By on January 15, 2014

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The launch of the Chrysler 200 means Chrysler has to make some decisions about its future; and the most likely course of action for them is to kill off the Dodge Avenger, right away.

Sources tell TTAC that the Avenger will die rather soon. Expect sales to wrap up before the end of 2014. There will be no replacement, nor will the Avenger be transitioned to fleet-only duty, like the W-Body Chevrolet Impala – meaning our EIC pro tem will be out of luck at the rental counter.

Even though the Avenger’s R&D has long been paid for, its mere existence continues to cause headaches for Chrysler. Prevailing wisdom holds that the larger, cheaper and vastly more powerful Avenger has been cannibalizing sales of the Dart. Chrysler has previously stated that only one mid-size sedan will live on in its future product plans, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise.

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129 Comments on “Dodge Avenger Dies So Dart, 200 Can Thrive...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    So because their small entry car is overpriced they have to get rid of an affordable midsize?

    Sounds genius, but what happens if dart sales don’t move, and the midsize no longer exists?
    Cheap midsize may not sell well but it sells better than 0

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Don’t you think it’s inevitable that Dart will be priced as the bottom-feeder of its segment?

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        If you price out the 2014 Dart, they have repackaged everything and are quite well priced now. The Dart Limited is absolutely LOADED with equipment for $22,995. Same for the GT at $20,995.

        • 0 avatar
          Conslaw

          The competition is still pretty strong at this price point. Compared to the Dart GT, Hyundai Sonata GLS is marginally more powerful, lighter, more fuel efficient and is rated a size class larger. The Truecar price for a 2014 Sonata GLS with popular equipment package (which includes power driver’s seat, heated front seat, Sirius/XM radio, HD radio, backup camera and more) is $21,095, and if you can find a 2013 that you like, the TrueCar price for the Sonata GLS with popular equipment package is $20,005.

          • 0 avatar
            snakebit

            That takes care of the Corolla-Elantra-Dart buyer who really wants a bigger car for the same cash, but what about the buyer that’s fine with the size of the Corolla. I hope that Avis, Thrifty, and my peeps at Hertz will stock a fair amount of Darts and the redesigned 200 to show people what Chrysler is up to now. Bye Bye Avenger, hello Dart.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I would think such a thing would benefit Chrysler more than Avis/Thrifty/Hertz, maybe if Auburn Hills offered preferred pricing?

        • 0 avatar
          seanx37

          The thing is, my local Dodge dealers have Chargers for $23k. With cloth and V8s. So, even here in Detroit, I don’t see that many Darts. But there are 3 Chargers on my street.

        • 0 avatar

          I like the Dart more than the Accent/Elantra. When I think loaded, I think Navigation and Moonroof, but Uconnect Touch is sooo good, there is nothing else in the segment that even comes close.

          The 200 and DART with these simple two options at an affordable price are hard to pass up. Both are very good looking cars.

          As for Hyundai: after seeing what Toyota and Honda put forward this year, I have to wonder why both their interiors (and exteriors) look so drab and boring. Toyota’s Nav units look aftermarket and Honda’s interiors look like two different teams designed them. The Elantra, Accent, Sonata and Azera could be mistaken for luxury cars if you didn’t feel the hardness of the materials.

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            “The Elantra, Accent, Sonata and Azera could be mistaken for luxury cars if you didn’t feel the hardness of the materials.”

            Our 2012 Sonata Limited regularly gets mistaken for some kind of Mercedes-Benz, and I have five or six friends who’ve bought the late-model Elantra on my recommendation and are very happy with it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            No offense, but I don’t frankly see how given the styling and huge H’s all over the thing. Unless they’re just very uninformed people.

          • 0 avatar
            Tim_Turbo

            I had a 2011 Sonata (turbo, of course) and will vouch for Kyree and say I had people think it was anything from a Lexus to an Infiniti to a Benz-and at first fairly often. As time went on and more were sold, it happened less and less.

            Most people don’t really give a $hit about cars to the point where there are a lot of people who don’t even know what they drive, let alone what anyone else drives. “Ohh shiny me like must have”.

          • 0 avatar

            If Sonata can be mistaken for Mercedes what is the point of buying Mercedes? You do not even have bragging rights no more by owning Mercedes if people may see it as a midsize Hyundai model. Would you like to own Mercedes or Aston Martin? I would Aston it is more prestigious and for almost same price as Sonata.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Didn’t Bill say there was going to be a RWD Avenger based on an Alfa?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Bill seems to feed off of Allpar rumors, which have stated that a RWD midsize Dodge is possible as a platform mate to an Alfa-rati. However, as Alfa plans change frequently, so can the plans for such a Dodge. If such a car does make it into production, don’t look for it any time soon.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Afla plans don’t just change, they seem to get worse or more far fetched. I like what has happened with Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep/RAM products, but Fiat/Chrysler can’t seem to figure out what to do with Fiat here or Alfa in general.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Danio, are the Dodge products just going to be rebranded to other brands?

