Used 1997 Eagle Vision Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1997

The 3.5-liter engine, formerly exclusive to the TSi, is now available on the ESi. Automatic transmission refinements are intended to improve shifting. Eagle Vision ESi gets an improved stereo. A new color, Deep Amethyst Pearl, is now available.

Vehicle overview

Chrysler's LH-series of sedans has redefined the traditional American sedan. The Chrysler Concorde emphasizes the luxury portion of the equation, while the Dodge Intrepid has mid-America squarely within its gunsight grille. Eagle's Vision is designed to appeal to those of us who want a dash of flair and sophistication in our family haulers. It is the most sporting and European of the trio, with a distinctive look all its own. However, if Chrysler's sales charts are any evidence, there are few takers for this recipe in the marketplace.

Product planners gave enthusiast drivers a good reason to buy a Vision in 1996. The Vision TSi is equipped with a driver-controlled, four-speed shiftable transmission called Autostick. An auto manual transmission similar to Porsche's Tiptronic, Autostick allows the transmission to operate in two modes. It will operate in a regular Drive mode, with the transmission automatically shifting the gears, or the driver can manually shift the transmission with the Autostick engaged. Drop the stick into the lowest shifter position, and then flick the stick to the left for downshifts and to the right for upshifts, all without lifting your foot off the accelerator. Despite the innovative Autostick, decent performance and fairly attractive looks, the Vision continues to be a sales loser. Now that Autostick is available in more Chrysler products, we expect sales to drop even lower for the unpopular Vision.

It's too bad the Vision doesn't sell, because it's a great car. Perhaps the jutting grille with its big bird's beak emblem puts potential customers off. Maybe the Eagle division, formed in 1988, hasn't developed the brand image necessary to move the merchandise. Could be that people don't think car' when told to drop by their local Jeep-Eagle dealership for a test drive. No matter. Eagle has been heavily advertising the Vision to get the car noticed. It seems that pitchman Greg Kinnear has been getting more mileage out of these ads than Eagle has.

The changes to the Eagle Vision in 1997 are limited to new colors, a better base stereo and an option that will allow ESi drivers the chance to experience the 3.5-liter V6 power currently limited to the TSi.

Vision offers rakish styling, a long list of standard features, and more interior room than all of its competition. It handles very much like its LH brethren, which is to say, extraordinarily well for a big sedan. We think the Vision is a logical choice for sedan buyers who want a little pizzazz in their daily commute, and sales types are likely to wheel and deal more aggressively than the boys at the Dodge or Chrysler dealer to get the slow-selling Vision onto highways and into driveways.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.