I’ve always been pretty anti-gatekeeping when it comes to automotive enthusiasts. In my mind, it doesn’t matter what you drive or how much you know – park next to me at Cars and Coffee any time. However, Bring A Trailer’s latest listing has me reevaluating that stance, as it’s auctioning off a commendably low-mileage version of a condemnedly bad car. How does a 16,908-mile 2008 Dodge Avenger SE sound to you?
Listed today with no reserve and bidding currently at $1,250, the Avenger looks to be in excellent condition, consistent with its low average of 1,127 miles per year – even high-wear areas like the driver seat bolsters and door handle look showroom fresh. As one commenter points out, this is potentially the most-photographed Avenger in history, and the seller even takes the time to bust out a paint meter and show that the ubiquitous Dodge Inferno Red Crystal paint has stood up to the test of time very evenly and consistently. The zero-accident claim on the included CarFax seems accurate.
The plasticky, gray cabin won’t win any beauty contests or earn its driver a five-star Lyft rating, but it does feature exactly one cool trick. Above the glovebox is a so-called “Chill Zone” storage cubby that can hold four 12-ounce soda cans. The air conditioner can divert air around the Chill Zone, keeping items inside frosty.
Unpleasantly cold also applies to the Avenger’s performance. Featuring a 2.4-liter inline-four making 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, the base SE model sends power to the front wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission – a spec that feels dated even for 2008. Sixteen-inch steel wheels and standard anti-lock brakes don’t do much to liven up performance, and contemporary reviews called the SE model “a bone thrown at National Car Rental, and as far as we're concerned, that's where it should stay.” Ouch.
Still, this is likely the nicest example of its breed, so a savvy bidder looking for something cheap and shiny and nothing more might find this Bring A Trailer offering to be a refreshing change of pace from the actually enjoyable cars listed elsewhere on the site. Even so, the deaths of some cars just don’t deserve avenging, such as this bland base model.