By on October 2, 2012

A broken clock is always right twice a day. But how about the last generation of Intrepids?

These cars have a nasty, filthy, disgusting reputation for engine issues thanks to the 2.7 Liter V6. In fact, when most dealers at the auto auctions see the latest of the late Intrepids go through the sale, they always assume the worst.

Blown head gasket. $1500 repair. Probably worth more dead than alive.

Other than mid-to-late 90′s Cadillacs with the Northstar engines, I can’t think of a single vehicle made in the last 20 years that was so maligned for blown head gaskets.

As a personal example, I remember a 2002 model back in 2007 that had been owned by the Salvation Army since Day 1. A perfect exterior. Neat, well kept interior. It looked like a steal at $2200.

It was a steal. But eventually sometime down the road, I’m sure it dealt a fatal blow to the final owner. Very few of these engines ever saw the 200,000 mile light at the end of the tunnel without a blown head gasket or two in between.

This one is apparently different. Or is it? It has 263,942 miles and is surprisingly….operable.

These cars came with three engine choices.

The anything but rock solid 2.7 Liter.

A kinda decent but still not quite up to snuff 3.2 Liter.

Finally we have a 3.5 Liter that can offer over 240 horsepower engine. It was used to power what may be the worst police interceptor of the 21st century in North America. The Dodge Intrepid Police Interceptor. These things were so bad that I was able to buy a perfectly running five year old one with 90k miles for all of $700 (and a $100 fee) at a public sale. That 3.5 Liter was a classic case of an engine being better than the rest of the car.

The police departments avoided them for a multitude of legitimate reasons. Suspension issues, maintenance costs, night visibility, and most of all… brakes!

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The Intrepid PI became another unloved one generation wonder.

Nobody loved Intrepids. Ever. Except perhaps this one. So here’s the question. Which engine?

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65 Comments on “Weekly Mileage Champion: 1999 Dodge Intrepid ES...”


  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Judging by the fog lights I would say 3.5. I dont think (remember) the 2.7 ES having those at all.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack

      The 3.2 came in the ES until 2001. Then the 3.5 opened up in the R/T model, which had larger wheels and a rear spoiler. It had a handful less hp than the 3.5 in the 300M and LHS, IIRC due to more restrictive exhaust routing.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    By the way I actually used to want one of these. Big and roomy.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I like the Intrepid.

    I mean, putting aside the mechanical issues, it was a competitive, comfortable and capable car, which is more than you could say for the contemporary Taurus and Impala. Heck, even the current Impala (current in the same sense as “current coelecanth”) isn’t as good, holistically speaking.

    The seats were good, it didn’t drive like a soggy barge not clomp relentlessly and it had a rear seat that was actually comfortable, rather than an embarrassment for it’s length.

    But yeah, that 2.7L. Even if you ignore the head gasket issues, it was also prone to sludging. Oh, and it was a gutless slug that didn’t give you much back in fuel economy.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “Heck, even the current Impala (current in the same sense as “current coelecanth”) isn’t as good, holistically speaking.”

      Perhaps that’s true, but the Impalas will be around far, far longer and in pretty good numbers.

      No, I’m not in the least offended by that comment, either!

      We owned a 1996 Intrepid with the 3.5L engine and it was every bit an “Impala” in the spirit of what the Impala should have been. However, we got rid of it before major issues appeared. The warning signs were there…

      I must say my 2012 Impala is a better car in several ways than my 2004.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Which ways? You are pretty much the biggest cheerleader I ever saw for the Chevrolet Impala.

      • 0 avatar
        trevor.hopkins

        Wait your telling me you bought a 2012 when the 2013, the first all new design in like a decade, is right around the corner? I suppose for basic transportation, that car with the 3.6 works very well. But not much other than that.

        To me it’s like the Toyota Corolla of the older people.

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Hi Psar, thought you might chime in on these…

      My father-in-law is also a freakishly tall man, and the long layout of the Intrepid suited his needs well.

      It had the 2.7 and didn’t have any of the well-known issues up until it was traded in at around 200,000 klicks. It did need an obscenely expensive HVAC job that involves dismantling half of the interior.

      I agree with you, it was unfortunate that so many niggling electronic and mechanical issues plagued these cars, for they drove well for being front-drive and might have paved the way for a deeper appreciation of large sedans. As you know, I remain convinced that a lot of people would kill for a nice big car but instead choose other transportation when faced with a dearth of options in that segment.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I actually have a real soft-spot for the last generation LH cars. I pined for a 300M but couldn’t swing the payments nor was I willing to foot the potential bill.

