The Dodge Avenger is a mid-sized sedan that was produced from 1994-2000 and 2007-2014.
It’s a truly great driver’s car and boasts handsome styling, a nice interior and attractive pricing.
If you’re considering one as your next vehicle you might be wondering about its average lifespan.
We’ll cover that in this article…
Table of Contents
Here is the short answer to how long the Dodge Avenger lasts:
The Dodge Avenger is a highly reliable and durable car that can last between 200,000 – 250,000 miles when properly maintained and driven conservatively. Based on driving 15,000 miles per year, you can expect the Dodge Avenger to last 13 – 17 years before requiring uneconomical repairs or breaking down.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from a Dodge Avenger?
The Avenger had a fairly decent production run spanning a total of 13 years and there’s plenty of historical data to look at when assessing the longevity of these cars.
A reasonable expectation would be a lifespan of around 200,00 – 250,000 miles with good ownership habits. It’s around these milestones that big-ticket items such as the engine and transmission may fail and the cost of repairs will likely outweigh the value of the vehicle.
Note: The 2008 Avenger was plagued with engine and transmission problems, we’d advise steering clear of this model.
The lifespan of the Avenger becomes more evident when looking on used car websites such as Car Gurus where you can find models with 150,000 miles on the clock and still going strong.
One owner on AvengersForumz.com posted:
“Bought mine for commuting, plan to get at least 200,000 miles on it, so at least 10 years.” – which is a reasonable expectation.
How you drive your Avenger will play a big part in how long it continues to drive.
Although these models are designed for spirited driving keep in mind that overworking the engine or being too aggressive with the brake and gas pedals can be hard on any vehicle.
Regular maintenance can also add thousands of available miles to the odometer.
The life expectancy of your Avenger will be cut short if you avoid:
- Using quality parts
- Regular car washes
- Service appointments
- Tire rotations
- Routine oil changes
- Driving smoothly
Do Dodge Avenger Rust Easily?
The Dodge Avenger is susceptible to rusting and has received a number of rust complaints over the years, however it’s not any more prone to rusting than other similarly priced models from the same era.
There’s no time frame when you can expect rust to occur on your Avenger although as the car gets older there is a greater risk. The protective layer of zinc that was originally galvanized onto the steel can wear thin over the years.
The modern Dodge Avengers are much more rust resilient than the models produced in the 90’s due to material quality and factory rustproofing improvements.
Owners have reported rust spots on their Dodge Avengers in the following places:
- Bottom edges of the doors
- Subframe / engine cradle
There have also been reports of paint bubbling on the hood.
Those living in states that heavily salt the roads in the winter will be the worst affected by rust issues and similarly those that reside by the coast where salt air is prevalent.
For those living in drier states, rust will be much less of a problem, however paint fading will be more common.
Tips to protect your Avenger from rust:
- Repair paint damage and scratches: Exposed metal will oxidize. If it’s beyond a DIY fix, speak to your local body repair shop – get it repaired before it gets worse.
- Garage: Store your Dodge Dart in a garage to protect it from harsh weather and bird droppings.
- Waxing: Wax your car twice a year. Not only will this give your car a nice shine, it also gives it a protective coating against rust.
- Regularly wash and dry your car: This includes its underside (especially during the winter) to remove the salt, dirt and grime that causes rust. We recommend having a detail shop wash everything underneath at the end of each winter.
- Rustproofing: If you’re planning on keeping your Avenger for a very long time, consider a rustproofing treatment; popular choices are Krown and Rust Check.
- Ceramic Coating: A popular choice for those who want to add an extra layer of protection to the paint job.
What is High Mileage for a Dodge Avenger?
A Dodge Avenger with over 100,000 miles is considered high mileage. This can equate to a riskier purchase because of a higher chance of problems arising; most parts will have some degree of wear and tear and there is an increased risk of major component failure. However, you should not assess the car on mileage alone.
Purchasing an Avenger with over 100,000 miles on the clock won’t necessarily be a bad puchase, it really depends on hows well it’s been maintained.
A well-kept high mileage Avenger might be a better option than one with fewer miles, that had many owners and was badly neglected or was previously a hire car.
If you’re buying a used Dodge Avenger, consider the following:
- Maintenance history. Check that the car was properly serviced and the owner can provide proof of this.
- Get a second opinion. Take it to an independent auto repair shop or have it inspected by a mechanic you trust.
- Check for rust. Rust is a problem that will spread. Some dishonest salespeople cover up the rust with a bit of paint or some stickers. It’s always a good idea to look under the car.
