By on October 28, 2010

Dodge has debuted images of its updated Avenger mid-size sedan, as Auburn Hills continues its re-boot of its entire product line. The new Avenger boasts the chrome-lined crosshair grille found on its updated Charger cousin, but seems to lack the depth of refresh that its Sebring platform-mate received in its transformation to the Chrysler 200. Will the Avenger update give Dodge a reasonably competitive offering in America’s most competitive segment, or is this just lipstick on a pig? We’ll need a full test drive to say definitively, but for now feel free to pass snap judgment based on the Avenger’s looks alone. After all, you won’t be the only one…

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31 Comments on “Revenge Of The Avenger...”


  • avatar
    segfault

    It looks better overall, especially the interior, but the spoiler is tacky.  My gripe with the Sebring, and I assume it carries over here too, is that the six-speed automatic should be standard.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      According to the writeup at Autoblog the 6spd auto will be standard.  They supposedly “tweaked” the 2.4L 4-cyl too, but nobody except Enterprise will buy one of these without the V6.
       
      I always thought this Avenger’s proportions looked off.  Detail refreshes won’t fix it.  The refreshed Sebring/200 looks worlds better than the previous one but we haven’t seen any normal street-view angle shots of it yet.  The goofy roofline is a hardpoint the refresh didn’t touch, and I think it’s a huge contributor to the wacky proportions.

    • 0 avatar
      HerrKaLeun

      cdotson:
      why do you disregard the 4-cylinder as rental equipment? Many Camcords in private had are happy with 4-cylinder. there are private buyers who care about fuel economy too….
      Good 2.4 l engines easily get 175 hp, which is plenty for a regular car. especially with 6-AT. I know TTAC is full of pistonheads that want a V8 BMW… but those wouldn’t buy a Chrysler anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      PeregrineFalcon

      @HerrKaLeun: That’s because the Toyonda four-bangers are, unlike the Chrysler mills, not complete shit.

      The Avenger is pretty much the car people buy when they don’t care about cars in the slightest. If they care about cars but not driving them, they buy a Camry. If they don’t give a flying (fornication) about cars at all, they get Avengers.

    • 0 avatar
      jimboy

      @peregrine….What planet do you live on? Chrysler has always made great engines, Toyota makes an acceptable appliance for greenies and people who are frightened of loud noises, but Chryslers are vehicles you can actually drive. And Toyota has the market on ugly sewn up tight. @herrkaleun, the4cyl/6speed will be retail and the 4cyl/4speed will be fleet.( or maybe an entry level version.)

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    The Avenger was never the one with the massive exterior styling issues, IMO. Interior definitely is a step up.

  • avatar
    lawmonkey

    I think the biggest exterior styling misstep is was the bit of black plastic in the rear windows, and that looks like its still there.  Agreed that the spoiler is incredibly tacky.  I’m surprised they didn’t do smaller and meaner head and tail lights, or a continuous tail light strip to unify it with the Challenger and new Charger.
     
    Interior LOOKS good.  For a name plate that largely sells on price, I’ll be curious if this is the base interior that is likely to see the most demand.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I expect we’ll see a lot of ex-cheerleaders drving these.  Why?

    Well, the way the American medical-industrial complex works is that pharma sells through doctors.  But doctors are too busy these days to waste time on a golf course with their old buddy, the pharma sales rep.  The money is too good.  So big pharma had to find a way to get their sales reps in to see doctors.

    So they did what the manager of any Hooters would do to get the attention of middle aged, vain men:  they hired cheerleaders.  In fact, big pharma is the #1 recruiter on campuses across America, looking for cheeleaders.  Because everyone knows that experience dressing up in minimal clothing and dancing for 80,000 people is the best possible backgound for explaining the why one drug is superior to another.

    Big pharma is also one of the largest buyers of midsized sedans for their sales force.  So, don’t be surprised if the next time you look inside one of these at a stoplight you see an attractive young woman behind the wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      My mid thirties brother in law who is a rep for Abbott would disagree with you. However, he did get a new Sebring last year as his company car. Maybe they’re trying to tell him something.
       
      Jeez, he would look awful in a short skirt..

  • avatar
    geozinger

    I liked this car before the refresh and I still like it. It’s a shame the 4 cylinder models won’t see the 6 speed autobox, at least this would be a reasonable alternative to the mid sized shopper whose credit has taken a dump. It may not necessarily compete with the Camry, et. al., but would be a competitor for the higher level Focus/Corolla/Cruze/Civic crowd.
     
