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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So with winter fast approaching, I'm back to looking for a winter beater (I hate taking the bus).

There's a 1997 2.0L Dodge Avenger being sold locally for pretty cheap, seems to be in good condition. I want a 4 cyl for good gas mileage and I've always loved the look of these cars. :)

Does anyone have any experience, knowledge or opinions about this car?
 

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YOU = FAIL



actually i'm j/k. I have somewhat of a haitred for chrysler after owning my dakota for as many years as i have. However i was able to stack probably more than allowed and almost bottoming out the suspension due to all my buddies crap that we moved 250 miles fron ohio to here. So as far as that beast halling everything without breaking down gave me new appreciation for the 3.9L. But anyway, i think all the cars are crap. if you want it to make it through the winter, it probably will. The auto's are all terrible usually but like i said engine wise they are somewhat of tanks.

The avengers are pretty nice looking cars, somewhat of a spyhunter looking stance. I say rock it till it dies :)
 

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My buddy has a the V6 and he loves it. The interrior flows together rather smoothly, and it's still running like new with a little over 100K
 

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The 1st gen Avenger is based off the Mitsubishi Eclipse, so I'd base my decision off of that. If the price is right and the car appears to be in decent shape you might be alright with it.
 

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I rock a 97 sebring V6 and it does the job as a good dependable DD but it is put together rather cheaply. I hate the interiors because they easily break the tabs and are made totally from cheap plastic but it looks nice. I would say if its cheap rock it.
 

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REally? I thought it was sisters with the Chrysler Sebring and was built on a Mitsu Galant Platform. This is my source:

1995-2000 Dodge Avenger - Consumer Guide Automotive
Both are true - the Eclipse and Galant shared platforms. The use of a 420A motor makes it a bit closer to the Eclipse mechanically. I've always thought that they missed a big opportunity by not putting the turbo 4G63 in the Avenger.
 

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I used to have one, '96, replacing my 01 stratus and I absolutely hated it. It ran great dont get me wrong, but I had serious problems with the handling in the winter and sometimes in the rain.

If you are looking for a winter beater that is all these cars are good for, but it you are going to be driving a lot in the winter it probably is not your best bet. My '96 had the v6 with only 64k miles when i bought it 3 years ago and then sold 1 year later, but I have seen a lot around here and worked on a lot that have had many problems especially with tranny and quite a few engine problems.

A also agree with James The interior on mine fell apart and I usually take good care of them. The roof liner fell down and a lot of the plastic was sepeating from whatever is was connected to and the sunroof leaked whenever it rained.

I liked the looks but overall I would not recomend buying one for a winter car. Also I dont believe the car has tow hooks if i remember so if you do put it in a snow bank keep that in mind
 

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Does anyone have any experience, knowledge or opinions about this car?
Yup. They suck if you want a car that is put together well. The interiors feel nice and are comfy, but fall apart extremely easy. I owned a 97 Sebring and my cousin owned a 99 Eclipse with the identical interior, and both were falling apart all the time

REally? I thought it was sisters with the Chrysler Sebring and was built on a Mitsu Galant Platform. This is my source:

1995-2000 Dodge Avenger - Consumer Guide Automotive
The Eclipse, Sebring, and Avenger are all the same car. Hop in a 2g Eclipse and you'll see... Same seats, same dash, same gauges, same trim, etc etc... front bumper, doors, suspension, etc etc are all interchangeable...

A also agree with James The interior on mine fell apart and I usually take good care of them. The roof liner fell down and a lot of the plastic was sepeating from whatever is was connected to and the sunroof leaked whenever it rained.
I never had a problem with the moonroof leaking. Just that the shade would always break the plastic clips on the track, so Id have to leave the shade open all the time.

If Jim has had any problems with interior parts breaking, then that is a BAD sign of thier quality of the interiors. Because Jim's Sebring is the one I sold to him last year, and I had already replaced EVERY friggin' peice on the interior:mad:

I liked the looks but overall I would not recomend buying one for a winter car. Also I dont believe the car has tow hooks if i remember so if you do put it in a snow bank keep that in mind
true true. Even when it was "new" with good Eagle RSA's, my Sebring was never a good handling car in the winter or in the rain.


As for the motor, it should be a reliable motor if its the same 420a that they put in the Eclipse (though it will be a hell of a lot slower since the Avenger is a tank compared to the Eclipse). those motors take a beating and keep on tickin'...





Only thing id recomend it for is a DD summer car. For winter, I never liked it. Rear window and side windows would never defog, handling sucked, but at least the heat is great:shrug:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Great feedback!

