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 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."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Retired Suzie on Friday, August 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive."
Cons: "Stereo sucks!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I absolutely love this car! Drives nice and handles well and love the styling of the car. The rag top is the best and we have never had an issue with the mechanics since we've had the car in late 2008. Would buy another but am keeping this one forever."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Nort on Wednesday, August 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "Handling on sharp turns leave a bit to be desired"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I purchased this car new, it has worked perfectly with a minor electrical and injector problem both taken care of under warranty. I hope to keep this car for another 10 years of good looks and dependability."
By mike on Thursday, August 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "comfortable, attractive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"bought this car with 53000 on it. in 3 months the alternator went. i took it to the dealer in milford,nh who not only informed me it was not covered but misdiagnosed the problem telling me it was the powersteering pump.they also tried to charge me a "diagnostic fee" of $127.00 i had another garage replace the alternator and everything is fine. like the car, wouldn't buy another one and definitely would not buy one from the milford, nh dealership. i left 3 msgs for their general mgr and NEVER heard back."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Debbie on Friday, August 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,700overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Cons: "Not as quiet as a sedan sometimes ??"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Never in six years have I gone anywhere in this red beauty that I haven't been asked about it. Several times given business cards to contact in case I was interested in selling it. Never had one problem w it & really awesome in ice & snow. Great car. Solid. Good gas mileage. Cannot believe Chrysler has discontinued production of this wonderful hardtop convertible!!"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Linda on Friday, July 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "see above"
Cons: "no cons, great car all around"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Best car I have owned. Bought new in fall of 2007 when new style came out, serviced regularly, kept garaged and have not had 1 problem with it. Only expense since 2008 was new set of tires in 2013! The paint is like new, as is the interior. I am keeping this car, even if I purchase a new car. One great vehicle. I have owned a Lexus, Corvette, Supra twin turbo, Honda Pilot, Ford...........this is the one to keep."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful