Will the Chrysler Crossfire Become a Classic?

Chrysler Crossfire

Whether a car becomes a classic or not is a difficult thing to predict. Sometimes cars that are initially rejected by enthusiasts end up becoming classics simply because of their rarity and quirky features.

The Chrysler Crossfire is a car that was considered controversial in the car enthusiast community for a variety of reasons, but these days it has a growing fan base.

So will the Chrysler Crossfire become a classic?

It is possible that the Chrysler Crossfire will become a classic thanks to its relative scarcity and unmistakable design. The high performance SRT6 model and the rarer manual models are more likely to become collectible.

So we know that the Crossfire is likely to become a future classic, but what sort of performance does it have, and is it expensive to maintain?

Is a Chrysler Crossfire considered a sports car?

The Chrysler Crossfire can be considered a sports car as it has all the main ingredients; a 2 door coupe design, decent performance, and sporty handling.

Sports cars often become classics, but the term ‘sports car’ can be open to interpretation. Most would agree, however, that the Crossfire is a sports car. Certainly most insurance companies list it as such.

Chrysler Crossfire Roadster
Chrysler Crossfire Roadster

Sports cars are designed with performance characteristics in mind rather than practicality, and the Crossfire certainly wasn’t produced to offer practicality.

Despite some lamenting the lack of power in the basic models, it has 2 doors, 2 seats, the engine up front and rear wheel drive. 

The regular model came with some cool sports car features such as an active rear wing, but the tacky interior and lackluster handling have both been criticized by some.

Is the Crossfire a Mercedes?

The Chrysler Crossfire is a remodeled version of the Mercedes SLK. It shares 80% of its components with the German car, and Chrysler was responsible for the styling.

The Crossfire was produced by DaimlerChrysler (the two companies have since split), and was built by Karmann at their facility in Osnabrück, Germany.

Chrysler Crossfire with Mercedes badge
Some owners like to add extra Mercedes-Benz touches to their Crossfires

The Chrysler Crossfire is equipped with a Mercedes-Benz M112 engine, the same engine that was fitted to the first generation Mercedes SLK (R170).

Chrysler Crossfire performance

How much horsepower does a Chrysler Crossfire have?

The Crossfire’s 3.2l V6 engine produces 215 bhp. The Crossfire SRT6 produces 330 bhp from its supercharged engine.

Chrysler Crossfire 0-60

The Crossfire does 0-60 mph in 6.5 seconds. The Crossfire SRT6 reaches 60 mph in 5.1 seconds.

What is the top speed of a Chrysler Crossfire?

The Crossfire has a top speed electronically limited at 155 mph.

Is the Chrysler Crossfire fast?

Many consider the standard Crossfire to be somewhat lacking in power, but the Crossfire SRT6 is considered a fast car, especially when compared to similar sports cars from the time.

Chrysler Crossfire

Speed is only one factor when determining which cars may become classics, and a sports car doesn’t necessarily need monumental power to become a collectible.

In any case, the 215 bhp from the standard model is more than enough for some.

When it launched, two of the Chrysler’s main competitors were the Nissan 350Z and the Audi TT. The Crossfire’s power was well below the 350Z’s 283bhp, but was very close to the 221 bhp produced by the Audi TT 1.8 Quattro.

Chrysler Crossfire SRT6

The SRT6 is Chrysler’s high performance Crossfire model, producing an additional 115 bhp on the standard model thanks to the supercharger fitted to the engine.

The Crossfire SRT6 was a different car altogether. As well as being nearly 1.5 seconds quicker to 60 mph, there were a number of aesthetic upgrades. These included:

  • Different front grille
  • Stiffer suspension
  • Bigger brakes
  • Different alloy wheels
  • Alcantara seats
  • Larger tires
  • SRT-6 logos
  • Fixed spoiler rather than active
  • Larger exhaust pipes
Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6
Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6

The SRT6 was only fitted with the five-speed automatic gearbox. There was no manual available on this model, unlike the regular car.

Is the Chrysler Crossfire a reliable car?

The Chrysler Crossfire is considered a reliable car, confirmed by many positive owner reviews.

Often sports cars take a lot of care and attention to get them to a point where they’re considered reliable, but the Crossfire seems to be pretty solid if serviced regularly.

Scouring the reviews online show many owners who have had great experiences with the Crossfire over many miles, and the majority of people commend its reliability.

Is the Chrysler Crossfire expensive to maintain?

The Chrysler Crossfire is no more expensive to maintain than any other similar car. Some parts can be hard to source and others can be pricey, but the costs are not excessive.

Chrysler Crossfire Engine
Chrysler Crossfire Engine

Cost of maintenance can be a big factor when deciding whether to buy a potential future classic car. If it’s too expensive to run, it may not be worth buying. Thankfully the Crossfire doesn’t seem to be too bad when it comes to running costs.

Whilst there are a few murmurs of expensive oil changes online, when looked at in more detail the cost of an oil change doesn’t seem to be much more than in any other similar car. Plus, it’s something you can do yourself if you’re worried about the cost.

The Crossfire can be expensive to fix when it goes wrong, but thankfully that doesn’t happen too often if the car has been well looked after throughout its life.

