1989 Chrysler LeBaron 2.5 turbo from North America


A fun ride for the buck


Of course I've had to replace the top... put the third one on it summer of 2007.

Changed shocks/struts - front and back at about 120,000 miles.

Never really had any problems at all except for the usual wear.

At present, it doesn't run because the main seal is gone - but this is the ONLY engine problem I have EVER had on the thing... and it has 185K on it.

Only thing I've ever been disappointed about was the stereo. I even put a new one in last year and it SUCKS! I guess that's my fault, though.

Anyway, one of my best memories is when I used to drive back-forth between North Carolina and Oklahoma. One trip, probably in 1993 or so, me and about four or five other cars hauled booty between 95-115 mph between Nashville and Knoxville on I-40. My little 4 banger was purring right alongside the BMW, Mercedes and a couple of other sports cars. Weather was perfect - and I think the trip took maybe an hour & 15 or so?? Didn't take long!!

General Comments:

For the $15,500 that I paid for this car brand new in December 1989, this car was perhaps the best value I've ever purchased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2008

1989 Chrysler LeBaron gtc 2.5 turbo from North America


What a car!


Just had to replace muffler and tires, but nothing major so far.

General Comments:

This car is really great, it is very fast, great on gas, comfortable.I really cannot say enough about this car, I love it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2007

1989 Chrysler LeBaron Highline convertible 2.5L 4 cylinder. from North America


An excellent value for your dollar, but remember, it's old.


Quite a few things considering the low mileage and given how little mileage I've put on the car. Mostly stupid, small issues...

-Front seatbacks do not properly lock into position. Seatback release lever for rear passenger entry/exit doesn't seem to work. It's all related somehow. Not sure what the problem is though.

-Odometer sticks for 2-5 miles when it's the first drive of the day. Works fine after that. Seems to do this more in cooler weather.

-Windshield wiper linkage completely fell apart. No one seems to be able to fix this properly. So I have had no windshield wipers. Annoying as heck!

-Convertible top leaks excessively where the front-right corner of the top meets the passenger-side A-pillar. I have to leave a towel on the front passenger seat on rainy days. Can't go through automatic car washes in this car at all!

-Strange, hard to diagnose problem with bucking and stalling when braking moderately or turning moderately to the left. I just make sure not to take a corner too hard or brake too hard if I can avoid it. Scary and unsafe when it happens though. Another seriously annoying and frustrating issue.

-Very rough idle, especially in gear. Makes the whole interior buzz.

-Belts were slipping and squealing, so I had all 3 of them replaced. New belts chirp badly. Have taken it back 3 times and they can't get them to stop chirping. Very annoying and embarrassing.

-Transmission slams very harshly into Reverse most of the time. On rare occasion it shifts smooth and quiet into Reverse. Also does not seem to like 3rd gear when not warmed up in cooler weather, just as another reviewer mentioned. Causes the engine to do a quick, but slight rev-up between the 2nd to 3rd gear change. Quite unnerving because it feels like it's slipping.

-Once in a great while, while idling after start-up, engine idle hesitates badly, but catches itself and smooths out. Only stalled once from this, but shouldn't be doing this at all.

Driver-side rear window cable snapped, causing the window to fall. Of course this happened the day before a continuous two day rainstorm.

General Comments:

You'd think after reading my storybook of problems that I'd hate this car. The truth of the matter is, I'm fairly pleased with it overall and madly in love with it. Ever since my Mom bought a 1992 Plymouth Acclaim back in '94 and handed it down to me in 2001, I have LOVED this era of 4cyl. Chryslers! I bought a '90 Sundance after the Acclaim was totalled.

My current Lebaron is an OLD car, so I expected from the beginning it might have some issues here and there, even given the low original mileage. Problems are going to happen with any old car, even if it's got low mileage. Not only does mileage wear on a car, but year-age does as well. So some of the problems I've been experiencing are just a little annoying at worst, like the rough idle and non-locking seatbacks.

