2011 Dodge Avenger: First Look

2011 Dodge Avenger

  • Competes with: Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion
  • Looks like: An improvement, but is it enough?
  • Drivetrain: 283-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 with six-speed transmission; 2.4-liter four-cylinder with four or six-speed automatic transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Late 2010

For the 2011 model year, the poor-selling Dodge Avenger gets a significant midcycle refresh that may fix many grievances with the current sedan. The 2011 Avenger gets an all-new interior, minor exterior updates, a new V-6 engine and further retuning of its suspension.

Starting with the most significant upgrade, the Avenger’s interior gets a new dash, gauge cluster, front seats, armrests, steering wheel and center stack. Not much was left untouched. Epically noteworthy are the seats and the sporty gauge cluster, which looks similar to the cluster in the Nissan Maxima and Murano. Dodge promises more soft-touch materials throughout the new interior.

Outside, the Avenger gets only minor aesthetic upgrades that bring the car more in line with the new Dodge “look.” The sedan gets a new lower front bumper, rear bumper and LED taillamps. Like in the new 2011 Dodge Journey, the rear LEDs are arranged in a circle.

Underneath the hood, the Avenger gets a new 283-horsepower V-6 engine, the same one incorporated into the new 2011 Chrysler 200. It's mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder is a carryover from last year, and it will be mated to a four- or six-speed automatic transmission.

The suspension is completely redesigned, too. Dodge says 26 of 30 suspension bushings have been updated for the 2011 model. The 2011 Avenger rides lower to the ground, has a wider track and has thicker tires compared with the outgoing model. Overall, the car should feel sportier, Dodge says.

The new Avenger should go on sale sometime in November. We’ll keep you posted when more photos and pricing are available.

By Colin Bird | October 28, 2010 | Comments (34)

Comments 

Paul

There is nothing appealing about this car. Chrysler should rename it the Dodge Renter. Avis here it comes.

Amuro Ray

Refer to my comment for the Caravan from today.

d

rear end is still plain as can be. interior is better but Kia/Hyundais r so much better! Even Hertz renters don't like being offered this car!!

Derrick G

No, it's no stunning improvement, but it's good enough to make the Chrysler faithful not run away screaming. It's definitely a huge step up.

Paul Tozier

If you are in a six foot-deep hole and climb up five feet, it's an improvement, but you are still in a hole. Give up, Chrysler!

GK

Another poor quality car from Chrysler again. Who buys these cars? Aside from rental car companies.

65Chrysler300

So Hyundai can go from making cheap econoboxes to some of the best quality cars, but Chrysler should shut down? There is no reason Chrysler can't make the same kind of turnaround as Hyundai. JGC, Charger, and Durango show that such a turnaround is here.

sheth


That interior looks as good as anything in the segment. I still dont like the exterior but the interior can stand toe to toe with any Camry or Accord. Actually, I would say it looks better than either of those cars.

Of course it wont impress closed minded Chrysler haters but to suggest that this car is so bad that no one would even want it as a rental is a joke. I would much rather drive this than a Camry rental. At least Dodge is investing heavily in interior quality- can't say the same for Toyota.

I question the intelligence of anyone who chides Chrysler for not making good vehicles only to say "give up" when they debut vastly improved vehicles. What kind of logic is that? Did you tell Hyundai to give up when they were making undesirable, cheap cars? Did you tell Honda to give up back when they were making small, slow, rust prone compacts? You compete by getting better and they seem to be doing that. Its a shame that so many Americans are rooting against one of their only 3 automakers. These same people would love the interior shown above if Toytoa made it.

sheth

"Another poor quality car from Chrysler again. Who buys these cars? Aside from rental car companies."

How would you know its poor quality? YOu've driven it? You've owned a 2011 already? Why are import drivers so closed minded and ignorant? This "low quality" interior looks better than whats in the Camry.

Chrysler sells more vehicles than Hyundai and Nissan and slightly less than Honda so someone is buying them. I think they will see big retail sales increases with their new products because they seem to be much better

Amuro Ray

Sheth, I really would like to bring you UP to the next level of discussion, that is, before opening your mouth, do some research, analyze the findings, and try to interpret it (either to the advantage of your argument, or disadvantage of the opposite party). Well, here's the dope slap that people here keep telling u 'bou...

Why are YOU so close minded 'bou domestics? Open your eyes, and think NEUTRAL for a sec.

