2008-2014 Dodge Avenger cars
The Dodge Avenger was last overhauled in 2011 with a new interior, redesigned exterior, and stronger performance thanks to a new V6 engine and completely retuned suspension — with virtually every part redesigned (including 26 of 30 suspension bushings). [Allpar test drive /car review of the Dodge Avenger] For 2014, there are few changes — but Dodge did add a claim that the Avenger R/T will do 0-60 in a cool 6.3 seconds. A new SE four cylinder Rallye package adds 18-inch wheels, body-color grille, tinted headlamps, and rear spoiler for under $600, and a new SE four-cylinder Blacktop version is similar with gloss black wheels and grille.
The suspension and the geometry were changed; the track was an inch wider, tire width increased from 215 to 225 millimeters and the vehicle was 12 millimeters lower in the front and 6 millimeters in the rear for a more aggressive stance. There was less body roll, less vehicle shake, improved isolation, better steering precision, response and feel and the increased grip of new premium tires.
The standard 2.4-liter World Gas Engine was recalibrated, and optionally mated to a new smooth-shifting six-speed transmission. The Pentastar V-6 engine generated a best-in-class 283 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque with competitive fuel economy.
Inside, customers had a new instrument panel, bezels, gauge faces, and steering wheel; upgraded seats with cushion material and revised spring geometry; and more soft touch materials. Dodge Avenger also had several new two-tone interior color schemes, new leather and cloth seating materials, and accent stitching. The 2011 Dodge Avenger’s cabin was quieted with 45 new or upgraded sound-deadening treatments integrated throughout the vehicle.
Features include ambient interior lighting and a steering wheel with integrated controls for the radio, cruise control, hands-free phone, and other car functions. The cars also have optional voice command functions for hands-free phones, integrated USB port for streaming music, navigation and memo record, an iPod/MP3 jack, Bluetooth streaming music; Gracenote music identification; a hard drive that stores approximately 6,700 songs and remote start.
United States pricing at launch, including destination, started at $19,995 for the Express; the Mainstreet cost $2,000 more, Lux cost $4,300 more, and Heat cost $4,500 more, topping out at $24,295. Chrysler warns that only 5%, at most, of the models will be Express — and that there will be no incentives on it. By comparison, Chrysler is actually slapping $750 onto the hoods of Dodge Avengers (or lease subvention, or low-interest financing from 0% to 3.9%); conquest buyers can actually get $1,500 in total (but not with a lease.) That brings the price of the Mainstreet down, for someone buying in from a competitor, to just $500 more than the Express.
Avenger is being priced slightly lower than competing Ford Fusion models; the Express is $425 less than Fusion S, the Mainstreet is $105 less than Fusion SE, and Avenger Heat is $95 less than Fusion SE V6. The difference is greater when one compares Avenger R/T to Fusion Sport ($1,085) or Avenger Lux Fusion SEL I-4 to ($825).
Dodge sees the popular Mainstreet model as competing against Focus; Heat and Lux/Uptown against Cruze; Rush against Mazda3.
Changes for 2013
For 2013, the Dodge Avenger gained optional chrome wheels for SE, wheel changes on SXT and R/T, free fog lights and automatic headlights for SXT, optional leather, cheaper V6 on SXT, cheaper “sun and sound” package, and a new Rallye appearance group with darkened grille and black and red momentum seats ($495).
The hot news, though, was the new “Blacktop” model. It added gloss black 20-inch aluminum wheels, center caps, and grille, along with a rear spoiler, paddle shifters, Sport Mode transmission, 3.06 rear axle and Beats Audio, for an extra $1,800.
Avenger SE can no longer be ordered with the V6, largely, we believe, due to shortages of the V6 engines (as Ram, Wrangler, and other high-volume cars share it).
Dodge Avenger R/T price was cut by $500, with new optional black cloth seats with red accent stitching and leather bolsters. For color, Crystal Blue Pearl replaced Copperhead; True Blue Pearl replaced Blackberry; and Billet Silver Metallic replaced Bright Silver.
2011 Dodge Avenger
The big news for 2011 was in powertrain. Aside from the base model, all Dodge Avengers got a six-speed automatic; and the V6 boosts power to 283 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque, with 0-60 times of 6.5 seconds and gas mileage increasing to 19 city, 29 highway.
New to the exterior were LED tail lamps, front and rear fascias, noise insulation, and 18 inch wheels; the interior got a new instrument panel and cluster, new ambient lighting, and accent stitching. The suspension was significantly upgraded an dthe ride height was lowered.
oh2o wrote on that a new 6-speed dual dry clutch auto trans (C635) will make it for the 2011 model year, available on the upper trim lines, but this might be a late addition.
The base model came with the four-speed automatic, 21/30 mpg, stability control, and ABS brakes. The Express had body color door handles and power heated mirrors, new 17 inch aluminum wheels, high efficiency tires, new instrument panel with advanced trip computer, eight-way power driver's seat, automatic temperature control, and leather-wrapped wheel and shifter.