        So I bought a Saab. Not perhaps the smartest move, and one I deserve mocking for.

        They’re big cars that don’t drive like big cars, which is perhaps part of the appeal for me, sort of like the contemporary Acuras did.

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        “They’re big cars that don’t drive like big cars…”

        And that’s part of the evolution I was referring to. Any time someone makes a crack about my Vic being a “boat” or something like that, I instantly know that they’ve never sat behind the wheel of one. It drives like a much smaller car, not that I really think it’s a big vehicle to begin with.

        The Intrepid, in the limited amount of wheel time with one, drove crisply and certainly did betray its dimensions. You only really noticed a bit when you were doing a u-turn, but that could be more the FWD layout.

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        What? Vics definitely do drive like boats – compared to anything smaller. Maybe not compared to an actual boat, though. If you’re comparing the Panther platform to an actual boat in water, you are correct in that regard.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      “Current coelecanth” – that made me laugh out loud

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “I mean, putting aside the mechanical issues…”

      I mean, putting aside the stabbing and robbery issues, OJ Simpson is a standup guy.

      The LHs were an American Jaguar, with all the good and bad that goes along with it.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        LOL gotta love OJ and his murderous hijinks.

        Jaguars are sleek, attractive, and fast, among other things. LHs were dollar store Jaguars in this regard, not even on the same asphalt.

  • avatar
    KalapanaBlack

    A (much older) cousin and her husband owned a ’98 or ’99 Chrysler Concorde with the 3.2L. They were a married team of travelling sales consultants. I believe when they sold the Concorde it had around 280k. The headlights were sandblasted yellow and the rubber gaskets around both headlights had come loose and flapped in the wind. They loved that car. I don’t think they had much trouble with it. They sold it around 2004-2005, replaced with a 60k mile Grand Cherokee. Last I heard, it had over 200k, but that was two or three years ago. I’m not even sure what they drive now.

    I do remember the Concorde had replaced a very well-used ’93 Mustang V6 5-speed. They had that car for years. I still remember getting a suntan in the back seat under the top of the rear window. Very uncomfortable, even for a 10 year old of slightly above average height.

    • 0 avatar
      luvmyv8

      My parents come from the other extreme… back in ’00 we had a ’97 T-Bird that was coming up on the end of it’s lease. Even though my parents really liked that car (and they really should of because it never gave us any trouble and yes, it had the ‘Essex’ 3.8) they wanted a 4 door, understandable because it was a pain in the ass to get in and out of the backseat… they traded the ‘Bird for a ’99 Chrysler Concorde LXi with the 3.2 SOHC V6. It was the service dept. manager’s demo and it was odd… it was a loaded LXi, but with no moonroof and oddly the basic ‘Intrepid’ gauges (loaded Chryslers got fancy gauges with script fonts and unique colors and such )my dad didn’t want a moonroof as plenty of cars he owned leaked there.

      It certainly was a nice looking car with it’s slate grey exterior and black leather interior and it’s large chromed wheels. It scooted fairly well too, my dad was the one with the eager foot, not so much my mother. Initially he was proud of it. Initially. Then he started to kick himself for getting rid of the T-Bird as I would have gotten it as my first car!

      The problems started after a year or 2. There was a cosmetic panel on the end of the hood, right by the cowl panel. The paint started to bubble and flake off. OK, we lived in the Inland Empire of Southern California where it can go 105+ in the summer. Understandable and who cares, it’s a warranty issue. Indeed it was and the dealership covered it and ordered the part. Here’s where things really go south… 2 times they gave the part away to another customer! We would have the appointment scheduled, bring the car the 30 miles to the dealership, and have to reorder the part. Finally we get it done…. only the same happened again…. and again…

      But that’s not all! The driver side window would fall out of it’s track… that happened 3 times… once outside of warranty… and the cherry on top, 3 transmissions. One (haha!) outside of warranty. Normally my dad was ULTRA stubborn about his cars, but even he gave up on this one. My dad was considering 2 vehicles, a new Infiniti G35 sedan (circa ’03) and a new Chevrolet Tahoe. I prefered the Infiniti because I knew it was really a USDM Nissan Skyline and I wanted to put the JDM Skyline badges on it (I was 20 years old at the time and as I am now, a Skyline GTR fanatic)they drove the Tahoe and liked it, but they wanted to drive the G35 before making a purchase. It never happened… leaving the Chevy dealer the transmission went out on the Chrysler AGAIN and he limped it back to the dealership (fortunately it wasn’t too far away) and my dad told the dealership he didn’t give a *you know what* and got the Tahoe. My mom still has the Tahoe, it’s been OK, though I hate driving it myself…. it makes my 4Runner feel positively like a sports car though!

