The Hillman/Dodge Avenger was a relatively small, light B-class car with rear wheel drive, with a computer-designed body shell in sedan and station wagon variants. It used new four-cylinder Rootes Group engines, except for Dodge Avengers assembled in South Africa, which used Peugeot engines to meet local content rules.
The first Dodge Avenger to be sold in North America was a 2-door coupe produced from 1995 to 2000, in a similar size and price class as the Dodge Daytona, which was discontinued in 1993. The Avenger, along with the similar Chrysler Sebring coupe, was built by Diamond Star Motors (DSM), a joint venture between Chrysler Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors, on a version of the Mitsubishi Galant platform (which also spawned the similar Mitsubishi Eclipse). Mitsubishi purchased Chrysler's share of the joint venture in 1995. Avengers and Sebring coupes built from 1995 to 1996 both have DSM markings in their engine compartments.
The Avenger had a 103in (2.62m) wheelbase and used either a 2.0 L straight-4 (the Chrysler 420A) or a Mitsubishi-designed 2.5 L V6. The 4-cylinder was coupled to either a five-speed manual transmission, shared with the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Eagle Talon, or a 4-speed automatic. The V6 was only available with the A604 transmission.
ABS was used in all ES models to 1999. In 1997, the front fascia, trunklid, and rear bumper were changed; 16 inch wheels were standard, and the license plate was moved from the decklid to the rear bumper. In 2000, the V6 and automatic transmission combination was made standard on all Avengers, and ABS was made an "option" for ES models. The four-cylinder engine was dropped for 2000.
- 1995-2000 - "Highline" base model (V6 among other options made standard in 2000)
- 1995-2000 - ES
A "Sport Appearance Package" could be added on to Base model cars. This package included alloy wheels (different from those on the ES) with other options.