Overview & Reviews
Value is a concept that conquers the affections of car buyers every time. Dodge knew this all too well, and made value a cornerstone of its strategy for the Dodge Intrepid, turning out an affordably priced car that offered a lot for less. It proved to be an astute move for the automaker. Introduced in 1993 and retired in 2004, the Intrepid distinguished itself as the division's best-selling car in many of its years on the market.
The word "intrepid" means fearless, and this Dodge proved to be just that when it came to its styling cues. Stodginess and full-size sedans go together like Seattle and pouring rain, but Dodge's designers set out to create an alternative that broke free of this mold. An innovative, "cabin-forward" layout resulted in a steeply raked windshield and short front and rear overhangs. The Intrepid's sculpted look (which became even more striking in second-generation models) didn't necessarily light everyone's fire, but it was, undeniably, a bold standout in a notoriously bland segment.
Practicality came via the Dodge Intrepid's spacious amenities. The Intrepid's cab-forward design and front-wheel-drive layout freed up considerable interior space, and the sedan could seat five adults in comfort as well as haul much of their luggage. Nimble handling was another of the car's assets; the Intrepid had the portly size of an operatic tenor, but you'd never know it from its impressive composure and agility. And Intrepid buyers enjoyed the car's power. Its athletic engines gave the car somewhat of a split personality, enabling it to cross the line from family sedan to value-priced sport sedan with ease.
Buyers had to make a few compromises. Materials quality and fit and finish within the cabin weren't up to snuff. Rearward visibility fell somewhat short, and its engines could get raucous when challenged. Still, a late-model Dodge Intrepid shines as a great pick in many respects for buyers seeking a used car that delivers when it comes to competent handling and capacious passenger and cargo room.
Most Recent Dodge Intrepid
The most recent Intrepid generation spanned model years 1998 through 2004. This car continued on the cabin-forward theme of its predecessor, but offered styling that was sleeker and almost coupelike. It also got an engine upgrade, with two new V6s beneath its hood.
This generation's early Dodge Intrepids were offered in two trims: base and ES. Base models featured air-conditioning, heated mirrors and cruise control. ES models added amenities like keyless entry and a power-adjustable driver seat. In 2000, a new trim, the R/T, joined the lineup. R/Ts catered to performance-oriented buyers, offering a sport-tuned suspension and traction control. The base trim became the SE trim in 2001, and the following year, a midlevel trim, the SXT, made its debut. SXT buyers got the same engine as that of the pricier R/T, without many of the performance features. That changed in 2003 when the R/T model was dropped; the SXT was given a performance upgrade that gave it many of the capabilities of the departed R/T.
Base Intrepids were powered by a 2.7-liter V6 good for 200 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. ES models were available with either the base model's 2.7-liter or a 3.2-liter V6 capable of 225 hp and 225 lb-ft of torque. Intrepid R/Ts got their mojo from a 3.5-liter V6 producing 242 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque. In 2002, Dodge dropped the 3.2-liter engine; replacing it was a 234-hp version of the 3.5-liter V6. All Intrepid models came with a four-speed automatic transmission, and Dodge's "AutoStick" manual-shift feature came standard on the R/T.
A few tweaks were made to the car's appearance and feature content over the years. Chrome badging was added in 1999, along with improved floor carpeting. In 2000, base models got new seat fabric, child-seat anchors were also added, and an in-dash CD changer joined the options list on ES models. The following year, side airbags became available, as well as steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a four-disc in-dash CD changer. In 2003, the four-disc unit was replaced with a six-CD changer.
At the time, our editors were charmed by the Dodge Intrepid -- so much so that in 2000, it scored an Editors' Most Wanted award in the Large Sedan category. We liked the sedan's huge interior, gigantic trunk, communicative steering and pleasing balance of ride quality and handling ability. Cons included a propensity for wind and road noise, low-quality interior materials, disappointing fit and finish and poor outward visibility.
Past Dodge Intrepids
The first-generation Dodge Intrepid was built from 1993 to 1997. Two trims -- base and ES -- were offered. Initially, both were powered by a 3.3-liter V6 good for 153 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque; the engine saw power increases over the years, though, and by the time this generation drew to a close, it offered 161 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission sent power to the car's front wheels. A more advanced 3.5-liter V6, producing 214 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, was optional.
ABS was made standard in ES models in 1995, and traction control was added to the options list. Intrepids got upgrades to improve noise, vibration and harshness in 1996; the following year, the car benefited from an improved audio system and a refined transmission. At the time, this Intrepid scored good marks for its roomy interior and power from the optional 3.5-liter V6. Downsides included dubious build quality and weak headlight performance.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 825.00
98 Dodge Intrepid - 1998 Dodge Intrepid
By Scott B - January 6 - 5:25 pm
This car has to maintained often, if not you will find yourself with serious problems. It has a nice ride and is a overall great car when it chooses to be. This car has many flaws and I would not recommend it to a friend because you will end up putting more money into then you'll every purchase it for.
