The Spirit could seat six with an optional front split-bench seat. It had a relatively large trunk, a simple solid-beam rear axle, and a MacPherson strut front suspension. The Spirit differed from the other A-bodies primarily in the grille and rear lamp styling, and in the exclusive availability of a sportier, higher-performing version — the R/T.
While the Spirit could be compared in size to the Ford Tempo, the platform was also compared with the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord, and Toyota Camry by Consumer Reports which found the similar but upscale Chrysler LeBaron to be "adequate", but not up to the other three cars. Nevertheless, they sold relatively well, but mainly on the basis of price and value. Though maligned in their later years by critics, the Spirit did outsell the critically acclaimed later Stratus.
The Spirit was Dodge's version of the Chrysler AA platform, a stretched variation of the Chrysler K platform. They were assembled in Newark, Delaware and Toluca, Mexico. They shared their basic design with the 1990 to 1994 Chrysler LeBaron sedan, the 1989 to 1995 Plymouth Acclaim, and the export-only Chrysler Saratoga.
- 1989-95: Base
- 1989-93: ES
- 1991-92: R/T
- 1995 Mastercraft X-Series Edition
The Spirit ES and R/T featured Dodge Eurocast (or "Snowflake") alloy wheels through 1991. For 1992, the "Pumper" or "Turbostar" wheel was introduced. Some of the alloy wheels were color-keyed to the vehicle body:
- White body with white painted wheels (ES, R/T)
- Black, silver, or dark red body with clear-coated wheels (ES only)
- Bright Red body with bright red painted wheel inserts (R/T only, 1991)
Silver paint was available on the R/T for 1992 and featured R/T five blade wheels. It was also the rarest color on the spirit R/T, with only 31 produced.
The Dodge Spirit Mastercraft X-Series Edition, Was a limited edition model only available in the Midwest area. It consist of the same basic trim pieces as the 1995 Base. But added to the back is the Mastercraft logo and 50th anniversary Logo Symbol. Extras included Air Horn, Police siren, Old Horn, Propeller receiver hitch.