      ….and I have no doubt the Chevy dealership wholesaled the Chrysler in great PHYSICAL shape (though not mechanically)and with 53k on it. Pathetic.

      Oh and I’m glad Steven Lang brought up the Intrepid police car and how utterly terrible it was. It was a modern day Dodge St. Regis. The Tennessee Forest Service bought these as patrol cars as obviously these cars weren’t going to be used for pursuit duty and they seemed economical compared to the P71 Crown Vic. These had documented brake trouble (see video Steven provided- I’ve seen it) while on routine patrol (I think the Ranger was doing 15-20 MPH?) the brakes caught FIRE. Literally. Don’t ask me how. Also I forget the agency involved (I think it was somewhere in Tennessee as well) made (or tried to make) Chrysler buy these vehicles back because they had too many problems and an unreliable police car is unacceptable to any police agency. Not sure what happened, though I think Chrysler did take the cars back.

      Even to this day, it’s not uncommon seeing a Dodge Charger police car being towed to the local Dodge dealership on a flatbed (Murrieta, CA uses P71′s and Chargers)so I don’t think Mopar has quite figured out the police car market durability wise. Long gone are the days of the 440 Polaras and Monacos, hell even the Diplomat 318 was an acceptable cruiser… from being absolutely dominant in the 60′s-80′s, only now to be thoroughly beaten down by Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I recall seeing a running late nineties Concorde at the Manheim Butler as-is sale with well over 200K on the clock in 2006ish. I was surprised, I wasn’t aware the LH cars were worth a damn in terms of reliability or longevity.

  • avatar
    DDayJ

    The 3.5 wasn’t available in ’99, so I’m going to venture that it’s a 3.2 powered ES given the alloy wheels.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “Other than mid-to-late 90′s Cadillacs with the Northstar engines, I can’t think of a single vehicle made in the last 20 years that was so maligned for blown head gaskets.”

    The Neon? About 10 years ago, they had a rep for plowing through head gaskets like a bag of Halloween candy. These days, not so much since most of them are now Chinese washing machines.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      Ford’s 3.8L engine, found in second-generation Taurii and Windstars. These cars went through headgaskets as almost a rite of passage.

      The 2.7L is really known for it’s sludging issues. A 3.2L or 3.5L engine is a better bet.

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack

        And the PT Cruiser.

        I just rented a car to a lady the day before yesterday who suffered from a blown PT head gasket passing thru on the way to Seattle.

      • 0 avatar
        Macca

        +1 to True Blue’s comment. Ford’s Essex V6 was absolute garbage. It was woefully underpowered for a 3,600 lb car (Thunderbird/Cougar) and ate headgaskets on a regular basis. Something to do with the thermal properties of an aluminum head versus the cast iron block, I suppose.

        My brother’s 1989 Cougar suffered this fate with about 90k on the clock; my dad purchased a brand-new ’96 Essex V6 and had it replaced – this engine’s supposedly improved headgasket design also failed on the next owner with about 75k miles.

        Lucky for my dad, he also owned a 1993 Thunderbird at the same time which *also* experienced a headgasket failure.

        These two turds along with his Taurus’ transmission failure turned him off of Ford – he’s purchased five cars since, all Japanese. I don’t think he’d drive a Ford if they gave it to him, even understanding that vast improvements/changes have been made in the last 20 years.

      • 0 avatar
        True_Blue

        In the early 2000s, I was a moderator at tauruscarclub.com, and had already owned a ’93 3.0L Vulcan-powered Taurus by the time I was on my ’95 MTX SHO.

        You would not believe the number of Essex 3.8L headgasket (along with AXOD transaxle) failures we documented. Then, my father’s ’95 Windstar mixed it’s coolant with oil, and it was gone.

        Both my ’93 (and my sister’s ’01) Vulcan engines were very reliable. Too bad, as the 3.8L made great torque and could really hustle the Taurus.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        I owned an 87 T-Bird with the 3.8 TBI Essex. Though no 5.0 it did power the 2800 lb Fox body nicely. For 15 yrs I was quite diligent about maintenance, regular oil and coolant changes. At 187k the head gasket blew and I got rid of it though I did consider repairing it but it blew a few states away from my home so I sold it to a wrecking yard. Apparently the ones in MN-12′s and FWD Taurus/Sables were worse and Ford recalled them by the millions. When I shopped for another T-Bird I went for the far more reliable 4.6.