- Number of previous owners. As a general rule, less is better. More owners usually equate to more wear-and-tear. If one family owned it and drove the full mileage and serviced the car, then you can almost guarantee they took good care of it throughout their ownership.
- How long you are planning on keeping the car. If you’re planning on keeping the car for a long time, evaluate whether the short-term savings outweigh spending extra on something more reliable.
- Examine the interior. The condition of the interior tells the story of how well the car was maintained and cared for. Does the steering wheel, pedals, or shifter look suspiciously new? If so, there’s a good chance that the car was heavily used, and those parts were just replaced before sale.
- Inspect engine for obvious leaks and obvious damage. If the engine looks immaculately clean, it means it was washed. The question is why? Most likely to hide oil leaks and similar nasty problems.
- Check the CarFax. This can provide a good overview of the car and includes the vehicle’s title, mileage, previous ownership, accident reports, and it might tell you what the vehicle was used for, such as whether it was a personal or commercial vehicle.
- Check the car’s VIN and get a full history report. Was it a taxi or rental car? Recalls? How many owners? Real mileage? Stolen? Any accidents? If you’re buying a used Dodge, always check the VIN – you never know what the car has been through.
How Long Does the Dodge Avenger Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
In this section, we’ll look at some of the Dodge Avenger’s closest competitors and see how they stack up in terms of durability and repair costs.
Dodge Avenger vs. Chevy Cruze
Making its US debut in 2010 and discontinued in 2019, the Cruze was Chevrolet’s entry in the ultra-competitive compact-car segment.
The Chevy Cruze can last 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years, equal to what is expected of the Dodge Avenger.
|Dodge Avenger||Chevy Cruze|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating||4.0/5.0||4.0/5.0|
|RepairPal Reliability Ranking||17th / 36|
|26th / 36|
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$541||$545|
|Kelley Blue Book Reliability Score||4.4/5.0||4.0/5.0|
|JD Power Quality & Reliability Score||73/100||85/100|
The Dodge Avenger is praised for having a nicer interior and its powertrain options are superior to what the Cruze has to offer.
You may also be interested in our article: How Long Do Chevy Cruze Last?
Dodge Avenger vs. Ford Fusion
The Ford Fusion offers crisp styling, a comfortable ride and a roomy cabin.
The Fusion can last 200,000 – 250,000 miles or 13 – 17 years, equal to what is expected of the Dodge Avenger.
|Dodge Avenger||Ford Fusion|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating||4.0/5.0||4.0/5.0|
|RepairPal Reliability Ranking||17th / 36|
|18th / 36|
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$541||$581|
|Kelley Blue Book Reliability Score||4.4/5.0||4.5/5.0|
|JD Power Quality & Reliability Score||73/100||87/100|
In terms of reliability, the Dodge Avenger is very much on par with the Fusion.
Performance-wise these cars are evenly matched and fuel economy is pretty much the same too.
If you need extra trunk volume the Fusion should be your first choice.
Dodge Avenger vs. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is one of the most popular compact sedans of all time, known for its fun-to-drive personality and high reliability ratings.
The Honda Civic can last 250,000 – 300,000 miles or 17 – 20 years, longer than what is expected of the Avenger.
|Dodge Avenger||Honda Civic|
|RepairPal Reliability Rating||4.0/5.0||4.5/5.0|
|RepairPal Reliability Ranking||17th / 36|
|3rd / 36|
|Average Annual Repair Cost||$541||$368|
|Kelley Blue Book Reliability Score||4.4/5.0||4.7/5.0|
|JD Power Quality & Reliability Score||73/100||83/100|
The Civic is notably more reliable and is cheaper to maintain than the Avenger.
Used Civics will be more expensive than a comparable Avenger however they lack the muscle car aesthetic the Avenger has to offer.
|Dodge Avenger||Chevy Cruze||Ford Fusion||Honda Civia|
|Annual Repair Cost||$541||$545||$581||$368|
|KBB Consumer Rating||4.4/5.0||4.0/5.0||4.5/5.0||4.6/5.0|
|J.D. Power Rating||73/100||85/100||87/100||83/100|
|Lifespan (miles)||200k – 250k||200k – 250k||250k – 300k||250k – 300k|
Is the Dodge Avenger Reliable?
The Dodge Avenger has received above-average reliability scores from major automotive review sites.
As with longevity, the reliability of your Dodge Avenger will also depend on keeping up to date with the service schedule and adopting good driving habits.
If you’re buying a used model, how the previous owner treated the car will play a big part in its reliability.
- RepairPal gave the Dodge Avenger an above-average reliability rating of 4.0/5.0.
