Kelley Blue Book ® - 2003 Chrysler Concorde Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2003 Chrysler Concorde Overview

Body
The Flagship of the Chrysler Luxury Fleet

Fresh from its facelift last year, the 2003 Concorde remains relatively unchanged from the 2002 model. Last year, Chrysler discontinued the elegant LHS sedan and graphed its more striking features onto the Concorde body, resulting in a mid-range sedan with the look and feel of a much higher priced luxury cruiser.

The Concorde is offered in three trim levels: the LX, LXi and Limited. Many people agree that the old LHS design was one of the most stunning creations to come out of Detroit in a great many years. The fact that Chrysler chose to transplant rather than kill the LHS is a testament to the power of the car's styling. The Concorde truly is beautiful, with long sweeping lines that fold into soft edges and merge almost seamlessly with the lenses and grille. In fact, the only visual drawback to the design is the placement of the front license plate-some states do require it by law-smack-dab in the center of the stylish grille.

Chrysler offers the Concorde with a choice of three different V6 power plants. The entry-level LX features a 2.7-liter engine that delivers 200 horsepower. This engine is competent enough to handle the Concorde's weight, but it's no rocket and tends to growl loudly under full throttle. The LXi receives a more compatible engine choice; a 3.5-liter all-aluminum V6. The LXi's V6 is rated at 234 horsepower and features significantly better torque than that provided by the 2.7-liter. The added horsepower and torque make the LXi much quicker off the line and it is capable of delivering the added kick required during passing and merging maneuvers. The Concorde Limited gets the high-output version of the 3.5-liter found in the 300M rated at 250 horsepower. The 3.5-liter engines have been vastly improved over the years and are much quieter at full throttle than previous generations. The only transmission offered is Chrysler's four-speed automatic transmission, which does a good job, but is not as fun to play with as the AutoStick automatic offered on the 300M and Dodge Intrepid.

Beyond it luxurious nature, what will probably most appeal to you about the Concorde is its sheer size. With its short hood and rear deck, the vast majority of the Concorde's body is dedicated to interior and cargo volume. This design, known as cab-forward, was pioneered by Chrysler and continues to prove popular with the public. Indeed, the Concorde is not only luxurious, it is cavernous as well, affording real comfort for three adult-sized rear-seat passengers. You may want to take note that the elongated roof design places a portion of the rear window directly above the heads of the rear seat passengers, a situation that might prove uncomfortable for tall passengers whose heads might bump against the hard glass as opposed to the padded roof liner.

The Concorde is one of those rare cars that you feel right at home in after only a few minutes behind the wheel. The firm feel of the nicely-weighted steering wheel empowers you with the sense that you are in firm control at all times. The steering, brakes and suspension telegraph just enough road feel to let you know how the car is behaving and what the road surface is like without feeling it in the seat of your pants. The Concorde's suspension is tuned to provide a luxuriously smooth ride, which it does, but its LH car underpinnings give it a sporting edge that cannot be hidden and which most drivers will probably come to love. The excellent interior appointments, especially on the LXi and Limited models, further heighten the driving experience. The dash design is bold and original, harking back to the great art deco dashboards that graced Chrysler products during the 1930s. You'll love the little touches like the old fashioned font on the gauges, the elegant analog clock and the soft blue backlighting of the white-faced instruments.

Something else you'll come to appreciate is the Concorde's comfortable set of front bucket seats. The contours seem to fit your body as though they were custom cut, and the adjustable lumbar support does a good job of minimizing lower back fatigue on long drives. Rear seat passengers will be equally happy, even if they are of the long-legged variety and love to stretch out.

The Concorde LX comes standard with manual air conditioning, power windows and door locks, illuminated keyless entry, four-wheel disc brakes, dual power mirrors, AM/FM stereo with cassette, 8-way power driver's seat, cruise control and 16-inch full wheel covers. LXi models add automatic air conditioning, overhead console, garage door opener, auto headlamp control, auto-dimming rear view mirror, leather seats, AM/FM stereo with CD, steering-wheel-mounted controls, trip computer and 16-inch alloy wheels. The top-of-the-line Limited model includes all this plus anti-lock brakes (ABS), 4-way power passenger seat, heated outside mirrors, memory for the radio, mirrors and driver's seat, touring suspension and traction control. Options include real burl walnut wood trim on the dash and steering wheel, an in-dash 6-disc CD changer, power sunroof and side-impact airbags.

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