Used 2008 Chrysler Crossfire Hatchback

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2008 Chrysler Crossfire
List price range

Pros

  • Distinctive styling, satisfactory ride-handling compromise.

Cons

  • Vague steering, underpowered, outclassed by newer models.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2008 Chrysler Crossfire isn't a bad car, but its outdated platform and relatively steep price render it an also-ran in today's increasingly competitive marketplace.

vehicle overview

DaimlerChrysler is no more, but the 2008 Chrysler Crossfire soldiers on. As one of the first joint efforts between Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler, the Crossfire is an intriguing combination of American-styled sheet metal and German-sourced mechanicals. Unfortunately, the latter are lifted from the previous-generation Mercedes SLK roadster, which debuted way back in 1997, and that quasi-nautical styling doesn't turn heads the way it did when the Crossfire first came out. Love it or hate it, though, there's still nothing else on the road that looks like the Crossfire -- and if you're going to base a car on a decade-old platform, the Mercedes parts bin is as good a source as any. Just don't expect the Crossfire to perform as well as similarly priced coupes and convertibles with more up-to-date hardware and engineering.

The 2008 Chrysler Crossfire is a rolling reminder that looks are only skin deep. The Crossfire's SLK-derived steering system, for example, is distractingly slow and imprecise -- a consequence of its anachronistic recirculating-ball design, which seemed outdated in the old SLK a decade ago. The aged 215-horsepower V6 under the hood, also an SLK carryover, is rather timid relative to the plentiful potent power plants available at this price point, although it's certainly not slow. The interior is cramped, and the throwback switchgear will make you swear you're sitting in a decade-old car -- which you basically are. It's only on the outside that the Crossfire can pass for new.

All's not lost, however. With a fixed roof in place of the SLK's folding hardtop, the Crossfire enjoys anvil-like rigidity, and its substantial tires provide sports car-like grip. In fact, its performance numbers in general are still nothing to sneeze at, which is impressive considering its advancing age.

However, the Crossfire's $35K base price is frankly a lot of coin for what this curvy Chrysler brings to the table. The Nissan 350Z/Infiniti G37 cousins, for example, offer superior performance for comparable or less cash, and if it's German engineering you're after, the similarly conceived BMW Z4 starts around the same price, as does BMW's sizzling new twin-turbocharged 135i coupe and convertible. The entry-level 128i coupe, moreover, is considerably cheaper than the Chrysler, yet still superior by virtually every measure. If you just can't live without the Crossfire's slippery shape, you'll probably be able to get a good deal on this slow-selling model. Given its age-related shortcomings, however, many competitors would make for better overall choices.

trim levels & features

The two-passenger 2008 Chrysler Crossfire is available in either coupe or convertible form. Only the Limited trim level is offered for 2008, as the base models have been dropped. Limited models come standard with 18-inch wheels in front and 19s out back, dual-zone manual air-conditioning, an eight-speaker, 240-watt stereo system, power-adjustable leather seats with heaters, leather-wrapped steering wheel, full power accessories and, on convertibles, a power top with a glass rear window and defroster.

performance & mpg

The 2008 Chrysler Crossfire is powered by a 3.2-liter V6 engine that sends 215 hp and 229 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. The Crossfire can be equipped with either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic with manual mode.

The Crossfire is capable of going from zero to 60 in the high 6-second range when equipped with the manual transmission; figure a few 10ths more for the five-speed auto. EPA fuel economy estimates are 15 mpg city/23 highway for manual-equipped Crossfires, and 19/25 for models with the automatic.

safety

Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Chrysler Crossfire includes antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, stability control and side airbags.

driving

The modest power rating of the Crossfire's V6 belies the respectable thrust it provides above 3,000 rpm; low-end torque, however, is lacking, and the engine starts to sound breathless above 5,000 rpm, making for a fairly narrow band of usable power. With its stiff body structure and fat tires, the 2008 Chrysler Crossfire is a capable back-road companion, but steering feel and response are poor, and the six-speed manual doesn't like to be rushed. Aside from its tenacious grip and decently comfortable highway ride, the Crossfire doesn't have much to offer when compared to the newer, dynamically superior models available at its price point. As a would-be sports car, the Crossfire is clearly more about style than substance.

interior

If you've logged any seat time in the first-generation SLK, then the Crossfire's cabin will seem mighty familiar, with the exception of the gigantic blind spots that come along with the Crossfire's "boattail" rear styling. To Chrysler's credit, though, the Crossfire's interior is pleasing enough to the eye, what with its two-tone color scheme and abundant metallic trim. However, that trim is really just silver-painted plastic for the most part, and there's no dressing-up that old Mercedes stereo's undersized buttons and mediocre sound quality. As for cargo space, it's at a premium -- not surprising given the Crossfire's intimate two-seat layout.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 Chrysler Crossfire.

An Enthusiast's Vehicle
Mike, 7/15/2009
I've never driven a "sports car" in my life. I felt the need and felt I'd be too claustrophobic for it. I've been driving SUVs for the past 15 yrs and felt no reason to switch. As a likely symptom of my midlife crisis (??), I found myself wanting a new car. Not just any car. I wanted a different car -- in a true sense of the word. I didn't want a Lexus or BMW. I was quite smitten with the look of the Infinite FX35. It was different and cool. I drove one. I was completed deflated. It was a boring ride. Then, I saw Crossfire. I felt stimulated and intrigued. I went and drove one. I was hooked. It was gorgeous and different on the outside. Driving made me feel something powerful
Identity crisis
Crossfireowner, 9/30/2010
This german mutt has lost its identity in exchange for economy and American drivability. All sport car compromises for just some of the fun. PROS: -Grin inducing sticky turns. Almost no body roll. -Styling is great to "tragically unique" -Bulletproof Mercedes parts. -Sporty suspension might be a con to some, a definite pro to me. CONS: -Tire noise from it's $220 (!) huge rear tires is understandable. Wind noise and plastic creaking from its cheap interior is not. -Steering is numb, pedals are squishy. -Impossible in rough weather. -Standard coupe compromises, trunk, leg room, ect. -6.5sec to 60MPH is just okay. -Blind spots are workable, but still there.
I love it !
TomD, 1/19/2009
Bought my '08 in mid December in NY and drove it home to South Texas as an early Christmas gift to myself! Great price (15k discount) and great car. Very solid machine and inspires confidence. Everything works as it should and I am very, very happpy with purchase. Average gas mileage on 1750 mile trip was 25.3 mpg, nearly all interstate. Make sure your bill of sale says new! I see some new ones for sale (by Chrysler dealers) as used, even with only 10 mi. on the odometer, to avoid the lifetime powertrain warranty to the original owner. Be careful!
Love It
Zoom, 4/24/2008
Love the design, very comfortable for a two seater. Loads of trunk space (for a 2 seater). Can easily get two golf bags and weekends worth of gear in it. Not a drag racer but has plenty of giddy-up. Reasonable cost after good discount. If you love it, keep it since the resale value is almost nothing.
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Features & Specs

MPG
15 city / 23 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed manual
Gas
215 hp @ 5700 rpm
See all Used 2008 Chrysler Crossfire Hatchback features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 Chrysler Crossfire
Used 2008 Chrysler Crossfire Hatchback Overview

The Used 2008 Chrysler Crossfire Hatchback is offered in the following styles: , and Limited 2dr Hatchback (3.2L 6cyl 6M).

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