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Bring A Trailer Has Lost Its Damn Mind

Avenger No 2
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Of all the vehicles you’d expect to see on Bring A Trailer, a pristine 2008 Dodge Avenger SE with just 17,000 miles on the clock definitely isn’t one of them. Alas, here it is, in all its rental-spec faux machismo. Unsurprisingly, this is the first road-legal second-generation Avenger on Bring A Trailer, and there’s a chance it could be the last for quite some time.

Bring A Trailer Dodge Avenger 4

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A low-mileage, rental-spec, 2.4-liter four-cylinder and four-speed automatic-powered Avenger SE being auctioned on a premier online platform is especially puzzling because most of my colleagues agree that the second-generation Avenger was, to use a technical term, butt-terrible. Oh, and it’s not just some of us that think this way — just read what Car And Driver had to say about the car when it was new.

…it’s generally agreed in our camp that the “Chargerette” is way better-looking than the Sebring. Faint praise, perhaps, as it nevertheless fails to be either menacing or inviting. In a field that includes more elegant sedans such as the Toyota Camry and Saturn Aura, the Avenger looks rather overwrought. Inside, the story doesn’t get much better. Hard shiny plastics create windshield glare that would make polarized sunglasses a lifesaving investment. Dreary gray tones abound, and although the dashboard is completely different in design from its Chrysler cousin, it conveys the same discombobulated, rental-grade feel.

Oof. Alright, well, Car And Driver is usually harsher on domestic vehicles than many other publications, so perhaps Motor Trend will offer a more glowing opinion.

So what gives? Why is the Dodge so lackluster? Well its 2.4L four-cylinder is a bit crude and, at 173 hp, doesn’t exactly humble other four-bangers, some of which produce 200 hp. While most of its rivals use five- or six-speed automatics, the Dodge stays true to its trusty ol’ four-speed, which pushes it off the line with about as much vigor as a maimed turtle. Rear disc brakes? Nah, let’s stick with less-effective drums.

Never mind. Look, the Avenger was an absolute pile when it was new, so it’s absolutely baffling that someone would take great pains to preserve one in absolute bottom-of-the-barrel spec. Beyond the shiny Inferno Red paint, this Avenger SE seems like a great way to simulate being laid off while traveling for work circa the Great Recession. Just look at that brain matter-grey urethane steering wheel, that cheap-looking instrument binnacle, and those nearly style-free hubcaps. If this thing doesn’t make you want to cry in the shower at a Motel 6, I don’t know what car would.

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Bring A Trailer Dodge Avenger 2

Nowadays, there’s nothing wrong with a high-mileage dirt-cheap Avenger if that’s all you can afford, but a concours-grade Dodge Avenger is about as useful as a submarine with speed holes in it. You can’t drive it anywhere because that would affect the value, you can’t really show it anywhere, it’s not a sure investment vehicle, and even the S&P 500 on a bearish streak is nicer to look at on a daily basis.

Bring A Trailer Dodge Avenger 3

The high bid on this slice of recession-era sadness currently sits at $3,500, and I’d be surprised if it goes much higher than that. Will the Dodge Avenger eventually get its day in the sun? Perhaps, although it feels like it’s in a different camp from most endearingly terrible classics today. The Trabant 601 was objectively crap, but it’s also a fascinating machine due to the circumstances that birthed it. The Ford Pinto had a poorly-constructed fuel filler, but this Achilles heel was so monumental that it canonized the Pinto in American pop culture. The Edsel’s only sin was ugliness. There is no bright side to a Dodge Avenger, nor a fascinating twist. It’s just thoroughly underwhelming in every possible regard.

Bring A Trailer Dodge Avenger 1

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If you feel the inclination to bid on a mint condition rental-spec Dodge Avenger, feel free to do so. After all, there should be some sort of physical reference library for every car ever built, lest one be forgotten. However, we definitely won’t be bidding on this one. We’re definitely pro-car, but some vehicles are just a bridge too far for auctions. In the past, this was the sort of car that would be sold on church and nursing home bulletin boards, or in the classifieds section of an actual printed newspaper. Ain’t it funny how things have changed?

