Chrysler Crossfire Coupe (2004-2008) review
This fantastic-looking two-seater coupe and convertible is one of the most characterful around
This fantastic-looking two-seater coupe and convertible is one of the most characterful around. You may not instantly love the styling but there's no denying it's distinctive and comes complete with electric spoiler which pops up over 60mph. Enormous wheels - 19 inch at the rear, 18 inch at the front - add to the drama, but create expectations the interior can't entirely live up to. Basically, it's a Chrysler/Mercedes SLK hybrid; unsurprising, as to get the Crossfire quickly to market, Chrysler has utilised the SLK platform. It's an acceptable cabin but lacks both the visual drama of the outside, and the quality of many rivals. It's also very cramped indeed, particularly for the passenger who has to sit on a 'false' floor which raises the seat and restricts headroom. The cabriolet is worse, and the unlined hood is particularly noisy when cruising at speed, while visibility is severely restricted in both coupe and cabriolet models.
Still, it's an entertaining car to drive. The Mercedes-sourced 215bhp 3.2-litre V6 engine sounds tremendous and performs with real vigour, though it's best mated to the five-speed auto 'box, as the six-speed manual can be very reluctant. An auto is unavailable with the supercharged version also on offer, but with 330bhp and 60mph in 5.3 seconds, the SRT-6 keeps you occupied enough anyway. Unfortunately, handling can't match the dramatic looks, with unforgivably stodgy steering and a feel more like a Mercedes saloon; naturally, the SRT-6's extra power accentuates this lethargy. It makes a fine cruiser though, and is as 'competent' as the SLK is draws heavily upon. The Crossfire is also jam-packed with equipment, including a tremendous 240-watt stereo, indulgent electric leather seats and semi-automatic air conditioning. The only choices you have are cabriolet or coupe and manual or automatic, and you won't be wanting for standard equipment in any either.