2001 Chrysler Prowler Review

Pros & Cons

  • Outrageous styling, limited production, definite "wow" factor, nuke-power sound system.
  • Completely impractical, disappointing performance, harsh ride and boring transmission.
Other years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

A cool-looking homage to a '32 Ford roadster, but where's the V8 and manual tranny?

Vehicle overview

The Prowler is now four years old, and the novelty has worn off. While we continue to be impressed with the Prowler as it displays Chrysler's commitment to fun, the car itself has ceased to thrill. Perhaps this is the reason behind its two new paint schemes. A fave with American collectors (only 5,155 Prowlers have ever been sold), Chrysler might figure it can create more interest if it brings out different colored versions -- like Beanie Babies. The Prowler has served the automaker well by drawing thousands of customers into its showrooms, but now its time for a new act.

We might feel differently if the Prowler's performance matched its looks. It gets top marks for its aggressive, and successful, attempt to be different and outrageous looking, but it doesn't live up to expectations on the road. Modeled after traditional hot rods of the 1950s, the Prowler is equipped with massive 20-inch chrome wheels in back (fronts are 17s). With its extremely high beltline, you'll feel like you're treading water in a pool, and with the top up, visibility is a joke. Trunk space is even more amusing in its brevity.

The retro aluminum bodywork is wrapped around an all-aluminum frame supported by an aluminum four-wheel independent suspension. Adjustable dampers let you soften the ride; a welcome feature, as this roadster tends to ride harshly. Lousy leather-wrapped seats don't promote comfort over the long haul, and Chrysler parts bin bits combine with questionable ergonomics (center-mounted gauges?) to remind you that form definitely takes precedence over function in this vehicle. And if the styling isn't attracting enough attention, you can crank up the 320-watt Infinity sound system, with speed-compensated volume control, to make sure everyone notices you.

The Prowler's powertrain somewhat disappoints. A stout 3.5-liter SOHC V6 engine, capable of producing 253 horsepower and 255 foot-pounds of torque, powers this Chrysler from rest to 60 mph in 6 seconds, but without sufficient exhaust rumble. It's mated to Chrysler's lame AutoStick automanual transmission, which is certainly no substitute for a real manual gearbox. So, no V8 and no stick: If this constitutes the hardware of the modern hot rod, we'll take a pass. The Prowler offers better handling than you might think, but the comparably priced Corvette will wax it while offering superior comfort and amenities. This car will turn heads, even in exotic car-jaded towns like Los Angeles or Palm Beach. If you're not a celebrity, but you want to feel like one, here's the recipe: Buy a Chrysler Prowler. Drop the top. Cruise up and down your local strip. Wave at the gawking crowd. Just don't try to drag race any real muscle cars.

2001 Highlights

In January, the Plymouth brand was dropped from the Prowler name, and it became a Chrysler. To mark the change, a new "Mulholland Edition" was introduced in a dark blue coupe with white pinstriping. Also new this year, Chrysler is offering two new paint schemes for its Prowler. A two-tone version (the top of the car will be black and the sides will be silver), called the "Black Tie Edition," will appear. It also includes a silver instrument cluster bezel and silver floor mats. And, later in 2001, a new color, Prowler Orange, will also be available. Silver will still be offered, but red, yellow, black and purple are discontinued.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2001 Chrysler Prowler.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Brett D Garnett,08/12/2015
2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
Be aware that this is a car to be driven seldom and seen often!!! Heads will turn wherever you are and people will congregate and ask questions including can they have a ride!!! What is it? Etc, etc, etc... I thoroughly enjoy driving this vehicle as I have a Mulholland Edition (Midnight Blue) with extra hand painted pin stripping and accents... The front chrome grill also sets it off!!! The car holds its value and my 2001 has only 7700 miles on it so it's like new. Do not buy this car if you looking for comfort and a quiet ride. This is a cruiser with high engine sound and a blasting sound system. Just enjoy the attention it gathers and the great looks this vehicle has. I love every minute I'm behind the wheel and also when I'm cleaning and babying it!!! I've noticed that everyone around the car has a big smile on their face!!! So Be Happy!!! I recently took her out for a short drive and WOW!!! She drives great, still turns heads and what a sound from the pipes!!! :) My wife and I so enjoy the ride and overall experience.
Tbe Best In Design
Over all the design is what makes the car. Performance is great for the the size and weight of the vehicle. Could use a little more headroom with the top up. A VERY FUN CAR TO DRIVE AND BE SEEN IN.
Great Car
Chris & Taylor,01/02/2003
Be prepared to be an instant movie-star in your neighborhood
Ultimate cruising car
David Hill,04/19/2004
Love it! There are cars that are built more solid, that perform better, that are more practical, that have more room (OK almost everything has more room, but that's not why you buy a Prowler), but this is by far the best car I've owned if you want to have fun. Don't drive it if you don't feel like being social, because everybody and I mean everybody will stop you and ask questions, take pictures, ask you to trade, take pictures, congregate around the car. I've even had fire trucks put on the sirens to get through traffic to get a closer look.

Features & Specs

15 city / 21 hwy
Seats 2
4-speed shiftable automatic
253 hp @ 6400 rpm
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More about the 2001 Chrysler Prowler

Used 2001 Chrysler Prowler Overview

The Used 2001 Chrysler Prowler is offered in the following submodels: Prowler Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible (3.5L 6cyl 4A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 Chrysler Prowler?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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