- Acceleration (w/3.5-liter V6)
- Passenger headroom
- Acceleration (4-cylinder)
- Interior materials
- Shoulder room
Four-cylinder Sebrings struggle in passing and merging situations, though they cope adequately with around-town driving. The 2.7 V6 is stronger overall, though its transmission occasionally shifts harshly. Power is ample with the 3.5-liter V6, but the 6-speed's rough, delayed downshifts frustrate passing efforts. Convertibles are up to 400 pounds heavier than sedans and are notably slower from a stop and in highway passing and merging.
In Consumer Guide testing, a 4-cylinder sedan averaged 19.5 mpg in city/highway driving. Test convertibles averaged 20.2 mpg with the 2.7 V6 and 18.3-20.2 with the 3.5 V6. The 4-cylinder and 2.7 V6 use regular-grade gas. Chrysler recommends 89-octane for the 3.5 V6. The 2.7 V6 can also run on E85 ethanol.
Good isolation from bumps and rough surfaces, but highway-speed stability is compromised by excessive body float over dips and swells. Convertibles are reasonably well isolated, though some body shudder is noticed over cracked pavement. There's little apparent difference in rigidity between convertibles with soft or hard top.
Nimble at low speeds, but the steering has a less-precise feel than that of most midsize competitors. Body lean is pronounced, but the brakes have good pedal feel.
Road and wind noise are effectively muted. The gruff 4-cylinder roars loudly during even moderate acceleration. The 2.7 V6 is modestly more refined. The 3.5-liter V6 is the most hushed, but still trails most rivals' available V6s for overall polish.
Gauges are simple, though difficult to read at night. The climate controls are set low but are large enough to not require too long a look from the road. The available navigation system absorbs some audio functions, but its controls are fairly intuitive. Note that convertible soft top takes 27 seconds to raise or lower, while the hard top takes 30 seconds.
Sebring's cabin materials are more sturdy than rich and feel notably down market of most midsize rivals. The retractable hard top on one test Limited convertible sometimes stopped in the middle of the closing procedure. It would take several minutes for the system to reset and allow the top to fully close.
Room/Comfort/Driver Seating (Front)
Generous headroom, even beneath the sunroof housing. Chrysler says Sebring's body is about as wide as other midsize sedans, but its cabin width is more on par with the compact class. Shoulder space is limited for larger occupants. Narrow roof pillars contribute to good outward visibility.
Adult-adequate headroom but no excess legroom. Long rear doors in the sedan aid entry and exit, but the narrow cabin rules out comfortable 3-abreast seating for adults. The convertible's rear seat holds only two passengers and is sized for teens; accessing it requires some twisting. The "easy access" sliders to move the front seats out of the way are clumsy to use. The optional wind blocker precludes rear-seat use by any passengers.
A short deck and high liftover limit the utility of the small but usefully shaped trunk. The sedan's rear seat backs split 60/40 and fold nearly flat. Load possibilities are expanded by the available flat-folding front-passenger seat. Top up, the convertible's trunk is nearly as large as the sedan's. Top down, there's still enough space for two golf bags, even with the retractable hardtop. A narrow center console and small glovebox compromise interior storage options.
Value Within Class
Sebring's prices are attractive, but all versions lack the powertrain refinement and interior roominess of the best in this class. The convertible appeals for its choice of a soft top or the all-weather security of a power-retractable hard top, but it's not really a reasonable alternative to rival droptops.
The 2010 Chrysler Sebring gets slightly freshened exterior and interior styling. Sebring is available as either a 4-door sedan or 2-door convertible. All are front-wheel drive. Sedans come in a single Limited trim level; the Touring sedan has been discontinued. Convertibles come as the LX, LXi, and Limited. Sedans and the LX convertible have a 173-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. A 186-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 that can run on E85 ethanol-blended fuel is standard on LXi convertibles. A 235-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is standard on Limited convertibles and optional on sedans. The 2.4- and 2.7-liter engines team with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5 V6 uses a 6-speed automatic. The LX and LXi convertibles have a power soft top, and Limited convertibles have a power-retractable hard top. Available safety features include ABS, traction control, antiskid system, curtain-side airbags (on sedans), and front-side airbags. Also available is Chrysler's Uconnect multimedia suite, which can include a 30-gigabyte hard drive that can hold music or picture files, a wireless cell-phone link, and a navigation system with real-time traffic information. Other available features include remote engine start and heated leather or cloth front seats.
Consumer Guide Automotive places each vehicle into one of 18 classes based on size, price, and market position. Midsize Cars represent the heart of the U.S. car market. Most are price-sensitive, conservatively designed, family-oriented sedans and wagons. Our Best Buys include the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord sedan, Honda Accord coupe, Mazda 6, Mercury Milan, and Toyota Prius. Our Recommended picks are the Kia Rondo, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, and Toyota Camry.
New or significantly redesigned models include the Chrysler Sebring, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord Crosstour, Mercury Milan, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Suzuki Kizashi, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Prius. Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan also gain gas/electric hybrid models for 2010.