Viewed in isolation, the Avenger is certainly likable enough. After an extensive makeover that rectified a number of significant weaknesses, the Avenger is a perfectly competent choice for families looking for an affordable midsize sedan. Notable strong points include a powerful V6 engine and a well-crafted interior with generous use of soft-touch materials. Not to be overlooked is its very attractive sticker price that can be thousands less than some of the category leaders.
The base SE comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a fold-flat front passenger seat and 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.
The 2013 Dodge Avenger SE and SXT are powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission in the SE and a six-speed automatic in the SXT. Fuel economy is average for a midsize sedan, with EPA ratings of 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the four-speed and 20/31/23 with the six-speed.
The 2013 Dodge Avenger comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags, and side curtain airbags. In Edmunds brake testing, an Avenger with 18-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in an acceptable 127 feet.
In government crash tests, the Avenger earned an overall rating of four stars (out of five), as well as four stars for both frontal and side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Avenger it's top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests.
On the road the 2013 Dodge Avenger delivers strong performance when equipped with the 3.6-liter V6, an engine that also delivers livable fuel economy. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is rather underwhelming, but is probably good enough to meet the needs of most buyers.
Overall, the SE and SXT models are enjoyable to drive, with the suspension delivering a comfortable ride and decent handling. Folks looking for a sportier driving experience can opt for the R/T, which benefits from a firmer suspension, albeit with some loss of ride comfort. The crisp, nicely weighted steering is a plus, even though it's not quite as sharp as some of its competitors.
The 2013 Dodge Avenger's interior design is rather unremarkable, but overall materials quality is respectable. Most controls are straightforward and easy to use, although the touchscreen's unintuitive design seems outdated. While we're on the subject of electronic bells and whistles, newly commonplace technology like a rearview camera and rear parking sensors aren't even offered as options here, a definite negative in a car with thick, rear roof pillars that hamper visibility.
Up front, the seats are comfortable, though the seating position feels a bit on the high side, a trick designers used to gain a little more legroom. The backseat is a tad cramped, a byproduct of the Avenger's compact overall dimensions.
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Exterior: The exterior of this unit is in excellent shape with no major flaws.
Interior: The interior is in excellent condition.
Mechanical: This vehicle is "Insight Certified" with no known mechanical defects after completing a 144 point mechanical inspection with required maintenance performed.
Tires: The tires are in excellent health with plenty of tread life remaining.