$8,086 - $10,386

2013 Dodge Avenger Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Dodge Avenger was new.


Performance: 7.1

Like most affordable midsize cars, test drivers say that the 2013 Dodge Avenger’s base four-cylinder engine is adequate for most drivers. They are impressed with the optional V6 engine’s combination of power and fuel economy. Reviewers say the Dodge Avenger’s suspension offers a comfortable ride, while at the same time delivering athletic handling in turns.

  • "In Consumer Guide testing, we averaged 26.7 mpg. That's a fine figure considering the amount of horsepower this V6 has." -- Consumer Guide
  • "With the optional V-6 engine, the Avenger was one of the quietest non-luxury cars I've driven lately. Road noise is nearly nonexistent at midrange speeds, as are noises from other cars around you." -- Cars.com (2011)
  • "We didn’t spend much time behind the wheel of the four-cylinder, but we were impressed with its silence. Emitting only a light vibration at idle and a little buzz at high speeds, the four-cylinder moves the Avenger along adequately - about par for the class." -- Left Lane News (2011)

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Dodge Avenger has two engines and two transmissions. The base trim has a 173-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a four-speed automatic transmission. This engine can be combined with a six-speed automatic on the SXT trim. A 283-horsepower V6 is available on higher trims, and it can be mated to either the four- or six-speed automatic. The EPA rates the four-cylinder Avenger at 21/29 mpg city/highway with the four-speed automatic transmission and 20/31 with the six-speed automatic, while the V6 engine is rated at 19/29 mpg. The Dodge Avenger’s four-cylinder fuel economy ratings are among the worst in the class. The V6-powered 2013 Honda Accord and Nissan Altima deliver better fuel economy than the base four-cylinder Avenger.

Reviewers say the four-cylinder engine is sufficient compared with similarly equipped cars in this class, but one comments that it struggles to get the car up to speed. On the other hand, test drivers love the V6, which they say has ample power and makes the car fun to drive. A couple of reviewers say the Avenger’s six-speed automatic transmission pauses in between gear changes, noting that it could be more refined.

  • "Only V6 Avengers have been tested so far. They are strong, and the power comes on very smoothly. The transmission behaves well, but one example suffered from a tendency to hesitate before downshifting." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The base engine in a 2013 Dodge Avenger is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes 173 horsepower. That's not necessarily a lot of power for this class, but it's enough to allow the Avenger keep up with traffic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Avenger was a pleasure to drive. It had plenty of power to get me up to speed, and I felt planted in this car at all times. It is a bit loud, however." -- AutoWeek (V6 engine, 2011)
  • "The four-cylinder engine has a hard time producing enough grunt to boot the sedan up to speed." -- Autoblog (2011)
  • "The [six-speed automatic] transmission pauses slightly between gear changes when upshifting, and a few of us noticed balky shifts in low gears, along with unrefined kickdown at highway speeds." -- Cars.com (2011)

Handling and Braking

The Dodge Avenger’s handling is considered lively by auto critics. They say the Avenger is composed in turns and has limited body roll. Reviewers like that it also delivers a comfortable ride, especially on bumpy roads. One test driver thinks the brakes are weak.

  • "The 2013 Dodge Avenger can be a surprisingly fun car to drive. The reworking it received in 2011 to the suspension, brakes and steering gear help make this 5-passenger sedan feel more like a nimble European car than any mid-size Dodge from the past decade. Thankfully, the Avenger's good handling doesn't come at the expense of comfort. The Dodge does a commendable job of offering a soft and composed ride quality, yet still boasts a responsive chassis that doesn't mind carving a mountain road." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The car drives nicely, the steering feels good, and there's little body lean in fast corners. While it isn't the sportiest in class, it's certainly competent." -- Consumer Guide
  • "I especially found the brakes on the weak side, and if you really need to get into them, the whole car can get squirrelly and out of sorts in the hurry." -- AutoWeek (2011)
  • "After a few days of driving, we enjoyed the Avenger's comfortable and communicative ride, which absorbed even the nastiest of pavement cracks. Though it continued to lean in corners, the Avenger was unexpectedly poised." -- Motor Trend (2011)

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