        Durango = Wagoneer
        Dart = 100
        Charger = 300
        Journey = Pacifica
        Caravan = T&C
        Challenger gets SRT badging

        • 0 avatar
          rpol35

          This is where a lot of the confusion rests and it seems that Chrysler Group LLC or Sergio and Fiat don’t know or aren’t really sure. Specifically, I am referencing all of the back and forth as to which mini-van will go, which small Jeep stays (Compass vs. Patriot), Avenger from FWD to RWD and now, what appears at the present, no wheel drive, Challenger vs. Barracuda, etc.

          I would agree with you that Dodge seems to be on the out, for now anyway, with what has been announced. Of course then it seems that if you wait long enough, things change again.

        • 0 avatar
          Reicher

          Charger and 300 are completely different cars and don’t even look similar, so there isn’t really a rebadge. Durango does already have a Jeep brother: the Jeep Grand Cherokee.
          The Avenger has been talked about to be killed off for a while now. It was originally suppose to be last year, but they gave it one more year.
          I don’t think dodge is going anywhere because its your “everyday guy” brand. Chrysler is luxury, Jeep offroad, and RAM pick ups.RAM was split off so that if dodge had very bad image, it wouldn’t affect the Ram truck image. ANOTHER reason I don’t think Dodge is going anywhere is the development of the Dart. WHY build a car for a brand you are going to kill, when you could build a Chrysler version instead. Thats a lot of research, money, time and man power wasted on a new car for a brand that will die.
          I bet they killed the car off to increase new 200 and Dart sales, meanwhile, develop a dodge car to fit in its place. I personally hate to see it go as I have V6 Avenger with the touring suspension and love it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            If we want to run with the “Chrysler is luxury brand” idea, then they need an ENTIRE new product lineup, built around the 300. Everything else must go, as everything else is not luxury. The T&C doesn’t count because it’s a van and exists in van-land vacuum.

            But everything else kill with fire. And make a Chrysler Grand Wagoneer. Do it.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I agree with your comment “WHY build a car for a brand you are going to kill, when you could build a Chrysler version instead” But this is the company that spent years designing and previewing top dealers the Chrysler 100 only to then say “a hatchback doesn`t fit the brand”. Well we could have told him that years ago.

            http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304549504579319513509330206?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304549504579319513509330206.html

            They are still unsure after these last few years what to do with all the brands and where to take them. Jeep and RAM are clear but the rest are in flux.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Durango is bigger than the GC. There is talk about the Durango getting the axe as well as one of the minivans going away.

            I understand why they would want seperate brands, and that Dodge will probably be around for awhile. I’m just asking the question because it needs to be asked. If Lincoln didn’t get the MKZ or Navigator when the Fusion or Expedition was being redone, we would all say that Lincoln has one foot in the grave. I don’t pretend to know a ton about Fiat/Chrysler, I just put it out there because it needs to be discussed.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I can’t see the Durango going away now with all of that Ron Burgandy equity built up.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Only if the movie did as well as the Durango.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            Charger and 300 look completely different … for now. The next 300 will look more like the 200 anyway. Who knows about the future of the Charger and what it might look like.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          Nah, Dodge isn’t going anywhere.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      LMAO!!!! Dream on!!!!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    This would leave a gap between the Dart, starting at $16k, and the Charger, starting at $26.5.

    It also leaves Dodge’s lineup pretty thin overall:

    2 sedans
    1 pony car
    1 CUV
    1 SUV
    1 “mini” van

    That’s certainly less than any other “full line” manufacturer.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that Dodge is planned to go the way of Plymouth. It would explain the spinoff of the RAM brand, as well.

    I predict that within 5 years, there will only be FIAT, Chrysler, and RAM.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      That makes more sense than the current overlapping of mainstream dodge fighting a mainstreamed Chrysler. Without a real differentiation why bother to manufacture a 2nd vehicle with truly minor changes that sits next to the mainline in the showroom.

      If you wanted Dodge to live on, offer it was a limited line where Jeep once was. As a SUV series based on trucks and keep the charger/Challenger series for as long as it sells. Jeep is making its money selling CUVs and wranglers so the let the newer Cherokee live on with Dodge selling the larger SUVs based on the rebranded Dodge Ram line.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Marchionne is fond of niche brands. He’s the anti-Ford — instead of attaching one badge to everything, he wants to cut everything up into small targeted slices.

