2001 Dodge Intrepid Review
Pros & Cons
- Huge interior, gigantic trunk, composed ride, attractive looks.
- Cheap interior materials, lots of engine and road noise, large size makes parking a chore.
Edmunds' Expert Review
This spacious yet athletic sedan gets even better this year with improvements in safety and noise isolation.
Family-sedan buyers typically want four things in a car: room, style, safety and reliability. Dodge delivers all of this and more in the modern-looking Intrepid. Equipped with a huge interior and gigantic trunk, cutting-edge cab-forward design, and proving itself dependable over the long haul (in our experience, anyway), the Dodge Intrepid represents an excellent argument to avoid cookie-cutter Accords and Camrys for a car with personality. Plus, it scores well in government crash tests.
Three trim levels are available: well-equipped SE or sporty ES, and performance-oriented R/T. SE models include four-wheel disc brakes, air conditioning, rear window defroster, power door locks and windows, cassette player, cruise control, power mirrors, and a tilt steering wheel. ES adds antilock brakes, HomeLink integrated garage door opener, fog lights, premium sound, white-faced gauges, alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, eight-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and a full-size spare tire. Opt for the R/T and enjoy a higher performance engine, sport-tuned suspension, freer-flowing exhaust, and upgraded brakes, plus a 120-watt AM/FM stereo with cassette/CD player, leather-wrapped shift knob and 17-inch alloy wheels.
SE models, and bottom-rung ES versions, are powered by a twin-cam, 24-valve, 2.7-liter V6. Making 200 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 190 foot-pounds of torque at 4,850 rpm in SE models, this engine moves the 3,400-pound Intrepid along adequately. More impressive is the SOHC, 24-valve, 3.2-liter V6 available in ES models. With 225 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 225 foot-pounds of torque at 3,800 rpm, this engine's better low-end grunt gets the sportier ES off the line with verve. R/Ts get the Chrysler 300's 3.5-liter V6, but in the Dodge it makes "only" 242 horsepower (11 less than the 300M).
Available only with an automatic transmission, Intrepid at least offers the enthusiast the option of AutoStick, which allows gears to be rowed manually for sporting driving. However, this feature, standard on ES and R/T models, is engineered for the lowest common denominator, and will shift automatically to avoid redlining the engine or fourth-gear starts from a light. Plus, it doesn't improve shift response or acceleration.
If interior space is your No. 1 priority in a sedan, the Intrepid is hard to beat. Rated a large car by the EPA, Intrepid competes with smaller models in price. Room is ample for five adults, and for a family of four, this Dodge seems downright cavernous. It's almost limo-like.
The popular mid-priced sedan segment of the market is saturated with excellent cars, but Dodge is making a strong case for itself. The Intrepid, with its good looks and commodious cabin, has carved a niche on this crowded and scarred battleground.