- Kelley Blue Book’s consumer rating index gave the Dodge Avenger an above-average reliability rating of 4.4/5.0.
- J.D. Power provided the Dodge Avenger with a below-average reliability rating of 73/100.
RepairPal ranks Dodge Avenger in the middle of the pack in terms of reliability, with a score of 4.0/5.0 which ranks it 17th out of 36 compact cars.
Reliability Compared to Other Cars
|Toyota Corolla||4.5 / 5.0|
|Kia Forte||4.5 / 5.0|
|Honda Civic||4.5 / 5.0|
|Toyota Matrix||4.5 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Cobalt||4.5 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Elantra GT||4.5 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Elantra||4.5 / 5.0|
|Mazda3||4.0 / 5.0|
|Ford C-Max||4.0 / 5.0|
|Kia Forte Koup||4.0 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Elantra Coupe||4.0 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet HHR||4.0 / 5.0|
|Nissan Sentra||4.0 / 5.0|
|Buick Verano||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Caliber||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Avenger||4.0 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Cruze Limited||4.0 / 5.0|
|Hyundai Veloster||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Eclipse||4.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Jetta||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mazda5||4.0 / 5.0|
|Nissan 370Z||4.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Beetle||4.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Golf||4.0 / 5.0|
|Chevrolet Cruze||4.0 / 5.0|
|Ford Focus||4.0 / 5.0|
|Dodge Dart||4.0 / 5.0|
|Mitsubishi Lancer||3.5 / 5.0|
|Chrysler PT Cruiser||3.5 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Golf SportWagen||3.5 / 5.0|
|Subaru WRX||3.5 / 5.0|
|Subaru Impreza||3.5 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen GTI||3.0 / 5.0|
|Volkswagen Eos||3.0 / 5.0|
|Subaru WRX STI||2.5 / 5.0|
|Avg. Compact Car||4.0|
The Best and Worst Years for the Dodge Avenger
We’ve done some digging to find the best and worst model years for the Dodge Avenger.
Worst Model Year
The worst model year for the Dodge Avenger was 2008. This model had significantly more complaints than any other model year.
According to Car Complaints, the transmission on ’08 Avengers is particularly problematic, with lots of people reporting gear shift module lock-up.
In other words, drivers were unable to put their vehicle in reverse, drive and park – a recall was eventually issued for this problem.
One distraught owner shared “This is the 5th time I’ve had problems with the shift gear, but now I put it into park and it won’t stop moving. I put the emergency brake on and now my car won’t start at all and the gears are stuck again.”.
The 2012 model year wasn’t the Avenger’s best year either.
It was notorious for its faulty heater and faulty air conditioning which cost owners an average of $1000 to fix and occurred around the 56,000-mile mark.
Best Model Year
The 2014 Dodge Avenger is the best model year, it has received the fewest number of complaints overall and has the most up-to-date features and tech.
Notable features on the 2014 Dodge Avenger include:
- Power Door Locks
- Vehicle Anti-Theft System
- Cruise Control
- Steering Wheel Controls
- CD Player
- Chrome Wheels (Optional)
- Satellite Radio (Optional)
- 283-hp V-6 (Optional)
Are there any problems with the 2014 model?
The most commonly reported issue is squeaky brakes.
Model Year and Number of Complaints
Here is the total number of complaints and problems for every Dodge Avenger model year from the CarComplaints and Car Problem Zoo databases:
|Model Year||Car Complaints|
No. of Complaints
|Car Problem Zoo|
No. of Problems
What About Recalls for These Models?
The Dodge Avenger has had a total of 50 recall campaigns across 13 model years.
You can check if your Dodge Avenger has been subjected to a recall campaign by entering your VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) on Dodge’s recall site or the NHTSA recall database.
It is important to note that recalls are manufacturing faults repaired at no charge for the consumer.
Here is the total number of recall campaigns for every model year of the Dodge Avenger:
- 2014 Dodge Avenger: 1
- 2013 Dodge Avenger: 4
- 2012 Dodge Avenger: 3
- 2011 Dodge Avenger: 3
- 2010 Dodge Avenger: 3
- 2009 Dodge Avenger: 2
- 2008 Dodge Avenger: 6
- 2000 Dodge Avenger: 5
- 1999 Dodge Avenger: 5
- 1998 Dodge Avenger: 6
- 1997 Dodge Avenger: 6
- 1996 Dodge Avenger: 3
- 1995 Dodge Avenger: 3
Dodge Avenger Model Year List
First Generation (Coupe)
- 1995 Dodge Avenger
- 1996 Dodge Avenger
- 1997 Dodge Avenger
- 1998 Dodge Avenger
- 1999 Dodge Avenger
- 2000 Dodge Avenger
Second Generation (Sedan)
- 2008 Dodge Avenger
- 2009 Dodge Avenger
- 2010 Dodge Avenger
- 2011 Dodge Avenger
- 2012 Dodge Avenger
- 2013 Dodge Avenger
- 2014 Dodge Avenger
Are Dodge Avenger Expensive to Maintain?