People, including myself, are giving -ve comments on the Avenger because of its history. It's not that we aren't saying there's no improvement; we are saying, it needs WAY more, 'coz of the problem it is in. Since no 2011 is available yet, the facts can only be based on 2010 and prior, and they aren't pretty. One point though - u r seeing pics right now, and they are NOT REAL. So don't comment as to "quality better than Camry" just 'coz of the pics. Let me introduce a new term for you, "photoshop."

Moreover, there is no mentioning of handling or powertrain improvement on all except for the specific model, so one can only deduce that the changes on most trims, esp the most popular ones, are having cosmetics refresh only. This doesn't mean that it is definitely the case, hence the term, deduce.

If look is the only thing that sells, you will see Porsche and Ferraris all around. But u don't, do ya? Price, quality, reliability, reviews and comments are info that can easily be accessed by buyers. When they look at the reviews of Avenger...hmm...no need for an idiot to figure out. But don't listen to me, you are welcomed to spend $20K plus and then tell us whether the vehicle is really good or not. Again, if in fact most trims are having only cosmetics refresh, it's unlikely that future reviews will be favorable to the Avenger.

One last thing -what sort of basis do you have for your statement, "I think they will see big retail sales increases with their new products because they seem to be much better." Seem much better = will see big retail sales? Current Ford Taurus seems and in fact, much better than the 500, but it doesn't seem to gain big retail sales...

My experience with the Avenger is thru Enterprise RAC - many, MANY times. I keep asking for an Altima but they keep giving me the Avenger. According to the branch (also the regional or area) manager, they have big incentives to get Chrysler vehicles vs any other brands, which is why most rental companies have Chrysler vehicles the most.

Belly

they debut vastly improved vehicles. What kind of logic is that?
- I didn't even have to try to respond to this one... "How would you know its poor quality? YOu've driven it? You've owned a 2011 already?"

Actually, I would say it looks better than either of those cars
-You and maybe 5 other people... in the whole country.

Actually, I like the exterior of the car. But what is new here? Bulges around the fog lights? That's some real work going on.

I wish they would have made this with a stick and something of a fuel efficient 4 cylinder. But that just isn't Chrysler territory.

Parrots

The interior looks small. That's something I haven't seen today.

hoosier_roy

Ah, Amuro Ray can still be counted on to dramatically lower the signal to noise ratio of the KickingTires site from every comment he posts. Keep the nonsensenical commentary comin' Amuro! We're counting on you!

Gary B

If it wasn't for General Motors Chrysler would have the worst car line-up.

Nic

I think it looks good. Not bad at all.

GK

Drive a Chrysler and you can judge the quality yourself by it's drive train/transmission and interior build quality. I've driven most of the 2010 fleet with the exception of the hemi and they are not very good compared to their Ford and GM counterparts. According to a recent Consumer report, Chrysler is dead last for their brand reliability.

For Sheth; Chrysler is ranked #16 as a global auto brand in sales. Ahead of Mitsubishi and behind Mazda. So I'm not sure how Chrysler outsells Nissan and Hyundai. The top 5 global auto sales giants are: Toyota, GM, Ford, VW, Ford and Hyundai.

sheth

AR;

Dont address me any further until you can conduct a mature, thoughtful discussion. What in the world are you talking about?

1. Every avenger gets a new interior
2. The press release makes it clear that the suspension has been thoroughly revised
3. The I4 stays the same but can now be mated to a 6 speed auto (cant do that on an Accord) and the V6 is ALL NEW
4. How do you know so much about the Avenger? Personally I have never driven one so unlike you I am not an authority on the car. It had some hard plastics and a weak V6- both have been addressed here. Aside from those issues I'm not sure what grounds you or anyone else have to call the Avenger a terrible car.
5. Track record is fine if products don't change, the point of this 2011 model is that its substantially upgraded so your comments about the "track record" of the old car are irrelevant.

sheth

GK:

Trust me I have my facts straight.

1. I was talking about US sales obviously, chrysler has no presence outside of NA. It's the same with Lexus- they are #1 in the US and a niche player in Europe and elsewhere.

2. GM sold more vehicles than Toyota in the first half of the year. They may in fact still be #1 in 2010.

3. CR is "dead last" when it comes to objectivity and statistical analysis. Their methods are seriously flawed and they make up for it by bragging about how many respondents they have. If your data collection is flawed 1.3M responses is meaningless. Why don't you tell me how many times the average Chrysler owner visits the shop vs Toyota owners. Tell me the failure rate for these "unreliable" Chryslers. Tell me who has more recalls per capita- Toyota or Chrysler. CR data doesn't capture ANY of that so you can't answer those questions. They survey a closed group every year and come back with the same results every year. What a shock.

not to get into the fray but I'll weight in on where the current Avenger ranks against the class:
Last.
I can't think of one mid-sizer I'd select the Avenger over in comparable trims.
Was it a horrible car? No. It had major flaws though that would prevent me from recommending it over other very good products.

sheth

"If it wasn't for General Motors Chrysler would have the worst car line-up."

