The Dodge Stratus is a mid-sized 4-door sedan that was manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation from 1995 until 2006. The Stratus is one of the three cloud cars" unveiled by the automotive company, which included the similarly-sized Chrysler Cirrus and Plymouth Breeze. The "cloud cars" were created in order to complement the full-sized LH cars, sharing the cab forward design philosophy that gave the Stratus its unique looks and a large amount of interior space.
In the last years of production, engine choices were limited to the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and the 2.7-liter V6. The 2.4-liter engine produced 150 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 160 pound-feet of torque at 4,200 rpm. The 2.7-liter engine produced 200 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 190 pound-feet of torque at 4,850 rpm. Both engines were linked to a 4-speed automatic with overdrive. The 2.4-liter engine delivers 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The 2.7-liter V6 delivers slightly lower EPA fuel economy estimates, at 21 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Nevertheless, the Stratus proved to be frugal when it came to fuel consumption.
The Stratus was the replacement for the aging K-car-based Dodge Spirit and was often put up against other mid-sized vehicles such as the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Contour. The Stratus shared the same basic cab forward design traits as the Chrysler Cirrus and Plymouth Breeze, with a basic design that largely eliminated the look of a traditional three-box sedan and gave it larger interior dimensions than most of its competitors. While the Cirrus and Breeze were discontinued by 2001, the Stratus soldiered on until 2006, when it was finally discontinued in favor of the Dodge Avenger.
The SXT and R/T were the only two trim levels available for the Dodge Stratus in 2006. The SXT came with several standard features, including tilt steering, cruise control, a tachometer in the instrument gauge cluster, steering wheel mounted audio controls, CD player, and air conditioning. The R/T featured a leather steering wheel, leather seats, and trip computer as standard features. A CD changer was optional on both SXT and R/T trims. Both trims also featured driver- and passenger-side air bags and child safety door locks as standard safety equipment. ABS brakes and traction control were optional on the SXT and standard on the R/T.
The base retail price for the Stratus started at around $19,700, with the R/T trim starting at $23,755. These prices were fairly competitive, with the rest of the competition and sales incentives often playing a role in bringing those prices well below MSRP.
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