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Consumer Guide® 1998-2004 Chrysler Concorde Full Review

Price Range: $2,800-14,000
Class: large car
Value In Class: 8 (what's this?)
Value in Class Scale

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Low High

1998-2004 Chrysler Concorde: Highlights

Chrysler redesigned its mainstream front-wheel-drive, full-size sedan for 1998, adopting a markedly more dramatic appearance that was highlighted by a Ferrari-like grille. Similar to Chrysler's 300M and LHS (introduced during 1998), the Concorde also was closely related under the skin to the Dodge Intrepid. Two new V6 engines were available. Base LX models got a 200-horsepower, dual-overhead-cam 2.7-liter V6. A 225-horsepower, 3.2-liter single-cam engine went into Concordes with the upscale LXi package. A 4-speed automatic transmission was standard. Antilock braking was optional, or included with the LXi package. Traction control came the same way: standard on LXi, optional on LX. Wheelbase remained at 113 inches, but the front-drive chassis was extensively modified. Overall length grew by 7.5 inches. Weight dropped by nearly a hundred pounds, due to the use of aluminum for the rear suspension, hood, and both new engines. Concordes might have either 5- or 6-passenger seating, because front bucket seats were standard but a front bench was optional. Dual front airbags were standard. Competitors included the Buick LeSabre, Oldsmobile Eighty Eight and LSS, Pontiac Bonneville, and Toyota Avalon.

Year-to-Year Changes
1999 Chrysler Concorde: Suspension revisions were the major change for '99, softened to enhance ride comfort and reduce road noise. Thicker carpeting was installed inside, and a new standard cargo net went into the trunk. The LXi package added a CD player and Chrysler's Sentry Key theft-deterrent system, which disabled the ignition unless the proper key was used to start the engine.
2000 Chrysler Concorde: A sunroof could now be installed on the base model as well as the upscale LXi. Concorde also earned additional suspension changes designed to provide a quieter, smooth ride. Tires grew to 16-inch size for the LX, to match those of the LXi. The LXi edition gained standard speed-sensitive, variable-assist steering, as well as an optional 4-disc in-dash CD changer.

2001 Chrysler Concorde: Optional front side airbags and a 3-point safety belt for the rear seat's middle position were added in 2001. The LX's 22D option package now included alloy wheels. Also, the LXi's optional Infinity sound system gained steering-wheel mounted controls.

2002 Chrysler Concorde: Adopting the body of the discontinued LHS, Concorde added a new top-line trim level (Concorde Limited) for 2002. At midyear, Limited models got an optional Pro-Am Edition Group that included 2-tone leather upholstery, unique interior trim, and a special golf bag.

2003 Chrysler Concorde: No changes for Concorde in '03.

2004 Chrysler Concorde: No major changes for Concorde in '04.

1998-2004 Chrysler Concorde: Road Test
Pros Cons
Passenger room
Cargo room
Traction control (optional)
Fuel economy (2.7-liter)
Rear visibility
Trunk liftover

Consumer Guide® Road-Test Evaluation
The 3.2-liter produces a stronger pull at low speeds, a deeper exhaust note, and more-impressive passing ability. The 3.5 is decidedly stronger, resulting in acceleration on par with the best in this class. Acceleration with the 2.7-liter is adequate, but that V6 has to work harder to deliver the same level of performance. On the plus side, the 2.7-liter gives this large sedan impressive fuel economy. We've averaged 26.2 mpg in a test that included plenty of highway driving. A 3.2-liter V6 averages about 21 mpg. Both models offer impressive handling ability. Not only do they carve tight turns with good grip and minimal body lean, they respond instantly to changes in steering-wheel input. Concorde steers and changes direction with responsive confidence, though test models have not displayed top-notch braking performance or feel. Ride quality also is impressive. The Concorde's suspension soaks up rough pavement and provides a stable, comfortable highway experience. Road noise is markedly less than in the prior Concorde, but it's still not in the Lexus league for overall quietness. Clear gauges and large, well-marked controls for the climate and audio systems highlight the Concorde's dashboard. Wide pillars, a sloping roof, and narrow rear window constrict the driver's rearward view, though it's a bit wider than in an Intrepid. Occupants can enjoy a generously sized interior, as before. Wide, tall doorways make it easy to get in and out of the front or rear compartment, and there's ample room for five adults. The cabin is wide enough to hold three grownups in the rear without uncomfortable squeezing, and a taller roof profile gives slightly more rear head room than in Dodge's Intrepid. Doorways are large, but the rear-door shape hampers entry. Concorde offers ample cargo room and a trunk opening wider than Intrepid's, but liftover is on the high side. Most interior materials are good quality, though door panels look plain and roof pillars are trimmed with hard plastic that looks cut-rate.

