The Dodge Stratus (and its twins, the Chrysler Cirrus and Plymouth Breeze; collectively known as the "Cloud Cars") was a mid-size 4-door sedan introduced in 1995. It was based on the Chrysler JA platform. The Stratus, Breeze, and Cirrus were all on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1996 and 1997.

Second generation (2001-2006)[edit | edit source]

2002 Dodge Stratus R/T 2-door coupe
Dodge Stratus
Production 2001-2006
Class Midsize family
Body Style 2-Door Coupe
4-Door Sedan
Length 191.2"
Width 70.6"
Height 54.9"
Wheelbase 103.7"
Weight 3100 - 3300 lb
Transmissions 5-Speed Manual, FWD
4-Speed Automatic, FWD
Engines 2.4L (148 cid) I4
2.7L (168 cid) V6
3.0L (181 cid) V6
Power 142-200 hp
Similar Chrysler Sebring
Platform JR

In 2001, the Stratus became the last of the surviving Cloud Cars, with the Cirrus renamed as the Sebring and the Breeze discontinued. After Dodge discontinued the Avenger, they renamed the new coupe as the Stratus, while the Chrysler model of the coupe continued to be called Sebring and now shared a name with the sedan. The Dodge Stratus was dropped for the Canadian market.

The Stratus and Sebring sedans used a revised version of the JA platform named JR. The coupe models with the same names were entirely different cars; they were actually based on the Mitsubishi Eclipse. The coupes were dropped from the lineup after 2005, and the Stratus was discontinued in May 2006; the Sebring name will live on.

In Mexico, the Stratus R/T comes in a turbocharged version. The Stratus R/T's turbocharged 2.4 L engine went through some improvements in 2001, when horsepower was increased to 215. Engines built from March 2004 and later generated 225 hp at 5200 rpm and 235 ft·lbf (319 N·m) of torque at 4200 rpm. Stratus R/T models with the turbocharged engine could be recognized by a rear badge saying "High Output".

First-generation (1995-2000)[edit | edit source]

1995 Dodge Stratus
Dodge Stratus
Production 1996-2000
Class Midsize family
Body Style 4-Door Sedan
Length 186"
Width 71.7"
Height 54.3"
Wheelbase 108"
Weight 2900 - 3100 lb
Transmissions 5-Speed Manual, FWD
4-Speed Automatic, FWD
Engines 2.0L (120 cid) I4
2.4L (148 cid) I4
2.5L (152 cid) V6
Power 132-168 hp
Similar Chrysler Cirrus
Plymouth Breeze
Platform JA

The Dodge Stratus, the middle entry of the JA platform (with the Cirrus being the higher-end model and the Breeze being the lower-end model), was introduced in 1995 with two models: the SE, which came standard with the 2.0 L straight-4 and had the SOHC 2.4 L as optional, and the ES, which came standard with the DOHC 2.4 L and had the optional 2.5 L V6. The Stratus replaced the Dodge Spirit.

The cars had many parts that were interchangeable between each model. The exteriors of these three cars were very similar, with the front fascia, rear bumper, taillights, and wheels being the main differences. The interiors had much more variation between the three models, when compared to their subtle exterior differences.

All three variants of the JA platform were available with most of the same standard features and available options, such as the following: a four-speed automatic transmission, anti-lock brakes, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, power windows, power door locks, power driver's seat, leather seats, power antenna, a six CD changer, sunroof, remote keyless entry, anti-theft system, etc. A five-speed manual was available with the 2.0 L engine.

A turbocharged version of the Stratus was sold in Mexico, with the 2.4 L DOHC 4-cylinder engine and a 4-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick. This car had 168 hp (125 kW) at 5200 rpm and 216 ft·lbf of torque at 2200 rpm.

The Stratus was sold in Europe, with the 2.0 L and the V6, as the Chrysler Stratus, although it retained the Dodge styling.


  • Overall length: 187 in (4.7 m)
  • Curb weight: 3,181 lb (1,442 kg)
  • Towing capacity: 1000 lb
  • Torque: 168 ft·lbf at 5500 rpm

Replacement[edit | edit source]

The Stratus and Sebring will be replaced in 2007 by new vehicles using a shared DaimlerChrysler/Mitsubishi Motors platform called the GS. For the new mid-size cars, the GS platform is stretched in size and will be known as the JS. Chrysler will sell a sedan and convertible as the Sebring, while the Avenger name returns to a sedan for Dodge - purportedly with Charger styling cues. The new Avenger will be a 2008 model, and may also arrive for the Canadian market.

Licensed production in Russia[edit | edit source]

The second generation Dodge Stratus, along with the Chrysler Sebring, will be built in Russia from late 2007 or early 2008 on, and will be sold under a Russian brand. The license and production facilities for these cars were sold in April 2006 to Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who owns the GAZ company in Nizhny Novgorod, which builds the Volga automobile. The price is approximately US$151 million (€ 124 million). The new production facilities are planned to build up to 65,000 cars of both models yearly. Four-cylinder engines will be purchased from Chrysler and made in Mexico.

In pop culture[edit | edit source]

In a sketch on Saturday Night Live, Will Ferrell's "Dad" character famously screamed, "I drive a Dodge Stratus!" in desperation to his dysfunctional family as an example of the fear and respect afforded him by his colleagues at work. The phrase itself became a very minor pop culture phenomenon reflecting a disdain for lower and middle class "luxury" items and middle managers in general.

Main Competitors[edit | edit source]

Awards[edit | edit source]

  • 2003 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study 3rd winner (Sports car)

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External links[edit | edit source]

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