|Body and chassis|
The Dodge Avenger is a front-wheel drive, mid-size sedan, built by the Chrysler Corporation for the Dodge marque. In its initial debut, the Avenger was produced from 1975 to 1976 as a re-badged Hillman Avenger exclusive to South Africa. It made its North American debut in 1995 as a two-door coupe, which was produced until 2000. It was re-introduced to the market as a four-door sports sedan starting in 2008.
South African Dodge Avenger (1975–1976)
|Dodge Avenger (South Africa)|
|Also called||Hillman Avenger|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Layout||Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive|
|Engine||1618 cc Peugeot XC6 I4|
|Wheelbase||98 in (2,500 mm)|
|Length||161 in (4,100 mm)|
|Width||62 in (1,600 mm)|
|Height||53 in (1,300 mm)|
The first generation of the Dodge Avenger was a badge engineered version, exclusive to South Africa. It is a rebadged Hillman Avenger that used a Peugeot 1.6 litre engine (as also installed in locally assembled Peugeot 404s) in order to satisfy local rules. The Avenger was available from 1975 until its discontinuation in 1976, when it was renamed as a Chrysler. Because it was exclusive to South Africa, this generation of the Avenger never reached North America or Europe, and, in its place, the Chrysler Avenger was sold. This generation has nothing in common with later Dodge Avengers and is largely forgotten today. After Chrysler ZA was merged into Sigma in 1976, the Avenger was soon cancelled to allow Sigma to free up more production capacity for the Mazda 323.
Dodge Avenger coupe (1995–2000)
|Dodge Avenger coupe|
|Assembly||United States: Normal, Illinois (Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door coupe|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive|
|Platform||Chrysler FJ platform|
|Related||Chrysler Sebring coupe
|Engine||2.0 L 420A I4 (gasoline)
2.5 L 6G73 V6 (gasoline)
4-speed Ultradrive 41TE automatic
|Wheelbase||103.7 in (2,634 mm)|
|Length||190.2 in (4,831 mm) (1998–2000)
187.2 in (4,755 mm) (1995–97)
|Width||69.1 in (1,755 mm) (1998–2000)
68.5 in (1,740 mm) (1995–97)
|Height||53.0 in (1,346 mm) (1998–2000)
51 in (1,295 mm) (1995–97)
|Predecessor||Dodge Stealth, Dodge Daytona|
|Successor||Dodge Stratus coupe|
Introduced as a two-door coupe in North America, the Dodge Avenger was built from 1995 to 2000 in a similar size and price class as the Dodge Daytona, which was discontinued in 1993. The Avenger, along with the similar Chrysler Sebring coupe, was built by Diamond Star Motors (DSM), a joint venture between Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors, on a version of the Mitsubishi Galant platform (which also spawned the similar Mitsubishi Eclipse). Mitsubishi purchased Chrysler's share of the joint venture in 1995. Avengers and Sebring coupes built from 1995 to 1996 both have DSM markings in their engine compartments.
The Avenger had a 103 in (2.62 m) wheelbase and used either a 2.0 L inline-four engine (the Chrysler 420A) or a Mitsubishi-designed 2.5 L V6. The four-cylinder was coupled to either a five-speed manual transmission, shared with the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon, or a four-speed automatic. The V6 was only available with the A604 transmission. Avengers featured a fully independent double wishbone suspension and variable speed rack and pinion steering.
ABS was used in all ES models to 1999. In 1997, the front fascia, trunklid, and rear bumper were changed; 16-inch wheels were standard, and the license plate was moved from the decklid to the rear bumper. In 2000, the V6 and automatic transmission combination was made standard on all Avengers, and ABS was made an "option" for ES models. The four-cylinder engine was dropped for 2000.
