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Out with the old, in with the new. Well, sort of. The Chrysler Concorde has donned LHS clothing for 2002.
See if you can follow this: All three Chrysler Concorde models have adopted the elegant front and rear styling from the Chrysler LHS. There is no LHS available this year, at least not in name. The LHS nameplate has been dropped, so you won't see a 2002 LHS in the Chrysler showroom. What you'll see, instead, is a Concorde Limited. The new Concorde Limited model features the higher trim of the LHS. This wasn't as complicated for Chrysler as it sounds. The luxurious LHS shared underpinnings and much of its hardware with the full-size Concorde. Some styling cues were also shared.
Regardless of what it's called, this design still cuts a nice profile. That's impressive given this design is in its fourth year. Chrysler has been on the leading edge of design in recent years and this car is a perfect example of this. Most cars, particularly those with more daring designs, tend to look dated after a few years. This isn't one of them. The bold grille and fluid lines still look terrific. Yet the sleek design does not prevent the Chrysler Concorde from being a practical car with a comfortable, roomy interior.
The Concorde delivers a smooth ride quality, filtering out unwanted vibration without isolating the driver from the road. Noise and vibration, though not the best in the class, are low.
The Concorde feels extremely stable at high speeds. Steering is direct and precise and is among the best in the class. It offers impressive grip in hard cornering and solid, stable braking performance. It's amazing how well this car handles given its size. It's easy and fun to drive on winding roads.
The fully independent touring suspension provides this handling prowess without sacrificing ride comfort. The secret lies within the Concorde's rigid chassis and unibody. An aluminum crossbeam behind the instrument panel helps reduce noise and vibration. The stiff structure reduces body shake and roll, which allows better handling and a quieter ride. The Concorde provides a smooth ride even when traveling on rough, beat-up roads, but it is not the quietest sedan in its class.
The 2.7-liter engine is a modern V6, introduced just last year, that uses double overhead-cams and 24 valves. It still isn't the most refined engine in its class, but it achieves decent fuel economy, and is classed by the government as a Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV). The 2.7-liter engine works well around town, but seems a bit taxed when accelerating onto the freeway fully laden with passengers.
The Limited models high-output 3.5-liter V6 offers a lot more punch. Quiet when cruising, it serves notice with an aggressive growl when provoked. Plenty of power is on tap for accelerating away from intersections, onto freeways and passing cars. The engine is tuned with a broad torque curve designed to provide instant throttle response at any speed.
Concorde models come standard with a four-speed automatic transmission that shifts effectively without hunting for the appropriate gear.
The Concorde's brakes are excellent, offering quick, predictable stopping power at the threshold limit. ABS is standard on the Limited, but it's a $600 option on LX and LXi models. We recommend ABS highly; anti-lock brakes allow the driver to maintain steering control during emergency braking situations. Likewise, traction control is standard on the Limited, optional on LX and LXi; traction control enhances driver control by reducing wheel spin under hard acceleration, making the car easier to drive in slippery conditions.
An elegant interior, solid acceleration performance and excellent handling complement the appealing looks of the Chrysler Concorde. With its roomy back seats and generous legroom, it can haul four people in comfortable surroundings. Those surroundings are particularly luxurious in the Limited model with its premium leather. Supremely smooth and stable at highway speeds, we could spend many miles in one of these.