#pos - 1994 Dodge Intrepid
By sledge - November 18 - 3:08 pm
Don't even consider it, dodge has long history of unreliable cars and trucks, this one's no exception, I bought mine used with 30k miles before 60k miles problems with, ac, trans, engine, paint, headliner ect...headlight mounts broke, too much plastic used on everything, had some friends at dodge dealer, they hated this car, from sales to the mechanics, I got rid of this car after 1 year of ownership a long tome ago, stay away from this one and any other dodge/chrysler/plymouth unless it's from the 1960's
My 1996 DodgeMobile - 1996 Dodge Intrepid
By Patrick - October 10 - 3:04 am
These older dodge intrepid's are much better than the 1998-2004 model years.
Suprisingly Good - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
By RatherPleased - October 4 - 12:23 am
My wife bought this car secondhand while we were engaged. Shortly after, I ended up inheriting it after my car died. I would have never gone out of my way to buy an Intrepid, as Chryslers have an iffy reputation for resale. Ours must have been built while the workers were in a good mood, because despite having some odd problems which stem from wonky workmanship, this car has been an absolute tank that keeps going and going and going. At 120K, the 2.7 doesn't leak or burn a drop of oil and still gets me a respectable 23-24 MPG with hard highway driving (I travel for work). At 80 MPH, it passes anything on the highway and climbs hills without losing any momentum. The AC is incredible, and I like the fact that it uses old-school knobs that don't require my attention to operate. The ride is old-school big-car comfy, complete with bench seats and a column shifter. Being a big driver with long legs, I appreciate this vanishing feature greatly. It's not perfect, as the fit-and-finish on this car is spotty. Overall, it's a good looking ride and does it's job very well. I drive HARD for work (about 2,700-3,000 miles per month) and I refuse to have car payments. This ride is a real workhorse. The Good: Good engine, amazing AC/Heat, thick seats, epic legroom (front and rear), huge trunk, handles well (doesn't feel like the big boat that it is), nice brakes, heavy front-wheel-drive setup makes this a good winter/snow car, great gear ratios for freeway driving, and structurally safe. The Bad: Interior plastics are classic Mopar junk, door handles break easily on these, driver's window track is broken, CD player skips (the car is old), and the transmission has wonky gearing that favors freeway over city (you have to stomp it around town and gas mileage suffers), and the most insane battery location in the history of cars (you have to remove a tire to get to it). Overall: Maybe ours is a rare gem, but with proper care and feeding, the Intrepid is a decent secondhand car. Good first car for teenagers/college kids because it's big and safe, but they have a spotty reputation so keep your eyes open.
I love my car - 2001 Dodge Intrepid
By secret - July 17 - 10:35 pm
12 years old, 186K miles and still running like new - 2003 Dodge Intrepid
By Jason Foster - April 13 - 8:59 pm
Bought new in 2003, this car never let me down or left me stranded. Replaced generator at 121K (2011), front-left wheel bearing hub in 2015 (180K), total cost for both repairs $300 (self-replaced). Original exhaust system still solid. Replaced front pads and rotors at 120K, rear at 140K. Gone thru two batteries as well. A good, simple, cheap car.
Money Pit - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
By moonfairy - January 21 - 2:26 pm
I bought my Dodge Intrepid on February of 2013. Iwas just under 100,000 miles when I bought it and in a year and a half of driving put about 13000 miles on it... it started leaking radiator fluid and then oil and power steering. I tried fixing those problems but never could fix the radiator, I couldn't get the fluid to actually go down into the engine as its routed weirdly and it started over heating. Next thing I knew I was getting a knocking noise in the engine and when we checked there was water in my oil. I tried getting that fixed but the fix didnt work and in three days my engine was shot. it has the craziest engine I have ever seen. I would never suggest someone buy this car ever!
Should Have Shopped Around - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
By sbrazee - November 8 - 10:32 pm
I bought my Intrepid last summer and paid more than I should have. I have had the car for a little over a year and I have had to replace the water pump, radiator, thermostat, and the fuse for the transmission that kept blowing. I wanted a car that was roomy and could be comfortable to drive. Instead I got a fix and repair daily pretty much. DO not buy this car for the 2004. It's not worth it.
Strong engine, weak everywhere else. Not worth it. - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
By cfresh96 - September 13 - 3:13 am
I used this car for primarily getting to and from school for a few months, and it had no problems. I purchased it at 95,000 miles. I didn't really have problems with it. I treated it like garbage and raced it, drifted, etc. It lasted, I couldn't believe it. I then started delivering pizzas to make extra money, and then everything came back at me. Again, I used the power of the car to get me where I needed to go quickly. I put on 18,000 miles on it in a matter of 6 months. It no longer can last 10 miles of driving due to it overheating.
LOVE DODGES! - 2003 Dodge Intrepid
By becca1984 - August 27 - 12:54 pm
I recently purchased my 2nd Dodge Intrepid. They are very dependable cars,as long as they're taken care of. My 1st Intrepid was a 2000. Owned it 3 years and only replaced a tire rod and the power steering pump(previous owner neglected it). I accumulated alot of miles on that car. When I let it go it had 215,000 miles and still going strong. My current intrepid is a 2003. Sitting at 146,000. Excellent car. I change my oil every 5,000 miles. 4qts of synthetic blend oil and 1 qt of Lucas engine treatment. These cars are CHAMPS as long as they're taken care of!