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Used car focus: Chrysler Crossfire – 2003 onwards

It’s quick, powerful and undoubtedly eye-catching, but the Crossfire has so far failed to attract as much interest from new buyers as the Audi TT, Nissan 350Z or Mazda RX-8.

Chrysler even dropped the original £27,977 price by £2,000 in 2005. Used prices are now very competitive against the opposition: from £13,500 for a coupé and £17,120 for a roadster, which combined with generous equipment levels and a vocal V6 means it’s becoming increasingly popular on the used market.

Line-up

The coupé was launched in autumn 2003 with the roadster following a few months later in Spring 2004. The high-performance SRT-6 version – with a supercharged 330bhp V6 engine – was available from April 2005.

Driving and performance

Crossfire blazed its way from motorshow concept to showroom ready in around 18 months. As a shortcut, much of the underpinnings were donated from the previous-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK. So it shares its German donor’s rear-wheel drive layout, with a very stiff chassis and huge wheels.

This is noticeable on the road – if the road surface is poor, it can slide around – but there’s lots of grip in most circumstances. Turn off the traction control in the wet and it can snap out of shape if you’re heavy footed, but otherwise it’s safe and easy to drive, although not as rewarding as some rivals.

Comfort

Those over six-foot tall may find the seat doesn’t go back far enough, although headroom is not a problem.

The cabin has plenty of silver-coloured plastic when other rivals offer aluminium.

Buffeting is largely kept to a minimum in the convertible thanks to the glass wind deflector behind the seats but if you keep it in place with the hood up at night it creates distracting reflections.

Engines

Only one engine, a 215bhp Mercedes-Benz-sourced 3.2-litre V6, which offers less power than rival V6 coupés but still gives scope for speeds in excess of 150mph. It’s reasonably quick, too, sprinting from 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds.

The automatic transmission is a better system than the six-speed manual and suits the grand tourer feel. The manual gearbox is designed for left-hand-drive and, as such, reverse is awkward to find.

The 330bhp supercharged V6 SRT-6 offers blistering performance, getting to 60mph in 5.1 seconds.

Safety

Every car gets four airbags and deformable cushioning to protect your head. A stability control system is also fitted.

Security features include remote central locking, an alarm and immobilizer.



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