"The gear lever is quite heavily loaded towards the third and fourth position but, apart from this characteristic, which one soon accepts, it is quite positive and free from engine reactions.
"Despite brave attempts by the manufacturers to damp engine noise, it is apparent that the little 1294cc motor is working pretty hard as soon as you try to make the performance of the Bagheera match its appearance. To me, the car seemed reluctant to settle easily to more than 85mph, although obviously it is capable of more.
"On our test circuit, which calls for a good deal of gear changing and braking, I was surprised to find a perceptible twitch from throttle-on to throttle-off, and a similar reaction to sudden changes of direction, although at no time did this amount to instability.
"The car rode extremely well, although it did not hesitate to let you know, through the suspension and steering, when the road surface was less than smooth. Road noise is fairly high and so is feedback through the steering, which transmits surface irregularities more than one would wish. Nevertheless, the car held a good straight line over a rippled downhill section and braked in a straight line for the ensuing hairpin.
"It is clear that the handling and braking in no way belie the appearance of the Bagheera, although performance is in keeping with the engine size.
"Very few disadvantages derive from the configuration of the car. The three-seater abreast arrangement is quite practical and friendly. A boot that takes decent sized cases is located behind the engine and is backed up by more stowage beneath the bonnet."
Autocar concluded thus: "Because the Bagheera is intended to have a wider appeal than more exotic cars of the same configuration, it was essential that it should be as snag-free as possible. Chrysler engineers seem successfully to have achieved this. On short acquaintance, it felt completely without temperament and very practical to use. A young family man with sporting inclinations and an only child would find it an ideal, smart way of going about his business."
Unfortunately, despite the promise shown, the Bagheera was plagued by issues: initially of its innovative fibreglass body, the inconsistency in manufacture of which led to issues of fit and finish; mechanical failures; and rust, due to the almost completely ungalvanised steel chassis. As such, sales weren't strong, and Germany's ADAC gave it the silberne zitrone trophy, which was awarded to the most troubled new car.
Around 48,000 Bagheeras were built and a handful survive today in the hands of a passionate group of enthusiasts. In 1980, the car was succeeded by the more successful Porsche 924-rivalling Matra Murena.