The Plymouth Breeze, introduced in early 1996, filled the entry-level compact slot that was left vacant when the dated Acclaim was discontinued in 1995. A sister car to the Chrysler Cirrus and Dodge Stratus, the Breeze was aimed at young couples moving up from smaller cars but still wanting a car with personality. Competition included the Saturn SL2, Pontiac Grand Am, Hyundai Sonata and Ford Contour, among others.
Year-to-year changes[edit | edit source]
1996[edit | edit source]
Unlike its Dodge and Chrysler sister cars, the Breeze was offered with only one engine -- a 132-hp 2.0-liter 4-cylinder borrowed from the Dodge/Plymouth Neon. A 5-speed manual transmission was standard and a 4-speed automatic optional.
Plymouth was positioning Breeze as a large compact car for the price of a subcompact car. The EPA classified it as a midsize model. The trunk offered 15.7 cu. ft. of storage, just as much as a Mercedes S-Class sedan. Standard equipment included dual airbags, air conditioning, AM/FM stereo system, tilt steering wheel, rear-window defroster, full fold-down rear seat, remote trunk release and tinted glass. Safety-minded buyers liked the fact that Breeze met 1997 federal side-impact protection standards, and that antilock brakes were available. Options that brought a little luxury to Breeze included power windows and door locks, cassette player and CD player.
The Breeze was featured at Plymouth Place, a kiosk with interactive PC terminals in many shopping malls. Potential buyers were offered pricing, study options and color choices, and "design" their Plymouth vehicle before visiting a dealer showroom.
1999[edit | edit source]
Suspension tuning was revised for this model year. No further changes were made after that, and the last car was produced on January 7, 2000.