AutoTest File - 2004 Chrysler Crossfire

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Nov 14, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    [​IMG]

    Good Sport: Crossfire merges Chrysler design, Mercedes muscle

    [​IMG]

    (08:30 Nov. 17, 2003)

    IS THE CROSSFIRE THE BEST Chrysler ever? Or do buyers just get a really sweet deal on a Gothic-styled, fixed-roof Mercedes-Benz SLK320? Either way, the Crossfire offers a lot for the money, from its powerful and proven 3.2-liter V6 to its remarkably smooth handling to its supercar-level stopping power. That is, as long as they don’t find the two-seater’s cabin too confining, or its rampant retro-futuristic Batmobile styling too over the top.

    We’re not surprised at Crossfire’s strong performance on the track, considering its chassis and powertrain are all Mercedes SLK (the outgoing SLK, not the all-new 2005 SLK due next year), topped off by a Chrysler-designed and Karmann-built body. The 3.2-liter sohc three-valve V6 produces 215 hp at 5700 rpm and 229 lb-ft of torque at 3000 rpm, driving the rear wheels via either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.

    We tested both the manual and automatic, finding the manual just a shade quicker from 0 to 60 mph (6.77 seconds vs. 6.91) and a blip hotter in the quarter-mile (15.07 seconds at 93.1 mph vs. 15.28 at 92.5). Due to unflagging traction control (which refuses to shut down completely, even when switched off) or simply the Crossfire’s smaller power-to-weight ratio, those numbers are relatively slow compared to two-seater competition like BMW’s 3.0-liter Z4 (5.88 seconds for 0 to 60, 14.38 seconds at 98.3 mph in the quarter-mile) or the Nissan 350Z (5.66 for 0 to 60, 14.3 at 99.7 for the quarter-mile).

    Weight and nanny electronics were no penalty on other key performance measures, however. The Crossfire blasted through our slalom course at 46.6 mph and pulled a 0.87 g on the skidpad (0.89 g for the manual), all while maintaining poise that rewards a smooth and steady hand on the steering wheel. Conversely, our testers reported that fighting the stability control only makes the Crossfire punch back harder—and eventually the Benz electronics win. Either way, the Crossfire’s slalom numbers compare favorably to the Z4 (46.4 mph) and the 350Z (46.9 mph).

    When it comes to stopping power our testers regularly invoked the word “supercar” to describe the Crossfire’s superb braking. In test after test, the Crossfire consistently posted 60 mph-to-0 stops in the 110-to- 115-foot range, and sub-200-foot stops from 80 mph. Only the Viper’s 109-foot stop from 60 mph outdoes the Crossfire, with the Z4 even at 110 feet and the 350Z at 114 feet. We give some credit to its fat Michelin Pilot Sport tires (225/40ZR-18s in front, 255/35ZR-19s in the rear) for the awesome braking performance, but there remained little doubt the solid German suspension, limited dive and the Benz antilocks allowed for very straight and predictable stops. And like any good Daimler product, the hard workout produced predictably smoldering brakes.

    Not surprisingly, the sports car suspension that works so well on the track also produces a choppy ride on everyday freeway commutes—a trade-off we might gladly accept, but one that not every buyer will appreciate. What’s harder to buy is the claustrophobic cabin, where anyone over six feet tall—and even some under that mark—will likely find the seating cramped and their knees hitting the lower dashboard. Besides the cramped interior, the unreadable-in-daylight radio dial, cheap switchgear and plasticky, hard-to-grip shifter are all it takes to remind us that we’re really driving a Chrysler, not a Mercedes.

    Then there’s that styling, which is designed to provoke a response—for better or for worse—from anyone who even catches a glimpse in their peripheral vision. Chrysler’s hope is that there’s a paying customer behind every kid with his face pressed against a minivan window mouthing, “Dad! Look at that!” Otherwise, for all its good qualities, this Crossfire could end up on the same abbreviated production schedule as its stunningly styled Plymouth predecessor.

    Anybody wanna buy a Prowler? Cheap?

    [​IMG]

    -----

    LIKES
    Supercar braking
    Nice price (for a Benz)
    Mercedes engineering

    DISLIKES
    Cramped cabin
    Overboard styling
    Noisy, unnecessary rear wing

    OTHERS CONSIDERED
    BMW Z4
    Mazda RX-8
    Nissan 350Z

    -----

    OWNERS SAY...

    I park it in front of my business and folks walking down the street stop to gawk. I particularly like the headroom and legroom. I appreciate the manumatic gearbox because my wife and I share this car. The handling is exceptional and it is very stable at high speeds. It corners like a wildcat and is an absolute thrill to drive. The ABS, however, malfunction-ed in the first week, which caused the transmission to be stuck in first gear and rendered the dash lights and gauges inoperable. -Craig LiaBraaten, Hibbing, Minn.

    About one week after I bought the car I made the mistake of letting my wife drive it. She fell in love with it. Since we both wanted to drive the car every day, I solved the problem by surprising her with her very own Crossfire. The wide tires contribute substantially to the great handling and cornering. The car is quick, agile, and yet very comfortable for someone my age (62). The touring gear is a great, stylish addition. The only changes I would make would be to add six-way power adjustments to the passenger seat and a DVD-based navigation system. -Richard Mittleman, Providence, R.I.

    I thoroughly enjoy driving the Crossfire. Memory seats would make it easier to switch back and forth between different-sized drivers. We took the Crossfire to an all-Mopar car show, where it drew one of the biggest crowds. It hugs the road and has plenty of power for passing or just cruising. Wind noise is muted, the stereo is terrific, the autoshift is quicker than the one in the Chrysler 300M and it encourages you to use it. -Lynda Nimtz, Onalaska, Wis.

