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By Rick Popely
April 23, 2001
Vehicle Overview Optional side-impact airbags for the front seats are the major addition for the Concorde, a corporate twin to the Dodge Intrepid and a cousin to the Chrysler LHS and 300M, which use the same front-drive platform but have different styling and smaller dimensions.
Though the Concorde and Intrepid are the same car under the skin, the Chrysler division of DaimlerChrysler offers near-luxury and upscale family models, while Dodge caters to buyers looking for value and sportier attributes.
Exterior With an overall length of 209 inches, the Concorde is 2 inches longer than the Cadillac DeVille or Buick Park Avenue. Concordes low nose/high rear deck profile is similar to the Dodge Intrepids, but the Concorde has its own look from a large, cross-hatch grille, wraparound headlamps, a smaller rear window and different rear styling.
Interior Front bucket seats are standard on both the base LX and more expensive LXi models, and a front bench is optional for six-passenger seating. Steering-wheel audio controls are now included with the optional Infinity sound system.
Like the Intrepid, the Concorde has large doors, a spacious interior and a roomy trunk. Rear passengers get slightly more headroom than in the Intrepid because of a higher roof, and the Concordes narrow rear window makes parking and changing lanes trickier for the driver. The Concordes trunk opening is larger than the Intrepids, but the Chrysler version does not have a folding rear seatback like the Dodge; it offers only a small pass-through section to the trunk.
Under the Hood Engine selection depends on the model. The LX comes with a 200-horsepower 2.7-liter V-6, and the LXi gets a 222-hp 3.2-liter V-6. Both come with a four-speed automatic transmission.
Antilock brakes and traction control are standard on the LXi and optional on the LX.
Driving Impressions In addition to its eye-catching styling, the Concorde is roomy, functional and enjoyable to drive. It feels more nimble than many big cars and has sprightly acceleration with the 3.2-liter V-6. The smaller engine in the LX lacks the muscle to move this car with verve.If youre interested in the Concorde, also check out the similar Intrepid, which offers similar performance and features in a sportier package.