Moving up to the Dodge Avenger Heat, buyers got the new 283 horsepower V6, unique color scheme and appointments, cloth seats with red stitching, 18 inch bright silver aluminum wheels, dual exhaust with chrome tips, hard-drive stereo (430), spoiler, fog lamps, and remote start.
The Dodge Avenger Lux model added heated leather seats, softer door trim, chrome-clad wheels, new headliner, UConnect, and express up/down windows.
2012 Dodge Avenger R/T
The Dodge Avenger R/T for 2012 brought back the meaning of the trim level with a uniquely tuned suspension and performance tuned exhaust for the standard V6; unique interior; cloth/leather heated seats; red LED interior lighting; unique wheel; and just four colors, red, silver, white, and black.
Dodge Avenger R/T used the same 283 horsepower V6 as the other Avengers, but added a stiffened suspension, center-mounted tachometer, and different looks. Continuing to get 19 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, the Avenger R/T has 18% higher roll stiffness, 17% higher spring rates in front, and 12% higher spring rates in back; strut damping rates were raised by 15% in front and 20% in back, and the rear stabilizer bar was boosted from 19mm to 21mm.
Dodge Avenger R/T used a body-color grille with the Dodge badge, black headlamp background, R/T decal on the front quarter panel, and unique 18-inch painted aluminum wheels; it also had a rear spoiler. Inside, Aunde fabric had Z-stripe fabric inserts, red stitching, and leather-trimmed bolsters on the heated front seats. The gauge cluster was unique, as were SRT-inspired brake and accelerator pedal pads. The steering wheel had red accent stitching on black leather, and the 276-watt Boston Acoustic sound system has a 30-gigabyte hard drive. Remote start was standard.
2008-2010 Dodge Avengers
The 2008 Dodge Avenger started at $18,895, substantially less than a comparable Dodge Stratus. Features (some optional) included all wheel drive, stability control, and a cooled glove compartment.
According to stylist Ryan Nagode, part of the reason for the exterior resemblance to the Dodge Charger was the desire to sell the Avenger in Europe; they wanted the Avenger to have clearly American styling when sold abroad. But, in the end, according to Ryan, “It’s all about getting rid of the boring sedan.”
Ryan noted that he was looking for a sinister, aggressive appearance, and was most strongly influenced by his sunglasses; the grille wraps all the way around the front of the car to the headlamps, providing a full graphic of the front end. The corners, he said, are like boxing gloves - protective forms in all corners.
Ryan tried to move the headlight elements up to tuck the lights under the grille, and the linear lights beneath the dual headlamps both added to the height and improved the overall look. Unlike typical Chrysler headlamps, the Dodge Avenger clearly showed both of the dual lamps. Ryan noted that the models were differentiated: the R/T used black headlight fills, while the other models used silver and chrome on the others; and in the grille, the base model was body color, while the others were chrome. That means any Avenger should be easy to differentiate from the front.
Muscular rear shoulders, large wheels and tires, and a sleek rear spoiler were meant to show the Dodge brand attributes of bold, powerful, and capable. Avenger’s long greenhouse was created by black appliqués on the B-pillars.
Four models were initially offered in the United States: Dodge Avenger SE, Dodge Avenger SXT, Dodge Avenger R/T, and Dodge Avenger R/T AWD.
Ben S. Chang, senior designer, was lead stylist for the interior. The bright climate-control knob surrounds, now spreading through the Dodge line, were echoed in a bright speaker trim ring - something people often buy on the aftermarket for their cars.
The instrument panel top pad and center stack grain had a low-gloss finish to match the defroster grille and driver cubby. The center stack featured a V-like ram’s horn shape that surrounded the shifter bezel and serves as a design focal point. Like the Caliber, but not the Sebring, Avenger had a chilled beverage storage bin on all models that could hold and chill (if the air conditioning was on) up to four 12-oz. beverage cans.
Drivers sat 2.5 inches higher than they did in the Dodge Stratus, for command-of-the-road seating. The cabin had 100.9 cu. ft. of room, 7 cubic feet more than the Stratus. There were 2.5 inches more headroom, 1.2 inches more shoulder room, and an inch more hip room in the front seat. Luggage volume in the trunk was a competitive 13.35 cubic feet. We found that it was easy to get in and out of the front and rear seats, without any head-banging.
Dodge Avenger engines, powertrain, and specifications
|2.0 I4||2.4 I4||2.7 V6||3.5 V6||3.6 V6||Diesel|
|US mpg *||21/30||19/27||19/29||~ 29/40|
|0-62 mph||10.8||10.4||9.0||~ 7.0||6.5 ***||10.5|
|* 2008 figures, which are about 2-3 mpg lower than 2007
** Second from top gear *** 0-60
Avenger’s all-wheel-drive system works on demand, driving only the front wheels until power to the rear wheels is needed, which includes dry-pavement action between 25 and 65 mph to enhance handling during performance driving.
