Plymouth Acclaim

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Plymouth Acclaim
1989-1990 Plymouth Acclaim
Parent companyChrysler Corporation
Also calledDodge Spirit
AssemblyNewark, Delaware
Toluca, Mexico
PredecessorPlymouth Caravelle
Plymouth Reliant
SuccessorPlymouth Breeze
Body style(s)4-door sedan
LayoutFF layout
Engine(s)2.5 L K I4
2.5 L Turbo I4
3.0 L Mitsubishi 6G72 V6
Transmission(s)5-speed manual
3-speed A413 automatic
3-speed A670 automatic
4-speed A604 automatic
Wheelbase1991-95: 103.5 in (2,629 mm)
1989-1990: 103.3 in (2624 mm)
Length181.2 in (4,602 mm)
Width68.1 in (1,731 mm)
Height1989-1990: 55.5 in (1410 mm)
1991-95: 53.5 in (1,358 mm)
Curb weight2,783 lb (1,262 kg) base
RelatedChrysler LeBaron
Chrysler Saratoga
Dodge Spirit
ManualsService Manual

The Plymouth Acclaim is a mid-size sedan produced from the 1989 to 1995 model years. The Acclaim was first introduced by Plymouth as the successor to the discontinued, but similarly-sized extended-K Caravelle[1]. At the same time, many automotive publications identified the Acclaim as the de facto replacement for the somewhat smaller Reliant which continued to sell for a short period. [2][3][4]. The Acclaim was very similar to the Dodge Spirit, as well as the Chrysler LeBaron and the export-market Chrysler Saratoga.


The Acclaim was a version of the Chrysler Corporation's AA-body 4-door sedan, which was an evolutionary development of Chrysler's extended K-car platform.

Marketing and advertising

Across the AA-body family of cars, the Acclaim was generally marketed as the low-end to midrange offering, while the Spirit's advertisements placed it as a midrange or sporty version, and the LeBaron as the more luxurious version. Although no sport-oriented models were offered, Acclaim (including, but not limited to the LX models) offered a great deal of available deluxe equipment not available on Spirit (including chrome accent moldings and vinyl roofs). The Acclaim differed in appearance from the Spirit and LeBaron sedan primarily in styling details (grilles, taillamps, interior and exterior trim). With this said, in its "LX" trim, Acclaim shared more styling cues with Lebaron, than with its Dodge counterpart. Virtually identical cars had been offered under Dodge and Plymouth nameplates for fifteen years by the time the Acclaim arrived, and the LeBaron sedan spread this tendency to the Chrysler brand as the nominally upmarket offering to compete against medium price entries from Buick and Oldsmobile.

With a base price of about $12,000USD for its final year, the Acclaim was an exceptional buy throughout its lifetime as a family car, a fleet car, as well as an upscale economy car. The Acclaim was the most reliable domestic car in 1991, according to J.D. Power, beaten only by the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry. It was also one of the last Plymouths to outsell its Dodge stablemate, and one of the last vehicles to use the four-cylinder engines introduced with the Reliant.


After production ended on December 9, 1994, Chrysler would not initially replace the Acclaim with another Plymouth. Unlike Dodge, Chrysler only offered the Dodge Stratus, and upmarket, award-winning Chrysler Cirrus, both of which applied the cab-forward styling first introduced by Chrysler's LH platform in 1993. One model year later, the Plymouth Breeze would be offered as a value version of the Chrysler Cirrus (with only four-cylinder engines being offered, much like the preceding Reliant and Caravelle) until the Plymouth nameplate was retired entirely.

Trim levels, features, and colors

Trim levels and features

From 1989-1991 the Acclaim was available in three trim levels:

  • base
  • mid-level LE
  • high-end LX

For 1992, all of these models were dropped in favor of a single standard model, that could be loaded up with options, if the buyers wanted. Some of the options available included a power sunroof, cassette player, air conditioning, power windows and power door locks, cruise control, and an anti-lock braking system (ABS); later on, many of these options would become standard features.

