Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,900 – $15,000*


2010 Dodge Avenger


2010 Dodge Avenger


2010 Dodge Avenger

Pros:
  • Acceleration (3.5 and 3.6 V6)
  • Fuel economy (4-cylinder)
Cons:
  • Acceleration (4-cylinder)
  • Automatic-transmission performance (R/T)
  • Cargo room
  • Interior materials
  • Noise

The 2008-10 Dodge Avenger disappoints with crude drivetrain behavior, unsophisticated road feel, and budget-grade cabin appointments. These demerits have been offset somewhat by aggressive new-car pricing for base models, and an impressive complement of key safety features. Virtually every class competitor deserves a higher spot on your shopping list.

Overview

New for 2008, the Avenger marked Dodge’s return to the midsize-sedan segment. Assuming the spot once occupied by the Stratus, Avenger was about 4 inches taller than that car, but otherwise similar in size. Avenger shared its basic design with the Sebring from Dodge’s parent company, Chrysler. Competitors included the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry.

SE, SXT, and sporty R/T and R/T AWD models were available. SE and SXT came with a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A 189-hp 2.7-liter V6 was optional for SXT, while R/T models got a 235-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The R/T AWD models had all-wheel drive, but all other Avengers were front-drive. The 2.4- and 2.7-liter engines used a four-speed automatic transmission; the 3.5, a six-speed automatic. Front-drive R/Ts had a sport suspension.

Standard safety features included antilock brakes (except SE models), curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Traction control and an antiskid system were available. Optional was a navigation system with digital-audio connectivity, wireless cell-phone link, and a 20 gigabyte hard drive that could hold music or picture files. Other options included a heated and cooled cupholder, remote engine start, leather upholstery, and DVD entertainment.

Yearly Updates

2009 Avenger
Dodge dropped the all-wheel-drive model, but otherwise the Avenger was largely unchanged for 2009. The new uconnect suite could include a wireless cell-phone link, 30-gigabyte hard drive, and a navigation system with real-time traffic information.
2010 Avenger
The 2010 Dodge Avenger gained a mid-level Express model but received few other changes.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

SE, SXT, Express, and Mainstreet models came with a standard four-cylinder engine. Mainstreet has a six-speed automatic transmission, the others a four-speed. A 2.7-liter V6, also with four-speed automatic, has been available for the SXT. In the sporty R/T edition, a 3.5-liter V-6 that generates 235 horsepower mates with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Lux has a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive was available only in the 2008 model year; all other Avengers are front-drive.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/144
Engine HP 173
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 166
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

21/30

23.5

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/167
Engine HP 186-189
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 191-192
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/27

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/214
Engine HP 235
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 232
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic

16/27

17.7

Road Test

With the four-cylinder engine, Avenger struggles in passing and merging situations, though it handles around-town driving adequately. Though marginally more powerful, the 2.7-liter V6 performs little better. Acceleration is ample with the R/T’s 3.5-liter V6, but the transmission suffers from delayed downshifts and unacceptable clunkiness. Powertrain refinement falls below the class norm, though the 3.5-liter is far smoother than the others. The 3.6-liter V6 introduced for 2011 has plenty of power, and it’s delivered with unexpected smoothness. The transmission works well for the most part, but one example suffered from a tendency to hesitate before downshifting.

Fuel economy varies by engine. A test four-cylinder SXT averaged 23.5 mpg, versus 22.7 mpg for an SXT with the 2.7-liter V6. An R/T sedan averaged a disappointing 17.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Dodge recommends 89-octane fuel for the R/T’s 3.5-liter V6; regular otherwise. The 2.7-liter V6 also can run on an E85 ethanol/gasoline blend. So can the 3.6, which otherwise takes regular. A test 2011 with that engine averaged 26.7 mpg in mostly highway driving.

Ride comfort also varies. Lower-line models are the most compliant, with acceptable isolation from bumps and rough surfaces. The R/T with its sport suspension and the Lux with its 18-inch wheels are less composed.