Engines for 2008-2009 were the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, the flex-fuel 2.7-liter V-6 engine and a detuned 3.5-liter V-6 engine; the V6 engines got a new six-speed automatic with Auto Stick. For 2010, the 2.7 was dropped, and for 2011, the 3.5 was replaced with a 3.6 Pentastar V6.
A Volkswagen diesel with six-speed manual was sold in Europe, rated at 5.1 l/100km (46 mpg) highway, 8.2 (29 mpg) city, and 6.2 combined (38 mpg) (thanks, Filip Norrgard).
Until 2010, the Dodge Avenger SXT had an optional Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) 2.7-liter V-6 engine with 189 horsepower and 191 lb.-ft. of torque, which got 19/28 mpg (22/30 based on 2007 standards).
Dodge Avenger R/T sedans in the United States used a standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a new six-speed automatic transaxle. A differential with increased capacity enhanced launch performance, while smaller steps between ratios also make for a smoother, quieter ride (versus the 2007 Stratus V6).
Europeans did not get the 3.5 engine; their base engine was the 2.0 liter four-cylinder, with a five-speed manual transmission. They also had an optional 2.4, with the four-speed AutoStick; an optional 2.7 V6 with four-speed AutoStick (later replaced with the six-speed automatic); and a Volkswagen-supplied two-liter diesel, with a six-speed manual transmission.
Some features included:
- Chill Zone™—a storage compartment in the top of the instrument panel that holds up to four standing 12 oz. beverage cans, cooled by the proximity of an air conditioning vent (when the air is on)
- A heated/cooled front cupholder that keeps cold beverages cool and hot beverages warm. The system heats to 140 degrees Fahrenheit or cools to 35 degrees Fahrenheit
- YES Essentials® Fabric—an easy-care, soil-repellent and anti-microbial textile that protects seats from stains, odors and discoloration
- Heated cloth seats
- An available DVD rear-seat entertainment system that includes AM/FM stereo radio with MP3 capable CD/DVD player, six-disc CD/DVD changer and SIRIUS® Satellite Digital Audio Radio
- LED interior lighting with high-focus white lights that provide directional lighting in both the front and rear seats
- MP3 play capability on all audio systems
Optional on the Dodge Avenger is MyGIG™, an entertainment and navigation audio system with a 6.5-inch Thin Film Transistor (TFT) Display with a touch-screen panel that can support 65,000 colors. The MyGIG system follows voice-activated commands and includes:
- A 20 gigabyte hard disc drive that includes Music Juke Box for organizing music and pictures on the hard drive
- USB based MP3 connectivity for putting WMA, MP3 and JPEG files onto the hard drive
- Gracenote® database on the hard drive, for song identification, including composer, artist and title
- Playlist creation
- Voice memo recording, using the microphone integrated into the rearview mirror
- Radio screen, which can display movies (when vehicle is not in motion)
- SIRIUS Satellite Radio
- UConnect® Hands-free Communication System
Dodge Avenger vs Chrysler Sebring, and other shared components
According to Automotive News, the Avenger and Sebring are identical under the styling; the suspension settings are even the same on the base and midrange models! All wheel drive is available on the Avenger R/T, but not on the Sebring at all. They noted that the front dash panel, a part of the rear floor pan, and other components were shared with the Caliber/Compass. Mercedes supplied seat structures (stiff as a board!) and electronics.
Chrysler wrote that the Sebring’s JS platform is derived from the GS [Caliber/Compass/Patriot] platform but is wider and longer; they said they started with the Mitsubishi platform but found it unsuited to their needs. Many parts are shared among vehicles on the two platforms, and a high level of flexibility has been engineered into the assembly process. If demand is strong, the Chrysler group can assemble the Sebring and Avenger at its Belvidere plant. Conversely, Chrysler can assemble the Caliber and its Jeep siblings in the Sterling Heights plant.
We asked about aerodynamics, and Ryan said they had put a lot of time and effort into it, especially as the Avenger is four inches taller and 1.4 inches wider than the Stratus. The corner shapes in front and rear were based on wind tunnels, as was the degree of grille lean. Full aerodynamic testing was conducted on the vehicle with a large number of full scale and partial models; they also used their knowledge of things that had worked well in the past. Though the recessed grille looks as though it would be a problem, they carefully placed gaps only where needed for the air intake (which comes from both the top and bottom portions), and Ryan assured me that it was not an aerodynamic issue. They worked carefully with the hood to overshadow other gaps, so that there would not be large, noticeable gaps and to reduce wind resistance.
Avenger’s safety cage is constructed with dual-phase, high-strength and ultra-high-strength steel components designed to protect occupants in all driving situations. Avenger’s extremely strong safety cage is complemented with a combination of standard safety items demanded by buyers in the mid-size segment, including:
- Advanced multi-stage front air bags
- Side-curtain air bags
- Front-seat-mounted side air bags
The 2008 Dodge Avenger competed in the largest, most competitive segment of the U.S. passenger car market: the 1.9-million-unit-a-year standard mid-size segment, which accounts for approximately 11.4 percent of the total car and truck industry and approximately 31 percent of the passenger car market. Avenger is designed to appeal to those who are 30-45-years-old, married, and have a median income of approximately $60,000. Sixty percent are male, and 40 percent are college-educated. Many have small families with one or two children.
