What's New for 2001
Supplemental side airbags are a new option for the year, and an internal trunk release and center shoulder belt for the rear seat are standard. A center console power outlet exists for those models equipped with bucket seats, and all models get steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Two new exterior colors and three new interior colors are available this year, and both engines now meet LEV standards for all 50 states.
The Concorde, along with its sibling Dodge Intrepid, went through a major redesign in 1998, and the folks at Chrysler got it right this time. The Concorde was actually designed and brought to life exclusively through the use of computers, and Chrysler ended up with a modern-day classic. With a front grille reminiscent of certain models from Ferrari, Chrysler brought class and style to full-size sedans.
But looks aren't everything, and sometimes it's what's on the inside that really counts. You can count on 225 horsepower and 225 foot-pounds of torque from the LXi's peppy 3.2-liter V6, which has strong midrange passing power and gets decent mileage. The LX is outfitted with a 2.7-liter V6 worthy of 200 horsepower and 190 foot-pounds of torque. And you say you like 100,000-mile intervals between tune-ups? Your wish has been granted.
Only a four-speed automatic transmission is available, and don't look for an AutoStick anywhere in this lineup. Fret not, you're not missing a whole lot. Our experience with a so-equipped Intrepid showed that it wasn't terribly responsive anyway. Traction control is standard on the LXi and optional for LX seekers, and you can ditto that for ABS. Both the LX and LXi have a touring-tuned four-wheel independent suspension, which is quite compliant. The LXi has speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering, and handling is precise -- like a midsize sport sedan, not a car with a 113-inch wheelbase.
Besides V6 power differences between the LX and LXi, there are a few creature comforts made available only on the LXi, including a security system and automatic climate control. But many luxury items are either standard or available to the base model; cruise control, power windows, and eight-way power driver's seat head up the standard list, while a moonroof, a trip-computer/HomeLink package, side airbags and leather seats top the optional list.
Packages are also available for the LX that earn the driver a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 50/50 front bench seat, and eight-way power driver and passenger seats. While we can't be terribly enthusiastic about the quality of the interior materials or the sometimes spotty build quality, we still think that the LX delivers a lot of bang for the buck.
With the last redesign, Chrysler brought class and style to full-size sedans with the Concord. If interior space is your No. 1 priority, this car's is hard to beat; with the pool of big 'ol American sedans constantly shrinking, there is a case to be made for a car that offers enough trunk space for someone to reside in and actually utilize the internal trunk release that's new for the year. Want a sedan you can lust after? Take a good look at the Concorde. This kind of style will endure for years to come.