The Cirrus sedan is due to be redesigned for the 2001 model year, so there are no major new features for this season. However, Cirrus has a bigger role to fill now that DaimlerChrysler has announced it will phase out the Plymouth brand.
The Plymouth Breeze, a lower-priced clone of the Cirrus, disappeared from the lineup in December. Chrysler added a four-cylinder LX version of the Cirrus to take up the slack. Dodge also sells a version of this car, the Stratus, which will continue for 2001 and beyond.
Cirrus and its cousins at Dodge and Plymouth represent the second wave of cars built with the cab-forward design, which pushes the wheels out to the ends to maximize interior space. Cirrus arrived for the 1995 model year, yet the clean, contemporary styling still looks fresh.
At 187 inches stem to stern, Cirrus is about 2 inches shorter than the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
While the five-passenger Cirrus is shorter than the Accord or Camry, it has a longer wheelbase (108 inches) and a well-designed interior with more rear legroom enough even for some adults to sit with their legs crossed. With the cab-forward design, low dashboard and deep side windows, visibility is great to the front and sides. However, a narrow rear window and high trunk restrict visibility to the rear.
Under the Hood
The lower-priced Cirrus LX inherits the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine from the Breeze, and the more-expensive LXi comes with a 2.5-liter V-6 (an engine built by Mitsubishi, not DaimlerChrysler). Both engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission.