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Dodge Intrepid



  • 3 trips to the dealer and a month into the ordeal, the right part arrived and it was fixed.
  • Intrepid would make a nice car for the rental fleets if only it were a bit more reliable.
  • My wife's lease is up in about 2 months. She plans to unload her 99 olds alero gl in favor of a new car. We have been looking at the Mazda 626 ES, Dodge Stratus SE plus, and Nissan Altima S. Well, anyway we went to a dodge dealer and noticed something quite strange. The much bigger intrepid se, sold less than the stratus! Also, the paint job looked perfect. The car had basically everything. Although I would want abs and the package with the 8-way power seat, cd player, cargo net and keyless. Well, I thought about a few things. #1 what is the reliability standards for an intrepid, I know that it has had transmission problems in the past and I am leery about buying this product if the car's problems still exist. #2 what about performance? Will the 2.7 V6 be enough for this 3,400lb car? #3 what about handling. I mean, this is a big car! 204 inches! Is it too much to handle when compared to her alero? I just am looking for a moderately priced vehicle coupled w/ safety, comfort, and reliability and if so, performance. If you could help me with these questions I would be ever so grateful. Thanks!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    #1. Reliability: The Intrepid's tranny used to be pretty troublesome, but Chrysler's made change upon change to them over the years. I think 1996 was the last year of the really bad ones, and by the 1998 redesign, they were pretty good. I have a 2000 base model with the 2.7. I currently have about 57,000 miles on it, and this car's been through everything from driving from Houston to MD in less than a day to delivering pizzas to getting stuck in the snow. No tranny problems yet. For the most part, I'd say have the tranny serviced around every 30K miles (No matter what the manual says), and make sure they put in the right fluid.

    #2. Acceleration: 0-60 in about 9.5 seconds for the 200 hp 2.7. Better than a Taurus/Sable with the base V-6, but still slower than an Impala with the base 3.4. The Taurus only has about 153 hp, so there's no surprise there, but the 3.4 just simply out-torques the 2.7 from a standstill. You actually get better performance if you only floor it to about 5000 rpm, which puts you at your peak torque curve, as opposed to flooring it, which will throw you to over 6000 rpm, but then will cause it to upshift too soon. At speeds over 60 is where this car really shines though. The DOHC design lets it really breathe, and even at 90 mph you're only pulling about 3000 rpm, so there's plenty of tach left for when you need to floor it. Umm...not that I know that from experience, that is ;-)

    #3. Handling: very good for its size. Don't let the 204" length intimidate you. For one thing, it's only 204" at its longest point, which is right down the middle. The edges of this car are extremely rounded, which makes it more manueverable than you might think. The only problem I have is parallel parking, because the car doesn't have good visibility. It also has a wide track, and rides on fairly wide 16x7" rims, so it's very stable.

    If you don't want a car this "big" though, you might want to give the Stratus or Sebring a try. As for legroom, they feel about as roomy as an Intrepid to me, although they are noticeably narrower inside and have a smaller trunk. They're not that much lighter though, so the 2.7 V-6 isn't a whole lot quicker in a Stratus than in an Intrepid. Well, good luck...let us know what you end up getting!
  • I think the Intrepid is one of the best deals out there. It was a well though out design, and Chrysler wanted to change the make's reputation with the redesign. I think Chrysler's quality reputation keeps it from being a bigger hit. Everyone likes my 2000, and rates it above the Taurus and Impala.

    The only real negatives to the car is tire noise can be noticable (I have an R/T, so the tires are big and not designed to be quiet), the low roofline due to the styling can be an issue for some, and you cannot see the corners of the car. As far as size, the long wheelbase needs to be considered when turning, but easier to drive than an SUV

    Now the positives: roomy, smooth ride, comfortable, stylish, very reasonably priced, and at least in 2000, comes with a number of nice features other cars don't have for the same price. Gas mileage should be decent with the 2.7, though I have the 3.5 HO that causes me to juice it too much.

    One idea, if you can find a 2001 with low mileage, may be a way to go. Basically unchanged for 2002, and let someone else take the depreciation. Of course leases are being subsidized, and an easy car to shop across dealerships.
  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    The Nissan or Mazda are both better choices than the the Intrepid. The Intrepid suffers from the common Dodge disease of poor reliability and the design is getting old and tired. The road noise is very annoying, and the bubble design makes backing up a hit and miss experience.

    I had one, been there, did that, now I have something much more reliable, with a dealer network that is much more customer friendly.
  • smithedsmithed Posts: 444
    I would take Homer's advice with a grain of salt. His flag is Greenland, he used to own a 1999 Passat and now a Nissan. His post sounds like someone who has a bias.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...and Emale will pop up in here and explain it all. He and c01 go back a long, long way as sparring partners. Emale ol' buddy, where are ya when we need ya?!
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    there is just no hope for someone like c01 (jeffie). i've got better things to do like enjoying my ride(s)...!
  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    I would take the md's advice with a grain of salt. His flag is Yankee, he has ownned a 1999 Intrepid ES 1991 Acura Legend Sedan LS 1991 Dodge Spirit 1990 Aerostar 4wd. His post sounds like someone who has a bias.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    We're here to talk about the car, not each other.


