1997 Dodge Stratus LE from North America


Dear Dodge, thanks for making a piece of crap


I had to replace the radiator at 72000.

I have had to replace the same wheel cylinder four times.

Anything that could go wrong with the brakes has gone wrong with the brakes, and I have bought more brakes than any one person should.

The heater stopped working around 75000.

The ball joints went bad around 78000.

General Comments:

I could try to list everything that's gone wrong with this car, but this car has nickel and dimed me more than I expected.

Save yourself a lot of time, money, and frustration and don't buy a Dodge Status.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th October, 2009

14th Oct 2009, 06:13

All I can say is that you should stay clear of Chrysler/Dodge products since this manufacturer has systematic quality issues. They make some pretty good SUVs/pick-ups that have a heavy duty design and will last long. Besides that, Chrysler hasn't produced a decent car for decades. They don't seem to have the determination, money or technology to produce cars that last as long as the competition. I've been offered second hand Dodge vehicles for rock bottom trade in prices, and still I've declined. All I can say, they are all bad and you should stay away from second hand Chrysler/Dodges even at rock bottom prices.

1997 Dodge Stratus Base 2.0 from North America


A fun car to drive with great fuel economy


Replaced front brake calipers.

Coolant inlet tube.

General Comments:

This has been the most reliable car I have ever owned, it has seldom needed repairs (I do all my own work) and averages 37-39 mpg on the highway.

I believe the 2.0 engine with 5 speed is a little uncommon for this vehicle, but they have run without issue.

The car has started to use about 1 qt of oil between changes (5000 miles), but I feel that is to be expected.

This car handles very well and is pretty quiet for what it is, and the acceleration is surprisingly good with the small engine.

I use this car as a daily commuter of 50 miles one way, and have no fears of taking it on a road trip. I am aware of the head gasket issues these engines have, but I have not had an issue, and nor did the previous owner. I do try to follow all of the routine maintenance guidelines and feel that is the key to longevity.

In my opinion don't hesitate to buy one... they are typically low priced and get great gas mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2009

1997 Dodge Stratus Base 2.0 from North America


This IS a good car that I would recommend for anyone


Replaced clutch cable.

O2 sensor went out.

Replaced brakes at 100,000 miles.

General Comments:

This has been a GREAT car!! I am the second owner and it has ran flawless for both of us. It still looks and drives like new and it averages 35 mpg religiously. It is unfortunate that so few people take care of this car properly and then complain when it tears up. I have read a great deal about the head gasket issue with this car, but have not suffered that issue. I have been told it is purely a problem with one head bolt hole not being drilled deep enough and a shorter bolt easily corrects the problem. So stop the bad talking this engine as it can readily go 200,000 miles which I am well on my way. The car is very roomy and a breeze to drive... pretty quick to if you have the manual transmission. All in all I would highly recommend this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2007

1997 Dodge Stratus 2.0 litre 4 cylinder from North America


If you buy one, trade it after it's paid off!


Tie rods failed without warning within 5000 miles of each other. I turned the wheel at an intersection and the car skid to one side with a resounding 'clunk.'

The entire left third of the instrument panel died each time the car was subjected to rain or a car wash. Power returned after a few minutes of run time (probably after the water had a chance to dry out.)

Oil leaks were numerous and difficult to trace to their cause.

Air bag light was never properly diagnosed, and never stopped illuminating.

Absolutely no feedback from the clutch; impossible to reliably locate the 'feather point.'

Due to lack of determinable 'feather point' it was very easy to stall the vehicle. After stalling, it refused to restart for at least four minutes -- almost as if "Windows was not properly shut down..." This was particularly joyful when it occurred in traffic.

Check Engine light came on repeatedly, incorrectly coding to indicate failed catalytic converter.

Check Engine light is brighter than the headlights.

Plastic headlight covers degrade rapidly and swallow most of the headlights' illumination. This is the first car I've ever experienced failing a state safety inspection due to inadequate headlights.

Seats are extremely uncomfortable, particularly over long drives. I was stuffing a travel pillow between my lower back and the seat -- it still wasn't enough.

No. 2 spark plug ERUPTED from the cylinder head, stripping threads and resulting in the scrapping of the vehicle.

General Comments:

The Stratus was large for a mid-sized car, but the little four cylinder engine wasn't really powerful enough to move it around acceptably. The car was unable to maintain speed uphill. Down-shifting was necessary regardless of which gear started the climb. Road noises were constant and the large cabin echoed like a cavern. Fuel economy was very impressive, but I'm certain every dime saved in fuel was spent on repairs. I wouldn't even have kept it as long as I did if I weren't able to do most of the repair work myself. This car would have been far too expensive to repair if a professional mechanic had to be enlisted for every problem. It would also have been in the repair bay as often as it was on the road.

I also found it ironic that this so-called 'cloud car' seemed to hate to be wet.

I've been very disappointed in this car. I used to buy Chrysler vehicles almost exclusively; I still own and drive a Le Baron convertible which recently exceeded 190,000 miles. I must admit that I'm afraid to buy a newer Chrysler product. In fact, I am much more impressed with my wife's Hyundai Elantra than I ever was with this Mexican Mopar.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st March, 2006