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By Jim Flammang
January 24, 2003
Posted on 11/20/02 Vehicle Overview Little has changed for the 2003 model year on Chryslers full-size, front-wheel-drive Concorde sedan. Three new body colors are available, and an available in-dash six-CD changer replaces the prior four-CD unit. A Concorde Limited joined the lineup in 2002, replacing the old LHS. In fact, all Concordes gained some of the LHSs styling features for 2002.
The Concorde is built on the same platform as the Dodge Intrepid, and its related to the sporty 300M, which has different styling and is shorter overall. All of these sedans are expected to get new designs for the 2004 model year, and they may be available with rear-wheel drive.
Starting in July 2002, all Chrysler vehicles gained a new 7-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is transferable to subsequent owners. The warranty covers engines, transmissions, transfer cases and axles.
The low nose/high deck profile is similar to that of the Intrepid, but the Concorde has its own look. A large, oval-shaped crosshatch grille and wraparound headlights appear at the front of the Chrysler model. Its rear styling is also different because it features a back window that is smaller than the one in the Intrepid. The tires on the LX and LXi are 16-inchers, while 17-inchers go on the Limited.
Front bucket seats are standard in both the base LX sedan and the more costly LXi and Limited models. A 50/50-split front bench that allows for six-passenger seating instead of the standard five is offered as optional equipment. Steering-wheel stereo controls are included with the optional Infinity sound systems.
Like the Intrepid, Chryslers Concorde has large doors, a spacious interior and a roomy trunk. Because of its higher roofline, backseat passengers get slightly more headroom in the Concorde, but a narrow rear window makes parking and lane changing a trifle trickier.
Under the Hood
A 200-horsepower, 2.7-liter V-6 engine goes into the Concorde LX. The LXi gets a 234-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, and the Limiteds V-6 is rated at 250 hp. Each engine works with a four-speed-automatic transmission.
Side-impact airbags for the front seats are optional on all models. Antilock brakes and low-speed traction control are standard on the Limited and optional on the LXi.
Ever since the second-generation Concorde debuted for the 1998 model year, its been known for eye-catching styling. But beyond its striking appearance lies a roomy and functional sedan that rides pleasantly, is easy and enjoyable to drive, and feels more nimble than a lot of big cars.
Even before the LXi engine was enlarged to 3.5 liters, it delivered spirited acceleration unlike the 2.7-liter V-6 in the LX, which doesnt quite pack the muscle to propel a car of this size with full force. The 250-hp Limited should be even more confident when passing and merging.
The Concordes ride doesnt quite rank as gentle, but it is smooth on most pavement surfaces. The seats have short bottoms and are on the firm side, but both the front and rear promise plenty of space to stretch out. Because the small back window is positioned behind a high parcel shelf, rear visibility could be a problem for shorter drivers.