Based on what? Your biased assessment? The professionals who review cars would not agree.

Amuro Ray

My rebuttal...last time.

Sheth, u just threw all of ur credibility out when u've done 0 time in a previous Avenger, then extrapolate your defense against whatever flaws the new Avenger will answer to simply based on press release and enhanced pictures.

sheth

AR:

HOw many times have you driven the Avenger? I dont really like the styling of the car and that hasn't changed much for 2011. You tell me in detail what is wrong with the Avenger and explain why its an unbearable car to drive. I did spend over 1400 miles in a rental Charger a few years back. The base engine was weak and the steering was a little light- other than that the car was hardly objectionable for a stripped rental. Ride was nice, car was quiet and all controls were easy to use.

DT:

No surprise that you think its worst in class- I would offer than the Galant is worst in class. Either way, the new car corrects the biggest flaws- interior design, V6 power and handling. What else do you want them to do until an all new model arrives? There arent any truly bad cars out today even if some models are more compelling buys than other. Aside from brand strength it appears that this 2011 model is ready to compete with the best sellers.

Belly

Track record is fine if products don't change, the point of this 2011 model is that its substantially upgraded so your comments about the "track record" of the old car are irrelevant.
-What kind of incompetence does it take to make a completely foolish statement like this...

At least Dodge is investing heavily in interior quality-
-When you are at the bottom of a the barrel even a penny is a lot.

I question the intelligence of anyone
-You shouldn't question anyone's intelligence but your own.

No surprise that you think its worst in class- I would offer than the Galant is worst in class.
-Coming from someone who admits not spending any actual time in the Avenger, versus someone who actually reviews autos... your offer is worth absolutely nothing.

the new car corrects the biggest flaws- interior design, V6 power and handling.
-Interior design was clearly a huge problem, why is that completely fixed by a picture? What about fuel efficiency? If there was a big problem that was the biggest.

And handling - "Overall, the car should feel sportier, Dodge says." - well why not completely believe Dodge (and really 'should feel sportier' - that is a complete vote of confidence)? Its not like they were the ones that built the old model or anything...

sheth

"-When you are at the bottom of a the barrel even a penny is a lot."

What are you talking about? I never said anything about dollar value. I said they are improving their interiors unlike Toyota. Was that over your head?

"-What kind of incompetence does it take to make a completely foolish statement like this..."

What level of stupidity does it take to say "dont buy the new and improved 2011 model because the old model was lacking"? Since you are making the argument you should be able to explain it.

"-Coming from someone who admits not spending any actual time in the Avenger, versus someone who actually reviews autos... your offer is worth absolutely nothing."

Galant gets worst in class FE, has cheap interior, mediocre handling and dulls styling. Can't think of a less competitive midsize car. I'm sure DT overlooked it when he made his comment.

"-Interior design was clearly a huge problem, why is that completely fixed by a picture? What about fuel efficiency? If there was a big problem that was the biggest."

This is called the internet. We look at pics to learn about new products. If you don't believe pics are accurate then don't use them as a basis to judge this or any other product. Notice you dont bring up these issues when the pics are of some import model. Predictable and absurd- but that's your MO and we expect nothing more from someone with your limitations. I already said (reading is fundamental) that the JGC and Ram have showcased Chrysler's new interiors and both have been well received. Someone of limited intelligence might surmise that the Avenger's interior isnt drastically improved as the pics indicate- but those of us with common sense would say otherwise. MIleage? A 6 speed will be coupled to 2.4L for first time. That will help mileage. The more advanced V6 with VVT should improved V6 mileage.

"And handling - "Overall, the car should feel sportier, Dodge says." - well why not completely believe Dodge (and really 'should feel sportier' - that is a complete vote of confidence)? Its not like they were the ones that built the old model or anything..."

Dodge knows how to build cars that handle, see SRT models and the Viper. I'd trust them over Toyota when it comes to handling.

Skankzilla

So the only way to get a good handling Chrysler is to buy their over-priced SRT models, or a Viper. Yeah, no thanks.

