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Dodge Avenger

I recently rented a Dodge Avenger to drive approx. 180 miles round-trip. I normally get one of the smallest cars to drive if I rent one but wanted the only slightly bigger Avenger to transport some items to this town about 90 miles away. I’m not good with figuring gas mileage but could tell right away that this car did not get much better gas mileage than my old '96 Pontiac that is a V-6. I thought the Avenger was a 4-cylinder. Turns out the Avenger is available only as a V-6. I burned a full half-tank of gas for that 180 mile trip which is no better than it would have done in my old car. While I felt safer in the newer car (and the air worked great; mine doesn’t), I would not consider buying one of these. The interior was nice, ride was decent, but mileage wise, well it was not good by my standard (even for a newer V-6). Wonder if Chrysler will even consider putting a smaller engine in these or finally making something in between the Avenger and their supposed “Fiat 500” that they will rebadge as a Chrysler in 2012? If you go to the Chrysler web site, there is scant little there but gas mileage isn’t something they can boast about. It’s pretty bad because I actually liked driving the Avenger a lot more than I thought I would. The mileage would be a no-go for me though. Anyone else have any comments on this particular model?

A lot depends on the number of gallons used. What was the miles per gallon for the Avenger, as compared to your Pontiac?

Most Dodge Avengers that I have worked on were 4 cylinder cars. The fuel economy rating for the four cylinder model is 20 MPG city, 31 MPG hwy.

Misty12, I agree with you, but those who are in the market for a car like the Dodge Avenger don’t care about fuel economy, so I don’t see why Chrysler should change it.

Making the Avenger available with a smaller engine will just lead to dissatisfied customers. It’s happened with other cars. Someone buys the version with the smaller engine, and then he or she regrets not getting the larger engine because the car is under-powered.

Those people who care about fuel economy, like you and me, should consider other cars, not go about asking for weak versions of muscle cars. It will make the world a happier place.

The Avenger in its current iteration is a car that never really caught on, and that Chrysler is trying to quietly forget. Most of them are owned by rental agencies. Part of the trouble was the horrible economic conditions when it was being marketed, and build quality wasn’t that great. (though I think overall Chrysler and its employees did admirably considering that at the time Chrysler was an unwanted orphan being tossed from Daimler to Cerebrus, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and no one had any certainty that their job was safe or anything to look forward to)

In my opinion the Avenger would be sadly underpowered with a 4-banger. We all would like good mileage, but I also want something that can get out of its own way. Perhaps if more money was available for development at the time, it would have come with a turbocharged 4, which would have been the best of both worlds and likely would have made it more popular.

Marketing decisions are very difficult. It’s really a toss of the coin. Chrysler missed out with a bad marketing decision back in the late nineties and early 2000 by going with a 4 cylinder for their PT Cruiser. I was ready to plunk down cash for a V6 model but it never was built. The automatic 4 cylinder models could not get out of their own way. The manual model had a little more pep but the decision on Chryslers part to stay with the 4 cylinder killed untold hundreds of thousands of sales for the little PT. Maybe Chrysler learned their lesson so that’s probably why a V6 is in the Avenger.

A turbo-4 cylinder probably would have caught on. To me, the Avenger is not what I’d call a “muscle car” either. It looks to be about the size of the Chevy Cruze which is supposed to get near 40 mpg hwy. That’s what they need to compete with. If someone in the board room at Chrysler is not talking about some competition against the Cruze, then they are not doing their job. Because if I had the cash, the Cruze is probably what I’d go for. A smaller car (which does not seem small inside) that gets great gas mileage. I didn’t mind the overall looks of the Avenger (something I can’t say for most Chrysler/Dodge products) but the mileage would keep me from buying it. Thanks for the comments.

More Fiats will come to the USA in time. They brought the 500 here, IMO, because it is an icon that some folks remember from the 1960s and it is still built. The new one looks a lot like the old 500 and 600 models, too. You might expect to see Alfa Romeo cars here soon; Ferrari and Maserati never left.