    Sedans Message Board
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...still, Emale had 3 Intrepids...a '96, 98, and an '00. I'm sure if he'd gotten a bad one, he wouldn't have bought another!
  • Jason5Jason5 Posts: 440
    And the only thing missing is my encouragement to view ALL the reliability data on the Intrepid--both generations and the circle is complete. As always, one may wonder why someone who doesn't own the vehicle feels compelled to comment on it.. Emale, isn't this how we met in 1998?
  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    I'm sorry I haven't been keeping up on happenings here, when did Donnie get another Intrepid. I was under the impression he dumped the Intrepids because of the high road noise,shrinking weatherstrip, poor driver visibility, poor dealer service, handling problems, brake problems, etc etc etc etc and bought something much quiet er like a Ford TRUCK probably with Firestones.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,590
    ...bought a Ford Supercrew. I forget exactly why, but I think it was because he needed something with 4wd, but could still haul a lot of people, and the Supercrew was about the best choice. I don't think he had any problems with his '00 (I think it was an ES w/ 3.2), but he just needed something different.

    My '00 base model has been pretty good so far. ~57,000 miles and no major problems yet. I'll confess though, I did start getting the incredible shrinking weatherstrips around the 42-43K mark. They haven't gotten bad enough yet for me to get annoyed enough to replace 'em, though. Other than that, I had to get the power lock actuator replaced around 35K (under warranty) and the thermostat housing replaced around 51k. Front brake pads at 39K, rears at 51K.
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    you guys know better than to believe anything jeffie (c01) says! yes, i currently have a king ranch 4x4 supercrew. very nice truck but not perfect by any means. i enjoyed all my intrepids, thank you! just decided that i really only needed one vehicle given that i'm currently single. plus, where i live, 4x4 is imperative. but i must say that i truly miss the comfort and excellent fuel economy the treps provided vs my 5000 plus lb truck!

    personally, i'd have absolutley no problem buying another trep. my personal experience with all three (96...98, 00) where all very good. i never said the cars were perfect (nothing is, just ask my buddy with the '01 maxima!), but they are damn good values for the money! and each new model brought incremental improvements. imo, the only real issue they have left on the lh cars is road noise. but, i'm sure that will be fixed with the new lx cars.

    fyi...jeffie, the s-crew has goodyear tires. came equipped with the 17 inchers from the factory...
  • c01c01 Posts: 28
    Donnie: You have a buddy with a Maxima now that is really amazing. The fact that your "buddy's" car has problems is not a real revelation as most vehicles have problems. If the dealer had the ability to properly repair the decrepit Intrepid I once had we would have parted on good terms. I show absolutely no brand loyalty. I have owned vehicles from each of the so called big three and I would have no problem buying another from two of them, that is when their quality and dealer service comes of age and equals that of the so called foreign group.
    The dealer service I have received from the VW and Nissan guys has been excellent. When the auto has a problem there is no BS from the service advisor such as "well you the first with that problem" or "we cannot find anything wrong with your car" or complete customer contempt as shown by the Chrysler crew ie "my" Decrepit sat in their yard for three days they never touched it, yet when I went to pick it up they told me the problem had been cured.

    A s-crew with 17" inchers WOW!!
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380

    buying a foreign "job" is no guarantee of an excellent service department, just ask the guys over in the c class mercedes topic. my local toyota/nissan/honda dealership (all in one) doesn't have a great record according to folks i've chatted with. on the contrary, my experience with the local ford and chryco dealerships has been generally excellent.

    btw, i thought the passat was the end all be all of cars!!! what happened, relationship sour?
  • c01c01 Posts: 28

    I rate service departments by personal experience not by some information obtained from someone I "chatted" with. The GM Ford VW Nissan dealers that I have had actual experiences with have all given excellent service, something that cannot be said about the persons that promote the decrepit and other whale like products.

    btw: When it is time to purchase a vehicle I pick the ones I like the best and then buy the one that I believe to be the best deal. The Nissan gentlemen offered me a good price for my trade in and I liked the extra HP their vehicle had to offer. The Nissan really blows those decripits and 300M away, but of course you know I would never exceed the posted limits.

    btw: single / crew cab / would that really be an enviromental friendly combination?
  • emaleemale Posts: 1,380
    be careful, those nissan posted hp numbers have come under some scrutiny lately. in fact didn't they drop their originally advertised hp numbers by about 5 hp?? plus, the 300m and other lh cars obtain their hp numbers based on regular or mid grade fuel vs costly premium! btw, how is that truckish beam rear axle? but i guess you are used to that given that fwd passats have the same setup...

    as for envionmentally friendly, didn't realize you were that type...being from greenland and all...!
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