      Dodge is slated to be the entry-level mainstream brand, slotted below Chrysler. Fiat (in America) gets the hipsters, Ram moves the trucks, Jeep gets the 4WD crowd, Alfa becomes the next BMW wannabe (assuming that it gets off the ground), and the top goes to Maserati and Ferrari.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      “This would leave a gap between the Dart, starting at $16k, and the Charger, starting at $26.5.”

      Are there any stand alone Dodge dealerships? Every place where I could buy a Dodge around here sells Ram, Jeep, Chrysler, and Dodge. Therefore the real question is what is the price gap between a Dart and the lowest trim level for the 200?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The cheapest 200 is around $22K before rebates. But I agree Chrysler group do not need both Dodge and Chrysler if they are to have just one compact car, one mid-size car, one minivan, two large cars (a dying segment), no trucks (all in RAM), no SUV’s (all in Jeep). That leaves thin pickings. Either they do as they have done with the Charger/300 and have two versions of each model. Or they just shrink down. I think having SRT as a separate brand is also a stupid idea since the Challenger replacement and Viper will be SRT specific cars, but the 300 and Charger SRT models are still badged as their respective brands (ie the names 300 and Charger). Why not just keep SRT as a model designation like V, F, M, ST etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The stated intent is to position Chrysler as a near-luxury brand.

          Presumably, Dodge will be more youthful and performance-oriented, with the Challenger as its halo. A bit like Scion, but with extra cyliinders.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I had heard that and it might have made sense. However with the pared down range with both brands missing entries in key segments (compact or midsize car, compact and midsize CUV etc) then it makes less sense.

            They either need to do something like Chevy/Buick&GMC (Cruze/Verano, Malibu/Regal, Equinox/Terrain etc) or phase a brand out. Or fold SRT back into the donor brands and have it as a specification level like V, F, M etc.

          • 0 avatar
            Reicher

            What Pch101 said

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Dodge, Chrysler, Ram and Jeep are sold at the same dealerships. They don’t need to overlap. With Marchionne’s niche-for-everyone strategy, they shouldn’t overlap.

            Dodge gets the compact because that’s the youth car. Chrysler gets the 200 because it’s targeted at responsible grownups. They’re going to be parked next to each other at the same dealerships.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I can see the logic, but then the Grand Caravan and Journey need to be ditched from Dodge because they are hardly the epitome of a “youthful and performance-oriented” brand.

            Having all the brands together is the key redeeming feature of this niche strategy. Although it does make the local dealership a mouthful to say on ads – come to “XYZ Chrysler Jeep Dodge FIAT RAM SRT”!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Supposedly, the minivan is going to Chrysler.

            Personally, I don’t think that the niche branding approach is a good one, but that’s what Marchionne is doing. (He obviously didn’t ask me.)

            Not only is he not cutting brands, he’s creating them. He’s going against the grain of what others are doing.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            But isn’t the Challenger going to SRT? And isn’t it marketed to men trying to relive the 70’s, anyway? Hardly seems fit to call it a Scion competitor.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There’s already an SRT variant of the Challenger. Except for the Viper, all of the SRT-badged vehicles are performance versions of vehicles that otherwise carry Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler badges.

            Don’t take the Scion thing too literally. The point is that it appears tht Dodge is being positioned to become the youthful affordable performance brand in the lineup. Chrysler is on record as saying that the Chrysler brand is supposed to become something approximating near-luxury.

          • 0 avatar

            I heard it referred to dodge being the new pontiac but that’s may not be a good thing

      • 0 avatar
        Reicher

        In canada all brands under Chrysler/Fiat are together….so there is no gap

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          That is not the case in the US. My local Fiat Studio is part of a Chevy Dealership.

          I can’t wait for the Avenger to die, will reduce the chances of my getting stuck renting one of the steaming turds.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      if anything the current pecking order in terms of price is Avenger, Dart, Charger.

      You don’t have to look long or hard to find Avengers for $14-15k. There are boatloads of them here, bought by working class people with mediocre credit. Second to w body Impalas, they are easily the most common sedans here in Central and Northern Indiana. My gf’s friend’s family bought each of their 2 daughters Avengers. For people who care not one whit about cars and want a large amount of car (physically) for as little money as possible, the Avenger is not a bad way to go. Again, the Impala is the chief rival in terms of car/$.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    I will so not mourn this car. The worst steering I have ever encountered. Literally, a Logitech GT has more feel and connection to the wheels. I honestly felt worried driving it.

    • 0 avatar
      AMC_CJ

      Seriously?

      You’d kill yourself in a old Jeep then, or hell, about anything pre-1980 at that. Maybe you’d be better off with a bus pass then a driver’s license.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        I seriously doubt that people shopping for vehicles in this segment are using old Jeeps or pre-1980 cars as their yardstick when it comes to steering “feel.” They have never driven those vehicles, and have no desire to do so.

