- Plymouth Reliant
name = Plymouth Reliant
production = 1981–1989
Newark, Delaware Detroit, Michigan Toluca, Mexico
class = Compact
platform = K-body
body_style = 4-door sedan
engine = 2.2 L "K" I4
2.5 L "K" I4
transmission = 4-speed "A460" manual
5-speed "A465" manual
5-speed "A520" manual
5-speed "A525" manual
3-speed "A413" automatic
3-speed "A470" automatic
wheelbase = Auto in|100.3|0
Wagon: Auto in|100.4|0
length = Auto in|178.6|0
Wagon: Auto in|178.5|0
width = Auto in|68.0|0
height = Sedan: Auto in|52.9|0
Coupe: Auto in|52.5|0
Wagon: Auto in|53.2|0
weight = Auto lb|2300|0
Plymouth Volaré Plymouth Road Runner
Chrysler Town and Country
Dodge 400 Dodge Aries
The Plymouth Reliant (or Reliant K, as it was sometimes called) was one of the first two so-called "K-cars" (the other being the
Dodge Aries) the Chrysler Corporationintroduced for the 1981 model year. The Reliant replaced the Plymouth Volaré/Road Runner, which was the short-lived successor automobile to the highly regarded Plymouth Valiant. Though technically a compact car, the Reliant's spacious interior and six-passenger seating gave it a mid-sizestatus from the EPA.
The Reliant and Aries are largely credited for helping
Chryslerrecover from bankruptcy. They also raised the standard for quality for American automakers in general. Sometimes in marketing, the Reliant was advertised as the "Reliant K", to emphasize the importance of the K-platform. A small "K" badge was also added after the word "Reliant" to the rear of the car. The Reliant was " Motor Trend" magazine's Car of the Year for 1981. It was built in Newark, Delaware, Detroit, Michigan, and Toluca, Mexico.
After being launched in 1981, sales of the Reliant and Aries got off to a bad start; this can be attributed to Chrysler's inadequate preparation. Early advertisements for the K-cars promoted the low $5,880 base price. Rather than honoring that by producing a sufficient amount of base models, Chrysler was producing a larger number of "SE" and "Custom" models. When consumers arrived at Plymouth (and Dodge) dealers, they were shocked to find that the Reliant they were planning on purchasing would end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars more. As a result of this, Chrysler corrected their mistake and began building more base models. After this, sales of the Reliant skyrocketed.
The Reliant was available in standard "base", mid-level "SE", and high-end "Custom" (later renamed "LE") trim levels. Unlike the
coupeand sedan, the station wagonwas not available in base trim. "Custom/LE" Reliant wagons came standard with exterior woodtone siding, although it could be deleted if the buyer wanted it to be. All models except base, also had the option of replaceing the front bench seat with bucket seats.
Changes through the years
No major changes occurred on the Reliant in its first few years. For 1985, the Reliant received a major restyle, with new, rounder front and rear fascias. This included new head & tail lights, a working transmission, and a new grille that was the same height as the headlights (rather than going all the way up to the hood as with previous model years). The base engine was a transverse mounted Chrysler designed 2.2 L (135 cid)in-line four-cylinder with an electronic 2 barrel carburetor (later replaced by a fuel injection system in 1986), rated at Convert|82|hp|kW|0|abbr=on. Transaxles were a 4-speed floor shift manual or a 3-speed automatic with either a floor or column shift. A Mitsubishi motor was optional, and cars bearing this motor for 1981 were badged as 2.6 HEMI With this engine, The car accelerated 0-60 mph in the 13 second range. The Mitsubishi 2.6 L "G54B" engine was a popular option, but driveability problems led the Mitsubishi engine to be replaced by a fuel-injected Chrysler 2.5 L I4 for 1986. For 1987, the coupe's fixed rear windows got a small pivoting vent at the trailing edge of the rear doors. Also for 1987, the base model was renamed "America" in the U.S (this was later done to the base models of the Horizon and Sundance). Only minimal changes occurred after that.
The last Reliant rolled off the assembly line on
December 9, 1988. The 1989 Reliant was a carryover from 1988. Only the America trim was available on these models. No station wagon models were sold for 1989. The Reliant was replaced by the Acclaim for 1989.
*base - 1981-1986
*"Custom" - 1981-1984
*"SE" - 1981-1988
*"LE" - 1985-1988 (replaced "Custom")
*"America" - 1987-1989 (replaced base)
In pop culture
*The Christian pop punk band
Relient Kwas named after this car, but deliberately misspelled the name to avoid copyright infringement.
Barenaked Ladies' song, "If I Had $1,000,000", the narrator indicates that he would "...buy you a K-Car, a nice Reliant automobile."
Ed Rooneydrives a Reliant in " Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
* [http://www.allpar.com/eek/k/k.html] - Links for Plymouth Reliant on Allpar.com
* Using stock components, [http://www.thedodgegarage.com Gary S. Donovan] modified a 1985 Plymouth Reliant to run the quarter mile in 10.41 seconds at Convert|132|mph|km/h|0|abbr=on.
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