Before the K car invaded American driveways, the Plymouth Horizon/Dodge Omni offered car shoppers a crash course in front-wheel drive. The late 70s and early 80s hosted a general blossoming of front-wheel drive vehicles in the United States. The Volkswagen Golf, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Honda Civic all got their start during those years. Several years later, sedans like the Plymouth Reliant and Chevy Celebrity arrived at dealerships nationwide. These cars essentially rolled out the red carpet for the Ford Taurus and Dodge Caravan in the 1980s. Would those two vehicles have achieved the same success had front-wheel drive been shunned by the public? Hard to say. But they certainly benefited from all the pioneers that came before them.
By 1988, this Omni was a bit behind the times. But it’s still a historically significant car. And there can’t be too many left in such a decent condition.
There really isn’t anything else to say about the Omni that hasn’t already been said by Paul. Basically, these borrowed a bit from the Golf. But Americans have always looked to Europe, and more specifically Germany, for inspiration. The Taurus emulated the Audi 5000 quite a bit, and in the process successfully introduced a European-style mid-size sedan into the American market.
By 1988, these were a bit outdated, but I imagine they were discounted due to their age, which likely made them a pretty decent value. According to my very limited research the 2.2 liter four cylinder was the only engine offered at this point in its run. I believe they had a pretty decent reputation for reliability.
It also appears that this Omni is equipped with a three speed automatic. With a total output of 99 horsepower and 122 lb-ft of torque, it won’t win a drag race with a lawnmower. But that’s obviously not the point. And who cares about raw power when you’ve got something like this anyway? Especially in this condition.
Seriously, look at this interior. I’m pretty sure it’s cleaner than my Focus, which is a much newer car that is also pushing 30k miles. We should all be embarrassed by this example.
That’s why I’m going to declare the odometer accurate. Sure, there’s a chance it could have rolled over once. But did you see the previous picture?
Here’s the seller’s description:
1988 Dodge Omni. Four-door hatchback one owner, extremely low miles: under 30k, rust free car, maybe the cleanest one left in existence. 4cyl, automatic, A/C, deluxe cloth interior in excellent shape. Car has Mazda Miata wheels on it now. Stock rally wheels included. $3,800.
What are the odds that this is last surviving one owner Omni with under 30k on the odometer? Pretty high I think. Even Chrysler probably doesn’t have one like this in its possession. We might want to alert them that it’s for sale. It has a few dings on the doors, but that’s easily fixable. Considering its rarity, $3,800 is more than a reasonable offer.
Source: Hudson Valley craigslist