Which would we chose? A 2004-reg Mercedes SLK 320 with 73,000 miles for £2995 or, for a same money, a same age, same mileage Chrysler Crossfire?
See Chrysler Crossfire for sale on PistonHeads
They’re closely associated and share a rear-drive height and 3.2-litre V6. What’s more, there are singular AMG-fettled versions of each, called, respectively, a SLK32 and SRT-6.
However, a first-gen SLK was bowing out as a Chrysler, built by production association Karmann, came on tide in 2003, so even a late-plate Crossfire is indeed a flattering aged design. Still, it’s accessible in coupé and automobile forms, nonetheless while a SLK is classy, a Crossfire coupé looks ungainly and a automobile is prettier.
While decay is an emanate with both cars, a Karmann-built Crossfire is indeed expected to be in improved condition. Meanwhile, a £2995 instance not with standing, £5250 is where neat 04-plate SLK320s with reasonable mileages unequivocally are (and even then, we should bill easily for some essential refurb). The same income is your pass to a universe of good, low-mileage, 06-reg Crossfire coupés and convertibles.
So, ungainly styling and antiquated mechanicals, though good made, good value, a choice of physique styles and a 215bhp 3.2 V6 pushing a behind wheels around a six-speed primer gearbox or a (much better) five-speed auto. But are pushing thrills another attribute? Alas, no. Dozy recirculating round steering sees to that.
Instead, consider of a Crossfire as a secure though loose GT. It has grippy 19in tyres during a behind and 18s during a front, in multiple with double wishbone front cessation and a multi-link behind set-up. It’ll moment 0-62mph in 6.5sec when pulpy though is happiest tootling between 2600 and 5300rpm, where many of a engine’s torque is a throttle-squeeze away. It does have one honestly sporty feature, though: an active spoiler that deploys during 60mph (you can work it manually, too).
The automobile is roughly giveaway of skip shake. The electric-folding fabric hood is weathertight and still and should go from sealed to open in 22 seconds. Check a windows dump automatically and that a tough tonneau cover opens to acknowledge a hood, before shutting flush. The cabin is gentle – leather and air-con are customary – though it’s plasticky and, overdue to a high waistline, tough to see out of. Seek out cars with a discretionary parking sensors.
The supercharged SRT-6, with 330bhp and 0-62mph in 5.5sec and a cessation and brakes to match, ought to feel many sharper, and so it does – until we spin a steering circle and clarity that recirculating round system. This chronicle has destiny classical created all over it, though a standard, 06-plate involuntary automobile with 50,000 miles for around £5750 is a pick. Trouble is, we’ve only seen a gen-two (fully galvanised body), 55-plate SLK350 automobile with 62,000 miles and full use story for a same money…
How to get one in your garage:
An expert’s perspective – STUART DAVIES, SDSC SPECIALIST CARS:
“I’ve sole some-more than 100 used Crossfires. A lot of buyers are comparison people who’ve had Triumph TR7s and Stags and wish something arguable though only as quirky. I’m picky about a Crossfires we buy. If a seller says a headlight covers demeanour milky, we won’t go to perspective a automobile since we know it’s been left outward and will expected have decay issues. Blaze Red is a colour to have. Convertibles demeanour improved than coupés and humour really small scuttle-shake. Regardless of model, now is a time to buy before a classical bug takes hold.”
ENGINE – The Mercedes V6 takes 8 litres of oil and 12 hint plugs, so cause that in if a use is due. If a engine light is on, check a send control module. Faulty holder sensors on early 04-reg cars meant a engine turns though doesn’t fire. A rattly SRT-6 supercharger might only need a daub to reseat it.
TRANSMISSION – Check for vibrations during 30mph and 70mph — it could be a propshaft’s rubber doughnut coupling. Oil can trickle from a ECU’s tie into a auto’box (a new rubber block is £12). Faulty stop pedal switch can close a ’box in Park; use a primer overrule next a change lever.
ELECTRICAL – Water accession can inundate a boot, shorting a executive locking module.
RUNNING GEAR – Brakes and cessation frequency give difficulty though a steering close can seize. One repair is to cavalcade out a locking pin.
BODY – Check a active behind spoiler works (rises during 60mph, falls during 40mph). If it doesn’t, a inadequate switch requires costly deputy of a switch bank on a dash. The cabrio’s folding roof should be watertight. Thick steel physique is a plea for hole repairers.
CORROSION – Rear circle arch lips reason plod and water, causing paint effervescent and rust. Boot locate consume sign binds water, heading to a same.
INTERIOR – Check switches work and, on early cars, that a cupholder works. Check roller-blind luggage cover is present.
Also value knowing:
Parts disdainful to a Crossfire, such as physique panels, are expensive; differently save income by shopping tools common with a SLK from suppliers like Euro Car Parts. For servicing, a indication is flattering simple, so any good seminar will be okay.
How many to spend:
£1500-£2750 – Early 03-04 cars (mainly automobile and primer coupés) from 50k-130k miles.
£2800-£3995 – Tidier, early coupés adult to 70k miles and 07-reg; some higher-mileage cabrios.
£4000-£5495 – Reasonable mile cabrios to 06-reg.
£5500-£7495 – Plenty of neat 06-reg convertibles adult to 60k miles, and lower-mileage coupés.
£7500-£9995 – The best late and low-miles drop-tops, and SRT-6 coupés and convertibles. The best of a latter go to £14,000.
One we found:
CHRYSLER CROSSFIRE 3.2 AUTO CONVERTIBLE, 2006/06, 67K MILES, £4490 This two-owner, dealer-sale soft-top is an eyeful in red with grey leather. If we cite a coupé, a same income buys a loving one-owner 05-reg in flattering many a same spec, with 59k miles and a full use history.
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