Dec
28
1983 Chrysler Imperial

With a 16.5-second 0-60 mph performance, the Imperial tied for 9th place on our slowest cars of 1983 list.

As a follow up to our The 10 Slowest Cars of 1981* post, we examine the state of new-car acceleration two years later. As it turns out, things did improve, but not probably as dramatically as shoppers at the time would have liked.

Presented here are the dozen slowest vehicles tested by Consumer Guide in 1983. Though a couple of these cars are diesels, most are simply powered by too-small engines struggling against fuel-economy-oriented final-drive ratios.

Note that all times below are the result of 0-60-mph tests conducted by Consumer Guide.

*As tested by Consumer Guide.

The 10 Slowest Cars of 1981*

 

Chevrolet Chevette Diesel: 22.3 Seconds 

1983 Chevrolet Chevette Diesel

1983 Chevrolet Chevette Diesel

Curb Weight: 2175 pounds

Horsepower: 51

Engine: 1.8-liter diesel four

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Final Drive Ratio: 3.36

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 37.3 mpg

Note: A separate model, the Diesel listed for $1076 more than the base gasoline-powered Chevette.

 

Pontiac Bonneville Wagon: 19.9 Seconds

1983 Pontiac Bonneville Wagon

1983 Pontiac Bonneville Wagon

Curb Weight: 3325 pounds

Horsepower: 105

Engine: 5.7-liter diesel V8

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.41

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 26.0 mpg

Note: The 5.7-liter diesel V8 was a $799 optional over the standard gasoline 3.8-liter V6.

 

Toyota Starlet: 18.5 Seconds

1983 Toyota Starlet

1983 Toyota Starlet

Curb Weight: 1755 pounds

Horsepower: 58

Engine: 1.3-liter four

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Final Drive Ratio: 2.93

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 42.0 mpg

Note: Starlet was offered in two versions; the only difference between them was the transmission. The Starlet 4-Speed started at $5798, while the 5-Speed listed at $5838.

 

Toyota Tercel: 18.3 Seconds

1983 Toyota Tercel

1983 Toyota Tercel

Curb Weight: 1985 pounds

Horsepower: 62

Engine: 1.5-liter four

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Final Drive Ratio: 3.58

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 32.0 mpg

Note: Tercel could also be had in nifty AWD-wagon form.

 

Chrysler E-Class: 17.0 Seconds

1983 Chrysler E-Class

1983 Chrysler E-Class

Curb Weight: 2590 pounds

Horsepower: 94

Engine: 2.2-liter four

Fuel Delivery: 2-barrel carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.86

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 24.5 mpg

Note: An available Mitsubishi-supplied 2.6-liter four was also available for the E-Class. The $259 optional engine brought only two additional horsepower, but also supplied a healthy bump in torque.

 

Dodge Diplomat: 16.9 Seconds

1983 Dodge Diplomat

1983 Dodge Diplomat

Curb Weight: 3412 pounds

Horsepower: 90

Engine: 3.7-liter six

Fuel Delivery: 1-barrel carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.94

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 21.4 mpg

Note: The optional 5.2-liter V8 ($225) was not available in California.

 

Oldsmobile Omega: 16.9 Seconds

1983 Oldsmobile Omega

1983 Oldsmobile Omega

Curb Weight: 2510 pounds

Horsepower: 92

Engine: 2.5-liter four

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.39

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 20.0 mpg

Note: An optional 2.8-liter V6 ($150) went a long way toward making the Omega a livelier ride.

The 10 Slowest Cars of 1981*

 

Dodge 400 Convertible: 16.7 Seconds

1983 Dodge 400 Convertible

1983 Dodge 400 Convertible

Curb Weight: 2593 pounds

Horsepower: 93

Engine: 2.6-liter four

Fuel Delivery: 1-barrel carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.78

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 19.7 mpg

Note: Convertible 400s came standard with the 2.6-liter engine; coupe and sedan variants made do with a standard 2.2.

 

Imperial: 16.5 Seconds

1983 Chrysler Imperial

1983 Imperial

Curb Weight: 4020 pounds

Horsepower: 140

Engine: 5.2-liter V8

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.24

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 17.4 mpg

Note: Imperial was the only vehicle in Chrysler’s portfolio to make use of a fuel-injected version of the otherwise-ubiquitous 5.2-liter V8.

 

Dodge Mirada: 16.5 Seconds

1983 Dodge Mirada

1983 Dodge Mirada

Curb Weight: 3401 pounds

Horsepower: 90

Engine: 3.7-liter six

Fuel Delivery: 1-barrel carburetor

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.94

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: N/A

Note: Moving up to the 5.2-liter V8 added $225 to the Mirada’s bottom line.

 

Cadillac Sedan DeVille: 16.5 Seconds

1983 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

1983 Cadillac Sedan DeVille

Curb Weight: 3993 pounds

Horsepower: 135

Engine: 4.1-liter V8

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 2.42

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 17.0

Note: The Cadillac-exclusive 4.1-liter “HT” (High Technology) V8 proved to be problematic and survived just four model years (1982-1985).

 

Renault Alliance: 16.2 Seconds

1983 Renault Alliance

1983 Renault Alliance

Curb Weight: 1980 pounds

Horsepower: 64

Engine: 1.4-liter four

Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Final Drive Ratio: 3.56

Consumer Guide Observed Fuel Economy: 28.5

Note: In Auto Test 1983, Consumer Guide described the Alliance as “frugal with flair.”

The 12 Fastest Cars of 1983

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