Chrysler is dropping the prices of several of its 2012 models. The automaker recently announced price cuts for its upcoming Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger midsize sedans, as well as the 2012 Dodge Journey crossover SUV.

While base prices for the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger are dropping just $250 for 2012, the new starting price of just $18,995 before destination makes the pair of mechanically identical sedans the least-expensive midsize models on sale today. The 2012 Avenger and 200 edge out rivals like the Ford Fusion, which starts at $19,850, the Kia Optima, which lists for $19,200, and even the Suzuki Kizashi, whose $18,999 base price formerly earned it the title of cheapest midsize sedan on sale.

The Dodge Journey takes an even more substantial price cut for 2012. The automaker slashed the crossover's price a shocking $1,450, dropping it to just $20,995 before destination and making it, too, among the most affordable vehicles in its segment. Rivals in the midsize crossover segment include the Chevrolet Equinox, which starts at $22,995, the Kia Sorento, which comes in at $21,250, and the Toyota RAV4, which starts just over $22,000. 

Undoubtedly, the price cuts will help increase sales of the Journey and Chrysler's midsize sedans, which have relied heavily on incentives to boost sales totals. Last month, Dodge offered between $2,000 and $3,000 cash back - one of the highest incentives in the industry - on all 2011 Journey models, while Chrysler recently announced a promotion offering no payments for 90 days on all 2011 and 2012 models in an effort to spur sales.

Through the end of July, Dodge recorded just over 31,000 Journey sales - a mild increase over last year, but still far behind competitors like the Ford Edge, which has sold nearly 150,000 units so far in 2011. Meanwhile, the Avenger and 200 have combined for around 70,000 sales this year - also an increase compared to 2010, but still lagging compared to rivals like the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion, which have recorded around 150,000 sales each in 2011.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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