This car was wonderful when I took over the payments from my dad. I'm rough on cars, so it's stood up pretty well for what it's gone through.
Every January it finds a reason to become too expensive to keep on the road. I don't exactly have a lot of money to spend on car repairs, being in college. If I made $30000 a year, I would be very satisfied with its reliability and cost of ownership.
I have to replace the tires once a year (my fault). It's just too fun to spin tires and win a race at the same time.
The transmission went at 70k miles, just like every other 3.5 liter Intrepid. My dad had it replaced for free through a 3rd party warranty company. Funny how Chrysler's current warranty is to 70k miles... Every Intrepid owner I know has their transmission last if they change the fluid regularly and have a cooler installed. 95 and up have the cooler stock.
I killed the engine by Evel Knieveling into the side of a hill, cracking the oil pan, then driving it again without watching the oil level. At a Chrysler dealership, for $62/hr I had my engine replaced with a used one. $2600 for a 60k mile 3.5, parts and labor. The only way you can kill this engine is to run it without any oil or any coolant.
Right now the car needs tie rod ends and lower ball joints. Quoted $450 parts and labor. These parts have stood up very well, considering 12 years on the road, and... well... me.
If you drive this car as your first car, you will be disgusted and disappointed with every other car you ever own.
Everyone in my family is about GM except me. Why? This car was VERY well thought out.
The body style and chassis are superb. No other 1993 model car is anywhere near as curved and styled as this car. The fully independent front and rear performance suspension is a definite plus. Drive this car, then drive a 93 Lumina or Cutlass, and you can tell which is superior right away.
The engine has great get up and go. A little wheel spin is a problem if you tramp it from a red light, but on 2 lane and 4 lane highways, watch out! For the even more power hungry, this car also offers more upgrade options than other 4 door sedans. dodgeintrepid.net
This car is very easy for the home mechanic. In the engine bay, everything is in a place that makes sense. All 6 spark plugs are accessible from the top of the engine. The oil is easy to change yourself with ramps. When you buy a Haynes manual for the car, it only covers 2 engines (not 5 like a GM W-body), so they can cover them in more depth.
Sitting in the car, you can see everything extra you would want in a car. CD player, A/C, power everything, trip computer, cruise control, tach, electronically shifted transmission, leather seats...
A sweet body shape, AND you can see out the back window - imagine that.