The Dodge Stratus is classified as a mid-size 4-door family sedan and was first introduced to the market in 1995. This vehicle was based on the Chrysler JA platform Cab forward car. This Stratus received critical acclaim after it was launched but the Dodge Avenger nameplate eventually replaced the Stratus nameplate in 2007 for the 2008 model. After the Stratus sedan was discontinued in 2006, the assembly line and tooling used to build this vehicle were used for the GAZ plant, which manufactured a total of 9,000 modified versions of the Stratus from 2007-2010.
The first generation of the Status was the middle entry of the Chrysler JA platform, as the Cirrus was considered to be the higher-end model and the Breeze being the lower-end model. There were few differences between these three cars, including the front fascia, wheels, taillights, and rear bumper. The interiors of these vehicle varied little between the three models and were nearly identical, except for the name that appeared on the steering wheel as well as a few different options. The Stratus was responsible for replacing the Spirit, which was sold only in the United States.
The second generation of the Dodge Stratus launched in 2001 and became the last of the Cloud Cars, as the Cirrus was renamed the Sebring and the Breeze was discontinued due to lack of sales. This model Stratus was not sold in Canada, with 1999 being the last year it was sold in this market. The 2002 Statuses got rid of the “DODGE” badges which were previously on the doors. Both the Stratus and Sebring sedans for the second generation used a revised version of the Chrysler JA platform named JR. The coupe models of these vehicles had a completely different design that was based on the Mitsubishi Escape.
Around this time, sales of the Stratus started to decline, primarily due to low ratings in popular auto magazines as well as from consumers. The ratings for the Stratus were well below average and it had a significant impact on sales. Although Dodge was experiencing problems with low sales with the Stratus, it was achieving great success with sedans like the Charger, earning record sales. In 2004, the Stratus received some styling changes, though it still did not help sales. The Stratus was ultimately discontinued in May of 2006, though the Sebring name continued to be used.
The Stratus/RT came in a turbocharged version as well. The Stratus R/T’s turbocharged 2.4 engine received some minor modifications which increased its power output to 215 horsepower. This new and improved engine was later used for the Dodge SRT-4, which was only made available in the U.S. The engines for the Stratus/RT were built starting in March of 2004 and eventually received another power increase to 225 horsepower at 5200 rpm and 235 pound-feet of torque. This was a significant improvement on the earlier engines that the Stratus used and boost sales for a brief period.
The Dodge Stratus coupe was introduced to the market in 2001, replacing the discontinued Avenger. The model, as well as the Chrysler Sebring coupe, were both built at what used to be known as the Diamond Star Motors plant and use the same ST-22 platform. Similar to the Sebring, the Stratus coupe models didn’t have much in common except the name as well as some exterior styling cues that were taken from the sedan and convertible models. The coupe was eventually discontinued in 2005, just one year before the sedan. Although this vehicle started off as a critical and consumer success, sales ultimately declined and all versions of it were discontinued.