Karma distributed appropriately, great help all of you :D

Just got back from seeing the car (had to see it in the dark, which I know is a big :tdown:)

Good:
NEW transmission & clutch -- unbelievably smooth
New balljoints
New tie rods
New spark plugs + wires
New rear brake assembly
Full power group, fully functional
Clean interior
Owner dropped the price $250 without me asking

Bad:
Oil pan leak
Rusty frame (mostly surface rust)
Dinged up frame (apparently the prev owner drove the car through a field drunk [?] )
Horn & high beams not working (no big deal)
Front brakes shot (determined on the drive)
Scratched up exterior & two small points of chipped paint w/rust (replaceable/fixable)
Rustproofed only once since 2003

WORST & MOST CONCERNING: The Bizarre bodywork :confused:
--On the driver's side, the rocker panel and leading into the door jam. Apparently done to fill up a hole.

Check it out (sorry, I had my cameraphone on blk/wht mode without realizing it):

Rear driver's side wheel well, bottom edge:


Driver's side door jam+rocker panel


Driver's side door jam:


Anybody seen anything this bad before? It's ridiculous :freak:
 

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New rear brake assembly
Don;t tell me.... rear drums?>



Looks like someone got into a little accident, and either tried to fix the body work themselves or paid someone bad to do it:(

Id make sure to get a Carfax on that vehicle for sure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rear discs actually.

Considering how low the seller went (only $1000), I was still thinking about getting it. But my doubts bout the frame/bodywork + all the feedback here has encouraged me to turn my back on it.

Probably for the best, insurance would've been just as much as for the MX6, which doesn't really save me much money in the end :tdown:
 

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^ yeah I'd rock the carfax on it too. Sounds a little iffy with those repairs, and the frame "dings" :freak:
 

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But think about the gas. In the end, Im sure it'd get 10mpg+ from the MX6.:eek: I know my cousin was getting 35mpg in his Eclipse with the same motor...


$1000 is a pretty good deal. I sold mine for 1k last year, and it barely ran (electrical problems)
 

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so shark how cheap is this bastard. If you want to rock it for just the winter, if the price is right just drive it till it dies like i said. If its at least a 1K or more leave it be and find something else. Hell i probably wouldn't pay more than 500 for it.....with that weird body work i probaly wouldn't pay more than 300. It would make me a little nervous with the drivers seat inches away from it.
 

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Karma distributed appropriately, great help all of you :D

Just got back from seeing the car (had to see it in the dark, which I know is a big :tdown:)

Good:
NEW transmission & clutch -- unbelievably smooth
New balljoints
New tie rods
New spark plugs + wires
New rear brake assembly
Full power group, fully functional
Clean interior
Owner dropped the price $250 without me asking

Bad:
Oil pan leak
Rusty frame (mostly surface rust)
Dinged up frame (apparently the prev owner drove the car through a field drunk [?] )
Horn & high beams not working (no big deal)
Front brakes shot (determined on the drive)
Scratched up exterior & two small points of chipped paint w/rust (replaceable/fixable)
Rustproofed only once since 2003

WORST & MOST CONCERNING: The Bizarre bodywork :confused:
--On the driver's side, the rocker panel and leading into the door jam. Apparently done to fill up a hole.

Check it out (sorry, I had my cameraphone on blk/wht mode without realizing it):

Rear driver's side wheel well, bottom edge:


Driver's side door jam+rocker panel


Driver's side door jam:


Anybody seen anything this bad before? It's ridiculous :freak:
I think I'd pass too. Who knows how bad the body is under all that bondo. :freak:

If you want a cheap older car you gotta look out here in the southwest US. If you guys up north saw the undercarriage of both of my Mazdas you'd be shocked. There is no rust and just a light coating of dirt on all the suspension. :)
 

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If the horn and high beams don't work, it won't pass safety...unless you know someone that is!
 

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I
If you want a cheap older car you gotta look out here in the southwest US. If you guys up north saw the undercarriage of both of my Mazdas you'd be shocked. There is no rust and just a light coating of dirt on all the suspension. :)
I would love that, my 96pgt i have was from the south and brought up here then the tranny went bad. Thats when I moved in with my $400 cash and took it home. :p I have never seen a pgt this clean around here (Im sure there are, I just haventy run across them), there is no rust anywhere, except the sunroof. Underside, not a spec, and Ive tried to keep it that way pretty much but I have a feeling if the winter this year was as bad this one wont last too much longer with out any rust.

On the otherhand that is the nice partabout being up here, I restore Datsun Z's and I find them around here rotted out, barn finds etc... The thing is in these cars the interiors are complete intact and in very nice shape. People from down south have cracked dashes, faded interior and I cant even think of how many complete interiors for these cars Ive sold for more then i paid for the car.
 

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they arent bad cars if you treat em right, take the upper radiator support off an eclipse and then the whole front end of an eclipse will bolt right on
 
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