1989 Dodge Spirit ES 3.0 Mitsubishi from North America


Sunroof didn't work & leaked.

Power windows didn't work.

Needed a quart of transmission fluid a week.

A/C compressor seized up.

General Comments:

The car had power and it was comfortable.

I had a feeling that the car was stolen or salvaged, because it had a different key for each door lock.

Because of this car, I would not buy anything Mitsubishi.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2014

8th Aug 2014, 14:07

Hmm. The only thing Mitsubishi about it was the engine, which you did not reference any problems with. How many Dodges have you since bought?

8th Aug 2014, 16:08

These were fantastic, reliable and durable low-budget economy cars with the 2.5 liter Chrysler engine and 3-speed automatic transmission, but yes the 3.0 liter Mitsubishi and the 4-speed auto were terrible.

9th Aug 2014, 14:49

The motor, tranny, and electricals were all Mitsu. My next car was a 2.5 Caravan; no problems. My next 2 cars were Jeeps; no problems. There is a reason why Mitsu almost disappeared.

10th Aug 2014, 03:18

What he said - 3.0 V-6 & 4-speed automatic - was not a happy combination.

1989 Dodge Spirit Base model 2.5L inline 4 from North America


Excellent car for the money, that will not let you down


I was lucky to get a car over 20 years old that was in such good shape.

During my ownership, I've never had a problem with it. I did however replace the front engine mount, because the original one was starting to rust (which is not surprising with all the salt on our roads in the winter). It was 85 dollars to replace it, but at least now, there are no potential problems with it.

General Comments:


Excellent Visibility: much better than any other car I've driven.

Good Styling: I'm not speaking for everyone, but I really like the car's styling. It's got that boxier 80's look to it, and looks like a full size instead of a small midsize. From a distance, it looks like a full sized car, but when you park it next to something like a Mazda 3, surprisingly the Mazda 3 looks bigger.

Comfortable Interior: Very comfortable car to drive. Feels more comfortable than most during long road trips.

Good Dashboard Arrangement: The gauges are laid out well, and are very easy to read. All the knobs and buttons are arranged nicely, and it's very easy to understand.

Very Basic Car: This vehicle is an excellent choice for a first car, because it's got hardly any features that are prone to failure, like power windows, power locks, power seats, etc. Also its engine is very basic, and quite easy to work on. Parts are also very readily available for the Dodge Spirit, because it shared many of its components with other cars from Chrysler at the time.

Roomy Interior: Like I said earlier, the car looks and feels big, but it isn't. That applies to the interior space as well. Lots of headroom, and the back seats are comfortable with lots of legroom, even for tall people.

Well Priced: They can usually be bought for well under $1000. I bought mine for $350, and it was low miles with no rust.

Quiet Interior: Almost as quiet as the interior of a luxury car.

Good On Gas: I get about 600 Km or 372 miles (24 MPG) on 1 tank of gas. Very remarkable for a car its age.


Slow to warm up the interior in the winter, and hotter than the hinges of hell in the summer.

Acceleration: Acceleration is okay, but it struggles up hills. Not an ideal car for very hilly places like San Francisco.

No Airbag: This doesn't bother me personally, but it may be a concern to you if you're considering owning one. However in 1990, all Dodge Spirits were equipped with driver's side airbags.

Top Speed: On the base model Dodge Spirits, the top speed is a little lame (+/- 95 mph), but if you just want a basic car to get from A to B, then this doesn't concern you. However the Dodge Spirit R/T's are excellent performers, and were one of the fastest saloon cars of the early 90's.

Cruise Control: Cruise control doesn't work very often on my car, and I've heard the same thing from a number of Dodge Spirit owners. But not having cruise control never bothered me too much.

Transmission: The transmission is pretty solid, but if you own an automatic, it's a little hesitant about when to switch gears. It can be a bit of pain on hills. However, if you own a manual transmission Dodge Spirit, this should be of no concern to you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2012