1996 Dodge Stratus SE 2.0 from North America


Dodge Stratus SE is a comfortable and stylish car


I have had a continual clicking sound in the engine since about 76k miles.

I have taken it to the mechanic three times and they can't find anything wrong with it.

General Comments:

Very roomy and comfortable.

Handles the road very well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th March, 2002

1996 Dodge Stratus 1.4 from North America


If you want to spend as much as I did, get a Lexus!


Head gasket, tear main seal, performance problems. Hesitates and seems to have a fuel filter problem or a dirty fuel filter.

Transmission leaks.

Head gasket at 30,000

Rear main at 35,000

Fuel filter or pump problems at 70,000.

General Comments:

Have fun paying more than its worth in repairs. Plus I don't think anyone knows what's really wrong with these cars. They just give it their best guess and charge you too much. I give up. I would rather set this car on fire than get another repair done.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th February, 2002

9th Oct 2002, 00:06

I have just recently discovered the problems associated with my Stratus. Right now it's the head gasket that is leaking at 65,000 miles, but I have also had a sensor replaced and the brake pads changed. Minor electrical problems also seem to be creeping up on me. This is all very disappointing to a full-time student with two jobs!

20th Nov 2002, 17:17

I have the same problems and Dodge told me tough! Head Gasket at 65,000 OK? I don't think so! This is the last Dodge I will ever own! I am a college student and this is a waste of money! Email me RandyCusack@yahoo.com.

25th Nov 2002, 13:34

I purchased my nightmare new in 97. The car has had a wiring harness, head gasket, alternator, steering rack, inner/outer tie rods, and as I type, the 3rd transmission is being installed. My bad dream goes thru tires like water, and is in for major repairs at least once a month. This is one of Motor Trends 10 best for 97. My odometer reads 66,856. Show me the worst, we'll trade. Dodge does not stand behind their product. They sell it and laugh as you drive away.

29th Sep 2003, 07:45

I have a 96 stratus with a plethora of problems. I have a Hesitation in the engine. The electrical system can't decide whether it wants to be on or off -- On / Off/ On / Off. The Suspension has been all changed. The Fuel filter and fuel injectors seem to get clogged, more often than I can buy fuel injector cleaner for the car. This car is costing me more than the car is worth. It costs me $2000 a year to keep it on the road. I would not recommend a Dodge product, if this is the quality that they provide for their products.

1996 Dodge Stratus Base 2.0 from North America


Good car, some issues


The head gasket started leaking at around 50,000 miles, but I waited until 70,000 miles to get it fixed.

The drive axle oil seal failed at 80,000 miles.

Rear master brake cylinder seal leaked at about 38,000 miles. Note: there was a recall on this, but apparently my VIN# wasn't on the list.

Oxygen sensor needed to be replaced at 84,000 miles.

Plastic windshield wiper fluid bottle cracked & leaked.

Replaced tires once & brake pads once.

General Comments:

Overall, I would have to say that I have been satisfied with this car. There have been some expensive problems, but the car has always started up & never broken down on the side of the road.

Good interior design & fairly roomy. I would not recommend this car for a tall driver (6'+), as front headroom is limited & seat backs are low. Shorter people should find the interior rather comfortable.

Engine performance is merely average. In order to get acceptable acceleration, a manual transmission is a must with the 2.0L engine. WARNING: If purchasing a used 4-cylinder Stratus earlier than a 1999 model, be sure that the head gasket has already been replaced. This gasket has been redesigned, and it WILL leak and need to be replaced if it has not been already.

Handling is above average in this car. It is rather fun to drive due to the cab forward design which has the wheels pushed to the corners.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 9th January, 2002

11th Aug 2004, 20:53

I own a 1996 stratus, and am about 6'3 and have no trouble with head room/leg room at all, one of my main reasons for selection of the car.