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2012 Dodge Avenger

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2012 Dodge Avenger Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.6

The 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan is designed to compete with the Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu and Hyundai Sonata. The Avenger platform was remade last year, with a more aggressive look, and improved suspension and drivetrain and a vastly improved interior. On its own, the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan has some redeeming qualities worthy of consideration. Its new Pentastar V6 engine is one of the best V6s we've tested, and its newfound athleticism makes the Avenger a fun car to have when taking the long way home. But, with newer, larger sedans such as the Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata offering equal or better pricing on comparably equipped models, finding a reason to opt for the Avenger over any of its competitors will probably come down to a matter of personal taste.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a sedan with an American muscle-car attitude, but you can't quite swing the big bucks for the Dodge Charger, the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan makes a good second runner-up.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a more modern design, feature-rich standard equipment list or a manual transmission, there are newer and more modern cars from which to choose. If resale figures are important, you'd be far better off in a Honda Accord, VW Jetta, or Hyundai Sonata.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan gains a new R/T performance-oriented trim. The old trim names (Express, Mainstreet and LUX) are dropped in favor of the more familiar SE, SXT, SXT Plus and R/T names.

Driving the Avenger
Driving Impressions

The 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan is a surprisingly fun car to drive. Last year's complete reworking of the car's suspension, brakes and steering gear make the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan...

... perform much more like a nimble European VW or Opel than any mid-size Dodge we've driven in the last decade. But, unlike many sporty cars that punish the pleasure of excellent handling with the sin of a harsh ride, the 2012 Dodge Avenger knows no such unpleasantness. Dodge has managed to blend a soft comfortable ride with a responsive chassis that can carve up twisting mountain roads as easily as it floats over long freeway stretches. The Avenger's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is the most powerful V6 engine in the mid-size segment and it delivers enormous power reserves all while operating as smooth as glass. The 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan uses a 4-speed automatic transmission on 4-cylinder cars, and a 6-speed AutoStick automatic transmission on cars equipped with the V6. While it's fun to shift your own gears, the AutoStick is not as quick or precise as some newer dual-clutch transmissions. But, as the automatic does an excellent job of finding and holding the correct gear, we don't think you'll miss the manual-shift feature in the long run.

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.

3.6-liter Pentastar V6
Quite possibly one of the best V6 engines ever produced, the new Pentastar V6 pulls like a V8, purrs like a Lexus and returns impressive fuel economy.

2012 Dodge Avenger Details
Interior

If the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan can trump its competitors in one area, it is with its interior design and materials. Where so many sedans offer dull gray and flat black fabrics, the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan is peppered with soft-touch panels, interesting color and fabric patterns and supportive front seats. Nowhere is this attention to detail more evident than on the new R/T trim, which receives unique striped seats with leather bolsters, a revised gauge cluster with center tachometer and SRT-inspired brake and accelerator pedal pads. Extensive use of insulation helps give the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan one of the quietest cabins in the segment, a silence easily pierced by one of the many audio options that include a 6-speaker Boston Acoustics upgrade and a navigation radio with a 30-gigabyte hard drive capable of storing up to 4,250 songs.

Exterior

With a somewhat aging profile, the oddly familiar 2012 Dodge Avenger's new look is primarily due to its revised front and rear fascias, new wheels and new paint colors. The familial Dodge cross-hair grille and aggressive lower air intake signal the Avenger's sporting intent, as well as link it to Dodge's other performance sedan, the Charger. LED taillights and an available rear spoiler round out the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan's look, which we think becomes progressively better in the higher trim levels. More aggressive 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels can be found on the SXT and R/T trim, but even the base SE comes with 17-inch steel wheels with handsome covers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A 2012 Dodge Avenger SE features a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary input jack, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, height-adjustable driver's seat with manual lumbar support, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers, 60/40 rear seat with pass-through and folding armrest and a security alarm. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic traction and stability control and front, front-seat side-mounted and side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

The highlight of the 2012 Dodge Avenger sedan's optional equipment list is the comprehensive Uconnect navigation, entertainment and communication system. Other standouts include a 6.5-inch touch-screen CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio with 30-gigabyte hard drive (standard on SXT Plus), Voice Command and USB interface, Sirius Satellite Radio, Boston Acoustics speaker package, Bluetooth cell phone connectivity with streaming audio, 8-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control, auto on/off headlights, heated front seats, leather seats, remote start, 18-inch wheels and a power moonroof.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Dodge Avenger midsize sedan's base 2.4-liter "world gas engine" has been given numerous upgrades to help it perform better and with less noise, vibration and harshness. Producing 173 horsepower, the 2.4 liter is not the most powerful in its class, but at least it can now keep up with the pack leaders. The real star of the Avenger lineup is the newly minted 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces an impressive 283 horsepower yet returns highway fuel-economy figures around 30 mpg. The 3.6-liter engine is also E85-compatible.

