KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Accounting for more than one in every four passenger cars sold, the mid-size 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. Chrysler's entry, the Sebring Sedan, has not lived up to expectations, partly due to stiff domestic competition from both the Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu, but also because of perceived weaknesses in the areas of interior quality and engine noise, both of which Chrysler addressed in 2009.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you like the balanced nature of a mid-size sedan but want or need some of the standard in-cabin goodies traditionally optional on other makes, the Sebring might be just the car for which you've been waiting. Unique styling also sets the Sebring apart from the crowd.
You May Not Like This Car If...
The Sebring sedan's overall sense of refinement doesn't match the Honda Accord's or Toyota Camry's, or even that of some domestic rivals like the Chevrolet Malibu. Also, electronic stability control is optional, a feature most competitors now list as standard equipment.
What's New for 2010
For 2010, the grooves are removed from the Sebring's hood, while new wheels and instrument panel gauge cluster mark the other changes for 2010.
Although the 2010 Sebring is a vast improvement over Chrysler's previous mid-size entries of late, the car still falls short of the standards set by Honda, Toyota and even Hyundai. And on the list of things we do like about the Sebring, its ride and handling characteristics aren't at the top. Compared to a direct competitor like the Chevrolet Malibu, 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.
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.
Tilt and Telescoping steering wheel
This adjustable steering wheel makes finding a comfortable driving position a breeze, no matter your size.
With a passenger cabin defined by clean, contemporary styling and a generous helping of metallic-looking trim (plus an abundance 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). Leather seating is complemented by a touch of tortoise shell-like trim and brushed silver accents.
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 and headlamps that made their debut on the Chrysler Crossfire two-seater. Limited trim-level models include body-colored door handles, available fog lamps and dual chrome exhaust outlets.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Sebring Touring 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 and cloth seats. V6 trims add 18-inch wheels and more optional equipment.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options for the Sebring include a power sunroof, heated front seats, remote start, traction control and electronic stability control. V6 models offer 18-inch wheels, navigation with Boston Acoustics audio and the Electronic Convenience Group that adds automatic temperature control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote start, fog lamps and a tire pressure monitor.
Under the Hood
The Sebring's base four-cylinder engine delivers highway mileage of up to 30 miles per gallon, while the range-topping 3.5-liter V6 offers 235 horsepower. The 3.5-liter benefits from a six-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stick manual-shift capability, while the 2.4-liter engine is 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 (Sedan), 20/29 (Convertible)
235 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
232 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/27 (FWD)
The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2010 Chrysler Sebring Touring starts just under $21,000, while the Limited is closer to $23,000 and tops out around,29,000 fully loaded. Our Fair Purchase Prices have reflected real-world selling prices not more than a few hundred dollars shy of those MSRPs. Compared with category leaders Accord and Camry, the Sebring's higher feature content at any given price is countered in part by lower projected resale values.