KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Offering bold, muscle car-like styling combined with a comfortable ride, predictable handling and reasonable fuel economy, the 2010 Dodge Avenger is the Dodge Charger of the mid-size sedan segment. Far from a ham-fisted hunk of steel, the Avenger offers an impressive list of comfort and convenience options, such as a navigation system with real-time traffic information and the chill zone in-dash beverage cooler.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you've got a muscle-car mindset but are in the market for the balance offered by a mid-size sedan at an affordable price, the Avenger is the most NASCAR-esque option out there.
You May Not Like This Car If...
From the powertrains to the passenger cabin, the Avenger doesn't deliver the same feeling of refinement as many of its competitors.
What's New for 2010
Some of the Avenger's more innovative items, such as the heated and cooled cup holders and rear seat DVD entertainment, have been dropped for 2010. Four-wheel anti-lock disc brake and active front seat head restraints are now standard on all models.
While the Dodge Avenger rides nicely, handles decently and conveys its occupants from here to there no worse for wear, it does it all with less refinement than the category's best. Acceleration isn't as effortless, upshifts aren't as smooth and highway cruising isn't quite as relaxed. To add perspective, though, the segment leaders with which the Dodge must be compared are widely considered some of the best vehicles on the road. Unremarkable road manners notwithstanding, when loaded up options, such as the uconnect system, some may find the Avenger one of the most entertaining cars in the category.
uconnect Infotainment System
This optional hard drive-based system includes navigation with real-time traffic information, MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading via a high-speed USB port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone connectivity and more.
Chill Zone Storage Compartment
Located above the glove box, this cooled storage bin can hold and cool up to four 12-ounce cans.
Compared to the best interiors in the segment – more and more of which are beginning to mimic the look and feel of a premium sedan's – the Avenger's passenger cabin sends out more of an entry-level vibe. On the other hand, its options list is far from unsophisticated, with a hard drive-based infotainment system, heated leather seats and express up/down power windows. A fold-flat passenger seat doubles as a dinner table or desktop and, combined with the fold-flat rear seats, helps accommodate longer cargo.
Unlike the Chrysler Sebring (that looks nothing like its Chrysler 300 big brother), the Avenger's strong rear shoulders, squarish taillamps and sloping roofline are all grafted with varying exactness from the Dodge Charger large sedan. All R/T models get a rear spoiler, chrome-tipped dual exhaust outlets, fog lights and 18-inch chrome wheels.
Notable Standard Equipment
A base-equipped Avenger SXT includes an AM/FM/CD/CD-MP3 sound system with auxiliary input jack, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, four-way adjustable steering wheel, delayed-off headlamps, beverage-cooling upper glove compartment, cloth seats and 16-inch covered steel wheels. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and side-curtain airbags and anti-lock brakes (ABS).
Notable Optional Equipment
The highlight of the Avenger's optional equipment list is the comprehensive uconnect navigation, entertainment and communication system. Other standouts include a six-CD/DVD/MP3/SIRIUS satellite Boston Acoustics sound system, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, heated front seats, traction and stability control, leather seats and a power sun roof.
Under the Hood
The Avenger's base four-cylinder engine delivers highway mileage of up to 30 miles per gallon, while the range-topping 3.5-liter V6 offers 235 horsepower. The 3.5-liter benefits from a six-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick manual-shift capability, while the other engines are matched to a traditional four-speed automatic. All R/T models also feature a sport-tuned suspension.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30
235 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
232 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/27
The 2010 Dodge Avenger starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $21,000 and approaches the $30,000 mark for a fully loaded R/T model. Our Fair Purchase Prices have reflected real-world selling prices several hundred dollars shy of those MSRPs. The Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima, two performance-themed competitors, start for about the same amount of money. Compared with category leaders like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Altima, the Avenger's higher feature content at any given price is countered in part by lower projected resale values.