The Dodge Avenger has fairly average ownerships costs for the segment.
According to RepairPal:
The Dodge Avenger will cost an average of $541 per year in repairs and maintenance. This is higher than the average of $526 for other compact cars but lower than the average for all vehicles in different segments, which is estimated at $652.
|Model||Avg. Annual |
|Frequency of |
|Probability of |
|Hyundai Elantra GT||$397||0.3||9%|
|Kia Forte Koup||$469||0.3||11%|
|Hyundai Elantra Coupe||$497||0.4||9%|
|Chevrolet Cruze Limited||$498||0.4||11%|
|Chrysler PT Cruiser||$641||0.2||14%|
|Volkswagen Golf SportWagen||$606||0.8||11%|
|Subaru WRX STI||$758||0.5||21%|
|Avg. Compact Car||$526||0.3||11%|
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Dodge Avenger brake pads will typically last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. This can vary widely and depends mostly on your style of driving and the traffic conditions you normally experience.
- You can expect your brakes to wear out sooner if you frequently stop and accelerate in rush-hour traffic
- Brake pad replacement, which includes parts and labor, can cost anywhere between $170 and $196.
- Full and complete stops from a high speed are the #1 cause of premature brake pad wear.
- A sporty driving style will lead to faster deterioration of brakes. A slow and steady style will help them last longer.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
The Dodge Avenger’s stock tires usually last around 40,000 to 50,000 miles or 3 to 5 years. However, they can wear out much sooner. This depends on various factors, such as driving habits, climate, and road conditions.
- Rotate tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear.
- If you have to drive on rough or flooded roads, or go off-roading, your tires will take more of a beating.
- Check your tire pressure every few weeks to make sure they’re at the correct tire pressure.
- Have a mechanic or tire shop check your wheel alignment every 6 months.
How Long Do Dodge Avenger Engines Last?
The engine of the Dodge Avenger should last at least 200,000 miles with proper maintenance and regular oil changes.
Dodge recommends having your oil changed every 3,000-5,000 miles for conventional oil.
Synthetic oil frequently should be changed every 7,500 – 10,000 miles.
How Long Do Dodge Avenger Batteries Last?
The Dodge Avenger battery should last between 3 – 5 years. A vehicle’s battery life varies depending on many factors such as climate, driving habits, and battery type, among many others.
- Keep your battery tightly fastened: The vibrations of your car can loosen the connections, potentially resulting in short circuits and internal damage.
- Limit short rides: Quick car rides prevent the battery from fully charging.
- Storage: Keep your Dodge Avenger stored indoors to protect it from extreme temperature changes.
- Control Corrosion: Clean the terminals (toothbrush dipped in baking soda and water mixture) and keep them free from build-up.
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The spark plugs on the Dodge Avenger should be changed every 30,000 – 50,000 miles, if you are using long-life spark plugs these will last around 100,000 miles.
Spark plugs are usually inspected every time you take your car in for routine maintenance.
Signs of a fouled spark plug include:
- Reduced gas mileage
- Lack of acceleration
- Rough idling
- Hard starts
- Engine misfires
What About Insurance Costs?
The average cost of full comprehensive coverage for a Dodge Avenger is $1,382 per year or around $115 per month.
In comparison, its rivals in the compact car segment cost an average of $1,270 per year, which is roughly $100 cheaper.
Insurance costs can vary from person to person; be sure to shop around to find the best potential deal for your Dodge Avenger.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Dodge Avenger
- Adopt smooth driving habits.
- Keep up to date with factory-recommended maintenance.
- Use quality parts and fluids.
- Keep on top of repairs to prevent them from developing into larger problems.
- Regularly wash your Dodge Avenger to remove dirt and grime to protect the paint and undercarriage from rust developing.
- Check your Dodge Avenger’s engine oil, coolant, brake, and transmission fluid levels and top them up when required.
- Keep your Dodge Avenger stored in a garage to help protect it from the elements.
- Read the owner’s manual to learn the location of important components, what your Dodge Avenger needs and what quantity, and to understand the symbols and dashboard warning lights.