Used 2000 Plymouth Prowler Review

Edmunds expert review

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

What's new for 2000

Prowler Purple is discontinued, replaced by Prowler Silver for 2000. Chrome wheels are standard, as is a new leather shift boot and speed-sensitive volume for the stereo.

Vehicle overview

Chrysler has taken the drawing board directly into the manufacturing plant. The Prowler is simply a concept car that has magically seen the light of day, and though it's not the most impressive car performance-wise, it is a most impressive display of Chrysler's commitment to fun.

Modeled after traditional hot rods of the 1950's, the Prowler certainly looks the part, despite the federally mandated but truly dopey-looking gray front bumpers. Painted red, black, yellow or silver for 2000, Prowler is equipped with massive 20-inch wheels in back (fronts are 17s). New this year is standard chrome plating on the attractive alloys. With its extremely high sill, 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 -- there isn't any to speak of.

The retro aluminum bodywork is wrapped around an all-aluminum frame supported by an aluminum four-wheel independent suspension, but you can't wrap leftovers with the Prowler. You can't get a smooth ride either, as this roadster rides harshly. Lousy leather-wrapped seats don't promote comfort over the long-haul, but you won't care much because the interior, aside from some bargain-basement Chrysler parts-bin bits, is delicious. And if the styling isn't attracting enough attention, you can crank up the 320-watt Infinity sound system (with speed-compensated volume control for 2000) to garner even more attention.

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 Plymouth from rest to 60 mph quickly, but without fanfare. 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 is just for show.

But what a show. This car is guaranteed to turn heads in traffic. If you're not a celebrity but you want to feel like one, here's the recipe: Buy a Plymouth 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.

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.