The Chrysler New Yorker is a square peg in what has become a world ofround holes.
Though the competition is rounding its sheet metal, Chrysler sticks withthe squared off boxy look on the 1989 New Yorker.
Fashionable? Perhaps not. Distinctive? To be sure, especially with thebold grille and hidden headlamps for the clean, luxury look.
Powerful? The 3-liter, fuel-injected, V-6 engine from Mitsubishi has been beefed up to deliver 141 horsepower, up from 136 h.p. a year ago. But NewYorker is meant to cruise comfortably at highway speeds and not dart from eachlight before the rest of the pack. The 3-liter with 4-speed is rated at 18miles per gallon city/26 m.p.g. highway.
A 4-speed automatic with overdrive is standard for 1989, replacing lastyear`s 3-speed. It`s quieter and smoother than the 3-speed.
Comfortable? Soft, cushy seats. Good leg room, but after driving the 1989 New Yorker Landau for a while, you wish Chrysler had added a few inches tovehicle width for improved arm room and hip comfort.
New Yorker is built on a 104.3-inch wheelbase and is 193.6 inches longand 68.5 inches wide, meaning the wheelbase is slightly less than a midsizeBuick Century, length is a shade less than that of an Oldsmobile 98, width is nearly the same as a compact Ford Tempo.
The trunk is large, but is one of those deep dish designs with a roundcrater in the middle rather than a flat floor. Stacking luggage and balancing groceries is a chore.
Ride is soft. Handling runs along the lines best suited for those wholike to take in the scenery and not tempt fate in corners or turns. If left toits own instincts, the New Yorker will wander the road a bit and you have tokeep aiming between the lines.
Luxurious? Of course, with some appreciated niceties such as a dual cupholder that pulls out from the dash; an Infiniti sound system a cut above thattypically delivered by Chrysler; power door locks that lock on their own afteryou`re underway; and a lightweight, spring-held hood that opens to reveal anoil filter within sight and reach for easy change.
But a few additions and changes would be appreciated. Antilock brakes are a $926 option and should be standard in the automaker`s top of the line model.Antilock brakes will be standard in the new Imperial coming out next year and should be in the New Yorker now.
The 3-liter V-6 is adequate, but the 3.3-liter V-6 coming from Chryslerfor the 1990 model year would be a welcome addition for optimum performance.
One design flaw needing change is close proximity of the brake andaccelerator pedal. A wide foot could hit both.
Standard equipment includes air conditioning, power brakes and powersteering, AM-FM stereo with digital clock, remote hood/trunk/fuel filler door releases, front and rear folding arm rests, front and rear reading lamps, dualvisor vanity mirrors, dual heated power side mirrors, electric rear windowdefogg er and intermittent wipers. The Landau adds vinyl half roof, automaticpower door locks, six-way power driver`s seat, tilt steering, leather wrapped wheel, speed control, luxury wheel covers, stainless steel exhaust, tintedwindows, automatic rear load leveling suspension and trip computer.
Base price is $19,509. With options including antilock brakes, securityalarm, upgraded sound system, upgraded wheel covers and Mark Cross leatherinterior, the test car listed at $23,759, to which you have to add a $505freight charge.