Value for the Money
Stunning styling, loads of room, and exceptional handling are the foremost attributes of the current Concordes. Acceleration is ordinary, however, and long-term mechanical reliability remains a bit uncertain compared to such rivals as the Buick LeSabre and Toyota Avalon. Best to stick with 3.2- or 3.5-liter V6 as the 2.7 is know to be troublesome.

Consumer Guide® Road-Test Ratings
2002 Chrysler Concorde LX Rating

Performance 4
Fuel Economy 6
Ride Quality 7
Steering/Handling/Braking 6
Quietness 5
Controls/Materials 6
Room/Comfort/Driver Seating (front) 7
Room/Comfort (rear) 7
Cargo Room 6
Value within Class 8

Total 62

Each vehicle report contains one rating chart for a representative model. Consumer Guide® rates in ten key areas: Performance, Fuel Economy, Ride Comfort, Steering and Handling, Interior Noise, Controls and Materials, Driver Room, Passenger Room, Cargo Capacity, and Insurance Costs. These ratings compare the particular vehicle rated to ALL other vehicles, not a vehicle's standing in a particular class. In the ratings table, "1" is the lowest rating and "10" is the highest rating.

1998-2004 Chrysler Concorde: Reliability
Trouble Spots
Consumer Guide's® Auto Editors have scoured repair bulletins and questioned mechanics to search for commonly occurring problems for a particular vehicle. In some cases we also give possible manufacturer-suggested solutions. In many instances these trouble spots are Technical Service Bulletins posted by the manufacturer, however, we have our own expert looking at additional vehicle problems.

Electrical problem: The interior lights will not go out or will not come on because of a blown fuse because of a damaged wiring harness in the roof area. (1998-99)
Electrical problem: Moisture getting inside the car behind the kick panels makes the windows, door locks and power mirrors operate by themselves. (1998)

Engine misfire: Drivability problems occur when the speed-sensor wires pull out of the transmission. (1999)

Fuel gauge: If gas tank is slow to fill or repeatedly trips nozzle, a revised fuel tank vent kit may be required. (2000-01)

Headlights: Instrument lights may get bright and dim, and headlights and/or fog lights may come on spontaneously due to loose or corroded connector at the headlight switch. (2000-04)

Keyless entry: Keyless entry transmitter range may be less than 10-feet requiring. A revised antenna will extend range. (1998-99)

Oil leak: The oil-filter adapter may come out of the engine block when the filter is removed on 3.2L and 3.5L engines. When this happens the adapter must be replaced, not reinstalled. (1998-99)

Steering problems: Power steering may feel heavy in cold weather unless the improved fluid is used. (1998-99)

Sunroof/moonroof: The cloth on the sunshade peels away causing the shade or sunroof to bind. (1998-99)

Windows: If power window sticks, motor may have to be replaced. (1998-2001)

Consumer Guide® Estimated Repair Costs
This table lists costs of likely repairs for comparison with other vehicles. The dollar amount includes the cost of the part(s) and labor (based on $50 per hour) for the typical repair without extras or add-ons. Like the pricing information, replacement costs can vary widely depending on region. Expect charges at a new-car dealership to be slightly higher.

Item Name Repair Cost

A/C Compressor $440
Alternator $360
Automatic Transmission or Transaxle $775
Brakes $615
Constant Velocity Joints $1,300
Exhaust System $425
Radiator $430
Shocks and/or Struts $1,505
Timing Chain or Belt $360

NHTSA Recall History
1998-02: Some vehicles may have faulty seat-recliner bolts, allowing the seat to unexpectedly recline. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.

1999: The front-seatbelt retractor does not comply with the requirements of the standard. If the retractor does not work properly, it will not adequately protect occupants in the event of a crash.

1999-00: Inadequately manufactured mounting bolt for seatbelt shoulder height-adjustable turning loop may not withstand sufficient force to function properly in certain impact situations.

2000 w/o ABS: Brake master-cylinder piston-retainer snap ring may be bent inward, which could result in brake-drag condition.

2000: Molding flash on primary lever may prevent operation of G-lock and tilt-lock functions on some driver's-side retractors, which could reduce driver protection during a frontal crash

2000: Passenger-airbag inflator assembly on some cars contains incorrect inflator charge amount.

2000-01: In the event of a crash, there is a potential for injury if the occupant's head were to contact the B-pillar. Owners will be sent a storage-bin accessory unit that can be attached to the B-pillar along with installation instructions.