2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (4-speed automatic), 20/31 (6-speed automatic)

3.6-liter V6
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 (gasoline), 14/21 (E85)

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2012 Dodge Avenger Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 431 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Saves me from the morons!

By on Sunday, July 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "It's a DODGE! it's quick, great sound system"

Cons: "some paint bubbling on front edge of hood"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought new 2008 R/T, it was everything I expected, great handling and response with back against the seat acceleration. Took trip to Seattle thru Mont. Ate up the Rockies, even with packed snow @ Summits.In the Cascades, Snoqualmie Pass had snow freezing on the road, with lots of traffic,that seemed in a big hurry. I avoided a few accidents and spinning cars on the way down, with very light traffic the last 1/3 down. I give the car 60% credit for getting us thru the maze while maintaining stability!"

YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR

By on Saturday, June 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "FUN TO DRIVE"

Cons: "TRANS, BRAKES, TIRES"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"GOT A GOOD DEAL ON CAR. V6 POWER IS VERY GOOD, V4 NOT WORTH IT. PULLS TO THE RIGHT. MANY ALIGNMENTS. TRANS SLIPS. GAS MILEAGE DEPENDS ON HOW YOU DRIVE. GOT IT LOADED, NAV NICE, ROOF NICE. WOULDNT BUY AGAIN, BUT GOT 5K OFF STICKER SO WAS WORTH AROUND 20K WHEN PURCHASED NEW. DONT MAKE ANYMORE SO VALUE HAS DIPPED. FACTORY PUT ON CHEAP GOODYEARS SO BAD IN WINTER. CHEAP BRAKES SO REPLACE AFTER 30K ISNT RIGHT."

Best car I have had in years

By on Saturday, April 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,600

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great car, fun to drive"

Cons: "No backup camera"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this car new with 29 miles on it. Was on the dealer lot for 5 months. The 3.6 liter V6 is a powerful addition to this car. Makes it really quick. Highway fuel mileage is excellent! Around town the mileage suffers mostly due to the fact that I tend to be a little spirited in my driving. But who could blame me, the R/T suspension is tight and the autostick gives you a little more control in shifting(almost as fun as a manual). I have no squeaks or rattles and I have driven over lots of poor roads and railroad crossings. The only problem I have had was a plugged heater core that was taken care of under warranty. I have owned more than 30 cars in the past 38 years and this one is at the top of the list.(so far)"

16 people out of 22 found this review helpful

an ok car...

By on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great on gas"

Cons: "head rest sit to far back to even use"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"i got this car only due to my credit only allowing me to get a certian car and a certian amount of money i could spend on one, wasnt what i went to the dealer ship to buy but was what i could get so i got it when i got it i loved it and thought wow a new car, it was just a yr old and only had 22,000 miles on it, i mean it drives great good on gas but for it being so fancy and pretty on the outside they sure fooled me with the inside its just a plain jane. nothing fancy about the inside of the car at all. and i hate the head rest in the car u literally have to lay back to reach the head rest and that sucks cuz iam almost 6 ft tall and i like to rest my head and neck while driving and when in this car thats not happeing so other then that for maybe a first time car buyer it would be a good car to start out with but dont get a white on thats what i have and its so hard to keep it clean esp on the front of the car due to how big the bumper is. but as i said its a good car but i would never buy another one."

20 people out of 25 found this review helpful

150000 miles no problems

By on Monday, January 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Good gas milage for a fairly big car 33 MPG on long trips plus live time gurantee wish Dodge would do that again but will keep this 1 for a while been a great car"

13 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Givew you the neccessities and a good ride.

By on Tuesday, December 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 189,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "A fair priced car that delivers what it promises."

Cons: "the interior has a lot of hard plastic."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have the SXT. It is not a super fancy car, but it has a very good sound system with satellite radio, power locks, cruise, heated cup holder, automatic cooler for canned drinks, electric mirrors and very dependable. I also own a Mercedes and an Infiniti. For the price, I would say the Avenger has been the best buy. It is still going at 189,000 mile and I have only had to do the expected maintenance on it."

17 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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