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2004 Model Guide - Every Brand, Every Car

2004 CHRYSLER LINE-UP

2004 Chrysler Model GuideThe Chrysler brand from Chrysler plants two new head-turning vehicles in the 2004 lineup with a Pacifica sports tourer wagon and the Crossfire sports coupe.

Pacifica is a large vehicle riding on the platform of a full-size sedan and its body resembles either a high-hiked station wagon or a dropped-down SUV but the function combines traits of the wagon, sport-ute and minivan. The concept seems to merge favored attributes of all three vehicles.

Consider the new Crossfire a spirited rear-wheel-drive (RWD) premium sports coupe that merges slick American car styling with precision automotive engineering direct from Germany.

Another wild design from Chrysler is the popular PT Cruiser, which looks like no other vehicle - a boxy body tipped forward like a dragster with exaggerated fenders and a chin-out grille plus massive roll of sheetmetal wrapping the top-heavy rump. Cruiser continues in 2004 with more choices like a new turbo-charged engine worth 180 hp available for Touring and Limited editions, plus new optional gear such as a chrome package or another limited-issue Dream Cruiser.

Chrysler's flagship performance sedans - 300M and 300M Special - also return, as does the Concorde sedan in three trims segmented by powertrains.

Three different vehicles carry the name of Sebring in Chrysler's 2004 collection. It's a sleek two-door coupe cast in three trims, a four-door sedan divided into four-cylinder and V6 versions, or a slinky convertible in four versions drawing from a pair of V6 engines. Sedan and convertible Sebrings show fresh exterior styling features and the sedan also brings a new Limited trim.

Chrysler's minivans include the Town & Country series in standard-length wheelbase or the stretched version. With 2004 marking 20 years in production for the minivan, a limited-edition Platinum model commemorates the anniversary with chrome touches and two-tone leather lacing the cabin.

Chrysler Pacifica
2004 Chrysler Pacifica

The new Chrysler crossover wagon is large - as long as the biggest sedan and equally wide, with a prominent hood and broad grille consuming the face between corner clusters of projector-style headlamps.

It has lots of doors -- a pair of portals on each flank plus a top-hinged liftgate at the rear. Inside there are three rows of seats with individual buckets for rows one and two and a split bench in back that cradles two comfortably or three in a pinch. Layout of the cabin mimics the plan of an old station wagon, but it's also similar to the cab of a modern minivan or even a three-seat sport-utility vehicle.

Chrysler is making two versions of Pacifica, one oriented with front-wheel-drive (FWD) and the other with on-demand all-wheel-drive (AWD) traction. First to market in the 2004 line is Pacifica AWD with premium equipment plus luxury gear. It has a 3.5-liter V6 tuned to 250 hp and tied to an automatic four-speed transaxle with Chrysler's AutoStick, which brings shift-it-yourself choices like a manual stick only without having to ply a clutch. Pacifica's AWD system enhances tire grip.

The center differential viscous coupling combined with an open rear differential splits the engine's torque between front and rear wheels infinitely depending on wheel slip, with anywhere from zero to 90 percent of the power directed to the wheels up front. Then factor in a load-leveling rear suspension mechanism, which adjusts to varying weight for passengers and cargo to optimize the ride quality.

Designers aimed to create a first-class experience for passengers in Pacifica's cabin. It contains premium equipment, including first and second row center consoles with seat-mounted armrests, power controls for the front buckets and a comprehensive memory for the radio and driver's seat plus outside mirrors and adjustable pedals.

Read our Review: Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Crossfire
2004 Chrysler Crossfire

Cast low on big wheels with sculptured body lines raked across an exaggerated hood and over the rounded roof to a bulbous boat tail rump, the new Crossfire sports coupe seems like a designer's homage to streamlined automobiles from the Thirties in the artistic era of Art Deco.

Yet with its exuberant engine and the stiff chassis linked to a taut suspension, the retro-styled Crossfire feels as contemporary as a sporty German two-seater from Chrysler's DaimlerChrysler sibling, Mercedes-Benz. As a matter of fact, part of the floor pan plus mechanical components including engine, gearbox, steering column and suspension control arms come out of cars that wear the tri-star Mercedes badge. And Crossfire is assembled in Germany at Karmann.

However, styling for the package, a clever two-seat cockpit design and components for suspension tuning come directly out of Chrysler in North America. It ends up acting like a squatty go-kart, hunkering low on pavement with wheels pushed to corner points for keen stability and all torque from a powerful up-front engine flowing in classic arrangement to rear rubber for predictable and controllable traction.

Crossfire's enthused engine factored by the relatively light curb weight of about 3000 pounds propels it into the fast lane. In particular, Crossfire contains a 3.2-liter Mercedes V6 that produces 215 hp through a notchy six-speed manual gearbox or optional five-speed automatic coupled to Chrysler's AutoStick. To enhance the stick-to-the-pavement traction at high speeds, a slick retractable spoiler integrated into the tail deploys above a designated speed of 50 mph to exert more aerodynamic force on the rear tires.

Climb into Crossfire's snug cockpit and you will find a central spine and console cap splitting the space in half with a bolstered bucket seat on each side clad in distinctive two-tone leather. Satin silver metallic trim lines the top of the console and crowns the stubby shifter stick as well as a grab bar across each door.

