Sporty/performance car; Built in USA
  • 2-door hatchback
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,000 – $1,900*


1990 Dodge Daytona Shelby


1990 Dodge Daytona interior


1991 Dodge Daytona Shelby


1992 Dodge Daytona IROC


1993 Dodge Daytona IROC

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6, turbo)
  • Antilock brakes (optional)
  • Handling/roadholding
Cons:
  • Engine noise (turbo)
  • Rear-seat room
  • Ride

Daytonas cannot match the refinement or assembly quality of import rivals. Still, you get decent performance at a reasonable price. Our favorite is the V6 IROC, which is quicker and quieter than base four.

Overview

The Daytona, introduced for 1984, targeted younger drivers. Fresh front/rear styling arrived for ’87, featuring pop-up headlamps. Four-wheel disc brakes went into ’89 models. A new interior for 1990 included a fresh dashboard and a new steering wheel that contained a driver-side airbag. A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder went into base and ES Daytonas. Two turbocharged engines were also available: a 150-horsepower 2.5-liter version for the ES Turbo (and for Shelbys with automatic), plus a 174-horsepower 2.2-liter VNT Turbo IV. Available only with stick shift, that hotter turbo was standard in the Daytona Shelby and optional with the C/S competition package. For the first time in 1990, Daytonas could be equipped with a V6 engine, broadening the coupe’s appeal. Made by Mitsubishi, the 141-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 was optional in base and ES models. This year also brought an improved 5-speed gearbox. Also for ’90, Shelbys were available with electronic variable suspension, which used switches to select firm, normal, or soft shock-absorber damping.

Yearly Updates

1991 Daytona
The 2.5-liter turbocharged engine got a big torque boost for 1991 (from 180 to 210 pound-feet), renamed “High Torque” Turbo I. Horsepower rose by two. At the same time, the 2.2-liter turbo disappeared. Front suspensions were recalibrated to improve steering feel and straight-line stability. Later in the year, a V6 IROC went on sale.
1992 Daytona
Antilock braking could be installed in ’92, when Daytonas were facelifted with a fresh front end and new tail. Exposed aero headlamps replaced the hidden units and full-width taillamps were installed, along with new outer door panels and side window openings. Optional ABS included rear disc brakes. During the model year, an IROC R/T with a 224-horsepower intercooled turbocharged engine joined the V6 IROC, replacing the prior Shelby model.
1993 Daytona
Base models could now get antilock braking, but few other changes were evident in the Daytona’s final season. The optional 152-horsepower turbo disappeared.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Standard in base and ES Daytonas was a 100-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. A Mitsubishi-built 3.0-liter V6 went into IROC coupes, and was optional in base and ES cars. Only the IROC R/T could have the 224-horsepower Turbo III. A 5-speed manual gearbox was standard (mandatory with the most potent turbos). Base cars with the 4-cylinder engine might have a 3-speed automatic transmission, while V6 Daytonas had a 4-speed automatic as an option.

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
23/28
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
4-speed automatic
19/27
21/28
21.2

Turbocharged ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/153
Engine HP 150-152
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 180-210
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
21/27
18/24
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

20.8

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.2/135
Engine HP 225
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 217
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

19/27

Road Test

Replacing an earlier 2.2-liter 4-cylinder, the 2.5-liter base engine delivers modest performance and good gas mileage. Turbo model’s acceleration rivals that of V8s, with equally impressive handling, but its exhaust is loud, and the stiff suspension turns a city drive into a jarring trek. The V6 isn’t as quick as a top turbo, but makes its power with less work and in a smoother, more linear fashion. So, it’s the most satisfying choice all around. All engines perform best with a 5-speed, which delivers top-notch action but works with a stiff clutch.

Base and ES coupes promise competent handling, but the IROC’s stiff suspension and wide tires sharpen reflexes considerably. Ride quality ranges from willowy on the base model, to slightly firmer on an ES, to unforgiving on IROC coupes.

Front head room is just adequate for tall drivers, but seats are low and combine with thick roof pillars for a closed-in feel. Fold-down rear seats create a generous cargo area but are small for passengers. Long doors and low front seats make entry/exit a chore.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1992 Dodge Daytona ES 3.0-liter 5-speed

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 - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 3
30%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 2
20%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 3
30%
Room/Comfort Front - 4
40%
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
20%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 37

Specifications

2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
97.2 179.0 69.3 51.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
33.0 14.0 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.1 34.3 42.5 30.0
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1992 Daytona 2-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

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 139
Injury 127
Theft 91

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The A/C evaporator freezes up because the compressor does not cycle off causing a lack of cooling. (1991-93)
Automatic transmission
Description: Transaxle may have delayed shift when car is started. Fix requires replacement of the valve body and filter. (1993)
Engine misfire
Description: Blue exhaust smoke at idle or during deceleration indicates bad exhaust valve guide seals on 3.0-liter engines. (1990-93)
Engine stalling
Description: Serpentine drive belt can be knocked off the pulleys when driven through deep snow. Fix requires installation of a shield. (1991-93)
Steering noise
Description: Squeaks when turning require replacement of the strut mount assemblies. (1992-93)
Suspension noise
Description: Sway bar bushing wear causes a squeaking noise from the front suspension. (1992-93)
Windshield washer
Description: Windshield washer nozzles that freeze up are repaired by installing a check valve in the fluid reservoir. (1990-93)

Recall History

1990
Description: Engine valve cover gasket may dislocate and allow oil leak.
1990
Description: On cars with gray interior, airbag inflator modules may not contain diffuser holes between igniter and propellant chambers, so airbag would not deploy in an impact.
1991
Description: Owner’s manual incorrectly states that the front passenger side door cannot be opened from the inside while locked.
1991
Description: Braking ability is reduced by mismatched parking brake cable lengths to the rear wheels.
1991
Description: The tire pressure placard is incorrect.
1991
Description: Front disc brake caliper guide pin bolts could loosen, reducing braking effectiveness.
1992
Description: The upper steering column shaft coupling bolt could fracture due to improper zinc plating; loss of steering control could result.
1992-93
Description: Spot welds that attach front rails to dash panel may suffer structural damage (such as interference with opening of doors), which could reduce occupant protection during an accident.

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.