An Old Dog Learns A Few New Tricks 2011 Dodge Avenger - Click above for high-res image gallery Chrysler has chosen vastly different fates for its Sebring and the Dodge Avenger, despite the two essentially being identical vehicles. While the Sebring underwent a complete personality makeover for 2011 and emerged with new sheetmetal and a new nameplate to match, the Avenger was left to soldier on with more conservative tweaks. The Dodge version of Chrysler's midsize sedan still wears the same basic body lines as before, masking over the significant adjustments to the vehicle's interior, drivetrain and suspension. While the Chrysler 200 may be stealing (okay, borrowing) the show, the 2011 Avenger is no less improved, at least when equipped with the company's new 3.6-liter V6 engine. With 283 horsepower and respectable fuel economy, the new six-cylinder turns the Avenger into a vehicle that no longer takes its driving cues from capital punishment, though lower-rung trim levels don't fare as well. Buyers who opt for the old 2.4-liter four-cylinder will be met with visions from the vehicle's less-than-award-winning past, including plenty of engine vibration and fuel economy that's not on par with new hardware coming out from the competition. All this begs the question: Is there room for both the Dodge Avenger and the Chrysler 200 under the new company tent? Continue reading... %Gallery-107449% Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips / AOL The 2011 Dodge Avenger has eschewed the full nose-job of its Chrysler cousin in favor of a simple fascia tweak. The new front bumper cap is slightly rounder compared to that of the 2010 model and it accommodates the redesigned Dodge corporate grille well. With that simple change, the Avenger now looks a bit more feminine, you but you won't hear us complaining. The rear now wears a similarly subtle redesign and is joined by new LED taillights. We aren't exactly wild about the new lamp design, but they fall in line with similar units on vehicles like the 2011 Dodge Journey. There's something to be said for brand cohesiveness. We would have preferred to see the back of the Avenger receive a quick cleanup akin to that of the 200. In our estimation, tricks like shaving the vehicle's badges and using simple design tweaks to integrate the trunk lid and the tail lights would go a long way toward making the Avenger a more attractive vehicle. The good news is that once you're indoors, the differences between last year's Avenger and the 2011 become much more apparent, starting with the dashboard. The cheap-feeling expanses of hard plastic have been done away with and replaced by a very snappy-looking single-piece unit. Swaddled in soft-touch materials, both the door panels and the instrument panel go a long way to improve the perceived quality of the cabin. Contrasting stitching on the armrests and gauge binnacle is a thoughtful accent and make the pieces feel considerably more high-quality, while the sedan's instruments have been replaced with more legible units that are easy …
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|MPG||21 City / 30 Hwy|
|Transmission||4-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||173 @ 6000 rpm|
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