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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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 the Avenger
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.
APPEALING INTERIOR 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.
PENTASTAR V6 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.
2014 Dodge Avenger Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
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.
Pros: "Solid weight, great in snow, strong engine."
Cons: "Blind spots in rear shoulder, tire size."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"2008 SXT 2.7 L V6. bought used with less than 15K miles in WI coming back from overseas. Was a Canadian rental before me. Survived two winters in WI before moving it to Syracuse NY. A total beast in the snow, never got stuck too far that I needed to dig out. Solid gas mileage, great highway car. Kept minimal maintenance and still never had a single problem with her. It's now 2015, and I have 120K hard driven miles on her and she just now needing maintenance. Would by again in a heartbeat."
"Bought used (prior rental). Put a lot of miles on then transferred to my teen heading to college. Rides nice, a bit noisy (replaced with Chrysler 200 quieter). Repairs/parts are reasonable. Vehicle was totaled this weekend - 5 occupants rear-ended a front car in an unexpected highway snarl. All wearing seat belts - amazing only minor injuries. Mom approved economy car."
"3.6 engine the one and only thing I dislike about this car is the torque steer on heavy acceleration. Although you do get used to it...typical gas mileage for me with regular fuel is something like 25.4 that's rural driving....not too bad for a engine that pushes out near 300 hp."