Overview & Reviews
Introduced in the mid-'90s, the Dodge Stratus was a replacement for the aging and boxy Spirit. It was one of three sedans based on Chrysler's "JA" platform, including the Plymouth Breeze and Chrysler Cirrus. Among these triplets, the Stratus was touted as the sportiest, and it took the role as the midsize car in Dodge's lineup.
The first-generation Dodge Stratus was known mostly for its sharp styling, roomy interior and value. Dodge followed it up with a redesigned model for the start of the new millennium that featured additional safety equipment and a more powerful V6 engine. A coupe model also debuted.
The Stratus had a decent run but ultimately never achieved the superstar status that Dodge had hoped for. In terms of refinement, build quality and reputation for reliability, it couldn't match top import models. Production ended after the second generation. As a used sedan or coupe, the Stratus is a fair choice. Consumers prioritizing price or exterior styling might find it worth a look.
Most Recent Dodge Stratus
The second and last generation of the Dodge Stratus covered model years 2001-'06. Sedan and coupe body styles were offered. Mechanically, there is a fair amount of difference between the two. The Stratus coupe (formerly known as the Avenger) was actually based on the Mitsubishi Eclipse of the time and differed from its Japanese cousin mainly in its sheet metal. The Stratus sedan was still a Chrysler design.
A large trunk and fairly roomy interior, thanks to Chrysler's "Cab Forward" design philosophy, were two of the Stratus sedan's strong points. Another was the car's handling -- it felt sportier than many other mid-priced, midsize sedans of the time. Even so, most used Stratus shoppers will likely be attracted mainly by the price, as the cars haven't really held their value the way Japanese sedans of the same size would. The Stratus coupe could be a good buy for someone who wants a comfy, V6-powered coupe as opposed to a small, high-strung sports car.
In general, coupes were available in base SXT and sporty R/T versions. Sedans came in base SE, midgrade SXT, luxury-oriented ES and R/T guise. Stratus coupes were powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 producing 147 horsepower; R/T versions had a 3.0-liter V6 rated at 200 ponies. Both engines could be had with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
The sedans had Chrysler engines. Some models were fitted with a 150-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, but most had a 200-hp 2.7-liter V6. All sedans came with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Past Dodge Stratus Models
The first generation Dodge Stratus was available from 1995-2000. The sedan (there was no coupe) was originally offered in two trim levels: base and slightly more luxurious ES. Base models had a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine making 132 hp. Optional was a larger 2.4-liter making 150 hp. For the ES, Dodge offered a 168-hp, 2.5-liter V6.
There were no major changes to this generation, so potential buyers shouldn't feel a need to focus on any particular year. At the time, the Stratus earned high marks for its edgy styling and larger-than-expected interior and trunk.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 777.00
Excellent catch!!! - 2004 Dodge Stratus
By firstname.lastname@example.org - January 4 - 5:30 am
I bought my car with 90,000 miles on it and today it has 132,000 miles. The repairs are new battery, new engine serpentine belt, oxygen sensor, regular synthetic oil changes and ceramic brakes. The car runs like a champ!!! Excellent buy!
Service & Maintain daily or DIE - 2002 Dodge Stratus
By Dale Clark - January 3 - 5:03 pm
If your not a ocd car person get your wallet out. Its down hill quick once something goes wrong. Its like everything relys on everything. Condition is everything. If its been beat it falls apart litteraly ! 2.7 is a pocket rocket . mine is at 200000k and the water pump has given up. Putting it together now. Be warned repair here $585. Not cheap.
horrible money pit - 2005 Dodge Stratus
By Jocelyn mary - December 14 - 1:18 pm
This car has caused me nothing but problem's!! The wheel barring for this car are smaller then usual and have to be replaced every year! Struts are gone. Already replaced timing belt long time ago! Exhaust and under carriage rotted and replaced a lot!!! Don't Ever buy! I plan to bring mine to a demo derby next fall!
Awesome, reliable car! - 2001 Dodge Stratus
By Dave - December 1 - 8:09 pm
This car has been awesome. Bought it 8 years ago with 99,000 miles. It now has 186,00 miles on. Unfortunately, it is now hit the end of the road. Motor and tranny are still strong, but as a northern car previously, it is rusting out. Sad to see it go. Love this car. It has been so reliable. Very little maintenance. Replaced the rear brake calibers and emergency brake cable after we got it. That was the most work we put into it. Will probably replace it with another Stratus.
