Full 2007 Chrysler Crossfire Review
What's New for 2007
The high-performance SRT-6 version is no longer available.
The unloved 2007 Chrysler Crossfire trudges forward as a largely forgotten legacy of the short-lived Mercedes-Benz/Chrysler union. Touted as a winning combination of American styling and German engineering, the Crossfire is in reality a reskinned previous-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK roadster, which debuted in 1997. The only significant difference is that the Crossfire gets either a fixed roof or a ragtop in place of the SLK's retractable hardtop. This formula may have generated some excitement back when the Crossfire first came out, but that was 2004, and this is now. Today, buyers can choose from a plethora of sport coupes that perform much better than the antiquated Crossfire. If your heart is set on the Chrysler, though, you'll at least enjoy the hefty discounts that are likely on this unloved model.
If you know anyone who doubts that beauty is only skin deep, ask them if they've ever heard of the Crossfire. From a primordial recirculating-ball steering system to an ancient 3.2-liter 215-horsepower V6, the Crossfire's spec sheet isn't pretty by contemporary standards. Furthermore, the interior is cramped, and the old-school switchgear will remind you of the '90s -- which isn't surprising, since it was lifted straight out of the old SLK. Only the Crossfire's distinctive sheet metal distinguishes it as a product of the present decade.
Nonetheless, there are some things to be said in the Crossfire's favor. Thanks to some German know-how, the Crossfire coupe imparts an impressive sense of solidity that belies its age. Its meaty tires offer sports carlike adhesion, even though the archaic steering system never feels reassuring. And the Crossfire's acceleration remains adequate for its class, which is surprising in light of its aged components.
Trouble is, the Crossfire's $35K price tag puts it in fast and cutting-edge company. The Nissan 350Z/Infiniti G35 cousins, for example, boast markedly better performance for the same or less money. If you're drawn to the Crossfire's Germanic roots, the similarly packaged BMW Z4 starts around this price point. So does the coupe version of the BMW 328i. The Crossfire may cut a dashing figure, but it's outclassed by the competition in just about every other way.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The two-passenger 2007 Chrysler Crossfire is offered in either coupe or convertible form. The two available trim levels are base and Limited, as the high-performance SRT-6 trim has been dropped for 2007. Base models come standard with 18-inch wheels in front and 19s out back, dual-zone manual air-conditioning, a four-speaker CD stereo, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, full power accessories and, on convertibles, a power top with rear glass defroster. Limited models add power-adjustable leather seats with heaters and an eight-speaker, 240-watt Infinity stereo system.
Powertrains and Performance
All Crossfires are motivated by a 3.2-liter V6 engine that routes 215 hp and 229 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. In base models, the V6 is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, while Limited models can be equipped with either the six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic with a manual shift mode.
The 2007 Chrysler Crossfire runs from zero to 60 in less than 7 seconds when equipped with the manual transmission; figure a few 10ths more for the five-speed auto. EPA fuel economy estimates are 17 mpg city/25 highway for manual-equipped Crossfires, and 21/28 for models with the automatic.
Standard safety equipment on the 2007 Chrysler Crossfire includes antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, stability control and side airbags. A tire pressure monitor comes standard on Limited models.
Interior Design and Special Features
For those who are familiar with the first-generation SLK, the Crossfire's cozy cabin will feel awfully familiar. Among the Crossfire's original touches are the gigantic blind spots that go hand-in-hand with that "boattail" rear end. To Chrysler's credit, though, the Crossfire's two-tone interior with metallic trim is pleasant enough to behold. That trim, however, is mostly just painted plastic, and there has been no attempt to spruce up the blocky Mercedes stereo and its undersized buttons. Cargo space, not surprisingly, is at a premium -- though in this way, at least, the Crossfire is not alone among similarly priced sport coupes.
Despite the modest power rating of the 2007 Chrysler Crossfire's V6, it provides respectable thrust above 3,000 rpm. Low-end torque, however, is deficient, and the engine sounds taxed above 5,000 rpm. The Crossfire is a reasonably adept canyon carver, but steering feel and response are lackluster. As long as you don't expect genuine sports-car performance from the Crossfire, it likely won't disappoint.