The love it or hate it child of the now separated Daimler-Chrysler couple.
(Full Disclosure: I wanted to drive a Crossfire so bad I spent too much money on one while still in college when I should of bought another beater.)
I think everyone is familiar with the Crossfire story by this point. But incase not a quick refresher starts by saying this is the first product of the Daimler-Chrysler merger. Using the first generation Mercedes SLK chassis, engines and interior with its own styling. The name refers to the character line that goes from a negative to a positive along the body side.
Exterior: 1/10 - 10/10
Two scores because this reflects the controversial side of the Crossfire. Yes Jeremy Clarkson said it looks like a dog taking a shit.
The way I see it Eric Stoddard made a sketch and Chrysler produced it, as a design student that sounds like the dream. In a world of boring cars that all look the same I love the way this thing looks. So its a 10 for me, if you don't like it, please keep your boring life to yourself.
Well its a decade old sports car aka no toys in here & it is pretty plastic-y. But Mercedes did do a good job originally of making the leather on the seats, steering wheel and doors nice. All the ergonomics are good and I think the dials have a nice classic look to them too. My only real gripe is the cup holder, it pops out the center counsel and kind of grasps the drink. Ohh and it has an automatic spoiler, I don't know about you but I don't see that all too often.
Its engine is the standard MB all aluminum 3.2L V6 that Mercedes pretty much put in everything. 215hp - 229lbtq is in a word adequate. When you're just driving around town the low end torque never leaves you wanting more and it makes a nice noise past 3k rpms. Really when you want to go, it goes, it is limited to 155mph after all. But I do realize there are faster cars out there.
Car stops great every time. Never had them fade, either in a Belle Isle lapping session or when I'm pushing hard on a half hour plus coastal drive. Granted the only thing I can compare them too are the brakes on my old SC400, but they've never had me asking for more.
One of the things Chrysler did change on the car was the suspension tuning, and they made it stiffer than its SLK brother. That combined with low profile tires means there isn't much give in the ride. In all honesty I don't mind it at all, but the last time I was on date I did say something along the lines of - 'sorry, I promise its fun on a twisty road!'
Really if Detroit didn't have such shit roads this probably wouldn't be an issue.
This is where I think the Crossfire shines. Chrysler bragged the chassis was stiffer than a 911's, gave it stiff suspension, and stuck wide low pro tires on it (that are staggered too!). All that plus its relatively light weight (3060lbs) means its great in the corners. There is no perceivable body roll and it pulls 1.0g on a skidpad.
All the reviews of this car complain about no feel back through the wheel, you know what? I've never driven a Cayman!! This is where I took off the 2 points because a Miata does steer better and I'll be fair. Although I will say it is super accurate and there is no slack in the steering center.
Yes its a automatic, please hold your - 'OMGWHYWOULDEVER?!' til the end. First I needed a car quick, second this car was a deal and third I've never owned a manual personally so I didn't put too much weight on the one aspect of buying a car.
Now it does actually act like a nice AT and once you get on it a few times it stays in a low gear. The revs stay up around 3k and all is well. Plus better mileage than the manual & its the same transmission they put in the SLR.
One year in and I've had one thing break, the ashtray spring. That was a quick fix, pull the spring, and now its manual. The ashtray plus now the passenger window seal is starting to leak at highway speeds means it doesn't get a perfect score. But really this is the cheapest year by far that I've ever had in car maintenance ….. and its a decade old car.
Whats all that talk about this being from Merc's horrible years?
The stock exhaust sounds rather good for a V6 …. its just not loud enough IMO. As for the radio, James May said "it could with stand a direct hit from Bjork". Even I, someone who likes bass, has it on -6. Highs are excellent too from the infinity system.
I just took off 2 points because the car is from that crappy middle ground where it doesn't have a tape deck or aux input, so its impossible to hook up a iPod. Though you could say that is a negative of the times, not the car itself.
Blatantly put I think a Crossfire is the classiest way to spend 10k, in fact I didn't even spend that much. Plus after checking and seeing that prices for these are in the exact same spot as last year, Im sure I could sell mine for what I got it for. When you combine that with how little I put into this car this year I don't know how you could say its not a good value. Ohh and the mileage is 19/25, not too shabby.
Me - 75/100
Haters - 66/100
Stay classy Oppo