Just thought I would review what I thought to be a good car. I have owned my 96 dodge avenger for 9 years now. Bought it with 56,000 miles on it and now have about 140,000. I have had no major problems with the motor, tranny, or wheel assembly other than the usual wear and tear. The car is a very reliable piece of machinery and I am sad to be letting mine go due to the 2 door not being condusive to a new baby. The only other drawback to it is it sits very low to the ground. Gets hard on the back after a while."
"took over this vehicle from my wife. she received a crossover when children came into the picture. the vehicle has had no major issues, and still turns the tuners heads when I drive by. Vehicle is fast and descent on fuel economy. plan to drive until it gives up, or my son turns of age to modify. the 4 door avengers just dont match up to the coupe."
"I like it but its made for a younger person obviously. Its very low to the ground but rusts in front of the back tires pretty bad. Handles well in the snow but its very long. Mine has the 2.5 liter with 24 valves so its not very good on gas in town. its is a faster car tho with the 4 speed auto which i think is probably the best transmission dodge makes. I was quite upset when i bought it from a dealership for 2500 its a 97 mind you. 150xxx about six thousand miles after i had to replace a wheel bearing and at 160xxx needed new brakes but its all in how you drive it. but now im not sure if its a balljoint going bad or a strut bushing going bad up front but it clacks. But all in all its a nice car and if you want one make sure you look around a bit."
"My wife and I have had this car since 1997. We have babied it...it only has 60000 miles. We were livid when the trany went out the first year but it was replaced under our warranty. We've had to replace some O2 sensors but that's it. She runs great. Good luck replacing the plugs, plug wires, rotor, cap, etc. You have to pull out the whole intake manifold!!! Otherwise it's been good to us...we'll keep her another few years."
"I bought a '98 Avenger ES with 40.000 miles in '03. I was drawn to the price and the style was more appealing than other mid-sized and small cars.
I rate it average for quality after a few rough starts and consequently having the fuel pump replaced. A friend with a 1999 model had the same fault.
The sway bars were recalled and covered by Dodge.
The paint deteriorated beneath the external coat, so it looked blotchy on the roof but was smooth to touch and did not tarnish the metal. A basic level paint job from a national company made it look like new.
Otherwise, I received compliments on the style, the ride, and the view. The slope of the windshield offers the front seat a good view up and lets in light.
Road noise is comparable to other sport sedans or entry level cars. The back seat is roomy for a coupe - my friends over six foot have more knee room in the back than in the front with the low glove box.
The ES sound system had a good amp, and I enjoyed the other ES options: sliding sunroof, spoiler, cruise control, and fog lamps. The trunk has adequate space.
The suspension helps prevent roll, and handling in a few inches of snow was better than expected."
"This is my Baby, I put top of the line wires and Bosch plugs in it and what a differance in performance. All I can say is wow : She has been by my side for 14 years and 345,000. miles later stii going strong with minor repairs.
Its a real gem and i plan on driving until it blows the rods or something major. Over the years it has taken me from Buffalo to Florida, Maryland,Georgia out West and Canada and it performs great."
"I got my Avenger from a coworker at about 140000. In the car's defense straight off, it hadn't been maintained properly in some time. The brakes were shot, it had been in a couple of fender benders, and basic maintenance didn't go further than oil changes from what I gathered. (There WERE, oil changes, right?) At any rate, it died out on me within the first year and needed a heavy tune up... new spark plugs, wires, brake rotors, etc. No big deal really, it was behind and needed a little TLC after having been neglected.
Now, where things start getting problematic is that the sucker is a pain to work on. Replacing a simple sensor that was causing problems required a trip to the dealership and a good $300+. Some of the basics were alright, but anything more complicated required dealership work due to the complex nature of the car.
Plenty of leaks... a little oil, a little transmission fluid. Annoying. Idled rough, but mostly stayed in good working order. Other real annoyance was the door handles. These cars break handles off left and right. I'd laugh when I saw another Avenger in a parking lot because at least one handle was always broken as well. Both of mine broke, and it felt like the one I replaced was getting ready to go too. Might as well get them in six packs.
Mileage wasn't bad for a big car, maybe 25 MPG overall. Turning radius was h o r r i b l e. Felt like driving a 747; U-turns need not apply.
All in all it's hard to judge completely due to its period of neglect, but my impressions was it was a run of the mill American "meh" car that got the job done and had its faults. It finally met its end when a car pulled out in front of me on the highway and we hit at 45ish. In its final battle it performed admirably overall; despite the engine compartment being badly crushed on the left side I only received fairly minor injuries. At least on safety I can give it a strong score, as it soaked the hit like a pro."