Debuting in 1995 as a replacement to the Dodge Spirit, the mid-sized Stratus sedan applied several traits found with vehicles built on the LH platform models such as the Dodge Intrepid. In 1998, the Dodge Stratus was offered in a base and ES trim level.
Equipped with standard features such as air conditioning, front airbags and a cassette player, the base Dodge Stratus came standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generating 131 horsepower. A 150-horsepower 2.4-liter powerplant was also available on the base Stratus for 1998. A five-speed manual gearbox is included with the 2.0-liter engine while the 2.4-liter receives a standard four-speed automatic transmission in ES trim.
With the Dodge Stratus ES model, a 2.5-liter V-6 engine producing 168 horsepower was optional. Initially identified only to a four-door sedan, Dodge dropped the Avenger coupe in 2000 resulting in the introduction of a two-door version of the Stratus for the following year. Along with the choice of the two-door or four-door body style, the 2001 Dodge Stratus featured revised styling.
A sport-oriented R/T version of the Dodge Stratus was available as a two-door only in 2001 powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 generating 200 horsepower combined with a standard five-speed manual transmission. The sedan version in R/T joined the Stratus line-up in 2002. Front-end styling for the mid-sized vehicle was revised again in 2004 moving the distinctive Dodge grille higher with the brand crest positioned in the center. The Dodge Stratus continued to be sold through the 2006 model year.