Production of the 2008 Dodge Avenger began in the fourth quarter of 2006 at the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant, alongside the Chrysler Sebring and Chrysler Sebring Convertible. Avenger’s 173 horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder World Engine is built in Dundee, Mich. The 2.7-liter V-6 engine and the 3.5-liter V-6 engine are built at the Kenosha (Wis.) Engine Plant.
2008 Dodge Avenger Models
With a starting U.S. MSRP of $18,895 (including destination), the Dodge Avenger SE had the four cylinder, a four-speed automatic transaxle, side-curtain and side seat-mounted thorax air bags, Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) system, disc/drum brakes, power windows, doors and locks, an electroluminescent cluster with outside temperature display, sport steering wheel, tilt/telescoping steering column, driver seat with lumbar with manual height adjuster, AM/FM/CD radio with MP3 connectivity and play capability, sliding sun visor, sliding front center armrest, an upper and lower bin in the center console, 60/40 folding rear-seat with center arm rest, rear door map pockets with bottle holders and driver’s side front-seat-back map pocket, remote keyless illuminated entry, Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer and theft alarm. On the exterior, the Dodge Avenger SE model featured standard power mirrors, body-color door handles, quad headlamps and 16-inch tires with wheels covers.
Options on the Dodge Avenger SE included anti-lock brakes (ABS), remote start, radio options, UConnect®, heated cloth seats, daytime running lamps, engine block heater and a power sunroof, and more.
The 2008 Dodge Avenger SXT model had a starting U.S. MSRP of $19,795 (including destination). The SXT included anti-lock disc/drum brakes, YES Essentials® premium seat fabric, a fold-flat passenger seat, power eight-way driver’s seat with lumbar, passenger seat back map pocket, chrome rings on the front speakers, silver accent cluster bezels and six speakers. It also had chrome grille accents, body-color body-side molding, an SXT badge and 17-inch all-season tires with cast-aluminum machined painted wheels.
Available options included a 2.7-liter V-6 engine, coupled with a four-speed automatic transaxle; stability control; MyGIG™; various stereos; heated leather seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; and more.
The Dodge Avenger R/T had a starting U.S. MSRP of $23,545 (including destination). It included the 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transaxle that, sport-tuned suspension, performance steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, leather-wrapped shift knob, AM/FM six-disc CD radio, express up/down windows with the press of a button on the key fob, single-zone automatic temperature control, and an automatic-dimming rearview mirror. The exterior was differentiated by heated body-color folding exterior mirrors, body-color bodyside molding, R/T badging, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, 18-inch all-season performance tires with burnished cast-aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler and chrome-tipped dual exhaust.
The Dodge Avenger R/T AWD had a starting U.S. MSRP of $25,545 (including destination). It included standard ESP with Traction Control.
The front-wheel-drive 2008 Dodge Avenger was built on the Chrysler Group’s new D-segment mid-size car platform. It featured a four-wheel independent front suspension with MacPherson struts and a multi-link rear suspension. Front and rear suspension crossmembers were isolated to the body to create a quiet ride, with less road noise vibration and harshness (NVH) than previous models.
The Dodge Avenger R/T’s all-wheel-drive system is normally passive, and power is transmitted solely to the front wheels. However, when driving conditions get dicey and extra traction is needed, Avenger’s AWD system anticipates slip by responding to pedal position and transfers power to the rear wheels. The system contributes to good fuel economy by operating only on demand, thereby minimizing power-robbing friction and inertia. Avenger’s Electronically Controlled Coupling (ECC) AWD system is easier to calibrate, more flexible, more precise and less costly than viscous-coupling, Torsen® or gerotor systems.
“Unlike all-wheel-drive systems that rely on pumps or viscous fluids to transfer torque, the Avenger system requires no front-to-rear slippage for activation,” said Dennis Krozek, Chief Engineer—Dodge Avenger. “This allows the system to transfer torque in response to accelerator pedal position.”
If the driver, via the pedal, is asking for a lot of power, the system immediately starts clamping the ECC, transferring a high percentage of power to the rear wheels. Power is transmitted to all four wheels, which helps prevent the front wheels from slipping.
Avenger’s AWD system also uses feedback from wheel-speed sensors to determine how much torque to transfer to the rear wheels. If the Avenger’s front wheels start to slip on ice, but the rear wheels are on dry pavement, the AWD system tells the ECC to start clamping and sends even more torque to the rear wheels to minimize slippage and get the vehicle moving.
The ECC system also knows when to modulate the amount of power sent to the rear wheels. If the vehicle is traveling at highway speeds and starts to hydroplane, the system sends very little power to the rear wheels because the ECC knows the rear wheels don’t need a lot of power in that situation.
