It competed with the not-quite-identical Chrysler Sebring as well as the Eagle Talon, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Ford Probe/Escort ZX2, Mazda MX-6, Nissan 240SX and Toyota Celica compact sport coupes. It represented the entry-level of Dodge's performance lineup, which also included the Stealth and Viper. It was aimed at the sport coupe buyer who would want comfort as well as style, spirited driving and affordability. The Avenger had more interior room than the average small sport coupe. Typical buyers included single or young couples without children.
Avenger replaced the Dodge Daytona sport coupe after a one-year hiatus.
Two models were available. The base model was powered by a Chrysler-built 140-horsepower 2.0-liter 16-valve dohc 4-cylinder engine. Standard transmission was a 5-speed manual. A 4-speed automatic was optional. The ES model was powered by a 155-horsepower 2.5-liter 24-valve sohc V6, mated to the automatic transmission.
Standard equipment on both models included 4-wheel independent suspension, dual airbags, speed-sensitive power steering, tinted glass, rear-window defroster, AM/FM stereo, tilt steering wheel, bucket seats, a center console and split folding rear seatbacks that would lock in the upright position. ES models added standard AM/FM/cassette stereo, rear decklid spoiler, 16-in. tires and aluminum wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, floor mats, trunk cargo nets, cruise control and 4-wheel disc ABS.
5-speed manual transmission became standard on the ES, as well as the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.
Later Avengers added the optional 2.5-liter V6 engine to the base model.
As of November 3, 1994:
- $13,341 (1995 Dodge Avenger)
- $17,191 (1995 Dodge Avenger ES)
As of September 22, 1995:
- $14,040 (1996 Dodge Avenger)
- $18,121 (1996 Dodge Avenger ES)
As of July 27, 1997:
- $14,620 (1997 Dodge Avenger)
- $17,590 (1997 Dodge Avenger ES)
- $430 (early 1995 models)
- $535 (1995-1999 models)