Starting in 1993, the Acclaim was offered with a "Gold Package". This package offered as an upgrade to the Base model,and offered options such as gold trimmed alloy wheels and gold pin-stripes. They were available in both 4-cylinder and V6 models. In Canada, the Gold Package was among the best sellers of all the option packages available on the Acclaim.[citation needed]


note: the colors listed below were available various model years

  • Aqua Pearl Metallic
  • Ascot Gray
  • Banzai Blue Metallic
  • Black
  • Bright White
  • Cirrus Blue-Gray Pearl Metallic
  • Dark Quartz Gray Metallic
  • Debonair Red Pearl Metallic
  • Emerald Green Pearl Metallic
  • Glamour Turquoise Metallic
  • Jewel Blue Pearl Metallic
  • Lapis Blue
  • Light Blue Satin Glow Metallic
  • Light Driftwood Satin Glow Metallic
  • Light Montego Blue Pearl Metallic
  • Light Royal Blue Pearl Metallic
  • Light Royal Blue Satin Glow Metallic
  • Medium Water Blue Satin Glow Metallic
  • Nitro Yellow-Green
  • Pale Blue
  • Poppy Red
  • Radiant Fire Metallic
  • Radiant Fire Red
  • Raspberry Red Pearl Metallic
  • Teal Pearl Metallic
  • Wildberry Pearl Metallic


The Acclaim was available with a choice of several engines. The base engine was a 2.5 L TBI I4 engine producing 100 hp. The optional 141 hp, 3.0 L V6 with MPFI was made by Mitsubishi. Also available in 1989 through 1992 was a turbocharged I4 engine producing 150 hp. In 1993, 1994 and 1995, a flexible-fuel Acclaim was offered, powered by a 107 hp multipoint fuel injected version of the 2.5 L engine specially modified to run on fuel containing up to 85% methanol.


Several five-speed manual transmissions were available, depending on which engine was installed, but relatively few Acclaims were equipped with manual transmissions. The three-speed Torqueflite automatic was the most popular installation on Acclaims with TBI and MPFI 4-cylinder engines, and was also widely installed in conjunction with the V6 in 1993 through 1995. From 1989 to 1992, most V6 Acclaims came with the four-speed A604 electronically-controlled automatic.

Changes through the years

1993-95 Plymouth Acclaim

The Acclaim was given a new radiator grille and other minor trim detail changes(like a new chrome Pentastar hood ornament) for 1993. Another new option for 1993 was a CD player, as well as a new gold decor package, with gold accented wheels and trim. A motorized passenger's side seat belt was added to US-market Acclaims in 1994, to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208's requirement for passive restraints. These motorized belts do not comply with Canada's safety standards; Canadian-market Acclaims continued to use a manual passenger seatbelt, and 1994-1995 Acclaims cannot legally be imported across the US-Canada border in either direction. For 1995, its final year, the 2.5 L engine got a slightly revised cylinder head and both the 4-speed A604 automatic transmission and anti-lock brakes were dropped. . Otherwise, the Acclaim remained mostly unchanged throughout its 6-year run.


  1. Chrysler Corporation Master Technician Service Conference book "New Model Service Highlights '89" p.4: "Spirit and Acclaim are the new midsize sedans, replacing 600 and Caravelle." Available at Detroit Public Library or ebay
  2. Fifty Years of American Automobiles, the editors of Consumer Guide, Beekman House 1989, p. 335."It was conceived to replace the remarkable Reliant, but sales strength prompted corporate planners to let the new and the old run side by side, much as Volare and Valiant"
  3. [Swern, Michael; Aaron Gold (9/26/2006). "K-Chronology - Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries, year to year". Allpar, LLC. ] "the Ks, for their final year, were allowed to share the showroom floor with their replacement model, the larger A-body Spirit - but they still sold over 100,000 units"
  4. Consumer Guide "Dodge's compact Spirit and Plymouth Acclaim were longer in wheelbase than Aries/Reliant, which they replaced."

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