Shopping for a new Chrysler Sebring?
SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
The Sebring is no fun at the dance
Car and Driver
“a rattling, thumping, lolling tragedy of a car”
On the road, the Sebring convertible is fun to drive
While the Sebring is adequate in most respects, especially if you go by the performance numbers, all but one or two reviews that TheCarConnection.com read confirm that it’s just not much fun to drive, whether in sedan or Convertible form.
The Sebring line now offers just two engine choices: a standard 2.4-liter, 173-horsepower four-cylinder or an optional 3.5-liter, 235-hp V-6 coupled with a new six-speed automatic transaxle.
Four-cylinder Sebrings have it particularly rough when taking on the likes of the Malibu and Accord. Cars.com reports "the four-cylinder engine provides acceptable performance in city driving, but it runs out of power at highway speeds, where it lacks any kind of urgency when acceleration is called for." ConsumerGuide notes that although the four-cylinder Chrysler Sebring sedan has trouble passing, it "copes adequately with around-town driving." Edmunds observes, "This engine is still a tad light on launching power but satisfyingly smooth once it spins up."
The V-6 Sebring is a bit more impressive, but still no class leader. According to Motor Trend, the most powerful Sebring "ran the quarter mile in 15.3 seconds... underwhelming when compared with the midsize, V-6-powered missiles from Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and, most recently, Chevrolet with its new Malibu." Car and Driver calls either engine "not especially refined."
The six-speed automatic that comes with the V-6 is, in the experience of TheCarConnection.com’s editors, a big improvement over the four-speed paired with the four-cylinder engine. However, Motor Trend feels the "six-speed automatic is oddly geared, with a gaping ratio between first and second and a very close one between second and third." Of the transmissions, Cars.com thinks that the four-speed automatic "shifts smoothly and kicks down quickly when necessary."
The 2010 Chrysler Sebring gets its name from a racetrack, but in terms of driving excitement it’s mostly unengaging. In all versions of the Sebring, steering is direct if not razor-sharp, while the independent suspension is firm enough for a stable and secure feel during emergency situations and in tight corners. Braking and handling are just average, with Edmunds observing, “The Sebring exhibits moderate body roll around corners but has decently weighted steering." The Detroit News also can't help but root for the home team, opining that, “on the road, the Sebring [Convertible] is fun to drive.”
Cars.com notes that the Convertible weighs about 400 pounds more than the Sebring sedan, and the mass takes a toll. The steering has decent feedback, but Edmunds notes that “handling is also compromised by all that weight over the rear wheels.” ConsumerGuide observes some "body shudder" when driving the convertible over rough surfaces.
Don’t expect much, if any, driving excitement from the 2010 Chrysler Sebring.