“While other automakers limit AWD to helping aid traction or provide off-road capability, Avenger’s all-wheel drive system also is used to influence vehicle dynamics,” Krozek added. “We’ve calibrated the Electronic Control Module so that it controls torque to the rear wheels for improved handling in the 25-65 mph range.”
When traveling faster than 25 mph, Dodge Avenger’s AWD system sends torque to the rear wheels when cornering with the throttle open to make the car turn more easily, which makes the handling more neutral. This is more readily accomplished with Avenger’s ECC than with viscous-coupling or gerotor systems that require some degree of front-to-rear slip to transfer torque to the rear wheels. At speeds greater than 53 mph, the control strategy provides minimal torque to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions to provide better fuel economy.
For the U.S. market, ESP with Traction Control is available on Avenger SXT and R/T models and standard on the Avenger R/T AWD model. Avenger’s AWD electronic control module interfaces with ESP and Traction Control systems, allowing the ESP system to use the ECC to help gain control of the vehicle, reducing the amount of torque that the ECC transmits to the rear wheels.
The 2008 Dodge Avenger featured many advanced steel technologies that reduce weight and unwanted noise, while creating a safe, solid, stiff structure that provides excellent impact performance, a smooth ride and solid handling. Avenger had among the highest combined percentages of high-strength and ultra-high-strength, hot-stamped steel among production-volume vehicles on U.S. roads today. The higher weight-to-strength ratio of high-strength steel gave engineers the ability to reduce Avenger’s overall weight, while also developing a safety cage that keeps occupants protected.
“By mass, Avenger’s body structure is a combined 30 percent mix of hot-stamped and high-strength steel,” said Dennis Krozek, Chief Engineer—Dodge Avenger. “Hot-stamped steel A-pillars, B-pillars and roof-rail reinforcements reduce upper body weight by 30 lbs. compared with traditional steel.”
Avenger also featured dual-phase steel in the rear rails, tunnel reinforcement and sills. Dual-phase steel allows these components to handle greater loads than conventional steels, which helps them manage impact energy more effectively, while still being relatively easy to stamp and control dimensionally. In addition, in the event of a high-speed front impact, the design of the structure and the properties of the steel combine to protect the occupants by absorbing the impact energy in a controlled manner.
Dual-phase and high-strength steels are strategically located in the Avenger’s sill construction providing an efficient cross-section-to-weight balance. As many as four layers of metal (including dual-phase and high-strength steel of various shapes and sizes) provide optimum impact energy management. Dodge Avenger also featured very large sills, which make the body structure substantially stiffer than its predecessor in bend and torsion.
Components joined with new structural adhesives improve stiffness and impact energy management compared with other joining methods such as spot welding and laser welding. Tougher, more elastic adhesives add strength to Avenger’s joints during an impact. Avenger’s stronger joints create a more rigid structure and minimize noise, vibration and harshness in the passenger compartment, giving the Avenger more body stiffness, which contributes to its excellent ride quality, comfort and interior quietness.
The Avenger’s torsion and bending stiffness give it excellent on-road performance and a solid feel and ride comfort, while allowing the body to remain tight and quiet. Avenger’s front-wheel-drive architecture and the three-box vehicle design contribute to a torsional (twist) stiffness of 17,925 ft.-lb./degree (32.2 Hz) and a bending stiffness of 66,703 lb./in. (26.3 Hz), which is 1.7 times stiffer in torsion and 1.6 times stiffer in bending than the Stratus - and the Stratus was considerably stiffer than the vehicles it replaced.
The Avenger benefits from extensive use of pumpable and moldable sealers in the upper body to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics. Seam sealing is applied both inside and outside the body, instead of just inside of the body. Avenger’s doors are triple sealed to reduce wind noise. A continuous, one-piece channel-type weather strip mounted in a three-piece roll-formed channel in the upper door frames seals both sides of the windows to prevent wind noise and water leaks.
Chrysler Group engineers also extensively tuned the new Avenger and added many special treatments to alleviate road, wind and powertrain noise and vehicle shake, including:
- All engines include acoustic engine covers to absorb and dampen noise
- Powertrain and body mounts are tuned to minimize shake, as well as improve instrument panel stiffness, steering column-to-instrument panel stiffness and instrument-panel-to-body stiffness
- The air induction system, accessory drive mounting and exhaust system are tuned to reduce powertrain noise and improve sound quality
- The A-pillar and exterior mirrors were aerodynamically developed in the wind tunnel to reduce wind noise
- An NVH package isolates the passenger compartment from powertrain inputs and other sources of NVH
- Multiple rib-like indentations in the floor pan and applied mastic sound-deadening material reduce boom and add to Avenger’s extremely quiet ride
- Expandable Polyurethane Foam (PUR®) injected into cavities in the body structure prevents noise from being transmitted to the passenger compartment
- Every hole and cavity is covered with a plug or patch
- Bituminous mastic pads are bonded to the floor pan to dampen vibration and act as a noise barrier
- Dampers on the dash and the rear wheel houses consisting of a layer of mastic between two layers of metal are adhesive bonded to flat surfaces that might otherwise resonate
Doo-dads, gadgets, and trinkets
MyGIG can, with Sirus satellite radio, support real-time traffic and can even provide re-route navigation based on current traffic patterns. MyGIG’s voice dialogue system recognizes more than 100,000 words and is capable of learning and growing. The navigation has both 2-D and 3-D bird’s-eye views of roads and multiple route calculation. Maps and guidance are displayed on a motorized, flip-down 6.5-inch thin-film-transistor (TFT) display. The TFT screen uses active matrix for viewing from angles up to 180 degrees—perfect for the center of an instrument panel.
