The Dodge Stratus is a passenger car that was introduced in the 1995 model year and discontinued after the 2006 model year. During its 11-year run, the vehicle went through two generations of body design. The vehicle replaced the Dodge Spirit and Dodge Avenger. The Avenger returned in 2007 to take back its place within the Dodge lineup.
As a midsize car, the Dodge Stratus competed directly with vehicles such as the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Honda Accord.
Dodge Stratus Styling
The Dodge Stratus shared a similar design and construction to two other Chrysler vehicles – the Plymouth Breeze and Chrysler Cirrus. Known by some as the Cloud Cars, all three triplets were built on the Chrysler JA platform. To differentiate the vehicle from its brothers, Dodge gave the Stratus a slightly sportier design.
The 2nd-generation, which was introduced for the 2001 model year, saw the return of a 4-door sedan design and introduced a 2-door coupe version of the Stratus. The two body designs were actually quite different, with the coupe being more structurally akin to the Mitsubishi Eclipse. A large interior cabin accommodated up to five passengers.
Dodge Stratus Trim Levels
The Dodge Stratus originally debuted with base, SE and ES trim level options. The lineup changed with the introduction of the 2nd generation of the vehicle. From 2001 onward, the coupe would be available in SXT and R/T trim levels. The sedan featured four trim options – SE, SXT, ES and R/T.
The Dodge Stratus coupe was discontinued following the 2005 model year. In the vehicle's final year, only the SXT and R/T sedan models were available. Standard features for the SXT included air conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, stereo system with CD player, split-folding rear seat, automatic-off headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels.
The R/T trim added sporty upgrades such as rear spoiler, fog lights, 17-inch alloy wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. Other standard features included leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, 8-way power driver's seat and a trip computer.
Dodge Stratus Performance
The Dodge Stratus coupe received a base engine in the form of a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that delivered 147 horsepower and 158 lb-ft. of torque. R/T coupes came equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 engine that improved performance to 200 horsepower and 205 lb-ft. of torque. The base sedan engine was a 2.4-liter DOHC 4-cylinder that mustered 150 horsepower and 167 lb-ft. of torque. A 2.7-liter DOHC V6 engine was also available, providing 200 horsepower and 192 lb-ft. of torque.
The 4-cylinder Stratus sedan was only available with a 4-speed automatic transmission. All other engines could be mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. For the most part, V6 engines delivered an EPA-estimated fuel efficiency of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
Dodge Stratus Safety
Available safety features on the Dodge Stratus included dual front airbags, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, traction control and an emergency inside trunk release. Government crash tests performed on the sedan by the NHTSA yielded a perfect 5-star rating in the categories of driver front impact, passenger front impact and rollover resistance. A 3-star rating was awarded in the categories of driver side impact and rear passenger side impact.