Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dodge adds Avenger SE V6 trim for 2012


While the top brass gets their minds made up as to whether there will be a next-generation Dodge Avenger, the folks at Dodge have gone ahead and added a new top trim to the current model. The 2012 Dodge AvengerSE V6 gets the Pentastar V6 tuned to 283 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque mated to a six-speed automatic, along with 18-inch alloys, dual exhaust, and a rear spoiler.

This makes five trims for the Avenger line, with this model starting at $21,495 before destination. That puts it $2,500 over the current range topper, the Avenger SE, which starts at $18,995 and comes with a 173-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder shifting through an ancient four-speed auto. The four-cylinder SE is rated at 30 mpg highway, while the Pentastar engine only drops that a fraction to 29 mpg highway.

Stacked against the competitive set Dodge has in mind, like the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima, the current SE is in the ballpark regarding specs while being less expensive. With the SE V6 and six-speed tranny to update refinement and give it a 110-hp boost, Avenger sales – which are already up 112 percent this year – could rise even further.