3 Star Reviews for Dodge Intrepid

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.16/5 Average
825 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

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
  • Money Pit - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    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 couldnt 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 -

    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. Its not worth it.

  • Strong engine, weak everywhere else. Not worth it. - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    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 didnt really have problems with it. I treated it like garbage and raced it, drifted, etc. It lasted, I couldnt 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.

  • Do Not Buy Intrepid 2.7 or Any Other Chrysler Product - 2004 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    I wouldnt recommend buying any used Chrysler product with no warranty. My 2004 Intrepid 2.7 lived in the shop. The car couldnt go 6 months without needing a repair, but this cars biggest problem is its cooling system when the engine is properly maintained with 3000 mile full synthetic oil changes as I did. Ive been thru 2 water outlets! a radiator, a coolant reservoir, 2 thermostats, and 2 thermostat housings. Then the cars water pump, which is at the center of the engine, goes bad causing the car to overheat and blow part of the head gasket. On top of that, the car is now tapping. Tapping, waterpump, and gasket fix will cost the same as getting a new engine. Im getting a new car!

  • DONT BUY ANY YEAR INTREPID - 2002 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    I have had two intrepids. My first used in 1998 was beautiful and fully loaded. It cost a fortune to have anything worked on because they put everything under the engine. First the thermostat out, water pump, belts since the engine was pulled. Got rid of it. Thinking they surely would have changed everything since the new design came out, I bought another. Fully loaded. Same darn problems as before but Im sitting here with no A/C and its 105 outside. I think that is BS when an auto company knows it has problems but doesnt fix until government forces them to. Never a Dodge ever ever again. Treat your customers with respect and dont sell something you know is wrong.

  • Stay away from this car - 2002 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    We bought this car with 57K miles on it. Most of our driving is highway driving. At about 122K the engine went. I noticed the oil light was on and immediately took it to my mechanic. Due to a poor oil pan design, oil sludge had built up in the engine. Chrylser was aware of the problem. If you get this car make sure you keep oil change records. I was reimbursed by Chrysler for about 1/3 of the cost of the engine replacement. It was very expensive to fix. We paid almost as much for the engine as we did for the car. I am car shopping right now and will not buy another Dodge product.

  • Looks will last, not performance - 1999 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    This car was bought new in 99 by my mother. The car was passed to me in 2006. Since then, every little thing went wrong. First, the car started burning oil too fast. I was putting about 3 quarts of oil in it every 2 weeks. Then the cam sensor and starter went bad, causing the car to stall. They were replaced but 5 months later the same problem arose. Soon after I was putting 3 quarts of oil every 3 days. It could not survive trips longer than 2 hrs. Tire rod problems caused tires to wear down quickly. Finally the cover to the part you put oil exploded while driving. It died at 160k miles, I will admit it was poorly maintained but still lasted 12 years.

  • The plan was good. - 1994 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    Started having quite a few problems with it after about 100k miles - A/C would only work at certain times (never could figure it out), as well as quite a few other things. Poor paint job - it was actually tan, but would show up sort of purple at night. Kind of neat, but it started flaking off. Had cooling problems with it as well.

  • Not so good - 2001 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    When I bought this SE car in 2002, it ran great, no trouble at all for 5 years. At 86,000 miles and after spotless maintenance checks and oil changes-- the engine died (2.7L). I found out from many forums online-- that the 2.7L engine was total junk. The oil passages in it are microscopic which leads to oil starvation of the various parts. This is a design flaw! There is no warning! One minute the car is running, the next it stops. In my engine, the timing chain tensioner quit (oil driven)-- the OHC failed, leading to valve breakage-- result, total junk engine. For those of you whose engine is still running- you are extremely lucky! But beware-- your engine could fail at any moment!

  • 2.7 is expensive to maintain - 2002 Dodge Intrepid
    By -

    Bought ours used and we thought we got a great buy. Then the problems started to hit us. Thermostat went out was $160 to replace it because a normal man without a car hoist cant get to it, REALLY! Then 1 of the 2 ELECTRIC fans that cool the motor went out. Then it kept over heating anyway. Come to find out, its the water pump. It is made to leak a tiny amount of water as it starts to go out. Causing you to over heat. $600 minimum to replace as it is inside the motor. Since they have to take off the timing belt, might as well replace it too, another $125 in parts. My mechanic said to use 5w-20 synthetic oil only! Other oils cause build-up in side the motor causing them to blow!

Dodge Intrepid Reviews By Year:
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