Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Used Chrysler Crossfire review: 2003-2009

EXPERT RATING
6
Now for something completely different; a German Mercedes sportscar with an American body, a low price tag and styling that looks like nothing else on the road.

Now for something completely different; a German Mercedes sportscar with an American body, a low price tag and styling that looks like nothing else on the road.

Chrysler Crossfire has a huge radiator grille, strakes on the ultra-long bonnet that look like a carryover from the 1930s, vents on the front guards, a stubby little cabin and a downward-curving rump that has traces of art deco.

Perhaps it was simply too different for many people, because the Crossfire didn’t sell particularly well. It was well-priced on the new car scene and is a real bargain on the used-car market.

This is a surprise, because the Mercedes-Benz SLK - from which the Chrysler Crossfire borrowed many of its out of sight parts - has done well both as a new and used car.

At the launch of the Crossfire in November 2003, I can distinctly remember Chrysler telling we journos, “everything you can see and touch is unique to the Crossfire.” At the time some of the minor controls looked rather familiar to us. They still do today...

Chrysler’s Crossfire is like a racing car in that it uses larger wheels and tyres at the rear than the front.

The similarity in under-the-skin parts was due to Chrysler and Mercedes being in partnership at one time. They have since divorced, Chrysler having since remarried, this time with Fiat.

There’s another German connection in the Chrysler Crossfire. It was built in Germany by Karmann.

Chrysler’s Crossfire is like a racing car in that it uses larger wheels and tyres at the rear than the front. The resultant chassis balance is impressive, and under hard driving the car remains safe and neutral.

This is a genuine sports machine that is a delight to hammer hard over twisty roads, with plenty of grip and nicely predictable handling. Yet it remains surprisingly comfortable for a car with sports suspension.

The Crossfire has full leather trim, power seats with heating, an Infinity Modulus stereo system, dual-zone air-conditioning and cruise control as well as quite a few other comfort features - this is far from being a stripped down sports special.

Seating is strictly for two. There’s a reasonable amount of cabin stowage and a good sized boot, but the stylish rear end of the Crossfire means the opening of the rear hatch is very skinny.

The Crossfire coupe was joined by a roadster convertible in August 2004. Its cabin is on the tight side for anyone much over average height and the seat backrests are very limited in the angle to which they can be reclined. Having said that, the styling works beautifully and many feel it’s even more visually striking than the coupe.

Chrysler Crossfire comes with a 3.2-litre V6 that drives the rear wheels. It’s a Mercedes unit that was used in a number of models from the German marque, proving itself powerful and reliable over the years.

The 3.2-litre, supercharged V6 provides 53 per cent more power and 30 per cent more torque over the standard V6.

A high-performance model, the Crossfire SRT-6 was introduced in June 2005 and sold as both a coupe and roadster convertible. The 3.2-litre, supercharged V6 provides 53 per cent more power and 30 per cent more torque over the standard V6. Peak figures are 246kW and 420Nm respectively.

The boosted torque is available all the way from 2300 rpm through to 6200 rpm, providing nearly instant acceleration from almost any speed. The whine from the blower adds to the driving pleasure.

To match the extra grunt, the SRT-6’s all-wheel independent suspension have increased spring rates and performance-tuned dampers. The internally-vented brake discs also are larger. Aerodynamics have also been given an upgrade, with a deeper front spoiler and a fixed rear wing to reduce lift at high speed.

Crossfire SRT-6’s ride is rather firm so may not appeal to those looking for a cruiser rather than a bruiser.

Most Crossfires sold in Australia have a five-speed automatic transmission, but our preference is the slick-shifting six-speed manual gearbox. Despite its more sporting nature, the SRT-6 versions of the Crossfire do not have the option of a manual-shift transmission.

Chrysler is well established in Australia. As mentioned, these days it’s under the control of Fiat and that company is putting a lot of effort into marketing all its cars in this country.

There are Chrysler dealers in many areas, though, naturally, there’s a concentration in major cities. Some Mercedes dealers still have expertise in Chrysler, perhaps talk to your local guys and ask if they still have spare parts for the Crossfire.

Chrysler Crossfire was discontinued in Australia early in 2009 and hasn’t been replaced at this stage.

These are relatively complex cars and really should only be repaired by professionals, though the simple, non-safety items can be worked on by good amateur mechanics.

Insurance charges are quite high, which hardly comes as a surprise, and we notice a fair bit of difference between companies. So it’s worthwhile shopping around. Be sure to go into all the details so the comparison is a fair one.

Chrysler Crossfire was discontinued in Australia early in 2009 and hasn’t been replaced at this stage.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Crossfire is most certainly a car that demands a professional inspection.

Signs of hard driving aren’t that common in sports models these days, as many are only ever used as attractive cruisers.

Beware very wary of a Crossfire with any signs of competition use, such as a rollcage, extra instruments or race seats.

Check for crash damage by sighting along panels for signs of a ripply finish. Also look for colours that don’t quite match and for tiny specks of overspray on non-painted surfaces.

Look and feel the carpets on the floor of a convertible for signs of dampness and/or rust. If there’s any doubt, ask the seller for permission to pull up the mats.

Other than that, the car is well built and seldom has. Do the usual checks on engine starting and smoothness and make sure the manual gearbox or automatic transmission work correctly.

CAR BUYING TIP

Sports models that have been used in a sporty manner are rare - and best avoided - unless the price is very low.

Pricing

Year Price From Price To
2009 $10,500 $20,240
2008 $9,100 $17,930
2007 $8,400 $17,160
2006 $8,100 $16,500
2005 $8,000 $16,170
2004 $8,000 $13,420
2003 $8,000 $12,320

View all Chrysler Crossfire pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

$10,160
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$8,000
Highest Price
$12,320

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 3.2L, ULP, 5 SP SEQ AUTO $8,000 – 12,320 2003 Chrysler Crossfire 2003 (base) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6

Other cars to consider

2001 Ford Mustang
2001 Ford Mustang

2001 Ford Mustang

Price guide from: $19,000 – $29,989
1999 Honda S2000
1999 Honda S2000

1999 Honda S2000

Pricing guide from: $8,800 – 13,200
1999 Audi TT
1999 Audi TT

1999 Audi TT

Pricing guide from: $9,500 – 14,300
Pricing Guide

$8,000

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

View cars for sale