The Plymouth Acclaim is a mid-size sedan produced from 1989 to 1995 model years.
Design and Introduction
When Plymouth decided to replace the Caravelle and Reliant, the Acclaim came to be. It was built on the Chrysler Corporation AA-body, a later model of the K-car platform. It was one of the last models to be produced on the K-car derived platform. Like many Chrysler products from the era, the Plymouth Acclaim was also available as a Dodge vehicle under the Spirit model name and as a Chrysler under the LeBaron model name. By sharing the same components across the three brands, the company was able to produce more cars at a lower cost, giving customers a better price and value. The Acclaim featured a body design and overall shape, with rectangular headlights flanking an expansive egg-crate grille. The shoulder line was straight, stretching all the way from the headlight to the rear corner in one unbent line. The Plymouth Acclaim could be distinguished from the other Chrysler vehicles with similar components due to its distinctive wheel choices with solid hub coverings, side body molding, and unique taillights. In many regards, however, the choices and trim levels of the Acclaim closely matched the LeBaron and Spirit alternatives.
Engine and Available Features
Under the hood, the Acclaim had several engine options. The base model engine was a 2.5L inline-4 producing 100 horsepower, but a larger 3.0L V6 with 141 horsepower was also available. The 2.5L option could also be turbocharged, increasing the output to a respectable 150 horsepower. In later years from 1993 to 1995, a flex-fuel version of the 2.5L engine became available, producing 107 horsepower using the alternative fuel with up to 85% ethanol. Most Plymouth Acclaims featured a 3-speed Torqueflite automatic transmission, but a 5-speed manual was also available. After 1989, most Acclaims featuring the V6 engine used a unique 4-speed automatic transmission instead. There were three different trim levels for the Acclaim: base model, a mid-level LE, and the top-level LX. Available options included power windows and locks, as well as premium stereo systems and other interior comforts. The exteriors added things like color-matched bumpers, bodyside cladding, and 15-inch wheels with aluminum spokes instead of the solid hub coverings. In 1992, the LE and LX trim levels were dropped from the lineup, and instead, the brand provided standalone options that could be added to the base model.
Plymouth Acclaim Updates and Changes
Although the Acclaim was only produced in one generation of design over its relatively short six-year production run, it did encounter some changes over the years. 1993 saw the most dramatic changes with a new grille design and other trim changes such as a chrome Pentastar hood ornament. That same year, a Gold Package was available, adding a host of gold accents to the exterior design, including gold alloy wheels, pinstripes, and body trim touches. Due to regulatory requirements, a motorized shoulder seatbelt was added to US-market Acclaims in 1994, although these did not meet Canadian regulatory standards, making it so the vehicles sold in the two markets were unique and could not be legally imported to the neighboring country. Overall, the Plymouth Acclaim sold quite well throughout its production run. It hit more than 50,000 units for five years, including over 110,000 units at its peak in 1990 and an impressive 97,000 units in 1991. 1989 and 1992 also saw more than 77,000 units sold off to consumers. As demand faltered in 1993 and 1994, the end of the line for the Acclaim came to be. The Dodge and Chrysler versions had similar fates. In 1996, the Plymouth Breeze filled the gap left by the Acclaim, moving over to the JA platform shared with the new Chrysler Cirrus and Dodge Stratus.