Large car; Built in Canada
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,700 – $3,800*


1998 Dodge Intrepid ES


1998 Dodge Intrepid ES


1998 Dodge Intrepid ES interior


1998 Dodge Intrepid ES


2000 Dodge Intrepid ES

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Passenger room
  • Ride
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Trunk liftover
  • Rear visibility

When first seen as 1998 models, both the Intrepid and the Chrysler Concorde made other full-size automobiles look–and feel–dated. Roomy, athletic, and eye-catching, handling much like European sport sedans, Intrepids also offer plenty of interior space. Long-term mechanical reliability is still a question mark, but these stylish sedans can be good value, whether new or used. Best to stick with 3.2- or 3.5-liter V6 as the 2.7 is know to be troublesome.

Overview

Sharing mechanical and interior design with Chrysler’s Concorde, the restyled Intrepid shared no body panels with its more costly cousin. Like the Concorde, Dodge’s front-drive full-size model was dramatically redesigned for 1998, with an especially striking front end and a substantially revised chassis. No Eagle counterpart appeared, because Chrysler discontinued that make after the 1998 model year. Base engine was a 2.7-liter V6, making 200 horsepower. A stronger and larger 3.2-liter V6, producing 225 horsepower, went into the sportier ES edition. That model also gained Chrysler’s Autostick transmission, which could be shifted manually. Base Intrepids used an ordinary 4-speed automatic transmission. Both engines had aluminum blocks and cylinder heads. Front bucket seats and a floor-mounted gearshift lever were standard. A front bench seat and column shift could be installed instead in the base model, increasing seating capacity to six. Antilock braking was standard on the ES, optional on base models. All Intrepids had dual front airbags. Rivals included the Buick LeSabre, Oldsmobile Eighty Eight and LSS, Pontiac Bonneville, and Toyota Avalon.

Yearly Updates

1999 Intrepid
Changes were minor in the restyled Intrepid’s second season. Remote keyless entry now was available on base models. Seat materials were new this year. Chrysler’s Sentry Key, which disabled the ignition unless the proper key was used, was added to the optional theft-deterrent system.
2000 Intrepid
A performance-driven R/T model with a 3.5-liter engine joined the lineup during 2000, featuring unique trim, standard antilock brakes, and 17-inch wheels. Changes to the regular models were few. The base model switched from 15-inch to 16-inch tires and added a power sunroof to its options list. Antilock brakes no longer were standard on the ES edition, but an option, as on the base Intrepid. Both models now had the 2.7-liter V6 as base engine, with the 3.2-liter V6 an option for the ES only.
2001 Intrepid
New for 2001 were optional front side airbags, 3-point safety belts for the rear-middle seat position, and, optional on SE and R/T models, split/fold rear seat (formerly only standard on ES).
2002 Intrepid
17-inch wheels became available in chrome mid-2002. There were no other significant changes for this model year.
2003 Intrepid
Building on ES models, a new SXT version inherited from the discontinued R/T a high-output 3.5 V6, now at 250 hp.
2004 Intrepid
Intrepid saw no major changes in 2004.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Intrepids had V6 engines, in a choice of two configurations. A dual-overhead-cam 2.7-liter V6, installed in the base Intrepid, produced 200 horsepower. The sportier ES model held a 225-horsepower, single-cam V6 with 3.2-liter displacement. That engine became an ES option in 2000, no longer standard fare. For 2000, the high-performance R/T carried a 242-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6. SXT picked up the R/T engine in 2003 and upped the output to 250. All Intrepids used a 4-speed automatic transmission, but the ES, R/T, and SXT got Chrysler’s Autostick edition, which could be shifted manually when desired.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.7/167
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 190
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

21/30

26.2

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/197
Engine HP 225
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 225
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

19/29

20.7

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/215
Engine HP 242-250
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 248-250
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/27

19.8

Road Test

The Intrepid’s suspension is firm and stable at highway speeds, without growing harsh on rough pavement. Suspensions of the two models are tuned identically, but the wider tires on the ES provide slightly sharper feel in directional changes. Brakes provide short, straight stops from high speeds, with fine pedal modulation.

