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New silver exterior badging and a new black and gray interior mark the Eagle in its final year of production. A new four-speaker CD/cassette player is now optional on the ESi, and all Talons benefit from Chrysler's next-generation depowered airbags.
The first-generation Diamond-Star coupes won countless awards during their four-and-a-half year run, which began in 1990. They could be had as sporty econocars, turbocharged street racers, and all-wheel drive sport coupes. A joint development between Mitsubishi and Chrysler, the coupes were built in Illinois and sold under Eagle, Mitsubishi and Plymouth banners.
A new generation of Diamond-Stars arrived in 1995, and rather than birthing as triplets, they came as Eagle and Mitsubishi twins. The shape is low, wide and provocative. The interior features a sweeping center console and excellent ergonomics. As before, the Talon is equipped with a hatchback and folding rear seats that increase utility. The engine lineup includes a Chrysler 2.0-liter, four-cylinder powering the base models, and a tweaked turbo engine motivating the TSi and TSi AWD. Chrysler claims the turbocharged TSi can get from zero to 60 in a speedy 6.5 seconds, and we concur.
Like the recently deceased Eagle Vision, however, the Talon is not selling. After getting beaten in sales 2-1 last year by the mechanically-identical Mitsubishi Eclipse, Chrysler has pulled the plug on the struggling Eagle brand, so consider the Talon a collector's item. We offer this review as eulogy to the dearly departed.
Other than our aesthetic quibbles, we've always liked the Talon. It's quick, handles well, and the top-rung model offers the security and stability of all-wheel drive for drivers who regularly pilot rain-slicked or snow-covered roads. ABS is not standard, so consider your climate before deciding whether or not to opt for it.
If you are looking for something quick and sporty, with distinctive looks and all-wheel drive traction, this just might be your dream machine. But you'd better act fast, because once they're gone, they're gone.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.