1998 Dodge Stratus 2.4L 4 cylinder from North America


Expensive to fix, but a solid, fun to drive and comfy car


Before I bought my 1998 Stratus, I took it to my mechanic to check it out. He said everything was in decent shape except the head gasket, which would have to be replaced and would cost up to $900 (good think I checked before I bought it!). At this point, I told the dealer that if they would fix that, I would take it. I figured a brand new head gasket and new belts (which they also replaced) would make the car last at least 4 years, which was all I wanted out of it. Very low miles for a 10 year old car.

Since I bought it a radiator hose blew out. The Stratus uses a custom radiator hose with a special metal fitting that had to be special ordered for $90, which is ridiculous. Other than that, minimal problems. The brakes are decent, but it needs new tires, other than that not much has gone wrong.

General Comments:

The car's interior is gargantuan. The interior is comparable to that of an Intrepid or Impala, while the car itself is much smaller. The trunk is huge as well, and everything is comfortable and well-designed.

The 2.4L 4-cyl is plenty powerful for this car and it hits 0-60 in less than 10 seconds, which is decent for an American family sedan. There's not a lot of low-end torque, so you're not super quick off the line, but it gets the job done. As long as your only drag races are against minivans and old Civics, you'll win easily.

Handles excellently, corners sharply. However, it does ride very low, and I've damaged my under-fender spoiler on the front already just from some oversized speed bumps.

The car also looks very modern considering its age. This Stratus design came out in 1995, yet still looks like it's only a few years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2009

1998 Dodge Stratus Base 2.4L 4 cylinder from North America


A/C fan.

Power door lock.

Oil leaks.

General Comments:

It looks like I'm one of the lucky ones. My 1998 Stratus is the BEST car I've ever owned by far. NEVER had a breakdown, NEVER had a single major repair under-the-hood. Bought it new in 1998. Loved it then and now. I have new tires, brakes, battery, plugs/wires. A couple of belts and hoses. Had a front and rear alignment done 5 years ago and the ride has been solid ever since. But these are all normal wear-and-tear items. So no complaints whatsoever.

I do the regular maintenance religiously. Transmission, antifreeze, power-steering, and brake fluids all flushed multiple times (except the brake fluid just once). Fuel system cleaned a couple of times and replace the air filter as soon as I can. Oil changes and tire rotations done on schedule. The only repairs I've ever had were a power lock and A/C fan. I don't drive the hell out of it and it's made a huge difference. A mechanic once told me, you take care of these Chryslers (and luck is on your side) these cars will take care of you.

Yes, of course I've had the oil leaks that everyone else has, but that's expected with this (and many other cars.) But I was told it was better not to fix and just watch the oil level weekly and add oil when needed. A lot of trips to buy a quart of oil, but it's a lot cheaper than paying $1400 to replace a gasket or rear main seal. Just passed 100,000 miles and still going strong after 11 years. Best car I've ever had. Sorry to the rest of you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2009

22nd Apr 2009, 22:21

ME too!! I love my Stratus and dread the day I have to part with it!