Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,800*


1990 Plymouth Acclaim


1991 Plymouth Acclaim LE


1992 Plymouth Acclaim


1993 Plymouth Acclaim


1993 Plymouth Acclaim

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Antilock brakes (optional)
  • Passenger and cargo room
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Noise
  • Ride

If you’re a budget-minded shopper in the market for a no-nonsense family compact, be sure to put the Acclaim on your list of must-see models.

Overview

Introduced in 1989, using many of the old K-car chassis components, Chrysler began offering a trio of new cars with similar looks. The Acclaim was nearly identical to the Dodge Spirit and Chrysler LeBaron sedan, but was the lowest-priced model of the three. Acclaim was available in base, LE, and LX trim, with base and LE models provided with Chrysler’s 100-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and either a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic. Optional for the two lower models was a 150-horsepower turbocharged version of the same engine, paired with the same two transmissions. Available for the LX model was a 141-horsepower 3.0-liter V6, paired with a 4-speed automatic. For 1990, a driver-side airbag became standard and the 3.0-liter V6 was an across-the-board option.

Yearly Updates

1991 Acclaim
Plymouth’s compact front-drive sedan gains optional antilock brakes and loses its turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.
1992 Acclaim
The Acclaim lineup has been trimmed from three models down to one, and the optional 3.0-liter V6 can be ordered with a low-cost 3-speed automatic.
1993 Acclaim
Acclaim gets a new grille, with a flush pentastar hood ornament. All glass is tinted, the exhaust system goes stainless steel, and the compact disc player is a new option.
1994 Acclaim
Acclaim models gain a motorized shoulder belt for the front passenger, as one of the few changes made to the 1993 models.
1995 Acclaim
The 4-speed automatic and antilock brakes are cut from the option list in anticipation of the arrival of a new compact sedan.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Chrysler’s 2.5-liter 4-cylinder comes standard on the Acclaim, paired with either a 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic. It produces 100 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 135 pound-feet of torque at 2800 rpm. The optional engine for the two lower models in 1989 was a turbocharged version of the same 2.5-liter engine, paired with the same two transmissions. Output from the turbocharged engine is 150 horsepower at 4800 rpm and 180 pound-feet of torque at 2000 rpm. Available for the LX model (1989-90) is Mitsubishi’s 3.0-liter V6, paired with a 4-speed automatic. It delivers 141 horsepower at 5000 rpm and 171 pound-feet of torque at 2000 rpm. Chrysler dropped the turbocharged engine from the option list in 1991 and added the low-cost 3-speed automatic to the 3.0-liter Mitsubishi engine for 1992. For a couple of years (1993-94), Chrysler offered Acclaims equipped with 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engines adapted to run on unleaded gasoline or a blend of gas and methanol, containing up to 85-percent methanol. Using the “M85” blended fuel, the engine produces 106 horsepower and delivers 145 pound-feet of torque at 2400 rpm, compared to only 135 pound-feet for the standard gas version. The flex-fuel engine disappears in 1995, along with the 4-speed automatic transmission.

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
25/32
23/27
25.3
22.9
ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/181
Engine HP 141-142
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 171
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
3-speed automatic
4-speed automatic
20/27
21/29
23.7
Turbocharged ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 180
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
21/29
19/23

Road Test

The Acclaim is best with the V6, which delivers ample power, smoothly and quietly. However, the 4-speed automatic transmission had sluggish, sloppy shift action in our tests of 1990 models. The base 2.5-liter is adequate with automatic transmission; the easy-shifting 5-speed manual coaxes a little more performance out of this engine.

Road noise is prominent at highway speeds. The base engine is too loud, even while cruising. Because the suspension does not absorb bumps well, an Acclaim bangs and bounds over rough pavement.

Acclaim’s airy, pleasant interior is large enough for four adults to spread out and not feel cramped. Split folding rear seatbacks that flop down for extra cargo room are optional on the base model and standard on the others. The large trunk has a flat floor and a low liftover for easy loading. Acclaim also scored points for its standard airbag.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1991 Plymouth Acclaim 3.0-liter

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 - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 4
40%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 46

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.5 181.2 68.1 55.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.4 16.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 37.9 41.9 38.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1995 Acclaim 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 3
60%

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 87
Injury 108
Theft 94

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: If the air conditioner gradually stops cooling and/or the air flow from the vents decreases, the computer (PCM) may not be sending a signal to the compressor-clutch relay to cycle off, which causes the A/C evaporator to freeze up. (1991-95)
Alternator belt
Description: Deep snow could knock the serpentine belt off the pulleys of 3.0-liter engines. Installing a shield will remedy the problem. (1991-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: If the transmission shudders under light to moderate acceleration, the transmission front pump could be leaking due to a worn bushing. (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)
Engine mounts
Description: The motor mount on the left side of the engine tends to break. (1992-93)
Oil consumption and exhaust smoke
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)
Rough idle
Description: 2.2- or 2.5-liter engines may idle rough or stumble when first started unless a revised intake manifold (with an “X” cast into the number 1 runner) was installed (1992), or a revised computer (PCM) was installed (1992-93), or the computer was reprogrammed (1994).

Recall History

1990
Description: Oil may leak from engine valve-cover gasket.
1991
Description: Front-outboard seatbelt may become difficult to latch; latch may open in sudden stop or accident.
1991
Description: Front disc-brake-caliper guide-pin bolts may not be adequately tightened and could loosen.
1991
Description: Both airbag-system front-impact sensors may not be secured to mounting brackets, so airbag would not deploy.
1992
Description: Zinc plating of some upper steering-column shaft-coupling bolts caused hydrogen embrittlement and breakage of the bolt.
1994
Description: Seatbelt assembly on small number of cars may fail in accident, increasing risk of injury.

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.