Chrysler also is the first automaker in North America to offer an integrated music jukebox, supported by Gracenote™ music-file management, which automatically adds song, artist and album information to the music files. In addition to the navigation software and mapping, the hard drive can hold approximately 1,600 songs, which equals more than 100 hours of music. There also is a voice-memo recorder feature, which allows a message up to 3 minutes long to be recorded using the microphone integrated into the rearview mirror.
All of Avenger’s available radio head units feature a 3.5 mm audio input jack for easy connection to any MP3 player. The base audio system offers four speakers, AM/FM stereo and CD playback and can be upgraded to six speakers. An available, premium six-speaker Boston Acoustics Sound System with 6-channel amplifier delivers excellent sound quality and volume with improved amplification and sound clarity. An optional radio head features an integrated six-disc CD/DVD changer and can also play back CDs with MP3 and WMA files. This radio head is available with either of the six-speaker systems. Loading the changer with CDs or discs full of MP3-formatted music provides thousands of miles worth of music.
The Dodge Avenger also offered a rear-seat video entertainment system (VES). This system allows Dodge Avenger’s rear-seat passengers to enjoy movies, music and external audio/video devices such as video games and MP3 players. The system consists of a console-mounted DVD player with a 7-inch LCD screen, a battery-powered remote control and two wireless, multichannel headsets. The system will play DVDs, WMAs, MP3s and audio and video CDs. Additionally, auxiliary input jacks on the faceplate show video directly from a video camera, so Avenger’s rear-seat passengers can play games from a video-game console or listen to music directly from a portable MP3 player.
When the Avenger’s VES is not playing a video, the video screen displays information in a split screen format, with two channels. The VES remote control is designed to control either channel by the use of a selector switch on the control. The headphones allow occupants to listen to either channel by use of the selection switch located on the right ear cup. Using the included dual channel wireless headphones allows rear passengers to listen to two different sources simultaneously. The audio from the VES can be heard through the vehicle’s speaker system, through the wireless headphones or both.
UConnect uses Bluetooth® technology to provide wireless communication between the customer’s compatible mobile phone and the vehicle’s onboard receiver. Avenger’s UConnect control buttons are integrated into the vehicle’s radio head unit.
UConnect features for the U.S. market include:
- Voice dialing: Voice commands may be used to digit-dial the phone or access pre-stored voice tags
- Audio address book: Thirty-two names, four numbers per name, for a total of 128 phone numbers can be stored in the system
- Emergency calls and towing assistance: Voice command dials 911 or towing assistance
- Audio-system mute: Mutes the microphone for privacy
- Call transfer: Allows the customer to transfer a call from the vehicle’s system to the mobile phone
- Three language options: Provides English, French and Spanish language capabilities
- Multi-phone recognition: Can recognize as many as seven phones that can be used within one Avenger system
An available interactive digital display located in Avenger’s instrument cluster conveniently displays information and can be controlled by switches mounted in the center stack switch bank. The system allows the Avenger driver to select from a menu of useful information. Dodge Avenger owners can personalize their settings, such as having the lights flash and horn honk when locking and unlocking the vehicle using Remote Keyless Entry. The Dodge Avenger’s Electronic Vehicle Information Center also gives owners the ability to scroll through the compass/outside temperature, average fuel economy, distance to empty, trip elapsed time and Tire Pressure Monitoring system.
For the 2009 Dodge Avenger: sound reduction; ABS, a rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and fog lamps were made standard on SXT and R/T, 18-inch chrome-clad wheels became standard on Avenger R/T, and a trunk mat, sunglass holder, floor mats, cabin air filter, and deck lid liner became standard across the board. Cosmetically, the silver paint was made lighter, and the two-tone gray interior was switched to "dark slate gray." The premium convenience group was expanded and the ultimate performance tire and wheel group (with 2.7 liter engine) was given the 18 inch UltraBrite wheels and P215/55 tires. All wheel drive is now restricted to the R/T model.
The 2010 Dodge Avenger continued with new active head restraints and exterior colors; a new instrument panel gauge cluster was used in all models, and four-wheel antilock disc brakes were standard across the board.
