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http://www.detnews.com/2004/autosconsumer/0404/28/g03-135768.htm



He Drove, She Drove

Crossfire flaunts curves

Pricey roadster will turn heads

By Paul & Anita Lienert / Special to The Detroit News




'05 Chrysler Crossfire Roadster

Type: Front-engine, rear-wheel drive, two-passenger luxury convertible

Price¹ : Base, $38,920; as tested, $40,120

Engine: 3.2-liter V-6; 215-hp; 229 lb-ft torque

EPA fuel economy: 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway

Key competitors: Audi A4 Cabriolet, Audi TT, BMW 3-series, BMW Z4, Ford Thunderbird, Honda S2000, Lotus Elise, Mercedes-Benz SLK, Nissan 350Z, Porsche Boxster, Saab 9-3, Volvo C70

12-month insurance cost²: $1,964

Where built: Germany

1: Includes $875 destination charge; 2: Estimated by AAA Michigan. Rates may vary depending on coverage and driving record.

Rating system: 1- unacceptable; 2- subpar; 3- acceptable; 4- above average; 5- world class


Anita's rating:

Likes: Prettier than most competitors. Love the Classic Yellow paint scheme. Interior is sophisticated and elegant. Great standard safety features, including side air bags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control. Dual-zone climate controls.

Dislikes: Could never get perfectly situated behind the wheel. Needs adjustable pedals. Closing convertible top required a little effort, plus some fooling around in trunk. Not much cargo space.


Paul's rating:

Likes: Sensational summertime cruiser with top down. Smooth manual gearbox. Choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic. Beautiful color scheme inside and out.

Dislikes: Overpriced against a Mercedes SLK. Steering column telescopes, but doesn't tilt. Dreadful visibility with top up, and pop-up spoiler further obstructs vision. Lots of wind and road noise with top up. Ride too firm for a luxury roadster. Engine could use more power at highway speeds.





2005 Crossfire Roadster

What do you think of the 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Roadster?

1. Unacceptable
2. Subpar
3. Acceptable
4. Above Average
5. World Class

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Every year, we worry about scheduling the first convertible test drive of the spring. Will it be too early — and too cold — or will we get lucky and stumble into the right top-down weather?

As usual, April in Michigan did not let us down. Our test car this year: The impressive new 2005 Chrysler Crossfire Roadster, which has an awful lot of Mercedes-Benz parts under its sleek skin and, in fact, is built in Germany by Karmann, a low-volume, specialty vehicle maker.

We drove a Crossfire Roadster Limited, with a base price of $38,920 (including an $875 destination charge) and only a single option — a $1,200 AM-FM stereo with CD and built-in navigation system. Bottom line: $40,120.

HE: Our luck held out this year, dear. When Chrysler dropped off the Crossfire Roadster on Monday, the temperature was still in the 30s and we had to keep the soft top up for two days. Then the sun came out, the temp soared into the 70s and we could finally drop the lid. What an extreme makeover! With the top down, our cramped and only semi-attractive car turned into The Swan, flaunting lovely, curvaceous lines and a sweet personality to match.

SHE: That’s the last time I let you watch all that trashy nighttime TV. I had just come back from driving the Lotus Elise, which is another two-passenger convertible in the same price range as the Crossfire Roadster. I can tell you there is absolutely no comparison. You guys can have the Lotus , which struck me as a little too primitive and demanding. The Crossfire Roadster is much prettier than the Elise — than most of its competitors, in fact — with a gorgeous cabin that is sophisticated and elegant. I’d say this is, far and away, the most intriguing newcomer in the summer convertible stable.

HE: I have to admit that, for the money, there are a few competitors I’d rather drive, among them the BMW Z4 and the Saab 9-3. I also think the $40,000 price tag on this Chrysler — on any Chrysler — is a bit like asking champagne prices for sparkling water. Next to a Mercedes-Benz SLK 320, with which the Crossfire shares many pieces, including engine and transmission, the Chrysler definitely is overpriced. It also comes with a number of flaws that keep it from true world-class status. But when the top comes down, many of those concerns quickly fade away.

SHE: The Crossfire Roadster really works for me. Where the hardtop fell short in some areas, the convertible succeeds. Tell me what Ford or GM soft-top looks this good? Certainly not the Thunderbird. You also have to make some allowances for convertibles.

HE: Visibility, as you might expect, is a major issue with the top up. And that pop-up rear spoiler cuts down on your rearward vision even more. Wind and road noise are also a problem with the top up.

SHE: Even with the power mechanism, closing the top and latching it shut required a bit of effort. I also noticed that Chrysler makes you fool around with a divider in the trunk that must be angled a certain way before you can stow the top. With the divider in place, there is almost no trunk space. But as I said, almost every convertible comes with these sorts of compromises.

