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Autos

Avenger may be most overlooked value sedan

RON MOORHEAD, Special Sections correspondent Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 22, 2013 at 09:36 AM

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The Dodge Avenger hasn't received quite the appreciation I think it deserves, especially after spending more than a week behind the wheel. It is a darn good car if you want little in the way of excitement but a whole lot of pleasant driving. And let's face it, the majority of you want reliable, comfortable and pleasant transportation.

The car's design follows the family resemblance of the larger, more aggressive Charger. The crossfire grille large fenders with aggressive bulges bring a presence to the rearview mirror of the car in front. The rear fenders set high with broad shoulders suggest muscle-car attributes. It is an attractive four-door sedan even if it appears a bit more aggressive in its abilities.

What the Avenger does deliver is solid performance in comfortable driving. The well-designed interior offers switches, controls and instruments for easy manipulation.

Front bucket seats are accommodating and supportive. I test drove the R/T model, which included power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support, so finding comfort was quite easy.

One caveat on the seating situation comes in reference to the rear seat. Given the bench design, it does reasonably well in holding two rear passengers in comfort, but entering and exiting can be a bit of a challenge. The contour of wheel wells intrudes into the door opening to constrict the space.

The R/T also offers the most powerful engine of the three available in the Avenger. This 3.5-liter V-6 tweaks 235 horsepower with dual-tuned intakes and dual exhaust. Of course, the performance offered through the six-speed automatic transmission is elevated even more through the Auto Stick manual mode.

Other Avenger models are available with two engines that add to the value. The entry engine is 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 173 horsepower. Moving up, buyers can get the 2.7-liter four-cylinder with an output of 186 horsepower.

I found the Dodge Avenger a worthy addition to my list of recommendations. Its value, combined with the features available plus the three engine choices, makes it a sedan shoppers would be wise to give a test drive.


Ron Moorhead, a nationally syndicated automotive columnist, can be reached at ronmoorhead@hotmail.com.

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