    I had a Porsche Boxster, but the Crossfire gets more comments in one day than the Boxster got in four years. The major drawback of this vehicle are the blind spots. My dealer experience has also been a tad shoddy. My car was delivered with a broken mirror and I waited two months for a replacement. My dealer finally had to order the mirror directly from the supplier because Chrysler did not have any parts available. -S. Werner, Newton Falls, Ohio

    -----

    VEHICLE SPECS AND ROAD-TEST DATA:

    STICKER
    Base (includes $875 delivery): $34,495
    As tested: $34,495
    Owners paid; average: $34,500 to $35,700; $35,193

    CHASSIS
    Unibody two-door coupe

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase (in): 94.5
    Track (in): 58.3 front, 58.2 rear
    Length/width/height (in): 159.8/69.5/51.4
    Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 3060/3533

    CAPACITIES
    Fuel (gal): 15.85
    Cargo (cu ft): 7.6

    ENGINE
    Front-longitudinal 3.2-liter/195.2-cid sohc V6
    Horsepower: 215 @ 5700 rpm
    Torque (lb-ft): 229 @ 3000 rpm

    Compression ratio: 10.0:1
    Fuel requirement: 91 octane

    DRIVETRAIN
    Rear-wheel drive
    Transmission: Six-speed manual
    Final drive ratio: 3.27:1

    SUSPENSION
    Front: Upper and lower control arms
    with coil springs, gas-charged shock
    absorbers and antiroll bar
    Rear: Five-link with coil springs, gas-charged
    shock absorbers and antiroll bar

    BRAKES/WHEELS/TIRES
    Discs front and rear, ABS
    Aluminum 225/40ZR-18 front,
    255/35ZR-19 rear
    Michelin Pilot Sport

    STANDING-START ACCELERATION
    0-60 mph: 6.77 sec
    0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 7.16 sec
    0-quarter-mile: 15.07 sec @ 93.1 mph

    ROLLING ACCELERATION
    20-40 mph (second gear): 2.6 sec
    40-60 mph (third gear): 3.9 sec
    60-80 mph (third gear): 4.3 sec

    BRAKING
    60 mph-0: 113 ft

    HANDLING
    490-foot slalom: 46.6 mph
    Lateral acceleration (200-foot skidpad): 0.89 g


    INTERIOR NOISE (dBA)
    Idle: 47
    Full throttle: 77
    Steady 60 mph: 68

    FUEL MILEAGE
    EPA combined: 20.0 mpg
    AW overall: 21.27 mpg

    RESIDUALS
    $18,420 after 48-month lease, 53.39 percent of new vehicle price

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Dr.Smasher

    Dr.Smasher .

    Joined:
    May 23, 2000
    Messages:
    19,854
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    WI
    I've seen 3 of those on the road already

    and I've seen probably a half dozen Pacificas
     
  3. RedVVing19

    RedVVing19 Steve Yzerman > Hockey

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Messages:
    22,325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    BFE Oregon
    i havent see one ever
     
  4. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    36,802
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I have run across a couple of these on the road.

    Let me state that pics do NOT do this car justice. It is SWEET IRL.
     
  5. MiseryIndex

    MiseryIndex i never know why. i only know who. Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2000
    Messages:
    136,885
    Likes Received:
    390
    Location:
    don't blink.
    they look much better in person.
     
  6. Un-Kut

    Un-Kut Guest

    Stupidest fucking name ever for a car, wasn't there some dumbass board game named crossfire a long time ago?
     
  7. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2001
    Messages:
    132,732
    Likes Received:
    1,596
    Location:
    PRESIDENTIAL TOWER, GREAT AGAIN, NY
    :werd:

    It's surprisingly small too.
     
  8. daft punk

    daft punk New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2002
    Messages:
    35,103
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Earth
  9. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    36,802
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA

    Yeah - I was expecting something bigger myself. I was quite surprised with what I saw. And pleased at the same time.
     
  10. Emfuser

    Emfuser Nuclear Moderator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    83,903
    Likes Received:
    457
    Location:
    Irmo, SC
    I saw a few of those the other day, and I had to stop and check it out.
    :cool: car
     
  11. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    36,802
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    I mean - you don't use terms like "Batmobile" when describing the Crossfire. the Batmobile in my mind is a 25 foot long V12 beast.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. HisXLNC

    HisXLNC ๑۩۞۩๑ Hot ๑۩۞۩๑

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    137,235
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Island of Electronicus

    That Batmobile is powered by a Chevy small block.
     
  13. BLoG

    BLoG Scented Meat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2001
    Messages:
    293,959
    Likes Received:
    2,987
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Batmobile > Prowler > Celinemobile
     
  14. Idea of Evil

    Idea of Evil Struggle

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    121,835
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abyss
    looks good
    awesome that MB is in its blood
    ugly ass name
    needs more powah!
     
  15. Idea of Evil

    Idea of Evil Struggle

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Messages:
    121,835
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Abyss
    she makes it uglier :hs:
     
  16. kaldurak

    kaldurak Gimme some sugar baby.

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    36,802
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA

    :hs: yeah, I know. But in the comics - the engine is usually described as a V12 or a V16 depending on who the writer is.
     
  17. midnite

    midnite OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    84,776
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    i want one. cool car.

    I heard a supercharged version is in the works.
     

Share This Page