Premium sporty/performance car; Built in Germany
  • 2-door convertible
  • 2-door hatchback
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,200 – $17,000*


2005 Chrysler Crossfire


2005 Chrysler Crossfire


2005 Chrysler Crossfire


2004 Chrysler Crossfire

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Handling/roadholding
Cons:
  • Rear visibility
  • Road noise

Positioned as a sporting coupe, the regular Crossfire isn’t as fast or as agile as a hard-core sports car. Compact size and eye-catching styling mean it isn’t as practical as typical near-luxury cars. Its main assets are a Mercedes-Benz powertrain, German-built cachet, and capable road manners. Consider it a stylish, sporty cruiser. SRT-6 versions come across as narrowly focused high-performance machines (with premium prices for the enhanced powertrain and improved brakes). Convertibles are by far the more appealing of the two body styles, delivering open-air fun with more refinement and comfort than most similarly-priced two-seat drop-tops.

Overview

This sporty premium two-seater blended American styling with underskin hardware and engineering from Chrysler’s parent company, Mercedes-Benz. Assembled in Germany in conjunction with the Karmann organization, the Crossfire was initially a hatchback coupe that borrowed its rear-wheel-drive chassis and powertrain from Mercedes’ 1998-2004 two-seat SLK–which was a convertible with a retractable hardtop.

Evolved from a concept car seen at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show in 2001, the Crossfire went on sale in summer 2003. Sculpted body lines blended with a long hood and a fastback profile. A Mercedes-Benz 3.2-liter V6, rated at 215 horsepower, teamed with a six-speed manual transmission or an available five-speed automatic with AutoStick manual shift gate.

Antilock braking and traction/antiskid control were standard. An Electronic Stability Program integrated brake and throttle intervention to control wheelspin when needed. A speed-sensitive rear spoiler powered up and down depending on road speed (rising at about 60 mph), or could be left deployed.

Heated power seats were standard for both occupants, and the driver faced a telescoping steering column with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The 240-watt, six-speaker Infinity Modulus audio system included a CD player. Dual-zone air conditioning and remote keyless entry were standard. Customized Crossfire touring luggage was available.

Seven-spoke alloy wheels were 18-inch up front, 19s in back. “Summer” tires were standard, all-season tires optional. A plug-in air compressor and a can of tire sealant were provided instead of a spare tire. All Crossfires had leather upholstery and door-mounted torso side airbags; curtain side airbags were unavailable. Primary rivals included the BMW Z4, Chevrolet Corvette, and Nissan 350Z.

Yearly Updates

2005 Crossfire
A convertible debuted during 2004 as an early 2005 model, with a heated glass rear window and a power fabric top that stowed beneath a hard tonneau cover. Both coupe and convertible body styles now came in base, Limited, and SRT-6 form. Base and Limited versions kept the 215-hp V6 engine. Each SRT-6 model held a supercharged edition of that engine, which produced 330 horsepower. Only an automatic transmission with a manual shift gate was installed in SRT-6 Crossfires, but other models had a standard six-speed manual gearbox and an optional automatic. In addition to the stronger engine, each SRT-6 had a sport suspension, stationary (rather than power-up) rear spoiler, and unique interior/exterior trim. Leather upholstery was standard in Limited and SRT-6 Crossfires, which could also get an optional navigation system.
2006 Crossire
Crossfire skipped model-year 2006.
2007 Crossfire
Crossfire returns for 2007 after skipping the 2006 model year. The high-performance SRT-6 model is no longer available. Curtain side airbags are unavailable, but driver and passenger knee airbags are added for ’07.
2008 Crossfire
The 2008 Chrysler Crossfire returned with no major changes for what Chrysler says is this sporty car’s final model year.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available initially in Crossfires: a 215-horsepower 3.2-liter V6 engine, mated to a six-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic transmission. A supercharged version rated at 330 horsepower goes into the Crossfire SRT-6, which comes only with automatic.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/195
Engine HP 215
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 229
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
17/25
21/28
Supercharged ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/195
Engine HP 330
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 310
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

17/22

Road Test

Performance is generally a strong point, even with the base engine. A test automatic-transmission Crossfire coupe did 6.6-second acceleration to 60 mph. That’s brisk, but achieving quick passing response requires a pronounced stab at the throttle to coax a downshift from the otherwise smooth-working automatic. Manual-shift models feel more responsive. As in the Mercedes CLK, balky manual-shift/clutch action makes smooth driving tricky. Convertibles weigh little more than coupes, so acceleration figures are similar.

