Enveloping dash and large centre console make for an intimate environment. The front seats are large and comfortable. The rear seat offers reasonable space for a sports coupe. The coupe’s trunk is adequate.
Powered by the same engine found in the old Cirrus, the Sebring four-cylinder is a tame performer. The 2.7L 200-hp Chrylser engine is lacklustre from a stop, but has good mid-range power and works well with the smooth automatic. Despite premium specifications like twin-overhead-camshafts and 24 valves, the Sebring V6 sounds rough at high revs, and doesn’t deliver the kind of grunt 200-rated horsepower would lead you to expect. The Sebring sedan’s structure feels quite stout, and few bumps upset the car. The car rides well, and feels very composed for a conservative family sedan. Braking is effective. The convertible drives much like the sedan. The 3.0L Mitsubishi V6 in the Sebring Coupe is smoother, quieter and better off the line than Chrysler’s 2.7L, and works well with either transmission. Ride, handling and steering are all nicely balanced for a luxury sport coupe.
Those seeking a used Sebring sedan will be happy to learn that they are worth half of less of their original value by the time they are three years old. The V6 sells in far bigger numbers, and is more in demand used. As with many domestic used cars, luxury comes cheap. The price gap of $3000 between a plain LX and a loaded LXi when they were new shrinks to about $1500 after three years. The convertibles lose their value more slowly, and can sell for up to $10,000 more than a sedan of the same year. In good condition, a coupe will appeal to the right buyer, but that person is rare.
Reliability: Predicted weak points include the automatic transmission and A/C. Some reports of water infiltrating into the cabin because of missed welds where the firewall meets the floorpan. Some reports of head gasket failures and valvetrain problems starting between 100,000 km and 130,000 km on the 2.7L V6. Chrysler added a 5 year/100,000 km powertrain warranty to the basic 3/60 coverage for the 2001 model year.
Rust: Insufficient data. Brake lines and the ABS junction box located under the car appear vulnerable to corrosion.
Safety: Standard dual front airbags, optional side airbags. The sedan earned five-star ratings for the driver and front passenger in the NHTSA’s frontal crash test and a three-star rating for outboard occupants in the NHTSA’s side impact test. Initially rated “good” by the IIHS, the Sebring sedan was reclassified as “acceptable”. Optional ABS.
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