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Greetings Owners:

I’m currently in the market for a new automobile, and I have been interested in the new Avenger. I have done quite a bit of homework myself on styles and features. I have narrowed my selection down to the:

AvengerR/T AWD 3.5 V6

I come here to get the “lowdown” on other aspects of this car that reviews and sales people just don’t know.

Background:
Alittle about myself, an automotive background, I currently drive a 1998 Durango 4x4 with 5.9L 360 Magnum. I bought this new off the floor when I graduated college and has been a fine automobile. It still is, I do not wish to part with it, however getting only 13.6MPG and only 1 week of fuel from the tank (Going just home and work only) is a bit tough. It’s going to be a hard sell for me to leave this truck and move to a new automobile. This is where you come in…. I want the good and the bad. Face it, every vehicle has something that needs improvement. So I’ll start with the questions, I hope you can provide the answers.

  • AWD? The Avenger is FWD by default with the “Option” of AWD. Is this AWD actually ALWAYS on? Or is it a AWD on Demand feature where the rear wheels only apply drive power when a slip is detected by the FWD sensors?

  • Serviceability? I am the son of a Mechanic Shop owner, I perform 99% of all my services, Including Oil/Filters/Transmission/Transfer Case/ Differentials, Plugs, Wires, and Fluid changes. Is the Avenger AWD self serviceable or will it require special tools to provide basic service (Special tools exclude anything you can buy from a local tool store)


  • Suspension System: In today’s world so few cars and trucks have greasable fittings on their suspension parts. How does the Avenger rate?

  • Alignment: Vehicles have gone to a “no alignment” possible system where special ball joints or rod ends must be bought to align the front end. The company’s official stance is, “If an alignment must be done, the car is faulty, buy another” Where simple things like road design cause problems an alignment to adjust for the road will fix. Beyond Toe-end, is the Avenger able to be aligned without expensive part replacement? (Caster and Camber adjustments)


  • Engine: Is it Cast Iron Block with Aluminum Upper Intake or Aluminum Block with “Plastic” Upper Intake.

  • The Blind Spot: Many reviews talk of a large blind spot. Do you have this problem?


  • Timing Belt or Timing Chain? Do I have to break down and have someone rip half the engine apart every 60k miles to replace an internal belt?
Limited Lifetime Warranty on Powertrain? What is the catch? What is it Limited to?

Why do I ask such questions? I come from an old world of thought…. I don’t like plastics, I don’t like timing belts, I want AWD that’s is actually AWD, and a vehicle should be serviceable. I’m not of the era of “throwaway cars” My Durango has lasted 10 years (next month) 250k Miles with only 1 problem, Power windows. I know its not fair to compare a truck and a car that’s why I want the truth and make a decision on my own, after I have the facts.

Thank you for your time and candor in this subject. Please include any likes and dislikes or areas of improvement to help me in my decision.

Dan
 

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Dodge Avenger Forum
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Go to this link first :http://www.allpar.com/cars/dodge/avenger.html

Link for motor : http://www.allpar.com/mopar/33.html

Link for transmission : http://www.allpar.com/mopar/transmissions/62TE.html

I would like to get into the details your asking, but most of what your asking,...would be better answerd asking a Chrysler tech. Or get an Avenger into your fathers shop, and give it a look over.

No worry about the Avenger being a throw away car. If it is, than most of the cars made today are. The days of being able to open the hood and start to rip into the inner workings, are becomeing a thing of the past for the backyard motor head.
 

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Now its been awhile since I bought my RT, but the decision wasn't so hard between the charger and the avenger. I wanted all the goodies. I wanted leather. I wanted Nav. I wanted the evic. Basically I wanted a loaded out car. I couldn't get that with a charger, because once you start adding in the options the price goes up dramatically. Then at some point you come to the conclusion that it just makes more sense to get a charger rt (with the hemi) because it comes pretty well loaded out. As opposed to getting a sxt and adding everything in.

At that point you've started to price yourself right out of the market. And actually according to yahoo, the msrp on a awd sxt charger is about $3000 more than that of a awd rt avenger. Honestly, after driving a few different ones, I like the avenger best (as far as the 3.5l cars go). I don't think you really gain anything in roominess either.

So for me it came down to trying to afford a rt charger and the insurance on it versus and rt avenger. The rt avenger won out because it was less to insure, cheaper overall, and besides rear ves-there isn't an option I don't have.
 

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You don't buy a 5.9L / 360 V8 expecting great fuel economy. I'm sure it is fun to drive. I have a 2002 QC dakota with 4.7L / 287 V8 and it is fun to drive. Takes me fishing and camping all over north georgia/tennessee/north carolina mountains with no problems (have skid plates and optional tire - 265/75/16). I have a toolbox in the bed and fiberglass shell to keep my gear dry in bad weather.

I have an avenger R/T FWD and it's every bit as fun to drive as my dakota except no 4x4 and no ruggedness so no off roading for me. I'm getting 21-25 mpg in my avenger and 14-16mpg in my dakota. If you're concerned about "great" fuel economy the 3.5L in the R/T is not for you. If you want a fun car to drive that has good standard and nice available options, the RT is the car for you. I like auto diming rear view mirror and remote start. I leave home around 4:15 am and it's dark and cold in winter (had several 20-25 degree overnight lows). I didn't get package with remote start but did pay for dealer to install it. You can get heated seats if you wish. I also have a sunroof and love it. I also have the upgraded speakers. I'm not an audiophile but i do appreciate good sounding music. The boston accoustics speakers are perfect for me. And the 6 disc in dash cd changer with sirius is great. I never thought i'd pay a monthy subscription for satellite radio but in the 2 months i've had my R/T, it's grown on me and i will pay for it after my free year.

As far as warranty goes, basic 3/36 with lifetime powertrain. without having my warranty manual here the "catches" (as I recall but maybe wrong) are you have to have documented "regular" (factory recommended) maintenance. And you have to have the dealer examine the vehicle every 5 years. There is a $100 deductible on the lifetime repairs.

Keep in mind you'll get a better deal buying one off the lot instead of ordering it. Cars on the lots are already paid for and the dealer is more motivated to sell, plus they get more/better factory incentives. But this is where the internet comes in, you can find the car you want with minimal effort. I found the only R/T within several hundred miles of me in marathon blue at the time I was looking.

I've not noticed the blind spot in my avenger being any different than the blind spot in my dakota.

I understand the want to keep your durango. I need a truck for more than just fishing/camping. As a do-it yourselfer and home owner, a truck is almost a necessity for me. As I stated above, the R/T is a fun car to drive and is every bit as fun for me to drive as my dakota. my RT is my daily driver and I drive my truck for fishing/camping trips, hauling, towing, whenever I feel the need to sit high off the ground and in heavy downpours. My dakota weighs in around 5500 lbs and can stomp through some standing water with no fear of losing control.

- Dan M
 
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