1993 Chrysler Concorde

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1993 Chrysler Concorde
Available in 1 styles:  Concord 4dr Sedan shown
Asking Price Range
$35–$4,387
Estimated MPG

20 city / 28 hwy

Expert Reviews

    Expert Reviews 1 of 3

By 

washingtonpost.com
I HAD TO apologize to the car. I'd done something dumb. So excitedwas I by the thing's body, I was unknowingly driving it in third gear.Didn't feel right. Didn't sound right, either. Neither I nor mypassenger could believe it. This was the 1993 Chrysler Concorde sedan,one of Chrysler Corp.'s all-new LH platform cars. It had to be betterthan this. It was.

I saw the tiny green light under the "3" on the instrument panel. Atnearly 60 miles per hour, it should've been under the "D" -- fourthgear/overdrive on the automatic transmission. But the mistake wasdiscovered too late. My passenger got nasty. "This engine groans!" shesaid. And then came the swipe: "Why can't Americans make cars as well asHonda?"

Well, heck, North Americans can. The Concorde, built in Canada,proves that much.

I owed the car an apology. But first, I had to tell my passenger thatthe groaning was my fault. The Concorde's base 3.3-liter V-6 engine,while not the quietest thing in the world, is no groaner, surely not atnormal highway speeds.

Ms. Honda accepted my regrets, but I had to talk to the Concordeitself. For this, I chose a quiet Virginia road on a chilly Sundayevening.

"I'm sorry," I said after we'd gone a distance.

The car said nothing.

I pulled off the road to get some gas and cranked the engine afterfilling the tank.

"Fourth gear, stupid," the Concorde said.

I understood.

Background: The LH cars -- the Concorde, Eagle Vision, Dodge Intrepidand the yet-to-come revised New Yorker -- will be remembered as Lee'sHome Runs. Retiring Chrysler Chairman Lee A. Iacocca says so in his lastTV commercials: "It's nice to go out with a home run," he says. Truthis, the front-engine, front-wheel-drive, five-passenger LH carsrepresent a solid team victory for Chrysler. The company's designers andengineers pushed ol' Lee to accept the radically different "cab-forward"LH concept. Lee, to his credit, yielded and became an enthusiasticsupporter of the idea.

Cab-forward moves the cabin of a car forward over the front wheels.It also pushes the rear wheels farther back, almost putting them underthe trunk. The upshot is humongous cabin space in what is really amidsize car. And trunk space is good, too.

A reworked 3.3-liter, fuel-injected V-6 rated 153 horsepower at 5,300rpm serves as the standard engine for the Concorde, Vision and Intrepid.Torque in that engine is put at 177 foot-pounds at 2,800 rpm. Anoptional 3.5-liter, 24-valve V-6 is available for all three models. Thebigger engine is rated 214 horsepower at 5,800 rpm with a torque of 221foot-pounds at 2,800 rpm.

Complaint: The gear indicator on the Concorde's console-mountedgearshift can be seen during the day, but not at night, because it'sunlit. The illuminated nighttime gearshift indicator is located in thelower righthand corner of the speedometer, which actually makes moresense. But Chrysler, in this case, should err on the side of redundancyand illu mine the console indicator, too.

Praise: The Concorde is one of the best-designed, best-crafted,safest and most fun-to-drive family sedans on sale. It's a roomyautomobile that feels as tight as a sports car. Interior design, withthe sole exception of the console gearshift indicator, is excellent.Kudos to whoever is responsible for the most intelligent placement ofsideview mirrors on any car at any price. Driver and front-passenger airbags are standard on all LH cars. Anti-lock power four-wheel disc brakesare standard on the Concorde.

In short, with this car in the market, the Honda Accord might verywell have seen its last days as the best-selling car in the UnitedStates.

Head-turning quotient: Stunning. Got favorable looks and commentseverywhere it went.

Ride, acceleration and handling: Triple aces, especially for amidsize family sedan. Given the exceptionally decent performance of thebase 3.3-liter V-6, I can't wait to get my hands on the 3.5-literversion oupled with the top-line "LH Performance" suspension.

Mileage: About 23 to the gallon (18-gallon tank, estimated 404-milerange on usable volume of regular unleaded gasoline), combinedcity-highway, running with one to five occupants and light cargo.

Sound system: Four-speaker, AM/FM stereo radio and cassette byChrysler. Very good.

Price: Base Concorde price is $18,341. Dealer's invoice price on basemodel is $16,080. Price as tested is $21,483, including $2,652 inoptions and a $490 destination charge.

Purse-strings note: A very definite buy in the family-sedan category.Compare with Honda Accord, Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable, Toyota Camry,Mazda 626, Pontiac Bonneville. For that matter, compare with AcuraLegend, Lexus ES 300, Mazda 929, Mercedes-Benz 190E, BMW 325i --seriously.


    Expert Reviews 1 of 3

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