Dodge seems to be playing mad scientist with its engine lineup. Just last week Dodge decided to make its 2.4-liter I-4 and four-speed automatic transmission combo available in the mid-level Journey SXT. This week Dodge has announced that the base 2012 Avenger SE will now have Chrysler’s new 283-hp 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 as an available option, bringing bargain horsepower to the masses.
The base 2012 Dodge Avenger SE used to be just that – a base model. It came with an old 2.4-liter 173-hp and 166 lb-ft of torque I-4 mated to an even older four-speed automatic transmission. Adding the 283-hp and 260 lb-ft of torque 3.6-liter V-6 (not to mention its six-speed automatic transmission) makes it easier for Avenger buyers to get into a car they might actually enjoy driving, for only $2500 more than the I-4 equipped Avenger. That makes the cost-of-entry for the Avenger SE V-6 a pretty reasonable $22,345.
If the $2500 price bump from I-4 to V-6 is too rich for your blood, consider this: the I-4 and four-speed slushbox is EPA rated at 21/30 mpg city/highway. With 110 more horsepower and two more cogs fuel economy only falls two mpg in the city and one mpg on the highway to 19/29 mpg city/highway. Real-world driving might even give the fuel economy edge to Pentastar-powered Avengers.
Even if it doesn’t, the Avenger’s cost-of-entry means you’re paying just $78.96 per hp. Now that’s affordable power for the people.