1981 Plymouth Champ 1.4 from North America


The best car Plymouth ever made!


Normal wear and tear for the mileage, but never had to put major work on it.

General Comments:

My dad bought it and handed the car over to me. I never had any problems. It ran great and was better than the new cars I own in gas mileage. I used to fill it up with 7 dollars when the gasoline was at 87 cents. I gave the car away to my brother, but would love to own another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2009

26th Sep 2009, 15:08

I definitely agree that the first generation Plymouth Champ's/Dodge Colt's were solidly built vehicles and it's a shame you don't see many of them around anymore, I wish they can make cars this simple again.

30th Sep 2009, 01:43

"The best car Plymouth ever made!"

Except that Plymouth nor Dodge made it. Your car was a captive-import version of the 2nd generation Mitsubishi Mirage.

1981 Plymouth Champ 1.4 liter from North America


Best car in my young years when I needed it to be


At 75000 miles the muffler went bad. At 110,000 miles in rapid order the clutch, electronic ignition, & something else needed replacing. The manual transmission needed coaxing to shift at times. At 130,000 miles I thought the engine was "getting weak". Spent a lot of money, but the mechanic never could find the problem. Continued to drive. After thousands of miles I finally figured the engine was OK, but the brakes were "very slightly on". New brake pads & rotors solved things! Wow! At 140,000+ miles, one cylinder had low compression & started to use some oil. At 146,000 miles & 21 years, the water pump failed, & I drove other cars.

General Comments:

Ran great for 110,000 miles except for muffler repair, giving reliable "back & forth to work" service. Champ averaged 42.7 mpg to work, & would hit 50+mpg on hi-way trips! Saw lots of mtns, canyons, & logging roads through the last of the 20th century. Saw lots of national parks, monuments, & states too. The Champ loved heights, still getting 40mpg at 10,000 to 12,000 foot altitudes despite not having fuel injection. Sold it after 22years. Saw it once around town 2 years later.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th September, 2006

15th Sep 2006, 07:14

Nice review--brought back some memories. I had an 81 Colt, similar to yours, when I was younger. It wasn't the most glamorous machine, but it got me around. Was great in the snow and never failed to start.

Body integrity and a busted choke pulloff (combined with strict PA emission standards) forced me to get rid of it, but not before it turned over 200,000 on the clock.

I have happy memories of that car, glad you do too.


1979 Plymouth Champ 1.4L from Puerto Rico


It's a little wonder


The car is inside a time capsule. That tiny Champ has only about 29,000 miles. The only problem was the carbulator choke that stuck open because of the lack of driving. That was fixed last year.

General Comments:

That little car was easy to drive and maintain.

It consumes just a little gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th August, 2006

1981 Plymouth Champ 1.6 from North America


At $6000 new, this car has cost me approx $25/month to drive - hard to beat


I've had to replace the CV boots (4) and joints (3) I don't know if that's normal or excessive for the mileage.

Rear wheel wells rusted out around 205000 miles.

I'm on my third set of brakes. I consider that to be pretty good.

Replaced the interior carpeting at 208000 miles. The driver seat vinyl was also replaced, using the original cloth insert. All other upholstery is still in good condition.

Drips oil. No one has ever been able to determine the cause to make it stop. Does not drip enough to require adding any between changes.

Replaced starter around 175000 miles.

General Comments:

I continue to drive this car because it fits me. I can reach all the controls easily and it's comfortable. I have not been able to find those two qualities in any other car I've driven.

Also, my gas mileage is still better than most of the newer cars on the road. I was getting 36-40 mpg until the State introduced MTBE into its gas supply. I now get 32-36.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2003

2nd Aug 2004, 10:21

I wish I still had my '81 Champ. It was a great little car.

30th Sep 2004, 18:28

So glad to read about other champ owners. I am in the process of replacing the head gasket at 360,000m, replace the exhaust manifold and cat. upholstery has to be replace. It was used on a farm at one time. I'm actually restoring it to show this next summer in the mo-par shows. love the car, great mileage with gas prices now. yes it's a 1.6, Manuel, stock.

1982 Plymouth Champ 1.6L from North America


Still runs like a Champ


My head gasket blew at 165000.

Everything else you can think of went bad except the engine & transmission.

General Comments:

Still was a well built car for its time. Great gas mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th August, 2002