HE: Fortunately, the Crossfire Roadster has such a winning personality with the top down, you tend to overlook many of its faults. I thought the color scheme, including the “cool vanilla” leather seats, was just about perfect. That yellow exterior sure drew lots of stares. And the shape of the roadster, especially with the top down, is much sexier than that of the Crossfire coupe.

SHE: For the money, you have to admit the amenities are pretty first-rate and up to Mercedes standards. You also get plenty of safety equipment on the Limited model, including standard side air bags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitor. One thing the Crossfire Roadster lacks is adjustable pedals — that and a tilt steering column. I never could get perfectly situated behind the wheel. When I got close enough, my knees were bumping up against the knee bolster below the steering column, which is meant to help keep you in place in a collision.

HE: We could grouse about a few others things — the lack of sufficient engine power at higher speeds, a firm ride that will turn off some luxury buyers — but the bottom line on the Crossfire Roadster is pretty straightforward. With the top down and the weather cooperating, this is one sensational summer cruiser.


Anita and Paul Lienert are partners in Lienert & Lienert, a Detroit-based automotive information services company.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Anita's Crossfire rating:

Likes: Prettier than most competitors. Love the Classic Yellow paint scheme. Interior is sophisticated and elegant. Great standard safety features, including side air bags, antilock brakes, traction and stability control. Dual-zone climate controls.

Dislikes: Could never get perfectly situated behind the wheel. Needs adjustable pedals. Closing convertible top required a little effort, plus some fooling around in trunk. Not much cargo space.



"The Crossfire Roadster is much prettier than the Elise " :huh:
 

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Chrysler can't give the Crossfire away to the public and she loves it. Lotus can't make the Elise fast enough to satisfy demand and she loathes it. She's definitely a woman in touch with her reading public.:rolleyes:
 

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If you're are or a gonna be Lotus owner/enthusiasts you've got to be an individualist and know what you want. The pleasure is in knowing that the masses DON'T get IT.

I'm glad she likes the Crossfire.
 

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Crossfire? The Crossfire an Elise competitor.... That's just ridiculous. She might as well have compared it to an F150 or a H2.
Is the Crossfire a sport car? I didn't think so. Is everything with two doors automatically a sports car?

What's next, the Crossfire makes a poor mini van?
 

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Frankly, I'm glad that Anita and her type of ilk are turned off by the Elise.

The less "Anita's" there are driving the Elise, the better. All they would do would be complain about the car and batter the service department to "fix" little issues, making the available service time for real issues very limited... :mad:

She deserves to drive a Crossfire...:rolleyes:
 

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Well... I am just going to come out and say it:
The Cross Fire rides like sh*t and looks like As$! :mad:
And WTF is up with that little spoiler?!!!
I absolutly hate the bloody thing! I lose my lunch everytime I see one.

There, I feel better now. :)

Neil
 

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Eddie Haskell said:
Frankly, I'm glad that Anita and her type of ilk are turned off by the Elise.

The less "Anita's" there are driving the Elise, the better. All they would do would be complain about the car and batter the service department to "fix" little issues, making the available service time for real issues very limited... :mad:

She deserves to drive a Crossfire...:rolleyes:
Oh Amen brother, unfortunately, people like her drive the opinions somewhat and in turn drive the industry. Just because her ilk feel uncomfortable in their land barge at 80 so should everybody else and by gosh I'm going to stay in the left lane to make sure it doesn't happen. Gimme a break.
 

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I'm with you on this one, Neil.
Ara
 

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I find it odd that they barely mention anything about how it drives. Or, maybe I'm mistaking the importance of driving a car. I guess in this new era, cars are just to sit in and play with the electronics. And, speaking of sitting in one, I sat in one once, and wow was it tiny. Quite possibly the smallest cabin space I've tried to squeeze my 6'4" body into. Ok, so maybe it's a tiny bit bigger than the Esprit I sat in, but it's still smaller than a Thunderbird interior. Oh, and I read that they needed to add the wing on the back of the car due to aerodynamic forces (due to the funny shape of the car) causing the car to lift at freeway speeds.
 

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khamai said:
If you're are or a gonna be Lotus owner/enthusiasts you've got to be an individualist and know what you want. The pleasure is in knowing that the masses DON'T get IT.

I'm glad she likes the Crossfire.
Brings to mind my favorite "old" Lotus advertising slogan:

For The few Who Know The Difference.

Tim Mullen
 

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Discussion Starter #18
atyclb said:
feel free to leave your comments at the detnews site

:D

I sent an e-mail after her first article - didn't get a reply.....
 
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