Dodge Spirit Origins
Dodge introduced the front-wheel drive Spirit as a replacement for the similar Dodge 600 sedan. Chrysler, Dodge’s parent company at the time, released a nearly-identical Plymouth Acclaim sedan alongside the Spirit.
Early Spirit models come in three trims: base, LE, and ES. The LE trim adds conveniences such as cruise control, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and a rear-window defogger. The ES tacks on additional standard features, including alloy wheels and a higher-output turbocharged engine. Seating for five people comes standard on all models, while an optional front bench seat increases seating capacity to six.
Base and LE models come equipped with a 2.5-liter, 100-horsepower, four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission with overdrive. The manual gearbox was later replaced with a standard three-speed automatic transmission. The ES trim’s turbocharged version of the same four-cylinder engine pushes output to 150 horsepower.
In an attempt to attract customers interested in a car with more thrust, Dodge began offering a 3.0-liter V-6 option in 1990. A sporty R/T trim produced for 1991 and 1992 offers an even more energetic 224-horsepower twin-turbo engine and a sport-tuned suspension.
Dodge replaced the Spirit with the Dodge Stratus sedan after 1995.About the Dodge Spirit
The Dodge Spirit is best known as a basic but useful economy car.
An optional six-passenger capacity made the Spirit a popular family vehicle, while EPA ratings of 21/26 mpg city/highway with the four-cylinder engine and 19/24 mpg city/highway with the V-6 made the car an affordable choice for commuters.
The Spirit offers a fair amount of cabin space for a midsize car, with a flat-bottomed trunk providing 14.4 cubic feet of cargo room. Front passengers receive 38.4 inches of headroom and 41.9 inches of legroom, while back-seat passengers receive 37.9 inches of headroom and 38.3 inches of legroom.Dodge Spirit Features
The last Dodge Spirit was produced in 1995.
The 1995 Dodge Spirit comes in a single trim fitted with a 2.5-liter, 100-horsepower inline-four engine that produces 135 lb-ft of torque. A 3.0-liter V-6 engine capable of 142 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque is optional. Both engines pair with a three-speed automatic transmission. While Dodge previously offered a four-speed automatic transmission and a Flex Fuel version of the Spirit, the company eliminated both options for 1995.
Standard equipment on the 1995 Dodge Spirit includes 14-inch wheels, a front driver’s side airbag, cloth upholstery, front bucket seats, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, air-conditioning, power-adjustable exterior mirrors, power brakes, power steering, cruise control, intermittent windshield wipers, a rear-window defroster, and an audio system with an AM/FM radio and a cassette player.
Individual options include alloy wheels, a power driver’s seat, a split-bench front seat, power windows, power locks, power heated mirrors, a remote trunk release, a roof rack, a sunroof, and special factory paint.
The Dodge Spirit measures 181.2 inches in length, 53.5 inches in height, and 68.1 inches in width. The sedan has a wheelbase of 103.5 inches and a turning circle of 39 feet. Cargo capacity totals 14.4 cubic feet with all seats in place. The Spirit comes with a 16-gallon gas tank.Dodge Spirit Evolution
The Dodge Spirit debuted in 1989 with three trim levels: a base, LE, and ES. The base and LE contain a 2.5-liter, 100-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, which remains standard throughout the Spirit’s production run. Dodge fits the ES with a turbocharged 150-horsepower version of the same four-cylinder engine. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard on early models.
Upgrading to the LE trim adds conveniences such as fog lights, a rear-window defroster, and a tilt steering wheel. The ES adds the same amenities as the LE trim, plus 15-inch alloy wheels and a trip computer. The 1989 Dodge Spirit lacks a standard driver’s-side airbag.
Beginning in 1990, the Spirit could be equipped with an optional 3.0-liter, 142-hp V-6 engine. A driver’s airbag came standard, while four-wheel disc brakes came with the ES trim. To calm complaints about noise, this Spirit model provided more sound insulation than earlier models.
Dodge added a sporty new limited-edition trim, the Spirit R/T, in 1991. R/T models featured a 2.2-liter, 224-horsepower twin-turbocharged engine, a sport-tuned suspension, and monochromatic exterior paint. Dodge also began offering four-wheel anti-lock brakes as an option on all models in 1991.
Dodge made improvements to the Spirit R/T’s acceleration and suspension in 1992. A four-speed automatic transmission came as an option on V-6 models.
In 1993, Dodge released 4000 Flex Fuel versions of the Spirit. The car had a remodeled front end, a color-keyed grille, new taillights, tinted privacy glass, and a stainless steel exhaust system. Dodge eliminated the LE and R/T trim levels and added a base Highline trim in 1993.
The following year, Dodge eliminated the Highline and ES trim levels, leaving just the base Spirit model and a variety of individual options. Late models feature motorized seat belts for front passengers.