Fuel economy ranks as passable. A test automatic-transmission Crossfire coupe averaged 20.9 mpg, including gas-eating performance tests. A manual-shift convertible averaged 19.2 mpg. Note that judging by EPA estimates, the automatic scores 4 mpg higher in city driving, versus the manual. Premium fuel is required.

Controlled and stable at speed, Crossfire coupes ride very firmly. In fact, some testers have rated it almost harsh on all but smooth surfaces. All-season tires have a discernible comfort edge over the original “summer” treads. Convertible suspensions are more absorbent than those of comparable coupes, which places them among the most comfortable-riding two-passenger sports cars.

Handling may not be BMW-nimble, but it’s assured and composed, with minimal cornering lean, strong grip, and fine rear-wheel-drive balance. Well-weighted steering provides good feedback and crisp turn-in, though tires tend to tramp along pavement grooves. Braking is strong and stable.

Crossfires aren’t the quietest. Marked tire thrum intrudes except on glassy asphalt. Wind noise gets fairly prominent above 65 mph–more so in convertibles. On the other hand, the V6 emits a classy, muted growl at full throttle.

Dashboards use some Mercedes SLK switches and stalks, but Crossfire has its own retro-style gauges that some testers insist are too “busy” for best legibility. Switchgear has tiny markings and numerous look-alike shapes. Audio readouts are nearly invisible through polarized sunglasses. Leather upholstery is handsome, but hard surfaces abound most everywhere else, and silvery paint instead of real metal trim looks like penny-pinching. The manual transmission’s gearshift knob is slippery polished metal, which provides poor grip in quick shifting.

Comfortably supportive front seats hug without binding, but rearward travel isn’t generous and head room is just adequate for six-footers. Some testers wanted more lumbar support. Low-slung seating demands effort to enter/exit and combines with a high beltline, low roof, and short windows to inhibit outward vision–especially astern. Deployed spoilers also block the rear view, and hatchback coupes have no rear wiper.

Cargo space is okay for a two-seater of this size, but most near-luxury rivals offer more utility. Coupes have 7.6 cubic feet of space beneath the hatch, which has a narrow opening. The oddly-shaped cargo bay has a tall liftover, which means potential back-straining when loading and unloading. Convertible trunks are smaller yet: 6.5 cubic feet with the top up, shrinking to 3.5 cubic feet when the roof is down. In-cabin storage is limited in both body styles, and occupants get only one cupholder.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Limited cpe w/ auto.

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 - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 4
40%
Steering/Handling - 8
80%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - --
--0%
Cargo Room - 2
20%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 46

Specifications

2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
94.5 159.8 69.5 51.8
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
6.5 15.9 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
37.3 42.7
2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
94.5 159.8 69.5 51.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
7.6 15.9 2
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
36.9 42.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Crossfire coupe 2-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

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 N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Keyless entry
Description: Remote keyless entry transmitter batteries die prematurely because a bit of plastic flash may keep the panic button depressed. (2005)
Transmission leak
Description: The transmission solenoid/pressure switch leaks fluid causing a check engine light, requiring replacement of the solenoid. Electrical connector and fluid may also leak from the electrical connector guide on the right front corner of the transmission. (2004-05)
Convertible top
Description: The convertible top may quit working if the driver doesn’t allow it to fully open or fully close because the control module forgets the top’s position unless the switches are cycled. Also, the top may be hard to close requiring new pivot bolts in the frame. (2005
Convertible top
Description: The convertible top will not work because of broken trunk latch. (2004-05)
((Very limited number of vehicles. Nearly impossible to find any pattern failures. –B.W.)

Recall History

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.