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A wonderful car. The best, most amazing vehicle you've ever seen. So Luxurious! So Suave!

So... Yes, I'm being sarcastic.

The Dodge Aries line of cars (also sold as the Plymouth Reliant) were absurdly popular in the Early and mid 1980's, probably for two main reasons: You can run them forever, and they're cheap.

Very cheap.

For illustration, let me tell you about my Aries; I bought it about 3 months ago, used (obviously). It was used for the last 15 years as a Driver Education car at a local high school. I needed a car, and at $500 USD, the price was right.

Even though it only had 88k original miles on it, the engine needed a bit of work (carb, muffler), a better sound system (even though single-speaker AM is so chic`) and scrape the Student Driver Stickers of the bumper.

Compared to the Mercury Tracer I was driving before, the Dodge felt like a boat. No acceleration, terrible handling and no dome light. But at least the stereo sounds amazing. Well, you can't have everything; where would you put it? The upside is that with its 2.2 litre 4-cylinder engine, I can turn on the AC and *still* go up hills.

I find it strange that they decided to name the car after the God of War, when the only people you see driving them are either losers (like me), or elderly women... Hell's Grannies, perhaps? You have foiled me, mblase.

Pause for thought

Additonal 3.8.01: Okay, I've thought better about it, and so I've decided to take it upon myself to writeup some of the good points of the Dodge Aries, namely my '84.

  • It's Safe - It's not really huge, but it's pretty damn big for today, and I have no doubt that it could handle itself just fine in an impact. It has real trunk, so it could take it in the rear really well.
  • Easy to Repair - It was designed to be a simple, and such it is. The engine compartment, while not huge, is big enough to get your elbows into. Also, there are so many of these in scrap yards (along with many other cars that use the same 2,2 litre engine) that finding parts is a breeze. Alternators can be had for 20 bucks, power steering pumps for 10. October 5, 2001: I just bought a new Master Cylinder (brakes) for $12.95 USD. Compare that to the Acura my parents have, where the same part would run well over $150. Formidable.

The 'k' wasn't actually bad for its day. If you look at it from a mid 1980's perspective, you see that it was a smaller incarnation of the 'bigger' cars before it. Chrysler tried to keep the same aspects that people of the day wanted while making it smaller, and it shows -- it looks like a chopped down stereotypical late '70s boat.

The subject of an hilarious spoof ad: '88 Dodge Aries by Tim McAuliffe
The 1988 Dodge Aries has revolutionized the automotive industry; equipped with a two-speaker radio (now in FM, no less.) Even the Wichita Homeless Association newsletter which writes, 'This vehicle exudes class—a top-notch vehicle.'   http://www.ifilm.com

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