The US auto industry is filled to the brim with awesome vehicles produced by Ford, Chevrolet, and Chrysler. The Chrysler Corporation on its own has a back catalog that would make most European or Asian automakers drool. As such, they needed a subsidiary to keep all their models operational, so they created Mopar.
Mopar – sometimes stylized as ‘MoPar’ – is a shortened name for Motor Parts. It first appeared in 1937 as Chrysler Motor Parts Antifreeze, before many people simply called it MoPar Antifreeze, at which point Chrysler just ran with it and one of the most popular auto parts companies was established. Mopar sold not only replacement parts but also had upgrades and entire new crate engines which could be swapped into cars. Mopar currently continues to this day under the Stellantis parent company, providing parts not only for American cars but also the Italian automakers as well.
Here are ten used Mopars we really wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
9/9 Dodge Shadow
The Dodge Shadow was a compact car produced by the Chrysler Corporation between 1986 and 1994. It was built on the same platform as the Chrysler TC By Maserati, but with less impressive engines and transmissions.
The top-spec Shadow featured a turbocharged version of Chrysler’s famous 2.2-liter inline-4, producing 175 hp and 205 lb-ft of torque. It was front-wheel-drive and came with a 5-speed manual as standard, with a 3- and 4-speed automatic as an option.
8/9 Chrysler Neon
The Chrysler Neon – also known as the Dodge Neon – is one of the most hated cars on the planet. Mechanically, there is nothing wrong with it, but the motoring community just finds it to be one of – if not the – most boring cars ever made.
The non-SRT-4 Neon featured either a 1.6-, 2.0- or 2.4-liter inline-4 engine, producing between 114 and 150 hp, with the Dodge SRT-4 version making 260 hp. The Neon was revived as a rebadged Fiat Tipo in the Mexican and Middle Eastern markets.
7/9 Plymouth Acclaim
The Plymouth Acclaim was one-third of the Chrysler AA-Body triplets – along with the Chrysler LeBaron and Dodge Spirit. The Acclaim featured two engine choices, notably the 2.5-liter K-Series inline-4 and the 3.0-liter V6 borrowed from Mitsubishi.
The 2.5-liter later got a turbocharger, but it didn’t exactly improve desirability. The turbocharged engine was the most powerful, producing just 150 hp. Transmissions included one of two 3-speed autos, a 4-speed auto, or a 5-speed manual. Not the greatest Mopar out there.
6/9 Chrysler PT Cruiser
The Chrysler PT Cruiser is currently one of the most hated vehicles on the planet. It started out as a pretty neat idea, reinvigorating the styling of the 1940s – with the modern technology of the 1990s and 2000s. It sold pretty well, too. Unfortunately, it aged worse than the Pontiac Aztek.
The PT Cruiser was available with a series of 4-cylinder engines, including the 2.4-liter turbocharged version found in the Dodge Neon SRT-4. This didn’t help at all and now the PT Cruiser is mocked and criticized by most motoring enthusiasts.
5/9 Jeep Commander
The Jeep Commander was a valid attempt by Chrysler to make a family-friendly seven-seater that could go anywhere. It was a more premium type vehicle that would be in the same class as the Grand Cherokee, but with more off-roading capabilities.
The engines included a turbo-diesel borrowed from Mercedes-Benz, a Chrysler V6, and two HEMI V8s. The Commander also had three different 4-wheel-drive systems which added LSDs and low-range transfer cases depending on the trim level. It wasn’t the best of vehicles, even being criticized by Chrysler CEO, Sergio Marchionne when it was discontinued.
4/9 Plymouth Reliant
The Plymouth Reliant was – without a doubt – one of the most boring cars ever made. It had generic styling, a bland interior, and engines that could bore the most energetic of Golden Retrievers. It was just a block with wheels. Completely unimaginative and way too long in the tooth.
The Reliant was available in coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles and featured three different 4-cylinder engines – two K-Series Chrysler units and a 2.6-liter Mitsubishi motor. Chrysler’s quality control wasn’t exactly the standard of the industry back then, so the Reliant was anything but.
3/9 Dodge Omni
The Dodge Omni was another bland subcompact hatchback of the 1980s which isn’t anything to write home about. The regular Omnis got either 1.6- or 1.7-liter inline-4s – the former of which was from the 1960s and the latter was borrowed from Volkswagen.
The Omni’s desirability increased ten-fold when Carroll Shelby stuck a 2.2-liter in the front and called it the GLH, or ‘Goes Like Hell’. When it wasn’t fast enough, he added a turbocharger and called it the GLH-S, or ‘Goes Like Hell S’More’. At least the names were creative.
2/9 Chrysler Sebring
The Chrysler Sebring was designed as the replacement for the LeBaron and was named after the famous racetrack. Sadly, it was about as good on a track as a boat is in a desert. The Sebring was never a pretty car, with the final iteration looking more like a luxury yacht than a car.
The Sebring got some boring inline-4 engines, a couple of V6s, and one of the worst engines ever made. The 2.7-liter V6 had so many problems that Chrysler discontinued it before the end of the Sebring’s production run.
1/9 Eagle Premier
The Eagle Premier – also known as the Dodge Monaco, Renault Premier, AMC Premier, or Chrysler Premier in Japan – was a blocky sedan from the 1980s and 1990s. It was front-wheel-drive and had only two engine options – a 2.5-liter AMC inline-4 or a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo 3.0-liter V6.
The Premier was terrible to drive and took 11.5 seconds to get to 60 mph, but it was partly a success story. The car was developed by AMC outside the Big Three’s resources, and it got good reviews from automotive journalists. Still, it’s not exactly a Dodge Challenger or Chrysler 300C – or any of the other Mopars we are used to.
Sources: Stellantis, Chrysler, Dodge, CarGurus
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