        • 0 avatar
          arun

          On the contrary, I would think that people buying this car were owners of pre-1980 cars or old Jeeps before they ‘upgraded’ to the Avenger..

          • 0 avatar
            Reicher

            I love my Avenger. Mine does have a V6 and touring suspension mind you so there is very little torque steer unless you really slam the gas

  • avatar
    namesakeone

    I’m surprised that Chrysler doesn’t go by the usual procedure–a Dodge version of the new 200.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      If you do a Google search, you’ll find a fair amount of speculation that Dodge is a dead brand walking in the eyes of their new Italian masters.

      Ram is spun off as its own brand – and could swallow up the Durango al a GMC strategy. The minivan I believe is going Chrysler only. The Avenger appears to be dead car walking. That leaves the weak selling Dart, the Charger and Challenger – and I believe the Journey is still alive?

      It’s not much of a line up anymore. Having no replacement for the Avenger seems to play to that.

      (I am not saying Dodge is a dead brand walking, industry analysts are)

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        It was reported that the Durango would become the seven seat large Jeep, so Dodge lose that model in due course. Leaving a compact car, a large car, a Mazda 5 competitor and a minivan. Not exactly a full line up but then Chrysler itself doesn`t have a full line up – the cost of having a SUV specific brand, a hipster specific brand, a truck specific brand and a performance specific brand. The only good thing is that all brands are under one roof so it isn`t like Mercury/Lincoln and closing one brand down leaving dealers with much less volume.

        • 0 avatar
          mjz

          Sergio said no duplicate versions of Dodge/Chrysler models at the dealerships. You are starting to see implementation of this strategy with the elimination of the Avenger. Next up, the new minivan will be Chrysler only. No Dodge minivan. I think if Dodge survives it will be positioned as a “bargain” American performance brand (think Pontiac), with maybe the RWD Charger, Challenger, and a possible midsize RWD replacement for the Avenger based on the Alfa Romeo Guilia platform, if that ever comes to fruition. All other Dodge models will probably evolve into other brands when revised. The Durango will morph into the Wagoneer, the Dart will become the Chrysler 100, The Journey will become a Chrysler (Aspen maybe?).

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I had heard that too. I also can see some logic in a Pontiac type strategy of affordable performance (Charger is a great example of this). But they miss out in the mid size market where the Charger type approach could have paid off. Instead the 200 has a specific sports model with a powerful V6 and available AWD.

          • 0 avatar
            mjz

            Mike, the Avenger replacement is supposed to to share a RWD platform with the new Alfa Romeo Guilia (a less expensive version of it), as part of the Sergio’s goal to have no Chrysler/Dodge duplicate models. I think they are aiming to make Chrysler the mainstream brand for the company, with Dodge becoming a niche brand of affordable performance cars with an American bravado. Therefore, Dodge will lose vehicles like the Caravan and Journey that don’t fit in that strategy. Chrysler, on the other hand, will gain models.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            I don’t see how Dodge turning into Pontiac could succeed. Pontiac was allowed to die because there was no place for it in the market. People who want bargain performance cars will shop in the used market.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            TMA – the “Pontiac” strategy is fraught with pitfalls. But Pontiac failed in part because most of their cars were blatant rip-offs of Chevy’s – the G3 and G5 particular stick in my mind. So if Dodge doesn`t do that and is sold in the same dealerships then it might work. Pontiac got versions of Chevy products because GM wanted to keep the dealers happy since Pontiac and Chevy dealers were largely separate.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I’m having visions of the Tempo/Topaz vs. Contour/Mystique debacle that Ford had.

    Car hated by press but selling decently is killed and replaced by more expensive car that is supposed to play in the same market. Sales managers and product planners get ulcers as a result.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I was watching Friends the other day, and saw a car in the background which I forgot existed:

      Last gen (97-99) Tracer wagon.

      Related: Since the first gen Tracer was a Mazda 323, sold in other markets as the Ford Laser, look at this cool JDM Laser turbo 4WD hatch!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1985_Ford_Laser_TX3_4WD_turbo.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Well, there’s a car that never comes up in conversation anywhere. I too had completely forgotten it existed, not sure if I ever really knew it existed. Interesting car, though

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The Avenger is only cheaper than the Dart because it is such a steaming turd they have to price them that low to get rid of them. Thus cars by the pound buyers buy them. I have to think they lose money on every one of them, unless they really are that cheap to build. They certainly FEEL like a $14K car.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No argument on Avenger turdom but if Dart was knocking people’s socks off it would have sold more than the 80K or so was last reported in the Cain segment.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The Dart actually has one of the highest owner satisfaction rates in it’s segment. So it’s knocking the socks off the people who bought them. It seems like fewer people are actually shopping them as opposed to other models.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    A great bargain, especially within the upcoming months. Dodge is seriously starved for some product. With the Challenger getting canned soon, you’ll be left with the Dart, Charger, and Durango…..