Although the 2.7-liter engine moves this full-size sedan with adequate swiftness, acceleration is hardly neck-snapping. Though it’s no powerhouse, the stronger 3.2-liter V6 can chirp the tires during rapid takeoffs, and delivers a quicker burst of power for passing and merging. Autostick helps the ES scoot through traffic, and produce more confident passing and merging. Both engines are smooth and quiet, and road noise is less noticeable than in earlier Intrepids. Wind noise is noticeable but not excessive. As for economy, a test ES averaged 20.7 mpg.

Head room is generous in front, though the Intrepid’s sloping roofline puts the heads of taller back-seaters right up to the headliner. Leg space is sufficient for 6-footers to be comfortable in all seats.

Most gauges and controls, including those for the climate system, are easy to see and reach. Radio controls are more difficult to reach, and demand some study to decipher. Intrepid has a much larger rear window than the Concorde, allowing the driver to see the trunk for parking and enjoy a better view of surrounding traffic. A high rear parcel shelf does impair visibility, however. Cargo space is ample, and split folding rear seats increases that total capacity.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Dodge Intrepid ES w/3.2-liter V6

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 - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

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

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.0 203.7 74.7 55.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.4 17.0 5-6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.4 42.2 39.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 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 94
Injury 92
Theft 130

Trouble Spots

Engine noise
Description: Engine tapping noise on startup of V6 engines requires updated exhaust valve swivel pads. (1998-03)
Fuel gauge
Description: If gas tank is slow to fill or repeatedly trips nozzle, a revised fuel tank vent kit may be required. (2000-01)
Keyless entry
Description: Keyless entry transmitter range may be less than 10-feet requiring. A revised antenna will extend range. (1998-99)
Oil leak
Description: The oil filter adapter may come out of the engine block when the filter is removed on 3.2L and 3.5L engines. When this happens the adapter must be replaced, not reinstalled. (1998-99)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leak from gallery plug(s) on the 2.7-liter V6 can be fixed by adding an additional plug. (1998-02)
Steering problems
Description: Drivability problems occur when the speed sensor wires pull out of the transmission. (1999)
Windows
Description: If power window sticks, motor may have to be replaced. (1998-2001)
Headlights
Description: Instrument lights may get bright and dim, and headlights and/or fog lights may come on spontaneously due to loose or corroded connector at the headlight switch. (2000-04)
Electrical problem
Description: The interior lights will not go out or will not come on because of a blown fuse due to a damaged wiring harness in the roof area. (1998-99)
Electrical problem
Description: Moisture getting inside the car behind the kick panels makes the windows, door locks, and power mirrors operate by themselves. (1998)

Recall History

1998
Description: A few passenger-airbag module assemblies are missing some required components, so airbag would not deploy during a crash.
1998-02
Description: Some vehicles may have faulty seat-recliner bolts, allowing the seat to unexpectedly recline. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
1999
Description: The front-seatbelt retractor does not comply with the requirements of the standard. If the retractor does not work properly, it will not adequately protect occupants in the event of a crash.
1999-00
Description: Inadequately manufactured mounting bolt for seatbelt shoulder height-adjustable turning loop may not withstand sufficient force to function properly in certain impact situations.
2000
Description: Molding flash on primary lever may prevent operation of G-lock and tilt lock functions on some driver-side retractors, which could reduce driver protection during a frontal crash.
2000
Description: Passenger-airbag inflator assembly on some cars contains incorrect inflator charge amount.
2000
Description: Brake master-cylinder piston-retainer snap ring may be bent inward, which could result in brake-drag condition.
2000-01
Description: Some of the owner’s manuals for these vehicles are missing instructions for properly attaching a child-restraint system’s tether strap to the tether anchorage.
2000-01
Description: In the event of a crash, there is a potential for injury if the occupant’s head were to contact the B-pillar. Owners will be sent a storage-bin accessory unit that can be attached to the B-pillar along with installation instructions.

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.