Dodge Avenger SXT Review

Looks aggressive, doesn't it? That's what Dodge was aiming for...to create a "Charger's Little Brother" image for the mid-size Avenger.

Unfortunately, the fun pretty much stops with the appearance. The Avenger's not a bad car by any means, but that's nowhere near enough in a segment where the competition includes the Honda Accord, the Chevy Malibu, the Ford Fusion, the Nissan Altima and the Toyota Camry.

Chrysler's mid-size offerings have been running behind this pack for years...and while the Avenger beats the old Dodge Stratus by a mile...it still comes up short in materials and refinement. The wrapper says "NASCAR"...the inside and the driving experience say "Rental Car".

There are upsides...a base price of $22,240, EPA fuel economy estimates of 19 city/27 highway and a five-star front seat side crash rating (four stars for the rear seat)...but unless you're shopping purely on price and don't care what else you could get for about the same money, there are just too many other choices.