    Seems like they could use a true compact car, and in my dreams at least, a giant, boxy, simple RWD hemi-powered sedan called the Coronet.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Bigger than the Charger?

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      What makes you think Challenger is going anywhere?

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        “What makes you think Challenger is going anywhere?”

        If you believe the great internet rumor mill, the 2nd generation Challenger will be departing Dodge and joining Viper in the SRT stable. Possibly with a name change to “SRT Barracuda”.

        As always, take internet rumors with a grain of salt, but Challenger joining Viper as an SRT makes some small amount of sense. Of course, since an SRT dealer at this point is just “corner of the RAM/Chrysler/Dodge dealer”, I am not sure how much this will really change except for a shuffling of chairs.

        Personally, I get the feeling sometimes that FIAT-Chrysler’s product planning is still in a state of flux and even they aren’t sure where things will fall just yet.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Six months ago, the rumor was that the Avenger would run through the end of 2015, and might possibly be replaced.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/07/24/chrysler-delaying-avenger-wrangler-caravan-axed/

    Perhaps something has changed, or one of the sources is mistaken.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    My response to someone telling me the Avenger goes away:

    “kbye!”

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Prevailing wisdom holds that the larger, cheaper and vastly more powerful Avenger has been cannibalizing sales of the Dart.”

    Which I hope forces Chrysler to re-examine the shortcomings of the Dart, whatever they may be.

    Additional: I would say whatever happens will be a financial decision. I’m not sure off the top of my head how many Avengers were even sold in the past twelve months, but if there is enough profit per vehicle after incentives vs Dart after incentives it would be foolish to not continue to milk the cow even if it hurt Dart sales (Dart after all is essentially a compliance car). If Avenger has no margin and is at this point simply an exercise in keeping the factories humming (a classic GM move) then killing it sooner than later makes perfect sense.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      The Dart’s overpriced for what it is. The Avenger is a bottom-feeder deal. Do the same to the Dart, problem solved. No profits, of course, but that’s OK — Sergio is a genius, haven’t you heard?

      Seriously, that’ll be all for the brand — the Dodge boys can start toasting 100 years of cars & trucks from beneath the ground.

      The way I see it, your Chrysler/Jeep/RAM/Fiat/(Alfa??? Ha!) dealer will carry:

      – Challenger will morph into Chrysler ‘Cuda SRT or whatever
      – Charger will be the muscle/cop version of the 300
      – All minivans will be called Chrysler Caravan like in Europe
      – Durango will become a RAM
      – Maybe Journey too, but I don’t know — isn’t there already a Jeep version?

      You’re welcome, Auburn Hills. I take PayPal.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Durango is more likely to be a Jeep.
        Also why do people call the Dart a compliance car – they needed a compact car. The eco 41mpg model got them 5% of the company, but that also made commercial sense since other manufacturers like Chevy and Toyota have eco models.
        As for price the Dart is competitive with other compact cars – not saying ti is competitive on attributes but price is right there in the $17-22K range.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Its a compliance car because one of the bailout stipulations was for Fiat to share technology and bring a car with X mpgs by a certain date. Neon went out in 2005, so Chrysler went without a small car from 2005 to what 2013? They obviously did not need one per se. You could also make the compliance car argument if it didn’t make any money but Avenger did, which is what I speculate.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            They needed to offer a compact anyway.

            Fiat got into the Chrysler deal in exchange for sweat equity. But it was going to produce that sweat, regardless — the ability to amortize R&D costs was one of the main selling points for the Chrysler acquisition.

            Basically, it was a way to pay Fiat to take the company without making it obvious that we paid them to take it. The economy car mandate wasn’t much of a mandate.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Although I do remember the prevailing feelings of the time, it kills me that we paid Fiat to take the company and then it came roaring back in only a few years and while helping the parent Fiat in the process (some have argued Chrysler’s cash saved Fiat).

          • 0 avatar
            Advance_92

            I think it was GM’s cash that saved FIAT.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Which ultimately became bailout money, so between the two the US Gov’t should at least get a thank you note from Fiat.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            They made a really crap mid-size that they could discount into compact prices instead of making a decent compact. Now they will have both a decent compact and a decent mid-sizer.

          • 0 avatar
            TMA1

            “Neon went out in 2005, so Chrysler went without a small car from 2005 to what 2013?”

            How dare you discredit the memory of America’s sweetheart, the Caliber!

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “it kills me that we paid Fiat to take the company and then it came roaring back in only a few years”

            Would have it been better if we had paid them to take it, only to have it implode anyway?

