Sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door coupe
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $2,200*


1990 Chrysler LeBaron 2-door convertible


1993 Chrysler LeBaron GTC 2-door coupe


1993 Chrysler LeBaron GTC 2-door convertible


1990 Chrysler LeBaron interior


1990 Chrysler LeBaron interior

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6 and turbo)
  • Antilock brakes
  • Instruments/controls
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Cargo room
  • Engine noise (4-cylinder)
  • Rear-seat room
  • Road noise (convertible)

Though not devoid of flaws, LeBarons still look sharp and perform reasonably well–at least with the smooth V6 engine.

Overview

Back in 1987, Chrysler’s LeBaron coupe and convertible changed radically–and the new shape was destined to stick around through 1995. By the ’90s, LeBaron was the country’s top-selling convertible. Only 4-cylinder engines were available in early seasons, both turbocharged and naturally aspirated. LeBarons added a Mitsubishi-built V6 option for 1990. A 4-speed automatic was offered, too. Coupes and convertibles came in Highline or Premium trim, along with sportier GT and GTC variants. Also for ’90, the performance-oriented GTC gained an optional electronic variable-damped suspension, which allowed the driver to alter shock absorber damping. At the same time, variable-nozzle technology gave the GTC’s 2.2-liter Turbo IV engine quicker response. Ever since 1989, LeBarons have had a standard driver-side airbag.

Yearly Updates

1991 LeBaron Coupe/Convertible
For 1991, the LeBaron GTC got the 3.0-liter V6, and a 152-horsepower 2.5-liter turbo became optional. The GT was dropped, but GTC specifications were similar. The former “performance” suspension was downgraded to “sport,” and 4-wheel disc brakes became an option.
1992 LeBaron Coupe/Convertible
Antilock braking became available for ’92, including rear disc brakes instead of the usual drums. Convertibles also got standard rear shoulder belts.
1993 LeBaron Coupe/Convertible
Facelifting for ’93 included exposed headlamps and a new grille, plus combi
nation red/amber taillamps. Turbo engines departed, leaving only the base 4-cylinder and the V6.
1994 LeBaron Coupe/Convertible
Only a GTC convertible returned for 1994, with a V6 engine and dual airbags–plus a “one-price” sales strategy. Base and LX versions bit the dust. Coupes were gone for good, too, ready for replacement by the new-for-1995 Sebring.
1995 LeBaron Coupe/Convertible
For its final season, the GTC convertible continued as the only LeBaron model. A year later, a Chrysler Sebring would serve as its open-topped successor.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

The Mitsubishi-built 3.0-liter V6, introduced as an option for 1990, develops 141 horsepower. The V6 might be found in any LeBaron that year except the GTC, which employed Chrysler’s new 2.2-liter intercooled VNT (Variable Nozzle Turbo) Turbo IV engine, making 174 horsepower. Only a 5-speed manual transmission could be installed in the GTC, but other LeBarons might have either manual shift or a 3-speed automatic; or, for the first time, a 4-speed automatic that was standard on some models, optional on others. Base engine was a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. A V6 went into LX and GTC models for 1991. The potent 2.2-liter turbo disappeared that year, in favor of a 2.5-liter that could go into either a base LeBaron or GTC.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 100
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 135
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
24/34
23/28
25.1
22.5
ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 141
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 171
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
19/28
21/27
20/29

22.9

Turbocharged ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 152
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 210-211
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
20/27
19/24
Turbocharged ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/135
Engine HP 174
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 210
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

20/28

Road Test

With a Mitsubishi V6 beneath the hood, the shapely LeBarons gained refined power to match their sharp looks. Both the base 4-cylinder engine and its turbocharged counterparts are gruff and noisy, while the Mitsubishi-built V6 provides smoother performance. Sure, it has less power and torque than either of the turbocharged fours, but it’s much quieter and delivers its strength in a far more linear manner. If you simply must have a turbocharged engine, note that the 2.5-liter turbo is less raucous than the earlier 2.2, which disappeared after 1990. We averaged 22.9 mpg with a V6 convertible in city/highway driving. Regardless of engine choice, automatic transmissions shift sloppily.

Convertibles lag somewhat in solidity. Even minor bumps cause the body to twist and flex more than most open cars. For anything beyond merely competent handling and roadholding, look for a GTC with its performance suspension and tires. But be prepared for a choppy ride over rough pavement. Abundant road noise can make it difficult to talk in normal tones at highway speeds.

The new, modern interior installed for 1990 is a vast improvement over prior dashboards, positioning controls closer to the driver. Gauges are easy to see, controls easy to use. Climate and radio controls are readily accessible. Six-footers are likely to be comfortable in front. Backseats are bigger than in most coupes, but insufficient for adults on long drives. Trunks are small.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1994 Chrysler LeBaron GTC convertible

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 47

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.6 184.8 69.2 52.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
10.3 14.0 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.0 42.5 33.0
2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.5 184.8 69.2 53.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.4 14.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.6 36.3 42.5 33.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 LeBaron 2-door convertible

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 111
Injury 101
Theft 152

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: If the air conditioner gradually stops cooling and/or the airflow from the vents decreases, the computer (PCM) may not be sending a signal to the compressor clutch relay to cycle off, which causes the AC evaporator to freeze up. (1991-95)
Alternator belt
Description: Unless a shield is installed under the engine on the right side, deep snow could knock the serpentine belt off the pulleys of a 3.0-liter engine. (1991-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: Transmission shudder under light to moderate acceleration could be due to a worn bushing, which requires replacement of the pump as well as the torque converter. (1990-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: 41TE or 42LE automatic transaxles could take several seconds to engage at startup because of a problem with the valve body. (1993-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: Bad seals in the transmission lead to premature friction component wear, which causes shudder when starting from a stop, a bump when coasting to a stop, and slipping between gears. (1993-95)
Cold-starting problems
Description: 2.2- or 2.5-liter engines may idle rough or stumble when first started below freezing temperatures unless a revised intake manifold (with an “X” cast into the number 1 runner) was installed (1992), a revised computer (PCM) was installed (1992-93), or the computer was reprogrammed. (1994)
Engine noise
Description: The motor mount on the left side of the engine tends to break. (1992-93)
Oil consumption
Description: High oil consumption and smoke from the exhaust at idle and deceleration on 3.0-liter engines is caused by exhaust valve guides that slide out of the heads. (1990-93)

Recall History

1990
Description: Engine valve cover gasket may dislocate and allow oil leak, which could cause a fire.
1991
Description: Front disc brake caliper guide pin bolts may not be adequately tightened and could loosen.
1991
Description: On small number of cars, mismatched parking brake cable to rear wheels may reduce braking capability to one wheel, possibly allowing inadvertent roll-away.
1992
Description: Zinc plating of some upper steering column shaft coupling bolts caused hydrogen embrittlement and breakage of the bolt.
1992
Description: Hood-latch assembly may not have been properly installed and secondary latch may be prevented from engaging when hood is closed.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.