    I would have liked to see the old SRT-4 Caliber motor installed in one of these, that would have been interesting. But, it’s too late for that. The V6 versions are pretty OK and I would even say they are a choice for folks who want a something sportier than the run of the mill smallish car, like those mentioned above.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      I reread the press release, it DOES come with a 4 cylinder/ 6 speed autobox. Only the very basic models (rental) will have the 4 speed auto.
       
      I guess it’s time for reading glasses…

  • avatar
    geeber

    The Avenger wasn’t the one with the styling issues, but I’m not seeing anything that will get anybody out of an Accord, Camry, Sonata, Fusion or Malibu.

    • 0 avatar
      PeregrineFalcon

      The same thing that drives people to buy the Avenger in the first place – apathy and ignorance.
      That’s the only excuse I can think of to buy one now.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Oink Oink

  • avatar

    Like the 200, this falls firmly in the “ANYTHING is better than what it was” category. It’s still a rental/fleet car and nothing else.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    I passed both this car and its Chrysler 200 twin on I-696 a couple of weeks ago.  The rear end of the Avenger is bland… but I’m sure that they will manage to offload base model Avengers w/o map lights on unsuspecting rental car customers.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Chrysler is doing fleet versions that will have the 2.4/4 spd auto standard. The 2.4 will also be available with the 6 spd auto. Pentasar V6 only available with 6 spd auto.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    It looks as though the interior is much improved on both Avenger and Sebring, the front end appearance is better, NVH is improved along with ride/handling and the 283 HP 3.6 now takes top honors in mid size FWD family sedans. I would expect 0-60 times far quicker than Chryslers quoted 6.5 seconds. Too bad they couldn’t find it in the budget to lose the terrible black plastic C-pilar piece.

  • avatar
    jpcavanaugh

    I never thought the Avenger was a bad looking car.  Not great, mind you, but not bad.  With suspension tuning revisions, interior upgrade and major work in the drivetrain, Chrysler seems to have fixed most of what was wrong with these.  This car should give Chrysler a decent, workmanlike entry in the segment.  It would be nice if this is the start of a quality uptick at Chrysler – those seem to come periodically with this company.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    283 horsepower to the front wheels…should be torque-steeringly fun.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Ooohhh, contrasting stitching.
     
     

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    The reviews I’ve read where a magazine crucifies the Sebring the same mag will go easier on the Avenger.  I assume it’s because of the suspension tuning.  I honestly think the V6 6speed auto would be decent to drive, but I’ll reserve judgment for actually driving one.

  • avatar
    John R

    Did Chrysis get a license from Infiniti/Nissan for those tail lamps?

  • avatar

    Despite the interior upgrade, on the outside I still see too much chunky, lumpy, bumpy, busy, crowded, tacky, etc etc etc.

  • avatar

    Well, the interior looks to be just above GM level and not quite up to the imports standard. If it is not screwed around with the Sebring/200 will be the best looking domestic family sedan. This is all dependant on Chrysler not doing anything stupid before the production version is released.

  • avatar
    ekay

    Having logged hundreds of miles in ex-rental Avengers recently, I’d say that large improvement should be easy.
     
    Remember, Chrysler must only incrementally move the sales needle for the Fiat experiment to work. IMO, this will do it.

  • avatar

    The interior looks to have slightly better quality than what is seen in recent GM cars.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Chrysler does make some great engines — in six, eight and ten cylinder configurations. The 2.4 four in the Sebring/Avenger is a dog, though. It’s WAY inferior to the smooth and decently powerful Camry four.  It doesn’t sound like that’s changed much, but the Pentastar is certainly good news.
    Hopefully the other upgrades will make this competitive for managers who buy company and fleet cars, and bargain shoppers. Everyone else will go with the usual suspects.
     

  • avatar
    Whuffo2

    The previous Sebring versions had a well-deserved reputation for unreliability. If Chrysler hasn’t made large improvements in this area, all the upgraded styling and fancy marketing won’t make this a car worth owning.
     
    For a few years, the Sebring convertible was a stylish piece of crap. Since then, they’ve lost the style but kept the crap. If the style has come back in some small way – it’s still crap.


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