I’ll admit that Dodge has been killing it lately. The Challenger is one of the nicest looking muscle cars out there, the Charger has the power sedan market wrapped up, and the Dart is a nifty looking compact car that performs well. But does Dodge’s midsize sedan, the Avenger, live up to the expectations brought on by its siblings? I spent some time in the 2014 Avenger R/T to find out.
The 2014 Dodge Avenger R/T comes to us with a 3.6L Pentastar V6 engine good for 283 horsepower and 260 lb/ft of torque. Power goes to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission that can be operated manually from the stick. EPA fuel ratings are 19 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined. I observed 28 mpg during my time of mostly highway driving.
|STATS||Starting Retail Price||As Tested Price||HP / Lb-Ft|
|2014 Dodge Avenger||$25,795||$27,485||283/260|
|EPA Rating MPG||As Tested MPG|
|Rating: LEASE IT!||19/29 Combined 22||Highway 28|
The front fascia of the Avenger sticks out like the jutting chin of a petulant toddler. It’s not bad, just a bold design choice to be sure. The 18″ polished aluminum wheels fill the fender wells nicely and the car has a lowered right height, lending it an aggressive stance.
Behind the wheel, the 2014 Dodge Avenger does a fine job at handling the turns. The sport tuned suspension is nothing special, but it keeps the Avenger hugging the road. Steering has a good weight, but is very numb and doesn’t offer enough feedback. Acceleration off the line is good, but the transmission is geared more for efficiency than sport. Upshifts come quickly and you’ll likely find yourself in 6th gear before you hit 60 mph. It’s a shame there isn’t a sport mode to hold those gears longer, as its when the Avenger hits the higher revs that any fun to be had begins. Operating the transmission manually from the stick really brings out the power of the V6, and paddle shifters would be a welcome addition.
Inside you get an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and soft touch surfaces throughout. The cruise control, Bluetooth, and Sirius satellite radio can all be operated from the multifunctional steering wheel. The USB port is easily accessible and there is a 6.5″ touchscreen with the Uconnect system. The screen may seem crowded at first, but I have found the Uconnect system to be one of the most intuitive and easy to use operating systems available today. Navigation is provided by Garmin and it’s very foolproof.
Additional standard features on the 2014 Dodge Avenger include power accessories, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, tilt and telescoping steering column, a 60/40 rear seat split with a trunk pass through, projector fog lamps, power heated side mirrors, trunk lid spoiler, LED tail lights, and dual chrome exhaust tips.
Room in the backseat is compromised just a bit despite an overall length of nearly 193 inches. The trunk, too, seems small, at 13.5 cubic feet.
My R/T model with the optional Uconnect system, satellite radio, and navigation comes in at $25,795, which represents one of the lowest prices you’ll find in the segment.
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
The 2014 Dodge Avenger gets a Lease it!
Competitors like the Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, and especially the Mazda6 offer better gas mileage, a back up camera, and a bigger trunk, all wrapped up in a more sophisticated package. While the 2014 Dodge Avenger is a car that will get you where you want to go reliably and with a modicum of style, it just does not have the goods to compete in such a crowded midsize sedan market.
Check out this video of the Avenger’s big brother, the 2012 Dodge Charger SRT8.
Emme is a driver, reviewer, and rabble rouser. She is the principle driver and trophy winner for the Mega Monkey Motorsports™ 2 seat 1600 desert racer, powered by an air-cooled VW engine and has also been on the podium in a stock bug, a trophy bug, and an ultra-4. She is one of only 13 American women to have participated in the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, a 9 day all female off road rally in Morocco with no GPS. You can check her out online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and either one of her blogs.