Some of the problems, however, seem like potentially huge problems that really unnerve me. Like the problem I've been having with it bucking and sometimes stalling. I don't care what kind of car it is or how old or new, low or high mileage it is, it shouldn't be bucking and stalling! It makes the vehicle unsafe and undriveable, besides seriously unnerving to operate in city traffic. This really eats at me because I love the car for it's positive aspects, as well as for its nostalgic and and sentimental values to me. The way the transmission acts up as described also eats at me. My first Chrysler, the Acclaim with the same transmission, lasted about 200k miles. It was a fantastic unit! So I'm puzzled why the same model tranny is acting so oddly in my current Lebaron, considering how much less mileage it has.

I don't have much time or money to get all these issues fixed, but I'm working at them one by one. Once I get them all taken care of, I will be very content with the car. I still think there are worse cars out there I could have purchased for the same money. Need I mention the Ford Taurus or Contour? I count my blessings.

I LOVE the car for many, many reasons. It is very attractive and luxurious for a vehicle hailing from 1989. It's sleeker and rounder outside than any other car I can think of off the top of my head from 1989. It has very attractive seats, fauw woodgrain trim, a lot of chrome trim throughout the car, cruise control, and even 4-wheel disc brakes and a digital trip computer. Any car that still looks sleek two decades later deserves a round of applause. It still turns a lot of heads on the road. I've had so many compliments from people about the car. I absolutely love when someone asks me what year it is, I tell them it's an '89, and they say something like "That's an '89? I wouldn't have guessed that!" That puts such a huge smile on my face. If they truly understood how wonderful of an engine and transmission it has, and the very low cost of ownership, they'd be begging to buy it from me. OK, maybe that's going a bit far, but these Lebarons (and any K-car based Chrysler with 4cyl. power) is incredibly underrated and underappricated. My Acclaim was a terribly bland and boring car, like a lot of K-cars. It had very few features. Most people didn't even know what kind of car it was. Yet it was rated one of the most reliable cars in it's class in 1991. It too was a very affodable car in every respect. Go figure.

I have a feeling that my car is having a lot of the issues it's having, not because it was abused, but because it spent so much time sitting. It was originally from Florida and only spent 1 year up north. The previous owner obivously loved the car as much as me. They had a new, quality paint job performed and added high-end alloys and a Chrysler CD stereo. The interior is spotless. Definitely not an abused or neglected car by far! I believe it simply sat around too much, as indicated by the very low mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th March, 2007

13th Jul 2007, 13:23

I'm the original writer of this review. The car now has about 70k miles (7/13/07). The rough idle and some stalling problems have been fixed by doing a tune-up and having the timing belt changed. The odometer sticking issue was fixed by replacing the odometer gear, a common failure in these cars and very cheap to fix ($29). The rest of the problems still exist. I still love the car, but have become very dissapointed with how much money I'm having to pour into it in 6 months of ownership. So far, about $1,300. Love the car, but I need something I can rely on that won't suck my wallet dry.

6th Nov 2007, 14:01

Here's another update on the car. It's 11/6/07, the car has about 77k miles. I've been commuting over 100 miles a day since August. I've found the car to be quite comfortable and pleasant to commute on the highway. I've been averaging 29mpg according to the digital trip computer. It feels very stable at highway speeds. The seats have been comfortable, but definitely need lumbar support for my bad back. Since my last post, the power convertible top has failed. The odometer is back to having it's problems with stopping, now for up to 20 miles, then resuming as usual. The rough idle has caused the dashboard to start rattling and buzzing badly. I noticed the car has started leaking a drop of oil about the size of a half dollar. I'm looking to replace the car this month with something newer and more dependable.

8th May 2008, 20:21

Hey, Don't knock a Taurus before you try it, my parents had a '94 Taurus GL and it got over 223K miles on it before it's motor mounts broke... not a spot of rust on it when they got rid of it in '05, and we live up north! :D.