(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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Steven Moor
Steven Moor
9 months ago

I absolutely hate the styling of Dodge vehicles from this era. Their rusty trim pieces and howling exhaust holes do them absolutely no favours when you see them driving around the streets now as well.

BaT and CaB are really starting to get on my chebbs. They are unfortunately drawing a lot of attention to regular-ass vehicles, just because they were a rare combination of options or drive trains when they were originally released.

Mpphoto
Mpphoto
9 months ago

This has to be the most-photographed Dodge Avenger in history. There are 295 photos included with that listing.

Phil Layshio
Phil Layshio
9 months ago

Pinto didn’t have a poorly designed fuel filler, it had a stupidly located body bolt that could pierce the tank.

Six
Six
9 months ago

These are truly the last days

Chris Hoffpauir
Chris Hoffpauir
9 months ago

My wife and I drove one of these (rented from Alamo) from Houston to Virginia Beach. I can enthusiastically say that it was… adequate.

changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
changedmynameasIworkinadealershipandsomeofourbrandsarentgreat
9 months ago

It’s a handsome looking sedan IMO. They didn’t sell many of them here in Aus but whenever I see one or a Sebring (bizarrely offered in sedan, as well as both CC and soft top cabriolets) I get a little excited. The Calibre and Nitro did a little better, as did the Cherokee Sport and weirdly Compass if we are talking recession era FCA, and the Journey did pretty well as well as in rebadged FIAT Fremont form.

Chris Hoffpauir
Chris Hoffpauir
9 months ago

The Avenger looked great, like a little Charger. However, it was essentially still a Sebring underneath.

Paul Kett
Paul Kett
9 months ago

I am proud to announce that I was permanently banned from BAT for making comments regarding the crap they try to pass off as collectable!

Last edited 9 months ago by Paul Kett
MadAnthony
MadAnthony
9 months ago

I wouldn’t really care except back in like 2016 I tried to list a LaForza and they rejected it as not unique enough.

Too bad Cars and Bids wasn’t around back then.

Paul Kett
Paul Kett
9 months ago
Reply to  MadAnthony

Same happened to me. A CLK AMG55 convertible. 350HP and 375 lbs torque apparently no match for this Dodge.

David Traver Adolphus
David Traver Adolphus
9 months ago

Don’t forget how terribly unreliable they were, too.

David Hollenshead
David Hollenshead
9 months ago

Given time and rarity any car can be a “classic car”. Seriously, as Gremlins with an I-6 and automatic are now traded as “classic cars”…
I’m not offended by this listing for this lame Dodge Avenger as much as I would be if a Honda Civic CVCC or Civic 1200 with a Hondamatic transmission was listed on “bring a trailer”. As these were horrible cars lucky to last 50k miles and that is with at least two transmission rebuilds and in the Civic 1200’s case, an engine or two. Hard to do since Honda stopped parts support before the cars were right years old…

Beasy Mist
Beasy Mist
9 months ago

A car that does literally nothing well.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
9 months ago

If this thing doesn’t make you want to cry eat spaghetti in the shower at a Motel 6, I don’t know what car would.

Missed an opportunity there…



World24
World24
9 months ago

I originally posted on FB that there might come a time, once the Daimler-Chrysler merger is looked at with the correct eyes, where people would be amazed that Chrysler got to put this out looking as good as it does…… Now, though, I’m just happy this has the chill-zone spot in the dash.

Dest
Dest
9 months ago
Reply to  World24

Because you had to be drinking to make it through driving this thing every day.

70degrees
70degrees
9 months ago

Eh, I at least appreciate that Bring A Trailer doesn’t solely offer only high-dollar vehicles that I can never afford. At least there’s a chance I could buy this thing. I’m a bit tired of all the expensive stuff that is more of an art piece than a car.