Handling is compromised by artificial-feeling steering and surprising body lean in corners. R/T models demonstrate somewhat improved steering feel and better overall grip, but fall well short of sporty pretensions, despite firmer suspension tuning.

Wind noise is effectively hushed, even at highway speed. Lack of suspension refinement contributes to excessive creaks and groans over poor road surfaces. Tire noise also intrudes. Engines have disappointed for overall refinement; the four-cylinder and 2.7-liter V6 are especially coarse and intrusive during rapid acceleration.

Avenger’s large gauges are clearly marked and easy to see. Controls are mostly handy, though many lack quality feel and movement. The uconnect suite with hard drive includes a touch-screen interface for audio controls. It works well enough, though some functions are not intuitive and take time to master.

Cabins disappoint with abundant hard-plastic surfaces. R/T models have upgraded trim, which, with available leather seating, somewhat improves the overall ambiance. Even so, cabin materials significantly trail those used by competitors. In one test model, the plastic housing for the center console’s sliding armrest snapped off.

Front headroom is generous, though the sunroof housing cramps space for taller occupants. Dodge said the Avenger’s body was about as wide as other midsize sedans, but cabin width is more on par with the compact class. Shoulder space is limited for larger occupants. Thick roof pillars and lack of rear quarter windows severely compromise rear visibility.

Rear occupants get adult-adequate headroom, but no abundance of leg space. Longish doors aid entry/exit, but the narrow cabin rules out three-abreast seating.

A short decklid and high liftover limit the utility of Avenger’s small but usefully shaped trunk. Rear seats split 60/40 and fold nearly flat. Note that the trunk has a cheap-looking, low-grade fabric liner that disappoints in appearance and feel. Load options would be expanded by the available fold-flat front passenger seat. Interior stowage is limited to a too-narrow center console and smallish glovebox.

Ratings

Model Tested: Avenger SXT 4-cylinder

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 3
30%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 44

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.9 190.9 71.8 58.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.4 16.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.0 38.3 42.4 36.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2008 Avenger 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Audio system
Description: The MyGIG radio may stop working properly and there was a campaign to update the software. (2008)
Audio system
Description: Disconnecting or reconnecting the battery without first removing the radio fuse can damage the MyGig radio due to voltage spikes. (2008-09)

Recall History

2008 Avenger
Description: Front door latch cable on some vehicles may become partially unseated, causing door latch to stick in open position, or lock function to become inoperative.
2008 Avenger
Description: Front seat track position sensors for airbag system may not function properly
2008 Avenger w/AWD
Description: Fuel tank straps may have been improperly manufactured and could separate, causing fuel tank to loosen and leak.
2008 Avenger w/4-cylinder
Description: Engine coolant may be drawn into left radiator cooling fan motor connector, which could cause short circuit that might result in engine-compartment fire
2008 Avenger w/tire-pressure monitor
Description: Unused electric connectors may become corroded and could short-circuit, causing various conditions including inability to start.
2009 Avenger
Description: A new adhesive used in the power train control module (PCM) manufacturing process can cause the printed circuit board to break. This can cause the engine to stall and cause a crash without warning. Dealers will replace the PCM free of charge.
2009 Avenger w/4-cylinder
Description: A compatibility issue between the instrument cluster software and fuel pump module can result in the fuel gauge overstating the actual fuel tank level. As a result, the vehicle may run out of fuel when the gauge indicates that there is still fuel remaining in the tank. Dealers will replace the fuel pump module free of charge.
2010
Description: These vehicles may have been built with an improperly formed or missing brake booster input rod retaining clip. This could result in brake failure without warning, which could cause a crash. Chrysler will replace the brake booster input rod retaining clip free of charge.
2010 Avenger (JS)
Description: Some of these vehicles may experience a separation at the crimped end of the power steering pressure hose assembly. Leaked power steering fluid onto hot engine components could cause a fire. Dealers will inspect and replace as necessary the power steering pressure hoses free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.