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

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
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