May
15
1992 Chrysler LeBaron Coupe

1992 Chrysler LeBaron Coupe

When Chrysler introduced the first Cordoba back n 1975, the carmaker almost seemed to apologize for rolling out a “small” Chrysler. Indeed, the ‘Doba was small by Seventies-era Chrysler standards, but would seem positively burly only a decade and a half later.

By the early Nineties, American cars had done all the shrinking they were going to do. Indeed, most cars would begin gradually growing from that point in time on.

Here we’re looking specifically at 1992, the year General Motors rolled out its redesigned N-Platform cars. Comprised of the Buick Skylark, Oldsmobile Achieva, and Pontiac Grand Am, the N-Cars straddled the line between compact and midsize both in size and price. Though they were mechanically similar to the Chevrolet Beretta and Corsica, they were treated to levels of refinement—especially noise suppression—the Chevys did not enjoy.

Though there was little contemporary product that compared directly with these middle-market GM coupes and sedans, the Dodge Spirit and Mercury Topaz came close. For price comparison, a 1992 Ford Tempo started at $9987, while a base Chevrolet Corsica listed for around $11,000.

Whether or not the Topaz belongs on this list is a matter of opinion. It’s fairly inexpensive relative to the other cars seen here, but as it’s not one of the original “Low Cost Three” (Chevrolet, Ford, and Plymouth) it seems appropriate to place it in this group.

Are these the Cordobas of the Nineties, or just shrunken midsize cars with a little extra trim? If you have an opinion on the matter, share it below. We’d love to hear your take.

Around 20 Grand: The American Near-Luxury Sedans of 1990

 

Buick Skylark

1992 Buick Skylark

1992 Buick Skylark

Body Styles: Coupe and sedan

Base Price Range: $13,560-$15,550

Base Engine: 120-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Optional Engine: 160-horsepower 3.3-liter V6

Cost of CD Player: $624

1992 Skylark specs

 

Chrysler LeBaron

1992 Chrysler LeBaron

1992 Chrysler LeBaron Sedan

Body Styles: Coupe and convertible

Base Price Range: $13,488-$21,916

Base Engine: 100-horsepower 2.5-liter four

Optional Engine: 152-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged four

Optional Engine: 141-horsepower 3.0-liter V6

Cost of CD Player: $1348 (includes Infinity speakers)

LeBaron Coupe and convertible specs

 

Body Styles: Sedan

Base Price Range: $13,988-$16,497

Base Engine: 100-horsepower 2.5-liter four

Optional Engine: 141-horsepower 3.0-liter V6

Cost of CD Player: CD player not available from factory

LeBaron Sedan specs

 

Dodge Spirit

1992 Dodge Spirit

1992 Dodge Spirit

Body Style: Sedan

Base Price Range: $11,470-$18,674

Base Engine: 100-horsepower 2.5-liter four

Optional Engine: 152-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged four

Optional Engine: 141-horsepower 3.0-liter V6

Optional Engine: 224-horsepower 2.2-liter turbocharged four

Cost of CD Player: CD player not available from factory

1992 Spirit Specs

 

Mercury Topaz

1992 Mercury Topaz

1992 Mercury Topaz

Body Style: Coupe and Sedan

Base Price Range: $10,512-$14,244

Base Engine: 98-horspower 2.3-liter four

Optional Engine: 135-horsepower 3.0-liter V6

Cost of CD Player: CD player not available

1992 Topaz specs

 

Oldsmobile Achieva

1992 Oldsmobile Achieva

1992 Oldsmobile Achieva

Body Style: Coupe and Sedan

Base Price Range: $12,715-$15,190

Base Engine: 120-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Optional Engine: 160-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Optional Engine: 160-horsepower 3.3-liter V6

Optional Engine: 180-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Cost of CD Player: $256-$481

1992 Achieva specs

 

Pontiac Grand Am

1992 Pontiac Grand Am

1992 Pontiac Grand Am

Body Style: Coupe and Sedan

Base Price Range: $12,715-$15,190

Base Engine: 120-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Optional Engine: 160-horsepower 2.3-liter four

Optional Engine: 160-horsepower 3.3-liter V6

Cost of CD Player: $460-$600

1992 Grand Am specs

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