Certain parts can be hard to source these days, but few people complain at the overall cost of maintenance.

It also takes premium fuel, but the standard model gives a decent return of 30 mpg which is great for a car of this caliber with a 3.2l engine.

Chrysler Crossfire problems

As with any car of this age, there are certain things that can go wrong. Some of the Crossfire’s most common problems include:

  • Heated seats stop working
  • Misalignment of rear end and drive shaft causing a whining noise
  • Water pools under the weather strip at the bottom of the door causing rust
  • Headlamp covers fogging up
  • Throttle lag
  • Sentry Key Remote Entry System failure
  • Rear window of the convertible becoming unglued and separating from roof

How many Chrysler Crossfires were made?

76,014 Chrysler Crossfires were made in total. 30,536 of those were convertibles, and 4,071 were the SRT6 model.

The 2004 and 2005 year models are the most common, with sales tapering off from 2006 to 2008. 

2 Chrysler Crossfire roadsters
Chrysler Crossfire roadsters

In fact, over 80% of the cars that were built came in the first two years of production. Just 1,786 new Crossfires were registered in 2008.

The vast majority of these were sold in the USA, but some made their way over to Europe. 

There are now fewer than 2,700 Chrysler Crossfires remaining in the UK, from the 4,454 that were originally sold into the country.

Chrysler stopped making the Crossfire in 2007 as part of their restructuring plans, with the final cars being registered in 2008. This resulted in the car only having a very short production run of 4 years.

Chrysler Crossfire pros and cons

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Unique design
  • Good MPG for a 3.2l engine
  • Smooth engine
  • Aging well
  • Comfortable
  • SRT6 has great performance
  • Reliable engine

Cons

  • Interior is cheap and tacky
  • Handling is poor
  • Taller people won’t fit
  • Its looks are controversial
  • Some parts are hard to source
  • No manual gearbox in the SRT6
Chrysler Crossfire Interior
Chrysler Crossfire Interior

Is the Chrysler Crossfire a good car?

Despite not being considered a good option when it was new, the Chrysler Crossfire can now be considered good value for a sports car of its caliber.

From new, many would argue that it was beaten hands-down by the likes of the Mazda RX-8, Audi TT, and Nissan 350Z. The Crossfire was reserved for those with a quirky sense of style or a propensity for an American car.

Chrysler Crossfire and Nissan 350Z
Chrysler Crossfire with a Nissan 350Z in the background

But these days the Crossfire is a serious option when placed alongside these Japanese and European competitors.

There are certainly aspects of the car, such as the interior, which could be better, but overall the Crossfire now holds its own against similar sports cars.

What is a Crossfire worth?

You can expect to pay around $5,000 for the cheapest Crossfire, and over $18,000 for an investor-level Crossfire SRT6.

Values can vary dramatically depending on the condition, service history and mileage of the car. 

Some are already seeing the potential for the Crossfire to be a future classic, and there are cars on the market with fewer than 20,000 miles on the clock. These examples are selling for over $25,000.

Prices seem to vary significantly between the US and UK markets. The Crossfire is far more popular in the states than it is in the UK, perhaps understandably given Chrysler’s American heritage.

In the UK prices start at £2,500 for a standard Crossfire, and go up to £9,000 for a low mileage SRT6. There’s a bargain to be had if you’re in the UK!

Will the Crossfire be collectible?

The rarest and most desirable variants of the Chrysler Crossfire are likely to become collectible cars thanks to their distinctive looks, rarity, and decent performance figures.

It’s often the case with cars that are lamented in the early days; their unpopularity means there aren’t many produced, but they end up coming back around and start picking up in value. The Crossfire is no exception.

There has always been an undercurrent of Crossfire lovers, and these days the rarest models are becoming more attractive to collectors.

Manual Chrysler Crossfire
Manual Crossfires will be more desirable to collectors

It may never be the best driver’s car the world has ever seen, but it does have many of the ingredients needed to become a collector’s car. All of this despite the criticism that it’s received over the years.

Some have already cottoned onto its potential, which is demonstrated by the extremely high prices that are already being commanded for the lowest mileage models.

Should I buy a Chrysler Crossfire?

You should buy a Chrysler Crossfire if you’re in the market for a sporty American coupe or roadster with distinctive looks and an enjoyable driving experience.

They have done all the depreciating they’re going to do, so if you’re in the market for a sports car that you can drive, enjoy, and maybe one day see an increase in value, the Crossfire is a good option.

Crossfire fans were in the minority for many years, but you only have to speak to a few owners of these cars to realise what fun can be had, and what a bargain they still are.

Chrysler’s American heritage blended with the build quality of the European engine is an appealing combination for many.

Crossfire badge

It is possible that the Crossfire will become a classic in years to come, especially the rarer models. 

The SRT6 is definitely a good choice if you’re looking to buy one as an investment, but as these were all fitted with an automatic gearbox it’s also worth considering one of the later manual models in standard trim.

It’s always been a ‘love it or hate it’ car, but ultimately you shouldn’t worry about what other people think of the car you drive. If you love it, there’s no reason not to buy one and enjoy it.

The Car Investor’s Future Classic Rating: 3.5 / 5

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