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Regular Car Review: 1985 Plymouth Horizon

by Paul Strauss

The late 1970s through the early 1990s were some of the worst years in the history of the auto industry when it came to the design and performance of cars. But still, some cars of the era helped keep the lights on for the automotive renaissance that would come afterwards.

This boxy little Plymouth Horizon hatch – also sold as the Dodge Omni – was the epitome of late ’70s to early ’80s automotive blah, yet it was arguably Chrysler’s best car of the era. Regular Car Reviews managed to dredge up a well-preserved specimen, with just 26,000 miles on the odometer.

It was Chrysler’s first 4-door hatchback, and offered its first front-wheel drivetrain, first transverse-mounted engine, and first semi-independent rear suspension. It also worked some wacky carburetor magic that helped it reduce emissions in an era before catalytic converters. Its interior had some clever tricks up its sleeve too, like a climate control system that the passenger couldn’t mess with, and the interior was more thoughtful and comfortable than its competitors. I don’t think I can ever forgive the color scheme though.

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