Sheth must be too young to remember the likes of the Toyota Supra, Celica All-Trac, Corolla Trueno as examples of great handling cars. You can thank the likes of those cars for pressuring Americans toward building better performing vehicles. Otherwise we'd still be stuck with under-powered, over-weight, terrible handling, lousy fuel economy road tanks... Oh, geez, what was I thinking... that was the last review I read of the new Challenger. Or was it the new Regal? Wait, don't you own one of those?

sheth

skank:

Your commentary sinks to the level of your name. Die hard import lovers are bitter, poorly informed, biased and incapable of intelligent discourse.

1. Toyota has abandoned performance cars. Dont tell me about cars from the early 90s, I know all about them and they arent here any more. Stop trying to judge today's vehicles based on what was on sale in 1991. People like you cant let go of the past because you know your preferred brands have no advantages in 2010.

2. Until the late 90s or so imports generally werent known for performance or handling. They were known for four cylinder engines and reliabiltiy. Don't even get me started on efficiency. Go back and check out the mileage of midsize and luxury imports from the 80s and 90s- pathetic. The first Accord V6 had a 2.6L engine and got 23mpg on the highway by today's standards. That was no more efficient than the average American family sedan.

3. I have a regal, not a challenger. How could you get the two confused? If you like imports you should like the Regal.

Skankzilla

Sheth,

Don't try to insult me, it makes you look foolish. I can see why you're the brunt of everyone's jokes on here.

Did you know that die hard domestic lovers are bitter, poorly informed, biased and incapable of intelligent discourse? Such a generalized statement, but I can definitely say it fits you perfectly.

I again remind you I'm not a Toyota loyalist. But I certainly will not follow the advice of a troll who drives a Regal. Which is already rated as one of the most inefficient, worst performing and heaviest vehicles in it's class. Which goes the same for the Challenger. Which was my point. Which is why you should slow down when you read.

Belly

Shet - your name is all that needs to be said.

What level of stupidity does it take to say "dont buy the new and improved 2011 model because the old model was lacking"?
-You are the only one that said that! You are soooo stupid! HAh!

I'm sure DT overlooked it when he made his comment.
-No, he just spent time in an Avenger.

Notice you dont bring up these issues when the pics are of some import model.
-What issues do I bring up? I have never said an import has the best interior based on a picture. You can only make this kind of stuff up.

we expect nothing more from someone with your limitations.
-First of all, who do you think is "we"? Everyone thinks you are an idiot on this site. And you said limitations... such big words. HAH!! you are sooo insulting... HAh!!

reading is fundamental
-Try it sometime then.

Dodge knows how to build cars
-HAh!!!

Evest

You are all idiots.

kellz

I think its a huge step in the right direction honestly. more sleek a penstar engine COME ON MAN one of the best v6 on the mkt as i said ONE OF THE BEST but think about it for the middle class men and women its family sporty affordable makeings is probley what makes this car very attractive

The interior leather finish seat covers totally matches with the dashboard.......I feel the interiors are better than the exteriors.....

hi

ok so everyone is being stubborn. I would just like to comment to whoever said that the pictures are photoshopped and it doesn't actually look like that...that was the dumbest thing ive ever heard because when they did come out that is exactly how it looks. It is a very solid car and they have made many improvements and I don't see what else your talking about for improvements that need to be made. You haven't even driven one so how can you critic it so poorly. It is a solid car, drives sporty, both the v6 and 4-cylinder engines provide the power that you expect. The new grill and rims greatly improve the look of this car. Also, the rear end is not plain at all. I believe the spoiler adds a very good touch to it better then any other car out there. As to the interior, its great for comfort wise, and looks very nice inside. I don't know how any of you can be so easy to critic something that you have not been in or driven. That's when you really know that you are favoring other companies and just hoping for the worse for dodge.

Charles

A few weeks back my rental car company gave me an Avenger in place of a Dodge Charger. I was a little disappointed at first but pleasantly surprised when they brought the car around. It was black on black leather and it was beautiful. I was even more surprised by the build quality and luxurious ride. This car is very refined. The interior has a smart, uncluttered appeal and I couldn't believe how quiet it was. Even more impressed when I got home and researched the Avenger's crash test ratings. I would definitely consider this car. I doubt any of the negative reviewers here have actually driven this car.

Christian

Im about to buy a dodge avenger which I driver for the last few day, but every time I bump into a relative/friend they tell me not to buy and to buy a Japanese car. Do far by driving this car for 4 days I love it. It's got 40,000 mi. What exactly breaks down?

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