    • 0 avatar
      Juniper

      I have had my PT for ten years now, no head gasket problems. few problems at all.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The Neons weren’t so bad if you could park it on the street and tolerate the oil leaking. A good number of them would never leak combustion, just the oil from the passage at the rear of the block.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      N/A DOHC Subarus? Guaranteed to blow a gasket between 80-140k. Every 80-140k.

    • 0 avatar
      Joe McKinney

      Chevy Cavaliers used to go through head gaskets as well. So much so that there was a factory recall offering free replacement on any that blew before 100k. My 1996 Cavalier blew its gasket at around 85k and I was reimubursed by GM for the relacement costs when this recall was issued soon afterwards.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Rover K-Series? As fitted in just about everything from the TF to the 25 to the Freelander to the Lotus Elise. Blew headgaskets like nobody’s business, but was fortunately a very easy job to change on them.

      Ford eventually cured the problem by developing their own proprietary gasket for the Freeloader, and SAIC fixed it permanently when they adapted the K into the current N-Series.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Def not 2.7, I would say whatever the Concorde got in this year, so 3.2? Since the 300M/3.5L came out around the same time, I could see DC keeping it exclusive to Chrysler (the 3.5) and not available in Dodge, at least in the first year.

  • avatar

    2.7?

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Rental fleets were filled with them. One learned the hard way never rent a Chrysler LH on a hot day. The air conditioners were extremely unreliable.

    The two or three private owners I knew liked them but dumped them at about 50,000 miles fearing their poor mechanical reputation.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “The two or three private owners I knew liked them but dumped them at about 50,000 miles fearing their poor mechanical reputation.”

      Count us in at 49K miles with our 1996 Intrepid! What did we buy? A 1999 Stratus, 2.4L, non-Ultradrive.

      A real shame, too, as ours was a “sport” model. 3.5L, fog lights, white,, white vinyl-covered wheels, nice gray interior, very comfortable cloth power seats and all. We loved the car, but fearful of what was to come. We already had trouble with the fuel rail recall and what I believe was a crooked dealer near my job where we had work done for convenience’ sake which has since gone out of business – not the one we bought it used from, though.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        So you had one Dodge that had such a bad reputation that you dumped it only to replace it with another Dodge? I don’t understand domestic car buyers.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I just don’t understand Chrysler/Dodge buyers of the period.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        WRT Zackman’s purchase: In his situation, you may have done the same thing. No need to be rude.

      • 0 avatar
        chicagoland

        Maybe got a good trade in? Pretty hard to trade in a broken car at another brand’s store. Or, try to sell on your own.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        @Geozinger: Thank you for that, my friend! Not enough time to give all reasons here.

        @CJinSD: We never had a single issue, major, minor or even niggling with the Stratus. A wonderful car – the only time I have ever driven a new car off the showroom floor! We sold it to a friend when wifey wanted an SUV – I let her buy a 2002 CR-V. I personally would never buy one, or for that matter, any SUV/CUV for myself, but it is the family truckster and she likes it – noise and all. It is reliable, but only 100K.

        @28-Cars-Later: I bought Chrysler because at the time I still hated GM, am not a Ford man and I found nothing compelling in any Asian brand, no matter how reliable they may have been – they were just toasters to me.

        Hey, I’m enthusiastic about what I do choose to buy and roll with any punch it may deliver, good or bad…

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I owned a 1993 base model (3.3 liter V6) for six years. My first new car, one of the first ones built (took delivery of it August 1992). Loved it, and only sold it because of my divorce. Otherwise would have kept it.

    FWIW, I liked the looks of the first generation better than the second’s.

    It’s a damn shame that the second generation was saddled with that problematic 2.7. I feel that had the Intrepid/Concord twins been reliable, we would still have cars like those around. I don’t think there’s anything FWD nowadays that’s as good an overall package (in terms of legroom, trunk space, looks, etc).

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @Roberto: Yes, the first generation of these cars were beautiful. My sister had one back at the time, it did (everything a large FWD family car should do) very well. I drove it on a large number of occasions, it drove very well. It didn’t go quite as far as their 1987 Bonneville (280K!) as they sold the car after my sister’s stroke, from then on, she needed something with wheelchair access.

      When this generation was released, I wasn’t so thrilled about the styling, buy by then the 300M had caught my eye. Actually, the then-new for 2000 Pontiac Bonneville had truly caught my eye, the 300M was right behind.

