Wide choices available in U.S.-made sedans

January 19, 1992|By Richard Truett | Richard Truett,Orlando Sentinel

There is a bumper crop of excellent U.S.-made family sedans on the market for 1992. Some are considered midsize cars, some compact, but nearly all offer sporty handling, slick aerodynamic styling, more safety equipment such as anti-lock brakes and air bags, and respectable fuel economy.

Sticker prices are up this year, so shopping and test driving is going to be more time-consuming than ever.

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Here's a model-by-model rundown of 1992 domestic sedans:

CHRYSLER

Lebaron: There are no mechanical or styling changes. The door locks are now illuminated. Buyers can choose between sport and traditional styling, which tones down the chrome. Base price: $13,998. New Yorker Salon:. Chrysler's biggest midsize sedan gets a host of trim and detail upgrades. The front and rear have been made more aerodynamic. A floor console is optional. The drivetrain, a 3.3-liter V-6 and a four-speed automatic transmission, is unchanged. Base price: $18,849. Dodge Dynasty: Minor trim and detail changes. Base price: $14,277. Dodge Spirit/Plymouth Acclaim: One of the most attractively priced and best equipped midsize family sedans, the Acclaim cruises into 1992 with just one model. It's available with either a 2.5-liter four cylinder and five-speed manual transmission or a 3.0-liter V-6 and three-speed automatic. Four Spirit models are available this year, including the high-performance Spirit R/T. The gear ratios for the five-speed transmission have been revised, and a three-speed automatic is available with the 3.0-liter V-6. Spirit/Acclaim base price: $11,470. Dodge Monaco/Eagle Premier: This aerodynamic, roomy, midsize V-6 sedan rolls into its final year with a few trim and detail changes. Premier gets a new grille and taillights on LX and ES models. Monaco base price: $14,354; Premier base price: $15,716.

FORD

Taurus/Sable: Both cars have been overhauled for '92. Two body styles are again available, the sedan and the station wagon. Though the styling is not much different from the original models, both are more aerodynamic, have new interiors, get better gas mileage and run smoother and quieter than last year's models. Base price: $14,913. Tempo/Topaz: The big news here is that both cars now can be had with a 3.0-liter V-6 that develops 140 horsepower. The standard engine, a 2.3-liter four cylinder, has been outfitted with multiport fuel injection, and horsepower is up to 96. The Tempo with all-wheel drive is history. High-performance versions include the Topaz LTS and XR5 and the Tempo GLS. Base price: $9,963.

GENERAL MOTORS

Buick Century: Minor trim and detail changes include standard power door locks. Base price: $13,795. Buick Park Avenue/Park Avenue Ultra: The steering has been improved and rear seat passengers can control air flow and temperature. There is a 205-horsepower, supercharged version of the Ultra that goes from 0 to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. Base price: $25,285. Buick Regal: Anti-lock brakes are now standard, a 3800 V-6 packing 170 horsepower is optional. Base price: $16,865. Buick Skylark: Overhauled for 1992, the new Skylark features a more aerodynamic body as well as a new engine -- a 2.3-liter, overhead cam four cylinder. Base price: $13,560. Chevrolet Lumina: You can order the 3.4-liter, Twin Dual Cam V-6 in the Euro Sedan. Anti-lock brakes are available throughout the line. Base price: $13,350. Chevrolet Corsica: The 2.2-liter standard engine gets multiport fuel injection. Anti-lock brakes and a driver's side air bag are standard on all models. Base price: $10,099. Chevrolet Cavalier: Also gets an improved four-cylinder engine and anti-lock brakes. Base price: $8,999. Oldsmobile Achieva: This model replaces the Cutlass Calais. There are two body styles, three trim levels and four engines available. Look for a high-performance Achieva CSX sometime during the 1992 model year. Prices not available. Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. The Quad 4 engine is out, and two V-6s are in. Buyers can choose between a 140-horsepower 3.1-liter or GM's great 210-horsepower, 3.4-liter, Twin Dual Cam V-6. Prices start at $15,695. Oldsmobile Eighty Eight: Thanks to a massive redesign, this car could turn out to be a major success for Olds. Sporting European styling and a new interior, the Eighty Eight offers a long list of standard features, excellent fuel economy, nimble handling and room for six. Prices start at $18,495. Pontiac Grand Am: The '92 Grand Am has a new sloping hood and a stylish grille. Anti-lock brakes are standard on all models; there are two new engines available, a 2.3-liter version of the Quad 4 and a 3.3-liter V-6. Base price: $11,899. Pontiac Grand Prix: Trim and styling changes only. Base price: $14,890.

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