Large car; Built in Canada
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,100 – $1,900*


1994 Dodge Intrepid ES


1996 Dodge Intrepid


1993 Dodge Intrepid ES


1993 Dodge Intrepid dashboard


1993 Dodge Intrepid power window/lock controls

Pros:
  • Acceleration (3.5-liter)
  • Antilock brakes
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride (base suspension)
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Acceleration (3.3-liter)
  • Climate controls
  • Rear visibility
  • Ride (Performance Handling Group)
  • Road noise

Intrepid is an impressive and worthy family sedan with a healthy helping of flair, offering good value for the money. However, full-size General Motors cars, such as the Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight and Pontiac Bonneville, may have the edge in terms of overall quality.

Overview

Most affordable of Chrysler Corporation’s innovative LH sedans, the Intrepid wore the same body as the Chrysler Concorde and Eagle Vision. One of two V6 engines drives the front wheels via a 4-speed automatic transmission. A 3.3-liter was standard, and a 24-valve 3.5-liter was optional. Dual airbags and power rack-and-pinion was standard. Base Intrepids have front-disc/rear-drum brakes, while the sportier ES halts with 4-wheel discs. Antilock braking was optional on both, as was traction control. Most Intrepids had bucket seats, but a base model could be ordered with a front bench instead.

Yearly Updates

1994 Intrepid
A touring suspension became standard in ’94. The 3.3-liter V6 added eight horsepower, while new variable-assist power steering (optional on base Intrepids) eased parking.
1995 Intrepid
ES Intrepids gained standard antilock braking, which remained an option on base sedans, and the cruise control added a “cancel” feature.
1996 Intrepid
The base model got a sharper look in ’96, including new 11-spoke wheel covers on bigger (16-inch) wheels. Dodge clearly was trying to narrow the gap between the two models. Front fascias now incorporated fog lamps. Both models gained additional sound insulation, intended to reduce road noise.
1997 Intrepid
The 5-year old Intrepid, scheduled for a major redesign for 1998 was carried over with no significant changes in 1997.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive

Two V6 engines are available: a 3.3-liter with overhead valves or a 3.5-liter with overhead-camshafts. The base engine developed 153 horsepower in its first season, growing to 161 in ’94 models. The larger V6 always made 214 horsepower. Both drive an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic transmission.

ohv V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.3/201
Engine HP 153-161
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 177-181
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/27

21.9

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/215
Engine HP 214
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 221
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/26

22.0

Road Test

Acceleration is adequate with the 3.3-liter V6, but it’s not too snappy for quick passing. For that reason, an early ES is the better choice with the larger V6 engine and touring suspension employing 16-inch tires. This combination offers fine overall performance, including precise handling and cornering. But watch out for an ES with the optional Performance Handling Group, which yields a stiff ride.

By 1994, all Intrepids had the touring suspension as standard, delivering a satisfying level of handling precision without much loss in comfort. Even base Intrepids with that suspension handle as well as some smaller sports sedans, zipping through tight turns with little body lean and commendable grip. The ride is firm, but not harsh. Gas mileage with an ES sedan averaged 22 mpg in a long-term trial, including considerable highway mileage–not quite a miser, but better than some all-out full-size automobiles. Even stop-and-go commuting usually resulted in 16-18 mpg economy.

Three adults fit in back without crowding. Head room is good in front and adequate in back. Ergonomics are great. Instruments and controls are logically arranged and convenient, except for climate controls that are mounted too low for easy access. Lightweight plastic on the dashboard and door panels does not feel too durable. Cargo space is fine and the trunk opens at bumper level for easier loading of luggage. Road noise is prominent at highway speeds, even with the sound insulation added for 1996. Wind noise is low.

Workmanship is generally tight and solid, but some cars have suffered minor creaks, rattles, or assembly flaws–even when new.

Ratings

Model Tested: 1996 Dodge Intrepid 3.3-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 - 7
70%
Fuel Economy - 4
40%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 5
50%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.0 201.7 74.4 56.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.7 18.0 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.4 37.5 42.4 38.8
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1997 Intrepid 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

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

Side Impact Test

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

HLDI

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

Collision 84
Injury 77
Theft 51

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air conditioner lines are prone to leak at the compressor because of nicks and sharp edges on the A/C line grooves for the O-rings, making it necessary to replace the lines. (1993-94)
Air conditioner
Description: If the air conditioner is intermittent or quits altogether, but the refrigerant charge is OK, the pressure transducer is probably malfunctioning. (All)
Automatic transmission
Description: Transmission front pump could be leaking due to a worn bushing, which requires replacement of the pump as well as the torque converter. (1993-96)
Automatic transmission
Description: A defective throttle positions sensor could be the cause of late, erratic, or harsh shifting. (1994)
Automatic transmission
Description: Bad seals in the transmission lead to premature friction component wear, which causes a shudder when starting from a stop, a bump when coasting to a stop, and slipping between gears. (1993-95)
Automatic transmission
Description: 41TE or 42LE automatic transaxle could take several seconds to engage at startup because of a problem with the valve body. (1993-95)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Hard starting and a miss at idle can be traced to defective fuel rails. (1993-94)
Engine noise
Description: The motor mount on the left side of the engine tends to break. (1993)

Recall History

1993
Description: Lower control-arm washers in front suspension of some cars can crack and fall off due to hydrogen embrittlement; will cause clunking sound during braking and eventually result in loss of steering control.
1993 w/3.3-liter engine
Description: O-rings used to seal interface of fuel-injector tubes are insufficiently durable; deterioration can cause fuel leakage, with potential for fire.
1993-95
Description: Lower control-arm attaching brackets on some cars can crack due to fatigue and separate from engine cradle; transmission halfshaft could then pull out of transaxle.
1993-97 w/3.5-liter engine
Description: Fuel-injection system can leak from O-rings or hairline cracks in fuel-injection rail.
1994
Description: Right steering tie rod can rub through automatic-transmission wiring harness, causing short circuit; may result in stalling, or allow engine to start when selector is not in “Park” position.

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.