Also, I’m going to say that this thing was listed because it’s from a dealership that has over 250+ previous listings with the site. BaT is well-known for treating individuals and dealerships differently, as dealers are usually recurring revenue, while individuals usually only have only one vehicle to sell on the site. BaT will be more accepting of dealerships trying to put something on the site that doesn’t quite match the usual rich people toys, but it still has to at least have unusually low mileage to be unique.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
9 months ago
Reply to  70degrees

I noticed the same thing. This dealer is apparently a “big fish” on BaT, so they’d probably list a Chevy Corsica for them.

The fact a dealer is basically a professional BaT seller is also not what I thought the site was supposed to be, but no one asked me.

Now, why the dealer thinks BaT is a good place to sell this thing, that is a head scratcher.

S13 Sedan
S13 Sedan
9 months ago

I miss the good ol’ days when BaT was only reader submitted listings from craigslist and sites like that. That’s when the real interesting stuff would show up and there’d usually be a few knowledgeable people in the comments. Checking BaT was part of my daily breakfast routine back in college.

MP81
MP81
9 months ago

My mom had an ’08 SXT with the same horrendous 2.4L World Engine – one of the loudest four-cylinders I’ve ever encountered. Increasing throttle only made the engine louder, without increasing acceleration.

Worth mentioning: the Tigershark they’re finally phasing out is that same engine, just with the Fiat “Multiair” strapped to the top and a fancy name.

It’s still awful.

Last edited 9 months ago by MP81
Rabob Rabob
Rabob Rabob
9 months ago
Reply to  MP81

I had a Patriot as a beater with the engine. Great engine for a cement mixer.

Spectre6000
Spectre6000
9 months ago

As a low mile used car (though maybe so low that it needs some mechanical attention…), it might be in the exact wrong venue. On a dealer lot, I imagine it’d go for a pretty penny in this market. On an enthusiast auction site… It’s definitely going to be interesting. An object lesson in “location location location”.

Long_Time_Reader_First_Time_Poster
Long_Time_Reader_First_Time_Poster
9 months ago

It’s basically museum-quality, yet has little enough value as even that. It would make a decent grocery gitter and church car, but there are better options. I figure if whoever wins gets it for under 4k it will do fine. A clean un-rusted anything can’t be found in the Midwest for that price so that’s the “why” of my perspective.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
9 months ago

“The high bid on this slice of recession-era sadness currently sits at $3,500, and I’d be surprised if it goes much higher than that.”

Oh yeah? Someone just bid $3,600 for it. That’s a whole ‘nother Benjamin! The bidding war has begun, baby!

Protodite
Protodite
9 months ago

Every time I see one my mind just starts playing the RCR Avenger video. Truly, having been in those era Chrysler interior they are just so astoundingly bleak

W124
W124
9 months ago
Reply to  Protodite

The letter of resignation from the obnoxious business of living.

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
9 months ago

The Edsel’s only sin was ugliness.” Well, not exactly… https://www.hagerty.com/media/car-profiles/ford-edsel-floundered/

Sum Gai
Sum Gai
9 months ago

Well, “Bring A Trailer” is certainly an appropriate forum to sell this car, if we are going by the name alone.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
9 months ago

There is a crowd that think that pristine low mileage examples of any car are valuable. It’s just odd.

For example, to get excited over a base model 2003 Corvette with an automatic transmission because it has 6,000 miles on it. Most everyone is like meh, but there is a certain group that will roll that puppy to a car show and expect to be front row.

And they just swap cars among themselves convincing each other that they have some extra value. Thing is, as they pass away they no longer have friends to sell them to so the cars hit the open market and their widows sell for like half what they paid for them, because that is what they are actually worth.

Ivan256
Ivan256
9 months ago

This is junior prom raffle prize material.

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