  • avatar
    Silent Ricochet

    Funny. A friend of mine owned one of these as his first car. It was super clean inside and out. I think an Early 2000′s Intrepid ES with the 3.2L engine. I quite liked the car, and it was pretty quick. Although my friends and I liked it, we always made fun of it, saying it looked like an egg (if you were to put on on it’s side), and said the ES trim stood for “Egg Shell”. I still get a few chuckles every time I see one. Anyways, we later found out that this kid was cursed and just destroyed every car he ever owned, and crashed this thing twice, the second time resulting in totaling it.

    A few years later his sister was in the market for a car as well and after talking to her father about different cars that be good for her, he showed me a Chrysler Sebring convertible, for a suspiciously low $1800. The car looked like it was in great shape, but something about the price was bothering me, and I told him “If it’s too good to be true, it usually is”. He pondered that for a Second but I could tell he wasn’t convinced. Then I remembered reading about the 2.7L sludge problems and I filled him in on that. He did a bit of research on his own and seemed convinced… 3 Days later They bought the vehicle after a 2nd visit and a quick test drive. On the hour drive back home, the car began to overheat just 10 miles from their house. They pulled into the driveway and it parked it; never to be started again, at least not fully. Everytime they tried to start it, it made an awful metallic clinking sound and ran like crap. Not really sure what happened but I knew it was because the 2.7L is just a gigantic piece of garbage.. I couldn’t believe after all I had read, and after all the research that he still went out and wasted his daughter’s money. I also couldn’t believe how fast the engine had killed itself after a purchase.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Definitely a 3.2L. As stated already, you could get the 3.5L starting in 2000 on the R/T, but the ES got the 3.2L.

    I used to drive an 01 R/T and it was a great car until it got totalled. Reasonably quick, handled well, lots of room, easy on fuel if you drove it reasonably.

  • avatar
    Neb

    A friend’s family had one of these; it had the V6 and was painted that particular dark purple Dodge used to favor so much. Somewhat amazingly, it lasted 400,000 km.

  • avatar
    ChandlerAZguy

    I went with my grandma in 1998 to buy a used 1996 Intreped with the 2.7. She traded in her (forgive me for not buying this myself) 1969 Dodge Charger with 50k miles on it for the intreped. She got $3200 for the Charger and was trilled as that is what she paid for it new. Anyway, after my grandma died in 2004, no one in my family wanted the Intreped, so I gave it to a co-worker friend who badly needed a car. It only had 27k on it at that time. Fast forward to today, she still has the Intreped, its running well with still barely 70K on it. Fingers crossed it will last a lot longer. It makes me smile when I see it at work every day as it reminds me of my grandma.

    • 0 avatar
      ChandlerAZguy

      As a footnote about the ’69 Charger, my grandma lived in So. Calif, in the city of Downey. Back in the early 80′s she was asked several times by the folks who made “The Dukes of Hazard” to buy the car. She declined as she knew it would be wrecked in one of those jumps. I guess these guys used to follow people driving these Chargers and ask them to buy the car once they were able to stop and talk to them. As a 14 year old at the time, I thought it would be cool to see her car make that jump!

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      FYI the 2.7L wasnt available unitl ’98 with the body style change. If she bought a ’96 it was either a 3.3L (rock solid reliable) or a 3.5L (still pretty solid).

  • avatar
    HiFlite999

    Don’t forget the ~$1000 to change the water pump on the 2.7 …

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    The company I was working for at the time was doing some work with Dodge Truck and a contingent of Chrysler powertrain engrs made a visit to the facility. I had just read a glowing story in Wards about the incredibly short development cycle Chrysler had achieved with the 2.7 program – something like 18 months from the initial CAD layouts to start of saleable production.

    I asked the Chrysler guys how they pulled that off and they just rolled their eyes.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And now we have the Dart, and entire car that went from CAD to production in 18 months. Granted they had some Alfa drawings to start with but considering tooling times for an entire car….

  • avatar
    sckid213

    I was in high school when this generation of Intrepid came out, and I thought they looked SO cool. As did many of my friends. Very futuristic styling that was a nice evolution of the first generation in my opinion.

    I also loved the 300M when it came out. So much so that I convinced my dad to purchase a 2000 300M to replace our family’s ’94 Deville. Didn’t take much convincing as my dad absolutely fell in love with the styling. I drove that 300M quite a bit before I went off to college. It was beautiful styling-wise, but shortly after purchase I noticed it wasn’t nearly as solid as our Deville had been in terms of materials. But it was much more fun to drive. Ours had the 3.5 with the sport package. The car moved quickly, handled well for its size, and was just a little rough around the edges in a way that was endearing.

