The Chrysler Cirrus is a midsize four-door sedan that debuted in 1995 as a replacement to the Chrysler LeBaron. The Cirrus is very comparable to other luxury sedans on the market but comes at a fraction of the cost. The car is ideal for couples without children or younger people who don’t necessarily need a large automobile but still desire a luxury ride. The Cirrus is available in two trim levels. The well-equipped four-cylinder base LX model is back for the 2000 model year after a brief hiatus. This is to compensate for the discontinuation of the Plymouth Breeze, a less costly clone of the Cirrus. The base LX is joined by the luxury V-6 powered LXi sedan. Both trims come standard with fog lights and sporty twin black post side mirrors. Additionally, it shares side body moldings, chrome bumper accents, and a waterfall grill that extends low.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.0-liter I-4, 2.4-liter I-4, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chrysler Cirrus LX, Chrysler Cirrus LXi
The 2000 Chrysler Cirrus is pretty much a carryover from last year. With the Plymouth Breeze discontinued with the phasing out of the Plymouth brand, the base Cirrus LX model, gone since 1998, has returned for 2000. Chrysler plans to redesign the Cirrus sedan for the 2001 model year.
The Cirrus is part of the second wave of vehicles built utilizing the cab-forward design. An elongated considerably slanted windshield and short overhangs characterize the cab-forward design. The wheels on the vehicle are pushed further to its corners, adding more cabin space than similarly-sized cars. This design had previously been used on larger sedans. There is no distinct beginning or end to the flowing lines designed into the Cirrus. This is a design trick used to eliminate the three box design where there are very noticeable breaks between the engine, passenger, and trunk compartments. The Cirrus is built on a 108-inch wheelbase. The vehicle is 187 inches long and 71.7 inches wide. The car has rack and pinion steering and independent front and rear suspension. Both trims come standard with 15-inch tires. Alloy wheels are standard to the LXi model. While the Cirrus hasn’t had any major exterior design overhaul since its 1995 introduction, the car still looks fresh with a style that remains fashionable and contemporary even today.
The Cirrus seats five occupants. The car is actually two inches shorter than the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord; however the longer wheel-base and cab-forward design maximizes interior space. There is enough legroom in the back of the vehicle for some grown adults to cross their legs. The car’s design offers great front and side visibility, although rear visibility is hindered by the high trunk and narrow back window. Neither the end of the vehicle or the traffic behind it can really be easily seen through the rearview mirror. This is why the vehicle doesn’t come recommended for families with children, despite the ample space in the back seat. The bulging back end of the Cirrus obviously results in the car having significant trunk space. The backseat can also come down for additional space. Standard includes for both the LX and LXi trims include cruise control, a tachometer, tilt steering, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM radio with cassette player. The LXi adds a multi-adjustable driver side power seat and leather seats to its standard interior includes.
Performance & Handling
The base LX model has a two-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 132 horsepower. The LX also has the option of going with a 2.4-liter engine, boosting horsepower up to 150-hp. The more expensive luxury LXi comes with a standard 2.5-liter V-6 engine, generating 168 horsepower. The LX has a five-speed manual transmission with overdrive, while the LXi uses a four-speed automatic with overdrive. The Cirrus is a pleasing driver with great handling. The driving position is high, providing great forward visibility. The ride is typically smooth with nice acceleration and maneuvering through traffic. Some drivers have commented that it feels as if they are floating on the highway while driving the Cirrus.
The 1999 Chrysler Cirrus has been the recipient of some negative crash test ratings. The good news is that the NHTSA has rated the Cirrus with four stars for front passenger safety in frontal crash tests. The Cirrus also scored a respectable three stars for driver frontal crash test performance and side impact tests. Rear seat side impact performance is where the Cirrus has problems. Back seat safety was rated just two stars by the NHTSA. IIHS crash test data resulted in a ""poor"" overall ranking. The Cirrus comes standard with driver and passenger frontal airbags. The LSi model also adds a four-wheel anti-lock braking system.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chrysler Cirrus LX: 26/36 mpg city/highway
Chrysler Cirrus LXi: 19/27 mpg city/highway
- Nice acceleration
- Moves in and out of traffic with ease
- Huge trunk
You Won't Like
- Rear visibility
- Poor crash test ratings
- Cheap plastic interior
- Blind spots
- Can get noisy over 55 mph
A right price with plentiful benefits.
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