- 1995–2000 - "Highline" base model (V6 among other options made standard in 2000)
- 1995–2000 - ES
From 1997+, a "Sport Appearance Package" was made available on Base model. This package included 16" wheels, a deck lid spoiler, along with other standard and optional features.
|1995||Initial introduction - replaces the Daytona. A DOHC 16-valve 2.0 L I4 engine (140 hp, 130 lb·ft (176 N·m) of torque) is standard. A SOHC 24-valve 2.5 L V6 engine and an automatic transmission (155 hp, 160 lb·ft (217 N·m) of torque) are made optional on the ES. Fog lamps and ABS are also optional on the ES.|
|1996||Power and torque ratings for the V6 are increased (163 horsepower, 170 lb·ft (230 N·m). torque), ES Coupes had new seat fabric.|
|1997||Sport model introduced (in addition to the base and ES). The Avenger Sport package consisted of exclusive 16-inch aluminum wheels and a body-color spoiler. New front and rear fascias are added. Added a body-color rear spoiler, P215/50HR17 tires, and 17-inch cast aluminum wheels for the ES. The V6 is also standard for the ES, as well as rear disc brakes.|
|1998||An on-board recycling vapor recovery system, cafe latte exterior color and a black and gray interior color combination are added.|
|1999||Next generation driver and front passenger airbags are added, as well as a new exterior color: Shark Blue. The V6 engine and automatic transmission are standard on all models in mid-year, as well as several options.|
|2000||Last year for the Avenger. V6/automatic drive train are standard. ABS an option on ES models. Gained a number of standard features that had previously been optional, including power windows and locks. Base models added cruise control and 4-wheel disc brakes. ES coupes now come with standard leather upholstery, keyless remote entry, and a power driver's seat.|
In 2000, the Avenger was discontinued and replaced by the Dodge Stratus coupe for 2001. This model was also made at the former Diamond Star plant by Mitsubishi, using the Eclipse platform and architecture, though the Stratus sedan was engineered and built by Chrysler.
Dodge Avenger sedan (2007–2014)
|Dodge Avenger sedan|
|Also called||Dodge Evangeline R (Israel)
Dodge GTS (Mexico)
|Production||February 2007– December 2014|
|Assembly||United States: Sterling Heights, Michigan (Sterling Heights Assembly)
Mexico: Chihuahua (2013-present)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Layout||Transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive / all-wheel drive|
|Platform||Chrysler JS platform|
|Engine||2.0 L World I4 (gasoline)
2.0 L VW I4 (t/c diesel)
2.4 L World I4 (gasoline)
2.7 L EER V6 (gasoline)
3.5 L EGF V6 (gasoline)
3.6 L Pentastar V6 (gasoline)
|Transmission||4-speed Ultradrive 40TES automatic
4-speed Ultradrive41TES automatic
6-speed Ultradrive 62TE automatic
6-speed Getrag Mps6 DCT automatic
|Wheelbase||108.9 in (2,766 mm)|
|Length||190.9 in (4,849 mm)|
|Width||71.8 in (1,824 mm)|
|Height||58.9 in (1,496 mm)|
The Dodge Avenger name returned in February 2007 as a MY2008 model as a sedan to replace the Dodge Stratus, whose coupe version had replaced the original Avenger in 2001. According to some reports, the Avenger, along with the redesigned Chrysler Sebring, shares a DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi Motors platform called JS which used the Mitsubishi GS as a starting point, then was heavily modified. The base engine in the SE and SXT trim levels is the 2.4 L GEMA I4 naturally aspirated "World Engine", a joint venture between DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi and Hyundai. Additional engines include an optional 2.7 L V6 in the SXT and a standard 3.5 L V6 in the R/T trim level. In addition to the 2.4 L "World Engine" and the V6s, export vehicles will be offered with the 2.0 L naturally aspirated "World Engine", as well as a 2.0 L turbocharged diesel (Pumpe-Düse) made by Volkswagen. As a 2008 model, the Dodge Avenger came to showrooms in February 2007.
Features on the new Avenger include optional heated/cooled cup holders as well as Dodge's new "Chill Zone", a feature that comes standard on all Avenger models, which can store up to four 12-US fl oz cans in the glove box and chill them to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Avenger replaced the Charger as Dodge's car in NASCAR in 2007 for Car of Tomorrow races. It got its first win with former Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya in the 2007 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at the Infineon Raceway.
The Avenger was officially unveiled at the Paris Motor Show on September 28, 2006 as a concept car. It has been launched in Europe and is sold in the United Kingdom, filling a gap in the Chrysler range that was left by the Neon's demise four years earlier. It has also been launched in Australia, although currently with only the 2.4 L engine.