            Marchionne has done a decent job turning it around, and he is literally one of just a few people in the world who could have done it. Give credit where it’s due, and be thankful that he’s kept it afloat.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Enterprise, Thrifty, Dollar, and Budget are all in mourning – as is the subprime loan specialists at Dodge dealers everywhere.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Configurator is already up for the 2015 200, and you CAN get the V6 ($1,950), without AWD on the S or C, but if you want BOTH it’s about $4,200!. Chysler is being positioned as the “mainstream” brand. Dodge will become a specialty line, if it continues to exist at all. The new minivan will solely belong to Chrysler. Interestingly, Chrysler just re-patented Aspen and Nitro names. Aspen for rumored Chrysler SUV? Nitro for possible future Dodge CUV? It was well past time to retire the Avenger. RIP.

  • avatar
    Freddie

    Just did a quick search of local dealers…found a 2014 Avenger with V6 advertised at $17,000 (MSRP $23,185).

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      You should check the CPO examples that are loaded at $13,000.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Avenger is one of the few models it may make sense to buy new vs CPO. MY13s do between 12-13 regardless of mileage. I’m not sure what they transaction prices were like, but I recall $16995+dest or thereabouts being advertised locally last spring/summer. If avg wholesale is $12,500 in 12mo, dealers either are beating auction pricing or they took someone for a ride on trade if they can sticker price a CPO at $13K as you suggest. This Pittsburgh [shyster] dealer has $16.2 and $17.1 on I4 MY12s beyond 30K, these cars are in reality 10-11K cars… figure $2K commission $13s might not be bad, but I doubt this dealer will come down $5K. Ruggles wonders why there is so much dealer hate (although of course not all dealers are shysters)

        http://www.monroevilledodge.com/used-inventory/index.htm?invtype=used&reset=InventoryListing&SBmake=Dodge&SBmodel=Avenger&SBbodystyle=Sedan&SBprice=clear

        12/16/13 NC Lease $12,700 11,960 Avg SILVER 6G A Yes
        12/16/13 NC Lease $12,200 14,887 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes
        12/17/13 STATESVL Lease $13,900 7,719 Above GRAY 6G A Yes
        12/17/13 NASHVILL Lease $12,800 19,369 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        12/17/13 GEORGIA Lease $13,000 12,736 Avg BLACK 6G A Yes
        12/17/13 DALLAS Lease $12,900 1,104 Avg RED 6G A Yes
        12/17/13 BALTWASH Lease $13,000 10,786 Avg GRAY 6G A Yes
        12/18/13 DALLAS Lease $13,300 9,057 Avg GRAY 6G A Yes
        12/18/13 DALLAS Lease $13,300 7,414 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes
        12/18/13 DALLAS Lease $12,000 33,409 Avg BLUE 6G A Yes

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I was checking the Phx dealers (nearest MAJOR metro market) on Auto Trader and they’ve got MY12 and MY13 with V6 heated seats and a few with U-connect at $13,000 to $14,000 and the ads say: “GET IT BEFORE WE SENT IT TO THE AUCTION!”

          Which means they’ll take less. Most of the examples have around 30,000 miles on them.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Phoenix sounds like a good place to buy a car, I’ll have to bear that in mind in the future.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            PHX is a good place to buy a car, especially if you can verify that its been in AZ for however long its lived. The US Air Force doesn’t have its largest airplane boneyard in Tucson because of the stunning mountain views. When I moved out there, I was suprised with all the cars and trucks that had disintegrated long ago in the Midwest. Not even classics. Things like 80s Mazdas, Nissan Hardbody pickups, and GM H bodies.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            I saw a gorgeous gen 1 jet black LS400 on the way to the dentist last week driven by a much older lady (probably her retirement gift to herself) and the lex LS urge is back. Part of me thinks the southwest is in my future, but then part of me thinks those are low level cartel and wannabe rides out in the desert.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The Cartels like trucks. And more trucks. Crew cab to be exact.

            I’ve had incidents in Mexico being a passenger in a RAM Crew Cab. I’ve been lucky, but my friend, who is originally from Sinaloa, received an orbital bone fracture among other wounds from unfriendly cartel members. They took his truck too.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Ah. Whose rolling the luxo cars then?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Retirees. Plenty of old people in Phoenix and Tucson that have been driving the same luxo-barge for 15 years.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Excellent. I see another automotive folly in my future.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I’m seeing $13-14K around Chicago for MY12s, MY13 are $15K plus though

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s reasonable based on the figures I’ve seen.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I’m also seeing MY12 (last gen) Malibu V6s going for about $1K more. I’ve driven that Malibu a lot as a rental and was fairly impressed with it in LTZ trim V6. I can’t believe the Avenger would be as nice as The Malibu, but I don’t know

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MY12 Malibu hands down, but depending on the mileage you’re comfortable with a Malibu LTZ may not be available.

