By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 5.4
In a tough and highly-attractive field of mid-size sedans the 2014 Dodge Avenger offers a muscular appearance, a commendable driving experience, a nice interior, a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and value pricing – particularly on the lower end of the trim levels. As the trim levels ascend the value story falls off, however, against the likes of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima and Hyundai Sonata. One of the Avenger's most appealing features is the optional Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine, which delivers competitive levels of performance, smoothness and efficiency. In the end, aside from personal taste, the major attraction of the 2014 Avenger will likely be its entry-level affordable price.
If value pricing is a major issue, you like the assertive appearance, or you're drawn to the Pentastar V6 engine, then by all means take a look at the 2014 Dodge Avenger.
If the 2014 Avenger seems somewhat behind the levels of refinement, features, fuel economy and appeal of the competitors, then there are certainly plenty of alternative choices.
Changes for the 2014 Dodge Avenger are minimal, being limited to the Blacktop and Rallye packages being extended to availability on the SE model with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, for a price of $595.
Driving Impressions Enthusiasts will be pleasantly surprised by the fun-to-drive characteristics of the front-drive 2014 Dodge Avenger. It certainly doesn't feel like anything close to a Dodge mid-size sedan of the recent...past, as the suspension set-up, the steering and the capable brakes combine to make it behave like some imported sports sedan. Along with the good handling is an appreciated level of ride comfort, so the Avenger keeps things smooth on the daily drive and participates willingly when the road takes twists and turns. For those who want more get-up-and-go, the optional Pentastar V6 is 3.6 liters of smoothness, performance, responsiveness and fuel efficiency and is claimed by Dodge to be the most powerful of its type among mid-size sedans. The base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that is entirely adequate, but certainly not sparkling.
The Dodge interior designers have delivered a very nice interior in the 2014 Avenger, with a pleasing design, comfortable and supportive seats, attractive colors, quality fabrics and soft-touch materials. In a car built for value pricing, the interior is an unexpected benefit.
Dodge's V6 is among the best out there. This engine feels as powerful as a V8, purrs like a Lexus and also offers impressive fuel economy.
The 2014 Dodge Avenger's interior is more than merely competitive with those of other mid-size sedans, with an attractive layout, quality materials, comfortable and supportive front seats with proper bolsters, pleasing fabric patterns, and numerous soft-touch panels. The R/T trim level includes sportier seats with leather bolsters, a nice gauge cluster and racy-looking pedal pads. Audiophiles will appreciate the Avenger's quiet interior for listening to the optional Boston premium speakers. The back seat is acceptable for adults, if not great, and will fold in a 60/40 split. The front passenger seat folds flat.Exterior
To match its tough-guy name, the 2014 Avenger has a sort of tough-guy look. Dodge's familiar cross-hair grille sits between big headlights, along the sides are pronounced fender arches, and at the rear is a rise in the fender line that leads to big taillights to match the theme from the front. There's nothing shy about it. A wing-like rear spoiler is optionally available. The V6 engine includes dual exhaust tips, R/T models have a body-color grille and blacked-out trim. The SE and SXT models are fitted with 17-inch wheels standard with 18-inchers optional, and the R/T has the larger wheels as standard.
A base 2014 Dodge Avenger SE has a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning with filtration system, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, manual-adjust driver's seat and 60/40 split-folding rear seats. The base audio system is an AM/FM/CD/satellite radio with auxiliary jack and four speakers. SXT models add a 6-speed automatic transmission, 8-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control and six speakers. Top-line R/T models have the V6 engine, leather seats, 18-inch aluminum wheels, Uconnect hands-free phone system and media center with 6.5-inch display screen, 40-gig hard drive and six Boston speakers.
The 2014 Avenger can be fitted with the Uconnect infotainment system, which adds a color touch-screen and a hard drive for storing music and can be upgraded with a navigation system and real-time traffic information. Other major add-ons include a power sunroof, V6 engine in SE and SXT models, engine block heater for cold-weather environments, heated front seats and the Rallye Appearance Group for SXT models that includes 18-inch wheels, trunk-mounted spoiler and two-tone black and red cloth interior. The Blacktop and Rallye packages are available on the SE trim level with the 4-ctylinder engine.
The 2014 Dodge Avenger's base engine is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder of 173 horsepower. It's entirely adequate, though not a model of smoothness or refinement. Much preferred is the optional 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, available in SE and SXT models and standard with the R/T. At 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque the Avenger V6 can lay claim to the title of most powerful in its class, and is the definition of response, smoothness and technological refinement. In addition, it has an EPA fuel-economy rating of 29 mpg on the highway. The base 4-cylinder engine is fitted with a 4-speed automatic transmission with a 6-speed automatic optional. The 6-speed is standard with the V6. Both engines operate on 87-octane gasoline and the V6 is E85-compatible.
173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 mpg (4-speed automatic), 20/31 mpg (6-speed automatic)
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (gasoline), 14/21 mpg (E85)
With a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $20,000, the 2014 Dodge Avenger is billed as the most-affordable mid-size sedan and, with the optionally-available V6 engine, America's most-affordable car with a V6. The base 2014 Avenger undercuts the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy and VW Passat by about $1,000, and the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima by even more. These are not necessarily direct comparisons, as the base Avenger has less power, lower EPA fuel economy numbers and fewer gears than some rivals. On the other end, a loaded R/T model can reach $28,000. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to find what others in your area are paying for the Avenger. As for resale value, the 2014 Avenger is predicted to fall short of the competition, registering among the lowest in this class.