Read our Review: Chrysler Crossfire

Chrysler PT Cruiser
2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser

The wild five-door wagon from Chrysler shows three different powertrains for 2004, including two with turbo-charging. A turbo 2.4-liter four-in-line scored for high output at 220 hp debuted last year in PT Turbo, joining the original naturally-aspirated twin-cam 2.4-liter four-pack pegged at 150 hp. Now another turbo -- this one producing 180 hp -- becomes a stand-alone option sandwiched between the other two powertrains and it works with Touring or Limited trim and a four-speed automatic transaxle.

Variation seems to be a theme for PT Cruiser, as there have been twists like the Flame, Woodie, Dream Cruiser Series 1, the PT Turbo and the Dream Cruiser Series 2. For 2004, a limited production Dream Cruiser Series 3 will emerge early in the 2004 model-year, while a pop-top PT Cruiser Convertible is due early in calendar-year 2004. The 2004 Cruiser series also offers a package of chrome accents to line a Cruiser with chrome inside and out.

Chrysler Concorde
2004 Chrysler Concorde

Chrysler's large sedan looks elegant with an egg-crate oval grille dominating the abbreviated prow and slinky body lines off a bulging low hood followed by massive expanse of canted glass.

Three different engines define three Concorde editions in the 2004 line. Concorde LX contains a 2.7-liter V6 at 200 hp, and the LXi has a 3.5-liter V6 building more muscle to 232 hp. Concorde Limited gets a high-output version of the V6 good for 250 hp.

Four-wheel ABS and TCS rank as standard safety features, and side-impact air bags go to the list of options. Butane Blue Pearl Coat and Midnight Blue Pearl Coat show up as new shades on Concorde's color chart.

Chrysler 300M
2004 Chrysler 300M

Chrysler's performance sedans ride on the same chassis as Concorde, although for 300M the platform stretches longer as wheels pin to corners. The result: A stiff and balanced structure that produces crisp handling traits.

Two versions, 300M and 300M Special, continue into 2004 but offer a new navigation system coupled to a deluxe 360-watt audio system. 300M Special is the souped-up version with a one-inch drop in ride height, plus 18-inch chromed aluminum wheels and low-profile Michelin Pilot tires. It employs a 3.5-liter V6 with tuning to make 255 hp. The plant teams with an electronically-controlled automatic four-speed tied to the AutoStick. Regular 300M gets a 3.5-liter V6 worth 250 hp with an automatic.

Chrysler Sebring Convertible
2004 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

The convertible in Chrysler's Sebring series flashes a new face with revamped front fascia, a new grille and fresh wheel points. In the five-place cockpit, there are new color choices for trimmings, and the deluxe Limited model now has touches of suede blending with leather on the seats.

Sebring as a convertible supports either an economical 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or Chrysler's lively 2.7-liter V6 good for 200 hp, although sporty GTC draws only from the V6 with a manual transmission. Cloth fabric covers seats in the base Sebring. Sebring Touring earns leather seat upholstery and the Limited has supple premium leather with the suede accents, while GTC gets a two-tone leather treatment.

Read our Review: Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Chrysler Sebring Coupe
2004 Chrysler Sebring Coupe

Trim names change for 2004 editions of the two-door coupe variation of Sebring. The former LX edition becomes simply Sebring, while a former deluxe LXi now uses the tag of Limited to conform with nomenclature for other Chrysler cars.

The look is still cool and curvy with a shapely front fascia etched with foglamps and followed by a sleek hood and side sill moldings. Sebring as a coupe looks similar to the convertible Sebring yet rides on a unique platform and brings different powertrain choices.

For base Sebring a 2.4-liter in-line-four reaches to 142 hp with a four-speed automatic transaxle or 147 hp with a five-speed manual. Sebring Limited carries a single-cam V6 that displaces 3.0 liters and develops 200 hp through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic with AutoStick optional. (CONTINUED...)

Chrysler Sebring Sedan
2004 Chrysler Sebring Sedan

Chrysler's mid-size sedan under the Sebring name shares some of the front-end styling revisions of Sebring Convertible with new fascia and grille design. Model designations also change to conform to new standards for the line with three trims now called Sebring, Touring and Limited.

Sebring stocks a twin-cam 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 150 hp with a four-speed automatic transaxle. New 16-inch painted aluminum wheels go to Sebring and Touring, while Limited rolls on chrome-coated aluminum wheels.

Chrysler Town & Country
2004 Chrysler Town & Country

Chrysler's minivans mark twenty years in production in 2004 with the new limited-edition Platinum in the Town & Country line. The Voyager nameplate fades away in 2004 but a replacement for standard-length wheelbase comes bearing a Town & Country badge.

The extended-wheelbase editions include four trims with FWD traction and two with AWD. The FWD series includes Town & Country LX, Touring, the commemorative Platinum and a luxurious Limited, with AWD models in Touring and Limited.

Top-of-the-line Limited caps the line and transforms the all-too-common minivan into a fancy people-hauler where the amenities and ride quality feel better than what you'd find in a limousine. Sliding side doors and tailgate open and close through optional power controls, with pinch sensors on alert during door movements.

[MORE INFORMATION FROM CHRYSLER]


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