ess with American space and character and fall short, the LHS succeeds. Thoroughly Chrysler in its bold styling, the LHS combines the space and comforts expected in an American luxury car with the road manners found in a European import.
Although the second-generation LHS is an evolutionary development of the car of the same name first introduced for the 1994 model year, little besides that name is unchanged. If the new LHS's bolder styling is the most obvious difference, the unseen changes are the most important. A more rigid chassis structure reduces noise levels and allows for improved suspension tuning, and an all-new high- output overhead cam aluminum V6 engine gives smooth, sophisticated performance.
Typically for today's Chrysler line, the LHS is priced to compete with competitor's "entry-luxury" lines. But nearly every comfort and convenience feature expected in a luxury car is included in the base price. The short option list is tailored to specific needs such as cold-weather operation and smokers (yes, the lighter and ashtray are now options), and upgraded wheels and stereo systems. This week's test car was delivered to me with no options at all. None were missed. If the price is at the low end of the luxury class, the LHS's equipment levels are solidly in the middle and its interior space compares favorably with many premium luxury cars. It is offered only with a V6 engine, not a "prestige" V8, but that V6 makes more power than some V8s found in more expensive luxury cars. There is no mistaking the LHS's origin -- it's an American luxury sedan through and through. But, it's a modern American luxury sedan that can hold its own against any competitor, including those costing $10,000 more. And it has styling and balanced performance that should appeal to the younger buyers courted by all domestic luxury manufacturers.
APPEARANCE: Is it futuristic or is it retro? Neither, really. Bold grilles have been a Chrysler styling hallmark since the 1950s,...