By KBB.com Editors
Accounting for more than one in every four passenger cars sold, the midsize sedan market remains the most popular in the country. Currently, the segment consists of the class leaders, the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, and a host of "category alternatives," some of which are more compelling than others. Lately, though, it seems almost every new or redesigned entry shows up to the party with a combination of attributes attractive enough to merit consideration. Fresh from its rebirth in 2007, the 2008 Chrysler Sebring has upped its marketplace appeal with standout styling and some of the most compelling features available in the category.
If you like the balanced nature of a midsize sedan but want or need some of the in-cabin goodies not traditionally available in the segment, the Sebring might be just the car for which you've been waiting. Unique styling also sets the Sebring apart from the crowd.
The Sebring sedan's overall sense of refinement doesn't match the Honda Accord's or Toyota Camry's, or even that of some newcomers like the Saturn Aura.
An all-wheel-drive Limited trim is added to the line, while new standard features include an AM/FM stereo with a six-disc CD player and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
Driving Impressions Like so many of the new models we've driven within the past year or two, the 2008 Sebring practically antiquates the previous-generation Sebring in every way. Still, on the list...of things we like about the Sebring, its ride and handling characteristics aren't at the top. Compared to a direct competitor like the Saturn Aura, for instance, the Sebring is neither as comfortable on the highway nor as eager on a winding road. Furthermore, the cabin isn't as quiet and the powertrains aren't as smooth. On all those fronts the Sebring is far beyond acceptable, however, especially for anyone attracted more by its styling and amenities. In fact, loaded up with MyGIG, a rear-seat DVD system and the heated and cooled cupholder, some could argue that the Sebring offers the most stuff for the money in the entire segment.
This optional hard drive-based system includes navigation with real-time traffic information, MP3/WMA music and JPEG image uploading, a high-speed USB 2.0 port, auxiliary audio input, voice recognition, voice message recording and playback, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone connectivity and more.
The Sebring's rear-seat DVD video systemthe first offered in a midsize sedanincludes dual headphones plus audio and gaming capability.
With a passenger cabin defined by clean, contemporary styling and a generous helping of metallic-looking trim (plus a few instances of average-grade plastics), the Sebring might not be as warm or welcoming as some of its competitors, but it's comfortable and attractive nonetheless. Complementing a host of available in-cabin technologies is a fold-flat passenger's seat that can make laptop work easier (or help accommodate longer cargo). In between the base cloth and available leather seating, the Sebring offers an exceptionally stain-resistant seat fabric called YES Essentials. Limited models get a touch of tortoise shell-like trim.Exterior
Before its introduction, many figured the new Sebring would show up looking something like a scaled-down version of the larger Chrysler 300 sedan that has been such a big hit for the automaker. According to company officials, however, that car's bold look just didn't downsize well. Instead, the Sebring adopts the general styling direction that now defines more than half the vehicles in the Chrysler lineup, a look that includes the grille, headlamps and distinctive hood strakes that made their debut on the Chrysler Crossfire two-seater. Limited trim-level models are differentiated by chrome door handles, fog lamps and dual chrome exhaust outlets.
A base Sebring LX includes a six-CD/DVD/MP3/SIRIUS Satellite Radio sound system with auxiliary input jack, air conditioning, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, four-way adjustable steering wheel, delayed-off headlamps, cloth seats and 16-inch covered steel wheels. Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and side-curtain airbags.
The highlight of the Sebring's optional equipment list is the comprehensive MyGIG navigation, entertainment and communication system. Other standouts include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, stand-alone Bluetooth cell phone connectivity, heated and cooled cup holder, heated front seats, leather seats and a power glass sun roof.
The Sebring's base four-cylinder engine delivers highway mileage of up to 30 miles per gallon, the range-topping 3.5-liter V6 offers 235 horsepower and the 2.7-liter V6 balances the economy and power of the two while offering the Flex-Fuel capability of running on gasoline, E85 ethanol or any mixture of both. The 3.5-liter benefits from a six-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick manual-shift capability, while the other engines are matched to a traditional four-speed automatic.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30
186 horsepower @ 5500 rpm
192 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 (Gas), 14/20 (E85)
235 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
232 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/26 (FWD), 15/24 (AWD)
By jimmy "the Greek" on Monday, March 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "solid car"
Cons: "suspension clunks @ struts"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Solid packake but could have been better. The gear ratios are way off, you don't need 1st or 2nd at all. Torque converter locks up 15mph too soon. Its sad the design engineers don't understand what drivers want in a sporty coupe. No exhaust tone at all. Convertable top uses up 75% of trunk. Rear seat doesn't have enough leg room for my 2 short grandsons. Engine electronics are very good. Dash is normally unreadable during daylight hours. Automatic shift in manual mode is awkward. Left to right vs fwd to rear manual control makes no sense."
By Panga on Sunday, March 22, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,800overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Top operation, air conditioning, and power windows"
Cons: "Plastics take a beating in FL sun, garage helps."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I bought the newest, cheapest convertible I could get when I moved to Florida. I share the same beautiful sunshine and fresh air enjoyed by drivers of Bentley convertibles. Convertibles are a passion for me, having owned my first in 1967. The Sebring is everything I could have expected in an inexpensive convertible. The new state-of-the-art convertible operating system is a huge factor in the enjoyment of this car (the top can actually be operated using the key chain). This is the same system used on all upscale convertibles and, for some reason this has escaped the notice of engineers at Ford & Chevy. Were it not for this system, I would actually prefer a Mustang convertible."
By Kemal on Thursday, December 04, 2014
I owned and sold this caroverall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Car has been trouble ever since I bought it. It had only 16,000 miles on it when purchased from a private individual. Has 44,000 miles on. It now. Had electrical problems, brakes replaced at 27,000, #3 cylinder leaks at 38,000, struts are knocking all the time, Uconnect works sometimes."
12 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By CARL on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fuel MILAGE AND RELIABILITY"
Cons: "SMALL ENGINE"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I HAVE ENJOYED THIS AUTO BUT I NEED TO SELL IT BECAUSE OF CHANGES IN MY JOB SITUATION AND I DO HAVE ANOTHER CAR ."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By bond on Sunday, November 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun fun fun top down unbeleiveable"
Cons: "I dont have any none"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"this is a great car yes its priced for us folks who cant afford a the more expensive vehicles, she looks fantastic and is always clean. has great suspension ride is smooth, I get rave reviews from my neighbors as to how beautiful she looks I have her tinted even been looking to add a new black out grille everyone stares at her she looks that great. A joy to drive I see so many on the road, I have upgraded by adding drilled/slotted rotors/ceramic pads for better stopping, done all of the proper maintenance even have a two year contract for oil changes with the dealers Chrysler/Dodge dealership I have had to change only one part she doesn't leak, the vinyl top is the original and as long I continue to condition the top it looks brand new"
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Sorry owner on Tuesday, September 02, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,500overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "Brake system, transmission, tire pressure sensor"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"One mechanical problem after another. It has been off-road more than on. Non-drivable for most of its life. Wish I never bought it."
6 people out of 13 found this review helpful