You can think of it as Mission: Impossible 3, but you can leave the couch-jumping to the experts here. That’s because the new Chrysler Sebring’s task is merely to unseat some shoppers from the Honda Accord and the best-selling Toyota Camry and put their backsides in a Chrysler instead—not to transcend all levels of self-intoxication.
The Sebring is now in its second generation as a four-door and its third as a new-generation Chrysler mid-sizer (it started back as the Cirrus, if you can recall). But in this case it’s a first: the first vehicle the Chrysler Group will build on the new D-segment platform that will also be used for the upcoming Dodge Avenger and more. In all, ten models will be built on the same flexible assembly line in
Chrysler hopes the Sebring will build on the momentum of the Chrysler 300 and the Caliber, though the former is beginning to slump in its golden years. The mid-size segment home to the Sebring is a huge one—it’s good for 2 million units a year, representing 28 per cent of the passenger car market—and Chrysler has a small to nonexistent image in the segment.
All this explains the Sebring’s grabber styling and long list of options, but does it mean that Chrysler’s now reached the same lofty plateau of its Japanese competitors?
Range of motion
The second-gen Sebring hits showrooms in three models: Sebring, Touring and Limited. The base version will be available with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder world engine developed by DaimlerChrysler, Mitsubishi and Hyundai. It delivers 173 hp and has 166 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine we also approved of in the Caliber.