    My parents still have that 300M and my mother drives it daily. My dad is retired and babies the car — full wax jobs every six months, meticulous maintenance, etc. They’ve had a few problems with it, especially window regulators and intermittent A/C issues. But nothing major, they still love the car and it still looks great.

  • avatar
    pdieten

    I am never going to forgive Chrysler for this car.

    In ’01 the wife and I bought a 2000 Intrepid. And we really, really liked that car. Nice, comfy, roomy, sporty and attractive. But it had the 2.7. Three years later the car had about 90K on it, and developed a rattle under the hood. I called the shop, and they told me they could take a look at it at the end of the week. Two days before the appointment, my wife went to start it, and *clunk*. The timing chain tensioner went TU (also a common problem with this engine) and all 24 valves were instant junk.

    When I found out what a replacement engine would cost I just sold the thing as-is on eBay and washed my hands of it.

    One of the troubles with my life is that my wife has a taste for Dodge’s body design language, which means we’ve owned a total of 5 of their cars and vans over the years, and every single one of them has been absolute crap. The Intrepid was just the most expensive reliability loss (it was replaced with a minivan which eventually experienced the usual transmission failure.) After that I told her no more Chrysler cars, so the last one was dumped in favor of a 2004 Durango instead. It seems that Dodge at least knows how to build trucks. The Durango has been very reliable.

  • avatar
    chrishs2000

    The 2.7L V6 is indeed one of the worst engines of the past 25 years.

    My stepmom bought an ’03 Sebring with that engine in 2006 against my advice because she liked how many features it had for the money and the pretty color. She paid around $10k for it with 30k miles, and from 30k to 100k miles probably spent a few thousand on head gaskets, A/C issues, leaking seals, etc etc. At 100k and in 2009, she began getting oil leaks in the driveway. Took it to the dealer and found out that it had THREE separate leaks in the block. It had oil changes every 3k miles and it had still sludged. It also had two strut tower mounts that completed rotted out. From there it went straight to the scrap yard.

    Two months after she bought her Sebring, I bought an ’03 Accord V6 6MT with twice the miles (65k) for a couple thousand dollars more. I now have 220k miles on the car, STILL average 28-30mpg in mixed driving, and have never done anything more invasive than adjusting the valve lash.

    I sincerely hope that Chrysler has fixed their issues – but I seriously doubt that I’ll ever be tempted to find out firsthand. I’d rather take a shot on a used Audi.

  • avatar
    Marko

    Obviously not a 2.7L. I don’t know who at Chrysler had so little conscience that they kept that engine in (rental-spec, granted) Chargers until 2010 or so. The 2.7L deserved to be killed with fire before it even made it into a single Intrepid!

    The Intrepid could have had a great reputation if the mechanicals lived up to the styling and comfort.

  • avatar
    Lee

    Hey hey hey, i love my Intrepid. ’98 ES with 190k on it and going strong. Bought it with 80k on it.

  • avatar
    Hoser

    My step-father-in-law’s, son-in-law (saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last night). Has a 2.7 he drives for work with similar miles (26X,XXX). Never in the shop for anything serious. He does a lot of long distance, so the engine gets the chance to warm up when it’s driven. I checked out the A/C on it one time for him and saw the 2.7 under the hood and winced. He says no head gaskets or anything else serious. I know the rep of this engine like the rest of you and was floored when he told me is was north of 250k miles.

    260k may be be not much of a milage champion when compared to some others, but I’ve seen a 2.7 that’s done it. It would be an impressive feat for a 2.7, so I’ll vote for the 2.7.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Well, I guess all the votes are in.

    The vehicle in question had the 3.2 Liter engine in it. A surprisingly decent interior as well.

  • avatar
    fpddragon

    I have owned a 1995 intrepid 3.5 , a great car and very sleek. have owned it for over 12 years bought it back in 1999 ended up having a head go out after the last year i owned it,but got it repaired cheep for 500. mileage was around 200,000 when the head went and i expect it will last several more years but i have never had a problem with it other than ones i have caused, normal wear, or botched repairs, i had to fix later. was a great first car. beautiful sparkling silver color with black trim. I loved that car but realized it was nearing its usefulness and sold it for 2000. don’t see what the big deal with these cars are this one was wonderful.


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