Site hosted by Build your free website today!

1987 Dodge/Plymouth Diplomat/Caravelle

Road Report 1987

This model belongs to the standard category Class E. Produced in 1977 and as of 1984 no long available with a 6 cylinder engine. Made in the U.S.A. at the St. Louis factory, Missouri.
There are still enough fans around willing to buy large old V8 powered barges that a majority of American manufacturers let their long-paid-for assembly lines churn them out. At Chrysler that means the Fifth Avenue, Diplomat and Caravelle sedan or the Fury. The 3 models which differ primarily in details of engineering and equipment level are about the last representatives of this endangered  species. If the Fifth Avenue is a luxury car, the Diplomat and Caravelle are very ordinary, destined primarily for public service and business parking lots. Nothing other than the public purse can pay for the luxury of their prohibitive consumption today...Perhaps that explains some of the huge deficits...

Driving. Incongruous driving position, light and overassisted steering unpredictable brakes, poor controls, purely symbolic instruments, driveability that barely permits exiting from a freeway - are  the lot of this type of automobile born as it was in the pre-history of the North American continent. Their performance, like their fuel consumption, has nothing to do with other cars produced today. The same goes for their brick-like aerodynamic shape. They lean a great deal while cornering and suffer from excessive understeer. Attempting to maintain a straight line on rough roads is so risky that you are obliged to reduce speed. Blessed with such interesting handling characteristics you really must order heavy duty suspension or run the risk of dragging the rear bumper over high bumps. For those who are really into this era, they constitute the last chance to acquire your very own piece of the American saga, cheap. In fact, in a few years time they may be much more expensive to obtain as replicars...

Comfort/Convenience. The charm of the Diplomat and Caravelle Sedans rests, without doubt, in the fact that an entire family can be carried aboard and that the trunk can be used as a bedroom for 2 children. The overall silence of operation accompanied with the gentle swaying of the suspension guarantees them a nice deep sleep along the summer vacation drives (to the great joy of the parents). No interior storage space worthy of the name has ever been included in the interior of this type of car where the ash tray is situated so far from the driver that it's easier to flick the ashes out the window. In fact they really are ideal cars for going to church on Sunday because the seats in either place are about as comfortable...

Conclusion. Finally, if you rummage around enough you can find one or two amusing arguments for acquiring one of these cars without appearing to be a little bit stupid...


Plenty of space
Favourable price equiptment radio
Good road comfort (autoroute)
Good visibility
Good guarantee


Out of date aerodynamically
Too big, too heavy, too high fuel consumption
Primitive handling
Vague and overassisted steering
Inconsistent and weak brakes
Uncomfortable seats
Poor Driving Position
Suspension too soft (too much body roll)

back to articles