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2014 Dodge Avenger Performance

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On Performance

While the 2014 Dodge Avenger looks competitive with its segment on paper, the performance just doesn't feel all that inspired.

We'd recommend that shoppers leave the 173-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder with the four-speed automatic for the rental fleets–choose that model with the six-speed automatic instead. It's zippy enough, though the engine feels coarse at times.

There's not much fun in the way the Avenger drives, but acceleration is strong on V-6 versions.

If you're looking for more performance, the 283-hp 3.6-liter V-6 is a huge upgrade in smoothness and demeanor. The six-speed automatic works well here, too, especially with hard acceleration, but stop-and-go traffic can leave it shuddering at times.

Also, the V-6 has a bit of an issue with torque steer. The Avenger has old-fashioned hydraulic power steering, and a lower ride height in front than in back; together they give it decent road manners and feedback, but it's not happy and taut at most speeds.

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