We purchased this car on December 23, 1998. We outgrew our Saturn SL1 following the birth of our second child. We wanted a car big enough to carry the infant seat comfortably, and were looking for a used minivan. For awhile we had talked about the style of the Intrepid, and we both agreed that the 1998 change was less appealing. Our search for a minivan led us to a Dodge dealer who had our dream car sitting on the used lot.
That car was a 1997 Dodge Intrepid. The car was monochrome black with tinted windows, mid-level wheels, and the 3.6-liter engine option. We quickly gravitated to this car, and abandoned our minivan search. The car had been a leased vehicle, and was well maintained. The mileage was high, at 47,000 miles, but since it was our last chance to own this style Intrepid, we opted to buy it.
The 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine has a wonderfully deep sound to it, like it’s ready to race. Combined with the smooth, quiet ride, we were in car paradise.
This model is equipped with traction control and anti-lock brakes. It was snowing on the day we took delivery in Maryland, so we played around on a slippery parking lot that evening. The traction control can be turned off with a push of a button located on the dashboard within easy reach of the driver. A light indicates when the traction control is off, and another flashes on when the traction control is applying brakes to prevent the wheels from spinning. It only works at speeds below about 25 mph. It is very helpful for starting from signal lights in rainy or snowy weather.
The anti-lock brakes make a sort of grinding noise when fully applied. There is vibration in the brake pedal, and noticeable resistance, but not enough to make braking difficult. We miss having this option on our van.
We really like the keyless entry option, which we had before on a pickup. This feature made life easier with a 4-year-old and a newborn. Pressing the unlock button once unlocks the driver’s door, and a second time unlocks the other three doors. Locking all the doors only requires pressing the lock button once. There is also a button to open the trunk, which must be pressed twice to ensure you don’t pop the trunk open by accident. When carrying one child, holding another child’s hand, and carrying three bags of groceries, this feature really
comes in handy. It’s also amusing to pop open the trunk from several yards away as someone else is walking past the car.
This car also came with several other options and features we like, such as cruise control, tilt steering wheel, power driver’s seat, AM/FM cassette radio, tinted windows, and vents for the A/C and heat that point into the rear seat.
Some nice safety features include fog lights, child safety locks on the rear doors, rear window defogger, rear door windows that only open half-way, a button for the driver to prevent use of the power windows, and doors that lock automatically when you reach a speed of 15 mph.
The trunk is huge. An adult can easily climb completely inside the trunk. It is big enough to hold several suitcases along with a double stroller, with room to spare for lunch.
This is a very comfortable, quiet vehicle to ride in. The seats are wide, well-padded, and roomy. There is plenty of footroom in the rear, even when a tall person sits in the front. The back seat is wide enough to hold three car seats, however, we found that our children couldn’t keep their hands to themselves, so we unfortunately had to move into a van after the birth of our third child.
Amount Paid (US$):
1997Model and Options:
3.6-liter engine, power driver seat, power mirrors, keyless entry