Junkyard Find: 2008 Dodge Avenger R/T

Murilee Martin
by Murilee Martin
junkyard find 2008 dodge avenger r t

When I began traveling the country to work for the 24 Hours of Lemons, back in 2008, I began experiencing the joys of renting the very cheapest cars (that could haul four adults and all their stuff) available at airports in places like Charlotte and Philadelphia. That’s when I discovered the Dodge Avenger and its Journey platform-mate. These fleet-spec Avengers were not good cars, to put it mildly, but we’d speculate— jokingly— on how amazing the factory-hot-rod R/T version must be as we sliced our fingers on door-handle casting flash and listened to the wind shrieking through the sub-par door seals. Here’s one of those mythical Avenger R/Ts, found in a Denver self-service yard.

When you bought the ’08 Avenger R/T, you got the big V6 engine, dual exhaust, a pretty decent audio system, and a “sport-tuned” suspension. By the way, this is the “Inferno Red” paint.

In this case, the engine was the 3.5-liter version of the Pentastar’s predecessor, the SOHC V6. That’s 235 all-Detroit horsepower, rather than the 173 horses wheezed out by the base 2.4 Mitsubishi/Chrysler/Hyundai four-banger. Later versions of the Avenger R/T got a 283-hp Pentastar.

I tried my best to get the FCA press-car people to loan me one of those hot-rod Avengers, but they just wanted me to write about Challengers or Wranglers or anything not as embarrassing as the Avenger. After 2013, the Avenger R/T was gone, with the Avenger itself getting the ax the following year.

Like so many Chryslers, the 2008-2014 Avenger lived on a Mitsubishi platform, in this case, the same one still used by the Outlander.

What I really wanted was to do, back in the era of my obsession with the Avenger R/T, was to set up a drag race between the 2013 Avenger R/T and the 2013 Chevy Malibu with the 259hp Ecotec engine. Excitement would have ensued!

Built to grab life.

A natural performer.

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  • Ilovecars19 Ilovecars19 on May 04, 2021

    I definitely have a different opinion on the Avenger. When gas prices started going through the roof, in Oct 2007 I decided to trade in my Daytona Charger R/T (#741 in TorRed), for a 2008 Dodge Avenger R/T AWD. Yes, I have one of those rare R/T AWD. That car has absolutely everything you could order on it - including leather seats, sunroof, and UConnect. UConnect, at that time, was the best system on the market. That car is STILL my daily driver. Knock on wood, it has never stranded me anywhere. Until this Spring, I've only put in the usual maintenance costs like brakes and tires. I will have to get the AC fixed this year. I got the 6 cyl, and while it doesn't have as much power as my Charger did, it still can beat most of the cars out there. While I won't take that car on a long distance vacation, it's a great car to take around the city.

  • Crazymoon12 Crazymoon12 on Mar 14, 2022

    I have the 2012 Dodge Avenger and well at 1st I really enjoyed it it was ragged out to say the least but it would get up and go quickly and took curves like no other . I've put hundreds in it and I've got to say it has been the most problematic vehicle I've ever owned in my life now stuck with it and I mean literally it's been broke down with a flat from a donut because the wheel got messed up and it's been impossible to find one to fit it .. I believe if I can at least get what Ive got in it I'm gonna sell it . It's caused me to much stress, money and caused me to miss seeing my children on the trip I was supposed to be on right now . Thanks , sincerely Broken and empty wallet Crazymoon12

  • El scotto Huge lumbering SUV? Check. Unknown name soon to be made popular by Tiktok ilk? Check. Scads of these showing up in school drop-off lines? Check. The only real over/under is if these will have as much cachet as Land Rovers themselves? A bespoken item had to be new at one time. Bonus "accepted by the right kind of people" points if EBFlex or Tassos disapproves.
  • El scotto No, "brothers and sisters" are the core strength of the union. So you'll take less money and less benefits because "my company really needs helped out"? The UAW already did that with two-tier employees and concessions on their last contract.The Big 3 have never, ever locked out the UAW. The Big 3 have agreed to every collective bargaining agreement since WWII. Neither side will change.
  • El scotto Never mind that that F-1 is a bigger circus than EBFlex and Tassos shopping together for their new BDSM outfits and personal lubricants. Also, the F1 rumor mill churns more than EBFlex's mind choosing a new Sharpie to make his next "Free Candy" sign for his white Ram work van. GM will spend a year or two learning how things work in F1. By the third or fourth year GM will have a competitive "F-1 LS" engine. After they win a race or two Ferrari will protest to highest F-1 authorities. Something not mentioned: Will GM get tens of millions of dollars from F-1? Ferrari gets 30 million a year as a participation trophy.
  • El scotto None of them. The auto industry is full of people with huge egos. It's a case of huge ego = never ever being wrong.GM: The true believers end up at Bowling Green. A fast rising GM executive that just didn't quite make it: Truck & Bus, Fort Wayne isn't really that far from Detroit!Ford: Billy Ford once again, and it seems perpetually, convincing his doubtful relatives not to sell their preferred stock. I give VW a 50/50 shot at buying out Ford; a family buying out another family.Tesla: Straight from Elon: "My Tesla has hidden compartments for handcuffs, ask my latest girlfriend where they're located"Stellantis: Get used to flying to Schiphol. You'll have luggage, lots of luggage.None of the Big 3 will ever admit they were wrong. Tesla will just keep gaining market share.
  • SCE to AUX A question nobody asks is how Tesla sells so many EVs without charge-at-home incentives.Here are some options for you:[list][*]Tesla drivers don't charge at home; they just squat at Superchargers.[/*][*]Tesla drivers are rich, so they just pay for a $2000 charger installation with the loose change in their pocket.[/*][*]Tesla drivers don't actually drive their cars much; they plug into 110V and only manage about 32 miles/day.[/*][/list]