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      Offer $15K in a few months and grab ‘em while they last, boys.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        By that logic I need to find some way to get myself into a new Avenger!

        It can’t be much worse than what I drive now, I drive a mid-90s GM product.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Review my snippet of auction data and see what a PA dealer thinks they can get out of one. I you can pull of $15K new my hat’s off to you.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I love it when people tell themselves things like this (about pricing) so much they think others will fall for it or it will actually happen. Happened when I was selling my GS. A guy called me, said he was looking for a GS, and that my car was “actually worth about $5500,” and he could get them for $5500-6000 at an auction any time.

            I replied, “If you can get them at auction for that price, then that’s what you should do.” And that was the end of the conversation.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Local Dodge dealership clearly isn’t very friendly, they want 20k for a V6 SE model. Of course, the website doesn’t say if 20k is the post-incentive or pre-incentive price. And yet they have a 4 cylinder SE for less than 300 dollars less, weird.

            Easy to see why Darts don’t move, though. Same dealership wants 21-22k for a 2.4 Dart. Though if you want a 1.4 stickshift Dart, they’ve got one for 15k.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @CoreyDL

            I say this with no intended impunity, but you had a oddball car. Anything like that is tough to nail down in terms of value, and may go for much more (or less) than one might expect and you have to know that going into a transaction. I can look at cookie cutters cars and give you an estimate on real value to some degree of accuracy. But something like a Lex GS (or even you current M35), in the right condition this might be worth alot to the right person.

            Conversely you have a 99 Contour with 10,000 original miles, some owners might think they have a $10,000 car on their hands, and they would be entirely wrong.

            @NoGoYo

            Then buy the stick and I’ll have the Buick shipped to my apt.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s fair enough, and makes sense. I ended up finding the right buyer, paid cash and only saw it in a semi-dark garage. He handed the money over before starting it.

            But for the record, I sold it for $8400 with 106K on the clock. I had bought it in Nov of 2010 for $9000 with 92K.

            I came across a couple GS-only-looking buyers, but none of them actually HAD the money to buy it.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s sounds about right in terms of value, sometimes you have to pay to play and gen 1 GSes are tough to find let alone in clean running order. In a year I might see six of any generation in the wild, conversely I probably see a dozen or more LSes of any generation. (oddly enough though just on Monday I happened to spot an incredibly clean two toned MY00 (if I had to guess) parked in between a grocery store and Goodwill).

            What irritates me are sellers (and dealers) who have cookie cutter cars (in any condition) and then demand high premiums.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Mine was an 01 though, gen2! Lol. I never see the long gen1

  • avatar
    PenguinBoy

    I suspect that now that once the factory has been switched over to the new 200 it won’t be worth keeping a production line for the relatively slow selling Avenger which is on, which is on a completely different platform.

    Also, this will be the last of “old” Chrysler products, keeping it around where people can be exposed to it in rental fleets can’t help perceptions of their brand. Once the Avenger is gone, Chrysler’s entire lineup will at least be reasonable.

    Now that the Dart is widely available with the 2.4, they have a reasonably competitive cheap sedan for people that want it. People that want something bigger and nicer can step up to the 200, and people who find the back seat of the 200 cramped can be shown a Charger or 300 – makes sense to me, and I don’t see any need for the Avenger in the lineup any more.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Smell ya later Avenger. It makes sense to kill it if it cannabalizing sales from newer more profitable products. It also makes sense to kill it for being a hideous hosebeast. With the new 200 coming, the Avenger is almost the last remnant of the Cerberus days at Chrysler. I would also consider the Patriot and Compass as representative of this era as well despite their rather extensive makeover.

    Regardless of its merits as cheap transportation, it is an embarrassment to keep it around any longer than necessary. I dont think Dodge needs a full lineup when all the dealerships are set up to sell full lines from Ram/Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge. But I do see Dodge eventually taking the dirt nap, especially if it doesnt get its own midsize and minivan replacement.

    I have always felt that the reason Marchione is packaging all these brands the way he is i.e. Jeep=OffroadCUV/SUV, SRT=performance, Ram=Trucks, Chrysler=Mainstream…..is that in the event that the cross Atlantic experiment doesnt work, each brand is packaged to serve a limited segment which will make them easier to sell piecemeal rather than sell Chrysler as an entire company. It is still an experiment, going rather well I think, but the lineup and brand positioning was devised as an exit strategy from the beginning if you ask me.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree with your last point, I thought at the time RAM was created by US Gov’t in the event of a meltdown after the bailout (since Jeep and now RAM would be worth something in a liquidation) but it seems it was Fiat who separated the trucks into a brand.

