By James Bergeron

Day 1:

2008 Dodge Avenger SXT
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Interesting weather we have here in Canada; two days ago I had the air conditioning running in the car and in my home; today I have the heat on in the car and just closed up the house nice and tight. I haven’t had a test vehicle with heated seats in a while, or if I have I certainly didn’t feel the need to test them in 30 plus degree weather. The test vehicle for this week is the Dodge Avenger SXT — with heated seats.

They work quite nice too — but let’s get down to basics first. The Dodge Avenger is built on the same platform as the Chrysler Sebring I tested just a few weeks ago. Available in SE, SXT and R/T trim the Avenger is available with a range of engines, starting with a 2.4L four cylinder power plant all way up to the 3.5L high output V6 available on the R/T Avenger — the same engine I tested in the Chrysler Sebring.

2008 Dodge Avenger SXT
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The Avenger SE starts at $21.995, my tester (the SXT model) has a starting price of $24,095 with my tester pricing out to just over $27,000.

The options including in my tester include: convenience group (which includes heated seats and mirrors) for $500, the premium convenience group (which adds climate control and auto headlights) for $750, the sports appearance package which adds the cool spoiler on the rear for $400 and, of course, let’s not forget the Boston Acoustic sound system — a bargain at $250.

From the outside it is tough to see the resemblance to the Sebring in the Avenger — which in my opinion is a good thing. The Avenger’s more aggressive and sporty styling is more appealing to me. The rear quarter view of the Avenger also reminds me of the Dodge Charger which is a sporting sedan as well especially in SRT form with a Hemi V8.

On the inside it becomes plain as day that these vehicles are closely related. The colours and textures of the plastics are the same, the shapes are very similar and the buttons and switch gear are located identically.

It will be interesting to be able to contrast and compare the Avenger with the Chrysler Sebring I tested just a few short weeks ago. Obviously going from the high output V6 in the Sebring to the 2.4L four cylinder engine in the Avenger is somewhat of a let down when it comes to straight line performance. As hard as it may be to believe, there is a lot more to a car than how fast it goes from 0-100km/h. And the Avenger should certainly have the advantage at the pumps.

2008 Dodge Avenger
MSRP as tested: $27,370

For more information on Dodge and the Avenger visit Dodge Canada

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