2008 Dodge Avenger Overview

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2008 Dodge Avenger Overview

The 2008 Dodge Avenger and its twin, the Chrysler Sebring, resemble a midsize Charger. This is Chrysler's challenge to the Accord, Altima, Fusion, and G6. Three trim lines - the SE, SXT, and R/T - all come standard with front-wheel drive. Late in the model year, an all-wheel-drive version of the 3.5-liter R/T will be available. Handling is typical of midsize front-wheel-drive cars: smooth, with controlled body roll and understeer.

The Avenger is available with three engines. The SE and SXT come standard with a 173-hp, 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that provides an adequate driving experience. The midline engine is a 189-hp, 2.7-liter V6 that provides more fun for drivers and also runs on E85 ethanol. The R/T's 235-hp, 3.5-liter V6 takes only 7.5 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph; its six-speed automatic is fast and smooth.

Standard safety equipment includes front airbags, side-impact airbags, and side curtain airbags. The SXT is the only trim that features standard ABS brakes, and then the rear brakes are drums. ESP stability control and traction control are options on the SXT and R/T and will be standard on the AWD R/T.

The new Avenger boasts an interior wonderland with many improvements to that of the 2000 edition. The interior is roomier, with widely adjustable front bucket seats, and comes standard with a tilting, telescoping steering wheel.

One quickly notices a bin on the passenger side of the well-laid-out dashboard - the "Chill Zone" is a standard feature on all models. It uses the air-conditioning system to cool the Chill Zone's contents down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and it accommodates four 12-ounce beverage cans nicely. An optional center console cup holder heats a container up to 140 degrees or cools it down to 35 degrees.

The new Avenger also features MyGIG - a 20-gigabyte hard drive. It holds navigation data, but can also store up to 1,600 songs from inserted CDs, along with photos you can display on the navigation system. Back-seat residents have their own optional DVD entertainment system that uses a small swing-up screen on the rear end of the center console.

And the new Avenger even offers room for cargo! The 60/40-split folding rear seats and an optional front-folding seat allow for 8-foot-long cargo. The trunk measures 13.3 cubic feet and has a relatively low lift-over height for the rear bumper.

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