In the United Kingdom, it has been discontinued, although sales continued in the Republic of Ireland and in Western Europe until late 2009 following Fiat's takeover of Chrysler Group. This new version continues with SE, SXT trim levels and is not badged the same way as North American or the South American versions. The Avenger competes directly with the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion, with the 2007 and later Chrysler Sebring being aimed at the higher priced American cars such as the Mercury Milan, Pontiac G6 and Saturn Aura.
In the US, the Avenger was launched with a 30 second television ad, "Tuned Up," that debuted Sunday, March 4, 2007 during NHL hockey, an ad in which a lab technician discovers he can play Smoke on the Water by Deep Purple on the Avenger's transmission. Another television spot likened the Avenger to the "superhero" vehicle for the everyman, depicting a driver piloting his Avenger through Gotham-like streets and alleys, speaking to the MyGig entertainment system in distinctly Batman-reminiscent tones, to arrive home, pull into a two-car garage and open the rear door to a sleeping child in the rear car-seat.
Changes for 2011
For 2011, the Avenger receives its first major overhaul since its 2008 re-introduction. Exterior changes include slightly revised sheetmetal with a new crosshair grille displaying the new Dodge logo on the lower right corner of the grille, and a sleeker bumper cut design. Changes to the interior are more noticeable with a completely redesigned dashboard and instrument panel featuring an available 6.5-inch navigation/media center screen. Higher-quality soft-touch plastics for dashboard, door, and trim panels replaces the old materials, which were criticized for their poor fit and finish quality, as well as being unpleasant to the touch. The seats receive better cushioning and higher-grade upholstery. Two-tone interior color combinations will be available.
Mechanically, the 2011 Avenger comes standard with the existing 173 hp (129 kW) 2.4 L GEMA I4, although it is now paired with a six-speed automatic as well as the option of the previous four-speed. Also available is the new 3.6 L Pentastar V6, which generates 283 hp (211 kW) and 260 lb·ft (350 N·m) of torque. The suspension has been heavily revised to improve handling and ride quality. Trim level designations are also new, with existing trims being replaced by Express, Mainstreet, Lux and Heat models.
The Dodge Avenger was ranked the "Most American Made" sedan by The Kogod Made in America Auto Index in 2013.
- SE: (2007–2009, 2012–2013)
- SXT: (2007–2010, 2012–2013)
- SXT Plus: (2012)
- R/T: (2007–2010, 2012–2013)
- R/T AWD: (2007–2009)
- Express: (2011)
- Mainstreet: (2011)
- Lux: (2011)
- Heat: (2011)
Total American sales
Marchionne has so far confirmed that the Avenger could get a second generation by 2015, however it will be based on the upcoming Alfa Romeo Giulia mid-size sedan with features deriving from both Fiat and the current generation model. It might keep the "Avenger" nameplate, which so far remains unconfirmed.
In early June 2013, it was first confirmed that the Avenger will be discontinued after the 2014 model year, produced until February 2014 and sold out until stock depletion thereafter. Fiat was aiming to strengthen its Chrysler image, and reinforce the value of the 2015 Chrysler 200, to be released by mid-year. However, later reports, such as the one made by The Detroit News on July 24, 2013 rather suggest that Fiat will be extending production of the current Avenger sedan through the end of 2015. It is still unknown, though, whether or not its replacement, due to arrive by the said year, will bear the same nameplate and accommodate the same customers.
The first-generation Dodge Avenger body style was widely used in the National Hot Rod Association, but came to the most prominence being driven by Darrell Alderman, and Scott Geoffrion, during their run from 1994–2000, as the celebrated Dodge Boys. The car was also used for the 1994 and 1995 incarnations of the International Race of Champions. The second-generation Dodge Avenger was used in the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup Season as the Car of Tomorrow model from Dodge. In 2008, the Dodge CoT was changed back to the Charger.
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- "2011 Dodge Avenger Models". Dodge.com. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
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- "Chrysler Group LLC Reports December 2013 U.S. Sales Increased 6 Percent" (Press release). Chrysler Group LLC. 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2014-01-06.
- Fiat to scoop up another 3.3 percent chunk of Chrysler
- "Alfa Romeo & Jeep: iconic brands to play globally" (PDF). Fiat SpA. 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-17.
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