$52,490 – $52,490
Good: NOTE: DISCONTINUED IN AUSTRALIA JAN 2011 Elegant exterior styling; roomy interior; competitive pricing; if you’re bored by ‘sports car’ like marketing claims and are after a more laid back convertible it’s worth a look.
Not so Good: Body rigidity and driving dynamics are below average (so best kept to the boulevard – not the race-track!); interior plastics are well behind the class best; thirsty fuel economy.
Design and Engineering
Good : The Sebring Convertible arrived in Australia in December 2007, offering V6 power and a larger than average interior (as it’s based off the medium segment Sebring sedan rather than the typical small segment derived convertibles). The folding metal roof is a three piece unit that folds away under a hard tonneau cover in a respectable 30 seconds (a neat touch is that the roof can be lowered via the key fob, so you don’t even have to be in the car!).
Not so good : The necessary high strength steel reinforcements added to the chassis and the windscreen (to ensure adequate body rigidity) adds weight – as a result the Sebring convertible weighs a hefty 1,865kg.
Interior and Styling
Good : The front seats are big, comfortable, leather trimmed, feature power adjustment and are also heated; the steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach (ensuring a greater chance you’ll be comfortable behind the wheel) and is finished in an elegant wood and leather combination; the in-car entertainment system includes a 16.5cm touchscreen and a 30GB hard drive with an impressive 4,250 song capacity! Rear seat space is class leading and roof up the boot is large enough at 356 litres.
Not so good : The interior plastics and general finishing’s are below average and the ‘tortoise shell’ wood grain trim doesn’t look real (that’s wood real, not tortoise). The front seats lack side support, however as the Sebring never tries to be sporty this could be viewed as a mute point; rear and rear ¾ vision is limited due to the thick c-pillars (that’s roof up) and roof down boot space is a small 193 litres.
Good : The 2.7L petrol V6 engine generates 137kW of power and 256Nm of torque. It’s a smooth unit and teams up well with the also smooth six speed gearbox. On the move road noise is kept impressively low with the hard top roof up. Roof down, wind noise isn’t an issue either.
Not so good : The Sebring Convertible never feels fast – mainly due to the hefty vehicle weight – as a result performance feels more like a four cylinder (however smoothness is still V6).
Ride and Handling
Good : Driven as a boulevard cruiser (surely the intended purpose), the Sebring convertible is comfortable with the suspension doing a good job of minimising harshness. The 215mm wide and large 18 inch diameter tyres aren’t the grippiest treads we’ve comes across, however they do contribute to a comforting ride.
Not so good : A little too much scuttle shake and windscreen flex is evident over rough surfaces. Further shortcomings appear when driving briskly – the handling becomes excessively floaty and looses a little composure. The steering also does little to inspire driver confidence, excessively light at low speeds and artificial of feel when cornering.
Buying and Owning
Good : Ticks the safety box with Anti-lock brakes, Electronic Stability Control and four airbags as standard; however unfortunately the Sebring Convertible misses out on pop-up safety hoops, usually located behind the passenger headrests in a convertible. Comes standard with a decent features list, including climate control air-conditioning, the 30GB hard drive entertainment system, leather interior and 18 inch alloys.
Not so good : The significantly less expensive soft top (cloth roofed) grade is no longer available; official combined fuel economy of 10.5L per 100kms is high and real world figures are likely to be even higher again; should come standard with parking sensors; the mid life facelift shouldn’t be too far away, so keep this in mind if negotiating with a Chrysler salesperson.