      “The Ram brand was created following Chrysler’s acquisition by Italian automaker Fiat, and the plans called for Dodge switching to an exclusively car-based lineup with all pickup and future heavy-duty trucks by Chrysler being sold under the Ram brand. This was to start in the 2010 calendar year”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Trucks

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The Avenger/Patriot/Compass are all pre-Cerberus. There really are no Cerberus products, it jumps from tail end of Daimler era after they gave up caring about Chrysler to post bailout when they were desperately trying to get new products out because basically no new product development was being done under Cerberus’s watch.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    @28-Cars-Later: Do you really want a car that constantly leaks power steering fluid, has various trim pieces falling off or starting to fall off, probably needs transmission work due to occasional bad-feeling shifts, and is always wet (or even frozen) inside?

    You want a N Skylark? Don’t buy mine.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Missing trim parts can be an issue, but you just rip out the drivetrain and replace it with a 3800/4T60E.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Oh yeah, I know that if I get in a wreck I am going to be f***ed trying to find replacement parts and probably end up totaling the thing. I’ve seen so few other ones, especially 92-95 models like mine, that I have no confidence I’d be able to put it back together.

        Hey, maybe that’s how it could become the Oldsmobuick Achievalark we talked about a couple months ago.

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    Avenger?
    No, it is not – even with a mat black wrap and 5% tint. The name never fit the car.

  • avatar
    roadscholar

    I’d much rather drive my 20K-mile Dart Limited 1.4T/6MT than any Avenger. I’ve driven all 20K like I stole it and it still feels very solid. Sure I’d love to have 20 more hp and lb-ft but it’s still a fun car to drive. I’d much rather drive a car that I can use 100% of on the street than one where I can only use 50% or 25% of its capability.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      Agreed – I passed on an Avenger since it was auto trans only and lacked the tech of the Dart. I too am enjoying my 1.4L/MTX limited and am happy with the 30mpg I get in stop & go traffic during my daily drive. If you are smart about what gear you leave the trans in, the car has astonishing midrange.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    What we got here is a failure of Sergio to know diddly-squat about the car business. He’s a brilliant finance guy, but you NEVER just drop a model without a replacement ready.

    He’s been in charge of Fiat for ten years and got by with just two bread and butter popular models, the Punto and Panda, having killed off past models, especially Alfa, with no replacements ready, as he did with the 159, and the Punto. Now he’s in the process of killing off whole nameplates, first with Lancia, and soon with Dodge.

    Don’t think the Dart means Dodge is in the clear, It can always be rebadged as a Fiat Effluvia, or some such. Even the Chrysler nameplate will be at risk, since it’s not a good seller outside of North America, and Sergio has delusions of a “world car” lineup sold everywhere. If John Elkann has any brains, he’ll put a car guy in charge as CEO and limit Sergio’s role to finance once the “new” merged company is organized.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      The 200 is essentially replacing the Avenger. There’s no gap.

      Dodge and Chrysler are sold at the same dealers. There’s no need to have one of each for everything.

      And if earlier reports are correct, the Avenger has another two years left, so they’ll both be sold simultaneously. (I would presume that the Avenger will be the “classic” fleet car in this scenario.)

      There’s really no evidence that Dodge is being killed off. Marchionne is fond of creating brands, the polar opposite of Mulally, as his actions to date make clear. The only brand at risk is Lancia, which we obviously don’t have in the US.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Very late to the party on this, but if anything screams “Dodge Dart”, it’s the Avenger.

    Granted, I’ve driven an Avenger as a rental, and while I wouldn’t buy one, as it didn’t excite me in the least, it is a very capable car and has more in common – in spirit, that is – with the Darts of old. The upright stance appeals to many older buyers like me for being a taller car, and easy to enter and exit, which has a value all its own. Tweak the exterior styling a wee bit and it’ll do well.

    Dodge should keep this, and relegate the current Dart as a Daytona or some other name from its past.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The Avenger does remind me of the A bodies of the 70s, endlessly cranked out fitted with slant sixes to be sold at bargain prices. For how long those cars carried on without major updates, they sold many. Sign of the times I suppose.

      • 0 avatar
        Reicher

        Haha, one reason I bought the 2011 avenger was for the muscle curves (couldn’t afford a charger). Got the V6 (cause the 4 banger was just sad) and by happy accident got one with the touring suspension. The V6 was my wow factor as redlining it and running up 120+ km/hr is very easy. I have buddy that has a base one (4cyl 4 speed) and you can definitely feel a major difference in drivability, performance,and road handling and I think its awful. And my 6cyl, 6speed combo gets pretty much the same fuel economy as his.


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