2000-01: Some of the owner's manuals for these vehicles are missing instructions for properly attaching a child-restraint system's tether strap to the tether anchorage.

2003: An inadequately manufactured hood latch component may cause hood to open without warning. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.

1998-2004 Chrysler Concorde: Prices

Prices Good Average Poor

Concorde $3,500-4,300 $2,800-3,400 $900-1,200
Concorde $4,400-5,500 $3,700-4,600 $1,500-1,900
Concorde $5,500-6,800 $4,700-5,800 $2,300-2,800
Concorde $7,000-8,500 $6,200-7,600 $3,300-4,000
Concorde $8,500-11,800 $7,700-10,600 $4,400-6,100
Concorde $10,000-13,500 $9,000-12,200 $5,200-7,000
Concorde $11,600-15,500 $10,400-14,000 $6,400-8,500

This chart details a range of prices in year-by-year listings for vehicles in three condition levels: Good: a clean low-mileage, solid-running vehicle that needs little or no repair. Average: a car with normal miles on the odometer, perhaps a few scrapes or dings; engine might need a minor repair or two, but runs acceptably well. Poor: might have potentially dangerous problems with the engine and/or body, or abnormally high mileage; definitely in need of mechanical attention. Valuations reflect wholesale prices paid by dealers at auction, and retail prices on used-car lots. Each range covers all trim levels and engine types for a vehicle with a typical amount of equipment--usually an automatic transmission, air conditioning, stereo, etc. Fully loaded vehicles may cost more. Average mileage is 12,000 miles per year. Keep in mind that these are guidelines only. Actual selling prices vary-especially from region to region.

1998-2004 Chrysler Concorde: Specs & Safety

Vehicle Dimensions
Specification 4-door sedan
Wheelbase, in. 113.0
Overall Length, in. 209.1
Overall Width, in. 74.5
Overall Height, in. 55.9
Curb Weight, lbs. 3446
Cargo Volume, cu. ft. 18.7
Standard Payload, lbs. --
Fuel Capacity, gals. 17.0
Seating Capacity 56
Front Head Room, in. 38.3
Max. Front Leg Room, in. 42.1
Rear Head Room, in. 37.2
Max. Rear Leg Room, in. 41.6

Specifications Key: NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.

Powertrain Options and Availability
All Concordes had V6 engines, in a choice of two configurations. A dual-overhead-cam 2.7 liter V6, installed in the base LX model, produced 200 horsepower. Concordes with the upscale LXi package enjoyed a 225-horsepower, single-cam V6 with 3.2-liter displacement. All Concordes used a 4-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-liter V6 replaced the 3.2 for 2002, and the introduction of a new Limited model added a 250-hp 3.5-liter V6 to the powertrain lineup.

Engines Size liters/
cu. in. Horse-
power Torque Transmission:
EPA city/hgwy Consumer Guide®

dohc V6 2.7 / 167 200 190 4-speed automatic: 21/30
4-speed automatic: 26.2

ohc V6 3.2 / 197 222-225 222-225 4-speed automatic: 19/29
4-speed automatic: 21

ohc V6 3.5 / 215 250 250 4-speed automatic: 18/26
4-speed automatic: --

ohc V6 3.5 / 215 234 241 4-speed automatic: 18/26
4-speed automatic: --

Engine Key: l/cu. in. = liters/cubic inches; ohv = overhead valve; ohc = overhead camshaft; dohc = dual overhead camshaft; I = inline cylinders; H = horizontally opposed cylinders; V = cylinders in a V configuration; W = cylinders in a W configuration; rpm = revolutions per minute; CVT = continuously variable (automatic) transmission; NA = not available; "--" = measurement does not exist.

NHTSA Crash-Test Results
Test 1999 Concorde
Front Impact, Driver 4
Front Impact, Passenger 4

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests a vehicle's crashworthiness in front- and side-impact collisions and rates its resistance to rollovers. Front-impact crash-test numbers indicate the chance of serious injury: 5 = 10% or less; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-35%; 2 = 35-45%; 1 = More than 45%. Side-impact crash-test numbers indicate: 5 = 5% or less; 4 = 6-10%; 3 = 11-20%; 2 = 21-25%; 1 = More than 26%. Rollover resistance numbers indicate the chance for rollover when the vehicle leaves the roadway: 5 = Less than 10%; 4 = 10-20%; 3 = 20-30%; 2 = 30-40%; 1 = More than 40%.

Built In: Canada

Drive Wheels: longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive
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