1993 Eagle Summit

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1993 Eagle Summit
Available in 7 styles:  Summit 2dr Coupe shown
Asking Price Range
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Estimated MPG

7.4–8.7 city / 5.9–6.9 hwy

Expert Reviews

By 

chicagotribune.com
Although it is a low-volume car of mixed parentage, the 1993 Eagle Summit can proudly boast a major accomplishment among the 300 to 400 other models vying for attention in the marketplace.

The Summit is the industry standard-bearer when it comes to offering that precious commodity called space. Summit may be ranked as a subcompact based onexterior dimensions, but it has interior room most midsize cars would envy.

You can stretch legs and arms and wiggle the head without having them go bump in the night inside this subcompact built by Mitsubishi and marketed by Chrysler Corp.

The four-door Summit sedan, an offspring of the Mitsubishi Mirage, offers exceptional room, above-average fuel economy and a decent price. What it doesn't offer is the full gamut of safety equipment consumers demand in today's cars.

No air bag is available. Anti-lock brakes are offered, but only in the top-of-the-line, four-door Summit ES, not in the two-door DL or ES or the four-door DL. And they are a mighty stiff $964 option.

We test-drove a four-door Summit DL powered by the optional 1.8-liter, 16-valve, 113-horsepower, four-cylinder engine teamed with optional automatic transmission. The 1.8-liter's strong suit is mileage-27 m.p.g. city/34 highway.

Offsetting the ability to squeeze an extra commute or two out of the engineis the fact that you'll be squeezed out of the main flow of traffic when you press the accelerator as the light turns green. The engine seems to respond toyour foot command with, "You want me to do what?"

A 1.5-liter, 92-horsepower four-cylinder is standard. We wouldn't recommendit, considering Summit isn't what you would call a lively machine with the 1.8-liter, multivalve four.

That's the price you pay for high mileage. Summit is a commuter vehicle forthose needing to hold four people and a trunk full of groceries or luggage andstill stretch the weekly fuel budget. It's the vehicle for those who put economy first but don't want to be saddled with the looks or cramped quarters of a Chevy Geo Metro.

Glamorous styling? No. Call it cute or at least a sight better than the look of the Metro, but Summit sheet metal won't turn heads. Sports-car performance? Hardly, at least not with the four-speed automatic. Smooth ride and nimble handling? In your dreams. This car was built to take you to the track, not to be caught on it. Technological test bed? Not when there's no airbag and anti-lock brakes are only available on the top-of-the-line model. About the only concession to '90s engineering is front-wheel drive.

The buzzword with Summit is "function," not "flash." It is a respectable, high-mileage commuter.

The base price of the DL was $9,448.

Standard equipment included 13-inch, all-season tires (if Chrysler wanted better ride and handling, it would stick 14-inch tires on the car), power brakes, stainless-steel exhaust, body-colored bumpers, four-wheel indep endent suspension, trip odometer, center console with storage bin, dual front pulloutcupholders, carpeting, coinholder, ticket-holder strap on the driver's sun visor and side-window demisters.

Our test car added a $906 preferred-equipment group that included rear-window defroster, intermittent windshield wipers, dual remote mirrors, remote fuel-filler and trunk lid release, floor mats, tinted glass, bodyside moldings, AM/FM radio with clock, power steering, wheel covers and touring suspension.

Automatic transmission ran $701, the optional 1.8-liter four was $346 and air conditioning was $783. With a $400 destination charge added and a $300 option discount subtracted, the sticker came to $12,284.

It appears anti-lock brakes weren't made standard to keep stickers below the $13,000 phsychological barrier.

Next January the subcompact Dodge and Plymouth Neon, to be built at Chrysler's Belvidere, Ill., assembly plant, will arrive on the market as 1995 mode ls. Considering Chrysler hopes to sell about 300,000 of those cars annually, a rather hefty target in a market not clamoring for small cars, you have to wonder what the plans are for the Summit.

Because Summit's heritage is Mitsubishi and its size will make it a competitor of Neon, it seems the Summit line would be expendable. However, Chrysler officials point out that no Eagle version of the Neon is planned. That leaves Summit holding down the small-economy-car end of the market for Eagle dealers.



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