Day 3:

Day by Day Review: 2008 Dodge Avenger SXT dodge daily car reviews
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Anyone read Autos’s news section yesterday? Apparently the Avenger suffers from a recall that could cause an engine fire — I was a little dismayed when I read about that this morning. I’m a trooper, though, and I haven’t parked the Avenger in fear just yet. Perhaps the recall doesn’t even affect my specific tester — let’s hope so.

My tester is powered by a 2.4L four cylinder engine producing 173hp, coupled to a four speed automatic transmission. The vehicle certainly won’t win you any drag races and it does feel slightly sluggish if you are cruising at 80km/h and need to make a quick passing maneuver, but cruising around town and getting up to speed from a stand still is fairly uneventful. One notable, though: unlike many domestic engines the 2.4L engine seems to produce its power up high and you really feel a surge of power after 4500 rpm.

Day by Day Review: 2008 Dodge Avenger SXT dodge daily car reviews
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The suspension and steering feel much sportier than that of the Chrysler Sebring; you can tell almost immediately when driving the Avenger that it was tuned with more sporting intentions in mind. The steering feels more direct and the suspension is firmer, but still very compliant and soft-riding.

On cold starts the Avenger’s steering rack kind of groans, like an old dog getting up after a good night’s rest. This seems to go away after a short bit of driving, although it makes me wonder what would happen in the dead of winter.

The brakes also have a sporting quality to them with good initial bite and a pedal that is easy to modulate with good feedback. As a result the Avenger encourages more aggressive and playful driving than the Sebring did.

Although still no sports car, if the space and convenience of a larger sedan is one of your requirements as well as more sporting intentions the Avenger would be my choice over the Sebring, although I’d would have to suggest opting for one of the larger engines and perhaps even the all-wheel drive option for even more fun.




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. James holds a national FIA race license and actively races and stewards at race events.