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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Trim levels are almost identical cosmetically
Shares its basic design with the Sebring from Dodge's parent company Chrysler
Comfortable seating and a simple control layout
The Dodge Avenger arrives on the scene in 2008 as the replacement for the old Dodge Stratus. As part of Chrysler's new look for Dodge, this 2009 Dodge Avenger echoes the styling of the bigger Dodge Charger with mixed results.
Reviewers at Edmunds state that the 2009 Dodge Avenger, a mid-size sedan, "comes in three trim levels: base SE, well-equipped SXT and sporty R/T," though the external differences are few. All three versions feature styling similar to the Dodge Charger, leading Car and Driver reviewers to christen the Avenger the "Chargerette." Some reviews read by TheCarConnection.com praise the styling, especially Cars.com, which says that "the Avenger's design is its greatest appeal," noting that "it definitely stands apart from many midsize competitors in what is arguably the most homogenous vehicle class." MotherProof reviewers also love this 2009 Dodge, claiming that "the Avenger makes a statement. It isn't dippy; it's sharp and aggressive." However, on the negative side, Autoblog comments that the "rear quarter panel is an utter mess of shapes," while Car and Driver feels that it "fails to be either menacing or inviting."
Despite some squabbling among the automotive experts about the exterior styling merits of the Dodge Avenger, few would claim that the interior sets any sort of benchmark for styling in this segment. Cars.com laments the use of "hard and glossy plastics and copious amounts of faux metal" throughout the interior, claiming that, "just like the transmission speed count, with each passing year, the interior will seem further and further behind the times." Taking a positive slant, ConsumerGuide mentions that the "controls are mostly handy, though many lack quality feel and movement," and "some functions are not intuitive." Edmunds also finds a bit of redeeming value among the low-grade materials, claiming that "the R/T trim features white-faced gauges, chrome trim and a two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel that give a sporty, slightly more upscale feel."
One glance at the 2009 Dodge Avenger and you'll know it's a Dodge. One look inside and you'll wish it wasn't.