1987 Dodge Shadow Reviews

1987 Dodge Shadow ES 2.2L turbo from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1986
Most recent year of ownership1996
Engine and transmission 2.2L turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired22 miles
Most recent distance80000 miles
Previous carHonda Civic

Summary:

Poor man's BMW

Faults:

Numerous engine-related gremlins plagued my otherwise exciting ownership experience, notably the throttle position indicator and every vacuum system component under the hood.

The air conditioning compressor died at 38,000 miles, but was covered under warranty anyway.

The alternator failed at 50,000 miles.

The fuel pump died at 68,000 miles.

At about 77,000 miles the turbo threatened to die, but lived on with more sedate driving.

General Comments:

Performance was outstanding. Flooring the gas pedal produced very good acceleration up to about 3000 rpm, then the turbo took over and screamed to the red-line. What fun!

The fat factory "Gatorback" tires held the road like glue.

The brakes were a wonder to behold, like throwing out the anchor.

Driver comfort was above average. The bucket seats offered good support. There wasn't a lot of elbow room, but it somehow didn't seem cramped.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st June, 2004

1987 Dodge Shadow Base 2.2 Inline-4 from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership1996
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.2 Inline-4 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 miles
Most recent distance182568 miles

Summary:

Gets me where I want to go, but in some comfort.

Faults:

Radiator died at about 140,000.

Fuel injector died at about 175,000.

Ceiling fabric drooping.

Freezes out of reverse below 20 degrees.

It's a bit sluggish.

General Comments:

Handles very well.

Good non-A.B.S. brakes.

The seats are still comfortable.

Parts are cheap.

Lots of cargo space-this car is actually a hatchback.

Decent in the snow.

Very very little rust.

Still shiny with original paint.

Good gas mileage.

All in all, this is a wonderful little car which I will drive until it won't work. That will be a while, considering everything still works, from the AM radio, to the A/C to, the hatch-pop-lever, and so on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2002

1987 Dodge Shadow from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 0 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 1 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
2.2 / 10
Distance when acquired160000 kilometres
Most recent distance195000 kilometres

Summary:

This car is horrible and a waste of money

Faults:

My head gasket blew at 180,000 kilometres.

Replaced the thermometer at 180,000 kilometres.

Replaced the motor at 190,000 kilometres, after it died. More trouble with the motor at 195,000 kilometres.

General Comments:

I have spent more money fixing this vehicle than I actually paid for it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th October, 2001

18th Oct 2001, 12:27

I am curious - please explain what was wrong that the "motor" was replaced 10k after a head gasket replacement? Was there something wrong with the motor before? Sounds like a poor workmanship during the job may have damaged something for you.

22nd Sep 2002, 12:20

I don't know about you, but I usually don't buy cars with over 100k miles on the engine because your just asking for problems when you do that.

24th May 2005, 00:05

When you are buying a 15-20 year old car for $300...what do you expect?

My first car was an '87 Dodge Shadow and I did have to put money into it, HOWEVER, I only paid $500 for it in the first place----it's not the cars fault its old.

7th Dec 2006, 15:45

Well, I have had my 87 Dodge Shadow for a little over a year, and the only thing I had to do to it is buy a head gasket, I ain't had any more trouble out of it since then, except it needs a paint job, which I'm in the process of doing right now.

By the way I have treated it, me and my dad both didn't think it would last me over 2 months, but I've been driving it nearly a year now.

5th May 2007, 23:11

I paid $500 for my '87 Shadow with turbo over a year ago and have put next to no money into it. I've driven it hard and it has never failed to run. It is the oldest car I've ever seen where the turbo still works efficiently. For a car that was supposed to be temporary, it has certainly done well.

22nd Mar 2008, 04:58

I rented one of these new and drove it for a while of course no issues. Nice little car. I agree buying used over 100,000 miles its almost better to buy a new small car with a small monthly payment and new car warranty instead of laying out 3K in repairs.

1987 Dodge Shadow 2.2 liter from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.2 liter Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired78000 miles
Most recent distance112750 miles

Summary:

Low price, terrific quality

Faults:

This is a great car if you maintain it right. The manual says to service check up every 3 months, I say every 3000 miles.

I have never had a flat, but if I did the full size spare is nice.

The car runs perfect. The only issue is that I think that it would be nice to have a 4th speed with the automatic, but no complaints here.

Also it is a little loud, but a great car for such a low price - I bought it for only $600 and maintenance is all I have paid for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2001

1987 Dodge Shadow EX 2.2 turbo 4 cylinder from North America

Year of manufacture1987
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 2.2 turbo 4 cylinder Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.6 / 10
Distance when acquired51000 miles
Most recent distance61000 miles

Summary:

Great running performer for a great price

Faults:

The only thing that went wrong with the car was the temperature sensor, and thermostat. Otherwise this car is beautiful, and runs mint as long as it is taken care of.

The heater core needs to be done also.

General Comments:

It has responded well to all the custom parts I have done to it, and it shoots to 60mph in about 6.5 seconds. It can eat most Integra's. Cool turbo too!

I have done a K&N intake to it, 2.5in cat-back Dynomax exhaust, Accel wires and coil, Platinum +4 plugs, Neuspeed strut tower bar, Eibach spring kit (lowered 1.5in), 16in alloy wheels, and 205-50-16 Kumho tires.

Very responsive and turns on a dime.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2001

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 5 reviews