2001 Stratus New Car Test Drive
A totally new vehicle for 2001, the Dodge Stratus coupe features sleek styling with an aggressive personality. This mid-size two-door coupe replaces the Dodge Avenger, which is no longer available. However, the Stratus benefits from a stiff new platform and larger engines, including a 200-horsepower V6.
Behind its smooth exterior shell, the Dodge Stratus coupe provides a generous interior with genuine legroom in the rear seat, a rare quality for a two-door performance coupe.
Another rare trait for a performance coupe: Prices for the Dodge Stratus begin below $18,000. Dodge has totally redesigned the mid-size Stratus sedan for 2001. With its sleek new shell and all-new interior, this four-door sedan shares only its name with last year's Stratus. It rolls on a stiff new platform and is powered by stronger engines, including a 200-horsepower V6.
This new mid-size sedan acts as sporty as a coupe. Better handling and improved road manners put the Stratus in the same league as the best-selling mid-size cars from Japan, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. In spite of the sleek styling, there's plenty of room inside for four people. And the bottom line is attractive.
Two trim levels are available for the Stratus coupe, SE and R/T.
Stratus SE ($17,810) comes equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, and a choice between five-speed manual and optional four-speed automatic ($825).
Stratus R/T ($20,705) comes standard with a 3.0-liter single-cam V6, which delivers 200 horsepower. The V6 mates either to the standard five-speed manual or a four-speed AutoStick automatic ($825); AutoStick provides no-clutch shifter control.
Dodge makes the V6 available as an option for the Stratus SE ($800 for package 28B), which can keep the price tag for a V6-powered coupe below $20,000. Active safety equipment includes ABS ($565), available with the manual transmission, and ABS with Traction Control ($740), available with the automatic.
Standard equipment on the Stratus SE includes air conditioning and power windows, mirrors and door locks. The V6-powered R/T adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and premium sound system with cassette deck and CD player. Dodge splits the Stratus four-door sedan into two models: SE and ES.
Stratus SE ($17,830) is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams that generates 150 horsepower. SE Sedan comes standard with a four-speed automatic transaxle.
Stratus ES ($20,465), the luxury version, provides a 2.7-liter dual-cam V6 rated at 200 horsepower. It comes standard with a four-speed automatic with AutoStick.
Several safety systems show up as optional gear for both models, such as ABS ($565) and side-curtain airbags ($390). The V6 may be added to the base Stratus SE for $850.
Appointments for Stratus SE include gear usually seen on the list of options, such as air conditioning, and power windows, mirrors and door locks. The V6-powered ES adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a premium sound system with CD player and other features.
(The Stratus label also applies to a new two-door Dodge Stratus coupe. Despite their shared name and styling, the coupe should not be confused with the sedan, as they do not share chassis, powertrains, or components. Instead, the Dodge Stratus sedan shares components with the new Chrysler Sebring sedan.).