Among more than 30 safety and security features, the 2008 Dodge Avenger featured standard advanced multi-stage front air bags, side-curtain air bags and front-seat-mounted side air bags, and available anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP), and a first for Dodge in the mid-size segment, all-wheel-drive capability (late availability).
Avenger’s available ABS system helps the driver keep the vehicle under control by preventing wheel lock-up when the driver brakes on slippery surfaces. Avenger also offers ESP packaged with Brake Assist and Traction Control. ESP is an option on Avenger SXT and R/T models and standard on the R/T AWD model. This stability system helps the Avenger driver maintain stability and does everything within the limits of vehicle traction to keep Avenger on course. ESP also helps maintain forward traction by constantly monitoring wheel speed sensor signals. If there is any indication of slippage, ESP engages, applying the brakes and, if necessary, closing the throttle to maintain traction. Avenger’s ESP system works in slick driving conditions, including wet, snowy, icy, sandy or gravel roads, as well as on hot, dry pavement where a thin layer of oil can form, causing the surface to be slick.
“Studies have shown that in an emergency, the average driver will not apply the brakes hard enough or quick enough to achieve the minimum stopping distance,” said Dennis Krozek, Chief Engineer—Dodge Avenger. “Avenger’s Brake Assist overcomes this tendency by using the ESP system to instantly apply the maximum available pressure to the brakes.”
A pressure sensor in the ESP hydraulic module determines when the driver is making an emergency stop by measuring the rate at which the driver applies the brake. A high rate of pedal pressure application causes the ESP system to apply maximum hydraulic pressure to the brakes, stopping the vehicle as quickly as the available traction will allow. Traction Control helps the Avenger maintain traction by applying the brakes, and in some cases, closing the throttle to minimize wheel spin during acceleration.
List of Safety Features
- Advanced Multi-stage Front Air Bags Front-passenger air bags that use unique shape, venting, folding patterns, advanced inflators or a combination of these four technologies to position and inflate the restraint properly for a belted passenger while also meeting federal safety requirements for out-of-position, small occupants and rear-facing infant seats. Occupants are advised to always sit properly in their seats with the seat belt fastened. Children 12 and younger should always be seated in a back seat, correctly using an infant- or child-restraint system, or have the seat belt positioned correctly for their age and weight.
- All-speed Traction Control (included with ESP) senses drive-wheel slip and applies individual brakes to a slipping wheel(s), and can reduce excess engine power until traction is regained
- All-wheel Drive (late availability) provides added grip and vehicle stability by sending torque to the rear wheels only when necessary based on throttle input or wheel slip
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) senses and prevents wheel lockup, offering improved steering control under extreme braking and/or slippery conditions
- Auto-dimming rearview mirror dims the light to ease headlight reflection in the driver’s eyes
- Auto-reverse Sun Roof advanced sensing system that automatically engages and reverses the sun roof (to the open position)
- Auto-reverse Windows automatically engages and reverses the window (to the down position)
- BeltAlert provides an audible and visual warning to alert drivers when their seat belt is unfastened
- Brake Assist (included with ESP) ensures 100 percent brake efficiency during panic brake situations
- Brake/Park Interlock Prevents an automatic transmission or transaxle from being shifted out of Park until the brake pedal is applied
- Child-protection Rear Door Locks disable the rear doors’ inside-release handle via a small lever on the door-shut face
- Child Seat Anchor System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren [LATCH]) eases installation of compatible aftermarket child seats
- Constant Force Retractors (CFR) distributes force or load exerted on a seat belt, and then gradually releases the seat-belt webbing in a controlled manner
- Crumple Zones compress during an accident to absorb energy from an impact, decreasing transfer of that energy to the occupants
- Daytime Running Lamps increase visual contrast between the Avenger and its surrounding environment
- Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Traction Control assists the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability by applying selective braking and throttle control to manage oversteer, understeer and to maintain traction during acceleration on slippery surfaces
- Energy-absorbing Steering Column utilizes two hydroformed coaxial tubes that can move relative to each other to allow the column to move forward for enhanced energy-absorption during a crash. The power-adjust steering column employs a calibrated bending element that deforms during column stroke for optimal energy management
- Enhanced Accident Response System (EARS) makes it easier for emergency personnel to see and reach occupants in the event of an accident by turning on the interior lighting and unlocking the doors after air-bag deployment. Also shuts off the flow of fuel to the engine
- Front-seat-mounted Side Air Bags deploy for enhanced thorax protection during a side impact
- Height-adjustable Front Seat Belts allow the driver and front passenger to raise and lower the shoulder belt. Encourages seat-belt usage by offering a more comfortable fit
- HomeLink Universal Home Security System Transceiver stores three separate transmitter radio-frequency codes to operate garage-door openers, security gates, security lighting or other radio-controlled devices
- Inside Emergency Trunk Release, with a glow-in-the-dark release handle, can be activated in the event of an adult or child being inadvertently trapped inside the trunk
