And that's what the Avenger is; a good basic car. The 3.6-liter V6 has 283 horsepower to play with and for the most part that was enough. There were a couple of times when I had to floor it to merge safely, but that could have been my fault for trying to merge in front of an 18-wheeler when there wasn't enough room.

Everything inside is where it should be; the audio, the HVAC, the instruments. The audio was good with good sound. Playing options consist of AM/FM/SAT/USB/CD, which should satisfy anyone. the HVAC system was controlled with three knobs, one for temperature, one for fan speed, and one for air flow direction.

The instrument panel was simple, with a round gauge for water and fuel, plus an information readout; a speedometer; and a tachometer with inserts for gear and odometers. The smart steering wheel had cruise control, a menu that offered among other things fuel economy. Behind the wheel were toggle switches for audio volume and station change.

Vision all around was good, especially in the rear. the right A-pillar did conceal some cars, though.

The front seats were comfortable, even if they were hard and had little side support. The rear seats were essentially identical to the fronts, with good leg room for the two exterior passengers. There's also good foot room under the front seats for the two exterior rear passengers. The one in the middle would have to deal with a high hump. the rear seat backs fold easily to enlarge the trunk, which is a decent size to begin with.

Among the features we liked were tiny projector lights that serve both as entry lights and map lights. They are turned on and off by simply pushing the small lights themselves. These are duplicated for the rear passengers.

While you might think that the Dodge Avenger is too basic, I feel the other way. First, it has good features that aren't masked by overly accessorizing the car. Second, I also feel that the public is interested in basic cars over the ones with too many geegaws. In any case, the Avenger fits nicely into any garage.

2011 The Auto Page

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