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1998 Dodge Stratus Review, David Stansbury, From Edgewood

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Dodge Stratus 2.4L

 Model of the car:Dodge Stratus 2.4L
 General comments:The Stratus reflects the benefits of some excellent American engineering (except for negatives above). It also has the typical domestic car downfalls, including poor resale value and manufactured from cheaper materials, presumably for cost savings.I am a very large guy so I appreciate the ample interior room and tilt wheel. The seats are pretty comfortable for me. The controls are laid out very well, convenient and have a positive feel. The long dashboard takes some getting used to but it's cool.As I spent $8500 for it used, I would definitely recommend it as a good value. As with most cars, expect the routine maintenance and upkeep. In addition, be sure to regularly check the lights, esp. the 3rd brake light. Finally, anticipate regular replacement of the brake friction materials. Using high quality pads with anti-squeal shims will help reduce brake squeal. Don't ever get cheap with brakes, on any car - your life may depend on them one day!
 What things have gone wrong with the car:Ever since I popped the hood at the dealership and thought "where did they hide the battery?" I have been wondering about it. I got bored one day and read the owner's manual, which told me the secret. Now I know why employers are requiring drug testing for their employees. What were they thinking???The front cup holders are a joke, I guess they can hold my spare change.An annoying, intermittent brake squeal. The transmission has a bit of a delay downshifting. The cruise control sometimes over-compensates when going up a hill. Rear window vision is poor for short range use, I find myself using the side mirrors more when backing. The power windows are making strange noises, it sounds like they're straining to operate. The left outside power mirror failed, I have to adjust it by hand (waaa!). The HVAC blower is very loud at high speed.
 Previous car:This car replaces my recently deceased '96 Mazda Protege, which was totalled in an accident. The Mazda was very reliable and only required routine maintenance. However, it didn't have nearly the power, handling or interior space that the Stratus has.

Review 1998 Dodge Stratus David Stansbury, From Edgewood
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