- Interior Head-impact Protection includes interior pillars above the belt line and instrument panel including areas around windshield and rear window headers, roof and side-rail structures, as well as shoulder-belt turning loops specifically designed to limit head-impact force
- Knee Bolsters in the lower instrument panel and the glove-box door are designed to properly position the occupant, enabling the air bags to work effectively
- Remote Keyless Entry locks and unlocks doors, and turns on interior lamps. If the vehicle is equipped with a vehicle-theft security alarm, the remote also arms and disarms that system
- Seat-belt Pretensioners immediately remove slack in the seat belts in a collision situation, thereby reducing the forward movement of the occupants’ heads and torsos
- Security Alarm blows the horn intermittently and flashes the turn signal lamps to deter vandalism and theft. It protects the vehicle from theft by monitoring both the door- and liftgate-ajar switches and the ignition circuit for unauthorized entry
- Sentry Key® Engine Immobilizer utilizes an engine key that has an embedded transponder with a preprogrammed security key code to shut the engine off after a few seconds if the correct key is not inserted
- Side-occupant Protection System includes side-curtain air bags with roll detection system that deploy in certain rollover situations and side-impact events. Utilizes information from multiple sensors to determine the severity of the impact
- Supplemental Side-curtain Air Bags deploy from the headliner to provide two rows of side-impact protection to outboard occupants
- Side Guard Door Beams in front and rear doors provide occupant protection during a side impact
- Structural Safety Cage protects occupants by managing and controlling energy in the event of an impact
- Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) System alerts the driver to low pressure tire(s) by a warning light in the instrument cluster. A premium system displays individual tire pressure, available with the Electronic Vehicle Information System
- UConnect Hands-free Communication System uses Bluetooth technology to provide voice-activated wireless communication between the occupants’ compatible cell phone and the vehicle’s onboard receiver. The hands-free option promotes safety, freedom, value and flexibility
Manufacturing and production
The Dodge Avenger is the third vehicle to be built on the assembly line at the Sterling Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant (SHAP), joining the Chrysler Sebring Sedan and Chrysler Sebring Convertible. Production of the Dodge Avenger follows an extensive retooling, which included multiple plant upgrades that improved quality, productivity and worker ergonomics. SHAP is now able to vary the production mix between three product models and pilot a fourth.
“We are now seeing the success of our $500 million dollar investment in SHAP and Sterling (Heights) Stamping Plant,” said Fred Goedtel, Vice President—Small/Premium/Family Vehicle Assembly. “The plant enhancements have made the facility both more flexible and efficient. The assembly operation now has the capability to build multiple upper bodies and multiple vehicle families or architectures, which will allow for the flexibility to add new models or ‘cross-load’ models from other plants to better meet the dynamics of the market.”
“In addition, the Sterling Stamping Plant can weld and assemble more than one product on the same line. These new capabilities will support the company’s pursuit of product leadership by providing flexibility to efficiently manage increased distinction between the Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge brands,” said Goedtel.
The company invested $278 million at SHAP to overhaul the body shop and improve the paint shop and assembly areas, including installing new tooling and about 620 new welding and material handling robots.
The SHAP Trim, Chassis and Final areas received a new glass-installation cell, windshield decking, chassis-insertion loop system, fluid-fill equipment and roll-test machines. Each of these contributed favorably to the plant's overall productivity and efficiency efforts.
Chrysler wrote that the Sebring’s JS platform is derived from the GS [Caliber/Compass/Patriot] platform but is wider and longer. Many parts are shared among vehicles on the two platforms, and a high level of flexibility has been engineered into the assembly process. If demand is strong, the Chrysler group can assemble the Sebring and Avenger at its Belvidere plant. Conversely, Chrysler can assemble the Caliber and its Jeep siblings in the Sterling Heights plant.
oh20 reported — correctly and long in advance — that the drivetrain choices are the four-speed automatic transmission with the 2.4 World Engine (40TES automatic) or the 2.7 V6 (41TES automatic; standard and flex-fuel versions); a retuned (for lower horsepower) 3.5 liter V6 is optional, with the brand-new 62TE six-speed automatic transmission developed entirely by Chrysler (which includes a special kickdown gear, technically making it a seven-speed). oh20 also reported that the ESP stability control package will be available. There are many cool features in these vehicles — see the feature lists further down on this page.
Export cars get a Volkswagen diesel and 2.0 liter four-cylinder World Engine, coupled to the four-speed automatic or to a manual transmission (a five-speed Chrysler design or a six-speed Aisin model). This is the engine in the “concept car” shown in France (and pictured on this page).
Currently, the Sebring and Stratus sedans, combined, are selling around 200,000 units per year, including the closely-related Sebring Convertible, while the Neon is selling around 120,000 units. The Sedans outsold the Mitsubishi-designed Coupes by more than a 4:1 margin when sales data was still separated.
RedRiderBob and Michigan_79 stopped the clock on a Chrysler presentation and found the Avenger!
...and they did it six months before the September photos (clearly showing the same car, in silver) arrived.