Gorgeous exterior, fun to drive, awful engineering under the hood
At 130,000 miles my 1999 Intrepid is drinking a quart of oil every 1000 miles - sometimes more often. (I've been feeding it synthetic oil for high-mileage cars.)
As of this weekend, the oil light is flashing intermittently when at a stop. I've checked the oil level and it is fine. I'm guess an oil pump or some other repair is in my future.
The whole oil system has been a headache for the last 4 years. Found out then that even the mechanics at the dealer had a low opinion of the 2.7 L engine, and recommended selling the car or replacing the engine (neither was an option then nor has it been since).
Fortunately I got the car rustproofed, paint protected when brand new, so at age 11 it is just starting to show rust - looks great still, other than the front fascia, which long ago developed a mottled appearance. Very frustrating.
Also bought the $1500 extended warranty when new - have gotten at least $6,000 of parts and labor out of it before it ran out at 60,000 miles.
These repairs included:
> Replacing the heater core at about 30,000 miles.
> Replacing EVERY window motor once, and the front door motors twice.
> Replacing the trunk lifters (trunk wasn't staying open).
> Numerous other issues that I made a point to take care of under warranty. They got sick of seeing me!
Headlight lenses have been refinished twice - once at the dealer, and now there's a kit available at the auto parts/maintenance stores... $20 bucks and they look like new.
Since the warranty ended, have replaced shocks and struts (about $1000 in 2008), had to replace entire drivers window as the track had rusted so badly it wouldn't hold the window; cheaper to get a "used" window with track attached.
Can't recall all the other items... I saw the "death by a thousand cuts" comment earlier on this listing and totally sympathize.
My husband wished we had sold the car LONG AGO, but I loved the original Intrepids back in '92-'93, and the styling just got better... by the time I could get one in '99 the Intrepid had been a Motor Trend top 10 car... I thought what a great endorsement!
I love the way the car drives and handles; never an issue there. I still love the styling. The interior has most of the bells and whistles and I have never wished for any extras. It has served as a great family car, at least until my kids hit over 5 feet tall.
I'm terribly disappointed in the quality of the engine, and just about any other moving part. I've been nursing it along as I have a 15 year old starting to drive. We're down to $0 depreciation now. As long as the repairs stay under cost of replacement, we'll keep nursing it along... for now. Got my fingers crossed on the engine holding up another 20,000 miles. Pipe dream?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 27th March, 2010