New Car Review

1994 CHRYSLER LHS 4-DOOR SEDAN

by: BILL RUSS

The completely new 1994 Chrysler LHS is the largest, most sumptuously equipped model to wear the Pentastar badge. In design and styling it is a complete departure from the three-box models recently wearing the famous New Yorker nameplate. For the better part of six decades, since the early thirties, Chrysler has built a luxury line of powerful motorcars. In addition to the New Yorker, Imperial and 300 are marques that come to mind. In the past they epitomized a stylish combination of brute performance and custom-built luxury. Alas, both the 300 and the Imperial have gone to the automotive Valhalla, and the downsizing of the '70's and '80's , along with the addition of pseudo-luxury embellishments unfortunately changed the original character of the New Yorker. Although, the new New Yorker marque remains a leader in Chrysler's large car class, it is the brand new nameplate, LHS, that emerges as its premier, world-class luxury four- door sedan.

While the LHS and the New Yorker share the same powertrain and classic LH cab-forward styling, what really sets the LHS apart is that it establishes a new level of luxury for Chrysler. Regular LHS equipment includes a power sunroof, leather covered seating for five, 16-inch wheels and tires and more. It is so completely fitted out that only two extra cost options are available, a dealer-installed cellular telephone and CD changer. Its the American touring sedan of the nineties, and it's currently priced at less than $30,000.

APPEARANCE: The distinctive aerodynamic styling of the LHS was derived in part from auto show concept cars, resulting in a smooth, wide, long and low design. Its classic lines are accentuated by a low hood and grille with wraparound lighting, a large cabin set off by a distinctive rear window, and a sloping rear deck with a low liftover trunk lid. Its monochrome finish is set off by subtle lower body cladding , an all-around rub strip, large side mirrors, a tilt-and-slide sunroof and 16-inch cast alloy sport-type alloy wheels shod with Goodyear Eagle GA touring tires.

COMFORT: When it comes to comfort the LHS literally has it all, and most of it is standard equipment! Very comfortable power adjustable front seats covered in super-soft leather upholstery, a complete array of electric controlled accessories, as well as remote infra-red locking. It offers a very roomy interior that has enough room, particularly in back to seat three well over six-footers comfortably. The climate control system with rear seat ducting has the capacity to cool a 1500 square foot house, and it proved its potential in ninety degree plus weather. The 11-speaker Infiniti sound system worked quite well, but the FM fidelity was a little weak. The large, flat trunk can accommodate almost 20 cubic feet of luggage or groceries. There's message center, plus a compass, outside temperature gauge and trip computer to keep track of ones' travels in the town and country.

ROADABILITY: A hallmark of the LHS is its stable and predictable ride, which is due in part to its long wheelbase and wide stance, as well as its independent suspension layout and traction control. In town the bumps and potholes are nicely absorbed, while on the open road its touring suspension is set up to deliver a pliant ride on the straight away and not too much lean on the turns. Proportional power steering eases the chore of parking, and provides positive control elsewhere. A comprehensive sound deadening and weatherstripping program insures a very quiet ride, while four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes insure controlled stopping in either normal or panic situations. For ultimate safety there are dual front airbags plus three point seat belts on all outboard seats.

PERFORMANCE: The Chrysler LHS shares it engine and transmission with the rest of the LH car lineup. Its 24-valve, 3.5 liter, single overhead cam, fuel injected V-6 develops a lively 214 horsepower that is more than adequate for interstate merging and safe passing, and should meet the performance requirements of the majority of drivers. The electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is Chrysler designed and built specifically for the LH series, and delivers smooth shifts.

CONCLUSIONS: Not too long ago financial analysts and automotive journalists weren't too sure about the future of Chrysler. However, in the past couple of years, by its corporate performance and new model introductions it has demonstrated that it's here for the long haul. The LHS dramatically illustrates that an affordable, completely new and powerful, fully-equipped luxury sedan is now available for a wide range of American drivers.

SPECIFICATIONS:
1994 CHRYSLER LHS 4-DOOR SEDAN

           
           Base Price              $  29,046
           Price As Tested         $  29,897
           Engine Type             V-6, sohc - 24v, smpfi
           Engine Size             3.5 liter/216 cid
           Horsepower              214 @ 5800
           Torque (ft/lbs)         221 @ 2800
           Wheelbase/Length        113"/207"
           Transmission            four-speed auto w/od 
           Curb Weight             3480
           Pounds per Horsepower   16
           Fuel Capacity           18
           Fuel Requirement        Unleaded mid-grade(89 oct)
           Tires                   Goodyear Eagle GA P225/60R16 M+S   
           Brakes                  anti-lock standard    disc/disc
           Drive Train             front engine/front drive 
           
                          PERFORMANCE
           
           EPA Economy - miles per gallon,
             city/highway/observed      18/26/19.4
           0 to 60 mph                  8.6 sec 
           1/4 mi (E.T.)                16.8 sec 
           Coefficient of Drag  (Cd)    .36 

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