Plymouth Reliant

The Plymouth Reliant was one of the first two so-called K-cars with the other one being the Dodge Aries. It was produced by the Chrysler Corporation and was introduced for the 1981 model year. The Reliant replaced the Plymouth Volare, which was the short-lived replacement model for the highly regarded Plymouth Valiant. The Reliant and Aries are largely recognized for helping Chrysler to recover from bankruptcy. This of course was much needed and really might not have happened with either of these two models. They also raised the bar for quality with the American automakers as a whole. The Reliant was as such Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1981. These well build modes were built in Newark, Delaware; Toluca, Mexico and Detroit, Michigan. Sadly, the last Reliant rolled off the assembly line on December 9, 1988. In fact, the 1989 Reliant was a carryover from the 1988 model year. It was replaced after that by the Acclaim for 1989. The base engine offering was a Chrysler designed 2.2 L in-line four-cylinder with an electronic carburetor, which was later replaced by a fuel injection system in 1986. It was rated with an output of 82 hp. With this engine installed, the car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 13 seconds, which was not great, but there were certainly worse out there. The Mitsubishi 2.6 L G54B engine was also an option, but troubles led the Mitsubishi engine to be substituted by a fuel-injected Chrysler 2.5 L for the 1986 model year. In the pop culture scene, the Christian punk rock band, Relient K, is named after guitarist Matt Hoopes' car, which was a Plymouth Reliant. Of course, the spelling had to be changed in order to avoid trademark infringement. Further, in the Barenaked Ladies' song, If I Had a Million Dollars, the singer indicates that he would "…buy you a K-Car, a nice Reliant automobile."