2008 Dodge Avenger SXT (667)

Overview:
This week let’s look at Chrysler’s Dodge Avenger SXT midsize sedan.

Chrysler has to be the Cinderella story of car makers since their birth at the turn of the 20th century. They just seem to hang in there and never give up in spite of being in the background over the past 50 years – always a bridesmaid and never a bride, as they say. But they have finally become more of a threat to other car makers – braces off, hair restyled and a new set of clothes. Not just one of the big three and moreover they were #3. Lee Iacocca helped them out of bankruptcy, Daimler gave them a boost and now – well we’ll see.

Mom used to be the worst judge of cars and although young boys will be happy to drive almost anything just to get behind the wheel, that’s about all you can say for Chrysler products in the 1950s. Then there was her Pontiac that was just as much a bucket of bolts as were her Chrysler products. Remember the push button shifting? Ok, Ma I gotta admit the Ford Woody was a great choice and hitting the beach and sleeping in the back of that was really cool. “Say what officer? We can’t sleep in the car?” So we found a cave on the beach, built a fire (only visible from a boat off shore), warmed our can of beans and hot dogs – and those were the good old days? Well you be the judge, but they truly were fun times. I’ll bet you have similar stories to tell.

General Info:

Parts – US/ Canadian 77%.

Assembly – Sterling Hts, Mich., USA

Class:  – Midsize Cars

Cars: – Avenger, Caliber, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Grand Caravan, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15, 25 & 3500, Sprinter Van & Wagon and Viper.

Handling & Performance:

Very good results on the Crest Test mountain course with the 2.7 liter 189 horsepower V6 engine with front wheel drive in my test vehicle. Others available are the standard equipment 2.4 liter 173 hp I4 and a 235 hp 3.5 liter V6. It is also available in all wheel drive.

Styling:

It surely steps out there in style for the class with a new fresh sporty presence. It just seems to make a quiet statement and one you’re not embarrassed anywhere whether you’re dressing up or down.

Fit and Finish:

Assembly is typical in class and a continuing improvement generally for all Chrysler brands. Perhaps the most improved of all makes. The bad news is that it had to be improved but the good news is that it was – thanks to those folks responsible over the past 25 years or so.

Cost:

Affordable 4 door sedan with strong styling and presence as well as the solid feel of a much more expensive alternative.

Conveniences and comfort:

An unusual in-dash cooler for up to 4 12 oz. soda cans just above the glove box space and it wouldn’t be a must have convenience for me but it may excite you more. The seats are comfy and the air was quite good in spite of a heat spell up in the 115 degree range. Even as good as it was we found a trip to the beach was the ticket. The trunk is spacious and easily held chairs, umbrella, cooler, boogie board and all the other gear needed for a day at the beach for two. A couple of kids would not have cramped our style a bit.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you’re a Chrysler fan this is a great replacement for the Stratus. It is perfect for a normal family interested in nice styling yet concerned about cost to purchase and operate. It surely is affordable and not terribly wasteful on the petrol…You can opt for the larger 3.5 liter V6 engine but you don’t need it. The 2.7 liter V6 is perfect and delivers better overall performance and only requires 87 octane gas. Look closely and I think you’ll agree the SXT is a good choice as is or with the options is only $23,000.

Recognized Competition:

Dodge Avenger $19-25,000, Ford Five Hundred $23-28,000, Kia Optima $16-20,000, Mazda 6 $19-27,000, Pontiac G6 $18-29,000, Chevrolet Malibu $17-24,000, Hyundai Sonata $18-24,000, Volkswagen Passat $24-38,000, Toyota Camry $19-28,000, Honda Accord $19-30,000, Mercury Milan $19-25,000, Nissan Altima $20-25,000, Saturn Aura $21-25,000, Subaru Legacy $20-34,000 and Mitsubishi Galant $20-27,000.

Good News:

Nice styling, comfortable, decent fuel economy, roomy interior and trunk space and generally affordable.

Bad News:

Chrysler has had a history of mediocre everything so the genes are flawed, but over the past couple of decades they have blossomed.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter I4 cylinder 173 hp engine, 4-speed automatic, dual front and side air bags, front and rear side curtain airbags, rear child seat anchors and upper tethers, rear door child locks, front disc rear drum ABS brakes, power rack and pinion steering, rear window defroster, power locks, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, theft deterrent system with security alarm, cruise control, air conditioning with chill zone bin, power windows and locks, stereo with CD/MP3 player, 8-way power driver seat with manual lumbar support, rear 60/40 folding seat, tilt and telescopic steering column, O/S temp, tire pressure monitor & warning, floor console with 12 volt outlets and rear folding armrest, 17” aluminum wheels and quad LHD optics headlights.

Options:

Pearl coast paint, ABS 4-wheel disc brakes, 18” aluminum wheels, fog lights, trunk lid spoiler, power heated mirrors, power windows, heated front seats, remote start system, 2.7 liter V6 engine, power sunroof.

Gas Stats:

$2.71/ Gal avg. Sept 11, ‘07

www.fueleconomy.gov

for more information.

19 City and 27 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $19,120 – With options $23,435.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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