By Avenger nut on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,152overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, good handling, value, ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"love the handling of car. Its a great vehicle being more sporty and reasonably best in performance with having a V6 engine. Features are outstanding the resale value is excellent on car gives me good gas mileage plenty of room rides smooth. Looks more of a top of the line coupe with taillights and factory R/T wheels. The Avenger is comfortable available with heated seats, UCONNECT navigation, blue tooth and USB/iPod interface include a great sound system. It drives absolutely best more quiet great smooth ride and gas mileage is overall excellent on Avenger. I love this car on lots of good features in its class from more sporty looks and steering controls are outstanding."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Pandora on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: cheap quality
Pros: "Attractive body style, good mileage"
Cons: "cheap workmanship, poor quality interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought a 2008 Avenger with only about 100 miles on it. I loved the look of the car and the ride was very comfortable on the test drive. The dealer gave me a really great deal (too good to turn down... should have been my first clue). The first few weeks it was a really sweet ride, so we went back and got a matching one for my husband. I noticed his car drove a lot more 'tight'. Didn't sway as much as mine did. Mine felt like it was always windy out and was a little more 'loose' than his in the steering. His was the top of the line, all the bells and whistles, whereas mine was the plain jane, low end model. So I chalked it up to that. One thing we both had in common though, was the very first week of ownership, our air vents broke when we tried to flip them up to redirect the air flow. About a month after getting it, we took mine out on the interstate on our first long distance trip, I noticed it had a lot of road noise. Almost sounded like a plane was overhead at times. The feeling of being windy out was again very noticeable. We took mine in several times to the dealer for 'small things' like the interior door trim falling off, door not fitting right, etc. My husband's had leather seats which cracked and looked worn before the first year was up. We both had several recalls on our cars in the first 2-3 years (at least 4 apiece). Both cars had the shifter break, leaving us having to take apart the shifter area in order to get the car into gear. It was one of the recalls. After the 2nd year, his car started using oil. Around year 3 for his and year 4 for mine (but the same amount of miles), they both developed transmission problems and started slipping between first and second gears. Mine developed some type of 'air lock' in the 4th year. When I'd drive down the interstate, it'd act like it had air bubbles in the gas. It'd spit and sputter when you'd step on the gas. The mechanic could never find anything wrong. The cars both had very cheap interiors that fell apart, fairly quickly. The molding strips on the bottom of mine fell off when I drove through heavy snow one winter. All of a sudden they were gone and thats the only thing we remember doing. Mine developed 'bubbling' of the paint on the nose of the hood. When a battery needed changed, we found out you have to remove the driver's side wheel and take apart the wheel well to get the battery out. Based on our experience with the two 2008's that we purchased, I will NEVER purchase another Dodge car."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By Boomer on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great performance and yet good economy"
Cons: "Traction control is a nuisance."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'm early 60s and have owned a lot of cars. When looking for a new one, I wanted: performance, style ( this car has a great muscle car style ) all the latest do- dads, and economy. I've owned it now for a couple years and still look forward to getting behind the wheel, especially at stop lights. I am sorry to see it go away. Goodbye to a great American car."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Chameelia on Monday, March 10, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"So my vehicle was stolen and I got this rental from my insurance company. Being used to an old 99 with poor HP, I spit rocks as I pulled out of the driveway!! I felt like a millionaire, until I checked my blind spots... to look over your shoulder, it is really hard to see out the back window (Im a short 5'2" woman) and the small side windows in the back might as well not even have been there!! The body was also really wide between the back door and the rear windshield, making for a huge blind spot which nearly costed me several accidents. Its not a big deal in rural areas, but I live in a metro, so I need to be able to navigate in a split second, something that is hard to do when you need to look at 2 mirriors and look back, and then check your mirriors again. Now granted, I know that is how you are supposed to drive anyway, but anyone who drives in heavy traffic full of people texting and driving, putting on make up while they speed to work, etc knows that often times will CAUSE you an accident. The car was fairly comfy, but my rump was a bit sore after taking it for an hour and half ride, something I didnt have an issue with in my 99 Malibu. The body style is pretty sleek, a nice look that both the man and woman will love. The interior is pretty spacious, not overly, but 5 adults can ride in it so it could be alot worse, and though it doesnt look it, the trunk is HUGE. IDK about service, it never had issues in teh month I had it, the gas mileage was actually not that bad at all for such a powerful engine (comparable to my smaller 99 Malibu), but it was pretty good highway miles. And I did kinda romp on it a little, its an awesome car, and a loaner so I wasnt babying it thats for sure!! Only think i didnt like about it was that blind spot."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By BJ on Sunday, February 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I really enjoyed my avenger when I had it. It was reliable, great gas mileage and good looking. The down side to these cars are that they just don't retain any kind of value. There is no trade in value at all with these vehicles. I paid almost $20,000 for the car 6 years ago and now it is worth 5000.00. You do the math."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By BO on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Bought mine brand new a year and half a go and have 45,000 miles on it. All I've had to do so far is change the oil and put gas in it. 4 cylinder engine performs well and still gets very good gas mileage. Interior is comfortable and the Uconnect system is very easy to use. The only drawbacks I've found are that it has a horrible blind spot and the steering wheel is uncomfortable on really long trips and has a fair amount of road noise on the highway. I've been very happy with mine over all."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful