• May 21, 2006

Last Thursday DaimlerChrysler's Sterling Heights Assembly Plant ended production of the Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring sedan and convertible when an Inferno Red Dodge Stratus rolled off the line. Since 2,000 a total of 1,308,123 vehicles have been built, and the SHAP is currently being retooled to become a flexible manufacturing facility. The new operation will handle the production of the next Dodge Stratus and Chrysler Sebring, the development of which Allpar has been chronicling extensively, as well as handle "cross-load" models from other plants, including the Dodge Caliber if it takes off and more production capacity is required.

[Source: Chrysler]


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  • 22 Comments
      alfredclaussen
      • 2 Years Ago
      The version of these autos can make a huge difference: I have a 2002 Strauts R/T made for the Mexican market, the only version of a Stratus equipped with a TURBO engine (2.4 DOHC, 215 BHP and 224 Ft-Lb torque); four wheel disc brakes and four speed Autostick tramsmission, 16" Aluminum five spoke wheels and slightly better interior finishes. At the very high altitude of Mexico city( 7350 ft. asl), the Turbo-4 powered Stratus is faster than many V8's of its time. The "Cirrus" was the Luxury oriented model with the same engine, transmission and chasis, while thwe Stratus R/R was the sporty version. The 1995 to 2000 models, even when rated at 168 BHP were very fast cars, reaching 239 Kilometers an hour (148.5 MPH) as tested with a fifth wheel speedometer by Motor y Volante magazine. But al the Stratus and Cirrus (Sebring LXi) suffered from terribly inadecuate brakes, specially when Daimler bought Chrysler and ordered the brakes to be from german "Ate" company, instead of american "Kelsey Hayes". While the Spirit/Acclaim was a perfectly designed, easily serviced car, the cloud cars are comparatively a nightmare to service, everything is cramped under the hood, and disassembly is terribly complicated, mechanics run away from them!, but most recent cars are also badly designed in order to last about 4 years and then be discarded, as they are too difficult to be easy to maintain after many things start to give trouble.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There not exactly gone for good, they'll start a second life in Russia
      http://www.autoblog.com/2006/04/14/volga-sebring-gazelle-stratus-russian-automaker-buys-daimlerch/


      • 8 Years Ago
      Marcus, the Sebring will be redesigned, but the Stratus is dead, like it or not. Besides, the Stratus and Sebring never were the backbone of the Chrysler Group, the 300/Charger/Magnum and the minivans are.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #11, #12, you've obviously never actually driven one of these cars. They weren't the best of the bunch, but they were damn reliable and fun cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      My only beef with these cars is the service! I do most work myself, and I looked under the hood of one, it seemed hellbent on forcing me to take it in for basic stuff. When you have to drop the battery from UNDERNEATH the car, that is a bad sign. I know cars in general are getting tougher to work on, but geez, when you can't swap a battery in a few minutes, it's a clue that the design is crap.

      BTW, my girlfriends 02 Stratus has gone 62k miles without one problem, the car runs great, drives good, but the interior is crap! Useless cupholders, and plastic bits that not only are crude, they just can't stand the test of time (faded garbage). My uncle's 92 Camry's interior is in better condition than my gf's Dodge. As usual, they hammer down the big stuff, and leave the details hanging.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I did not like the looks of the 2nd gen but I owned a first gen 97 Stratus ES with the 2.5 mitsu v6. Excellant car. Looked better than any car in it's class. Put 48k on it with no problems except some weather stripping that came lose. Dealer took care of it. Car handled very well for it's time (mid 1990's). My wifes grandmother has always bought new Accords about every 4 years. She drove mine once and said that she enjoyed it very much. Honda was one of the target vehicles when they developed this car.

      #19 is right, it was the first car to be "non-smoking". Don't know if they changed that in the 2nd gen. Also the first gen was the first car to ever have a hood that was wider than it was long.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I knew a few haters would come out. Nobody ever said it was at the top of it's class, but during my ownership, the car and the dealership experience always pleasantly exceeded my expectations in every way. Moreso than Euro cars I have had since then that cost 2x more.

      I actually bought it *after* a rental car experience on a ski trip in the Canadian Rockies. The car felt like it had an excellent weight balance, and handled on snow better than any car I had ever driven prior.

      Size-wise it was unusual. I always called it a large compact or a small midsize.

      I had the most awesome air-conditioning of any car I've ever owned. Americans know how to do A/C right...

      Historical Tidbit: I recall reading in the press at the introduction of the car that it was the first "non-smoking" car. An ashtray and lighter were not standard features. You paid $25 for a "Smoker's Group" which included the lighter element and an ashtray insert that popped into the space of one cupholder.
      • 8 Years Ago
      When it comes to cars, you know I can check to see the consensus!
      • 8 Years Ago
      #13, I've had the misfortune of renting several of these cars for long trips. "Fun" is about the last adjective I'd choose to describe the base-model automatic units. They're seriously underpowered, incredibly cheap-feeling inside, and mushy in steering, handling, and brake feel. Just the most utterly "average" vehicle I've ever driven.

      Though I can see the sleek, unpretentious looks appealing to mainstream buyers, the unremarkable drive, the total lack of originality (outside) and lack of attention to detail (inside) made this the least interesting car in its class. If you got a Kia Optima, at least you'd have an abnormally long warranty.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have an '02 Stratus that I've put 67,000 miles on, and it's been a wonderful vehicle so far. Never had it in the shop (except for regular maintenance, of course), it's always started fine, gets better fuel economy than the EPA estimates, and drives as well as I could ask for. I know a lot of people dog on them, but I've been very happy with mine. I always thought the 2nd-gen Stratus was about the best-looking car in the mid-size class, and it still looks really well.
      Carson Smith
      • 8 Years Ago
      I got 305,000 miles out of my Stratus before I gave it to my son to drive.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They were not bad cars at all.

      I had a 97 Stratus with the somewhat rare 2.0/5-speed combination. I had had two Hondas prior, and this car handled better. It was a very nice, comfortable highway cruiser. Sure the interior was a bit unrefined and plasticy, but the gauges and controls were laid out very logically, and everything was where it was supposed to be. The seat fabric was very rugged, and it had a pattern that made dirt and stains dissappear.

      It had a huge trunk, and a huge backseat. For this reason, my car was always the choice we took when roadtripping with friends, and it was always a good "going out" car because you could haul 5 people easily and only have to hunt for 1 parking space in the city. I bought it used, and it fit my budget as a mid-20's low-paid white collar professional at the time.

      It was cheap to insure, and although the 2.0 was noisy and a little sluggish in city traffic, my average MPG was about 28, and on trips I could get about 34 MPG. Believe it or not, a couple of times I got 39 MPG (another reason for the roadtrips). Snow traction was awesome.

      Having had experience with 2 Hondas, parts and service were amazingly cheap. My Dodge deal only charged something like $27.95 for a regular oil & filter check up & service. At a Honda dealer the filter alone costs almost that much. It was in a minor accident (kissed a Jersey barrier), requiring a new front wheel, new calipers, alignment, and some other stuff I can't remember, and the total repair costs was less than $300 if I remember correctly.

      There were a few mechanical issues. The cat failed, but it was covered by a "secret" warranty (I was outside of the 36mo warranty). The steering column also always made a funny noise that was never really resolved, but in summary it was a decent car that fit my budget and needs at that point of time in my life. Much better than a Neon, and much better than a lot of the other cars that were in my budget range at the time.
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