2003 Dodge Stratus RT 5 speed - 2003 Dodge Stratus
By Sean - November 21 - 10:26 am
I love this car which I purchased used with around 19k miles in 2005 for about $14k. Ten years later with 196529 Miles it's still purring. Replaced clutch only once few thousand miles ago and little to no repairs... mostly just usual and simple maintenence. This car is simple as it has no ABS or any high tech which I actually prefer I have a removable gps and CD player with blutooth which is all I need no expensive electronics to break and worry about spending lots of money on. The dashboard has curled up years ago from sun exposure but whatever... No big deal anymore. My suspension went and it's a rough ride and rattles and shakes on rough roads, as something went, but I can't exactly pin it down and it's not in my opinion worth the money or headache to repair. I can deal with it as I have gotten used to it and its not that bad. I've had this car ten years @ one third of my life so that says a lot about how much I like the car, it's dependability and me not wanting to buy another as I purchased it in full @ about $14k and never had car payments... Who wants car payments? Also, the cloth driver seat is in rough shape but that is to be expected with all these Miles. It burns a some oil too which is pretty typical for an old car with this many miles not worth fixing now as I'll just cheap oil. I drive this car for work very hard and with this manual transmission I've never had any real issues, repairs or anything go wrong which would go wrong with an automatic. I'm forever staying with manual transmissions. Great vehicle
Horrible first car - 2004 Dodge Stratus
By Karlina Tavarez - November 1 - 10:18 pm
In overall it was a waste of money. The car was bought for $3,000 and today I'm selling it for $1000 and still NO ONE wants to buy it. I have wasted so much money in relating this car. First it started by changing the batteries, then changing the spark plugs (now currently riding with 5 spark plugs out of 6, because one is messed up). Now the car needs a motor mount because it shakes crazily and the oil light comes on every time I break and the suspensions sound tremendously while going over the smallest little holes in the streets. Mechanics told me it now has low oil pressure and with all the problems that it STILL has, it's better off junking it and buying a new one. The car has 130k miles and only had it for a year. Yeah, American cars aren't worth it.
Looks good, decent mpg, cheap to keep and simple - 2003 Dodge Stratus
By nadylynn - October 13 - 8:45 pm
Bought the 03 Stratus with 56000 miles a corp lease well maintained records, 136000 now, only repairs were rear shocks and brakes, did timing belt service at 115000, it's been very cheap to keep. Not very fast but the iron block 4 cyl engine keeps going no leaks or oil usage between oil changes. Trans serviced every 35000 miles still shifts smoothly. So far so good our 03 Altima bought new only has 80000 and has had about 7 repairs so far 2 no starts, mostly engine elec.
Love - 2005 Dodge Stratus
By Taylor - August 5 - 8:44 pm
I love my Dodge Stratus. I have owned my stratus for 3 years now. Not that it really matters, but mine is white. I purchased it with 150k miles and have put 30.5k on it in my time driving it. It drives very smooth, and handles nicely. My interior is all black, only cloth, but still very nice. I am very particular about keeping it clean so mine is spotless. It always feels comfortable. The only issue I have with my stratus is that it accelerates slowly. Other than that, this car has been perfect for me. I do not look forward to the fact that mine has so many miles, I'm worried it'll start to go out soon. This worries me because I don't want to have to get another car, because I love mine!
Great commuter with a fun ride - 2004 Dodge Stratus
By EF - August 5 - 6:16 pm
I bought this vehicle used in 2011 with 89k miles and still currently drive it at 130k. This car has been my favorite to drive out of what I've had. The 2.7 v6 does a great job and gives you plenty of acceleration. Handling is wonderful handles sharp on winding roads with minimal body lean. it handled exceptional over the Ohio roads in winter for a front wheel drive. The seats became a little uncomfortable on longer rides but not enough to be a major nuisance. No major mechanical work done other than regular maintenance. Had a brake line replaced a year or so ago.
Love My "Iron Man"!!! - 2006 Dodge Stratus
By B. T. Brooks - July 17 - 12:16 am
I got my Stratus back in '07 from Enterprise Rentals. Only major problem I've had was a crankshaft issue and that was after having it for 7 years. I've done some changes like different chrome rims for something sportier (including wheel adapters), a rear spoiler, fog lights (yellow strobes), a muffler tip that allows more air exhaust (and sound) and a better stereo system. Planning on getting the shocks worked on eventually and hunting down a supercharger for it (keep hearing the police used to use this model)...otherwise, my baby's a creampuff! Be careful on doing electrical work, for it'll seem like you'll lose your battery charge, but the way Dodge builds their cars, it's a lil tricky but manageable as long as you're careful. Pretty good on gas and currently researching the pros and cons of changing gas type from the low end to at least mid-grade. Just take of it and it'll take care of you.