The Chrysler Sebring was a mid-size car sold from 1995-2010. Over its 15 years of production, the Sebring went through three different generations, each attempting to improve sales with no success. Many believed the Sebring was just mediocre, even in its preferred convertible variant with three different tops. Power for the Sebring comes from a choice of three engines: A 2.4L I-4 producing 173hp and 166 lb-ft of torque, a 2.7L V6 engine delivering 186hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.5L V6 pushing out 235hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. All engines are mated to either a 4- or 6-speed automatic transmission.
Much to our surprise here at TopSpeed, Fiat has decided to keep the Sebring convertible alive. They are even giving it a major refresh early next year and boy, does it need it. The Sebring and the Dodge Avenger sedans are due for some updates before the end of the year and the Sebring could be getting a new name . There have also been reports that the new Sebring will be built in Italy.
Most of the changes that will take place on the two cars will include a reworked suspension and improved interiors. Chrysler ’s new Pentastar V6 will be in the convertible next year.
Take a step back to the 1990’s and you will find Sebrings everywhere, as it was the best selling convertible in America. This was down to its low price and decent styling. The current model took all of that and threw it away. It combines the negative areas of the sedan, and there are many to choose from, plus poor styling.
So, why would any car company want to keep this convertible alive? Well, according to AllPar, it’s because they are a rental fleet favorite in warm weather climates. So, Chrysler can thank vacationers for driving the Sebring convertible because, chances are, nobody else will.
Let’s face it, the Chrysler Sebring needed to go. Criticized for its cheap materials and horrible quality, the Sebring was, simply put, unsuccessful. So when we heard that Chrysler was going to rid itself of the Sebring, we weren’t at all surprised. What threw us a little, however, was the new car’s name. The freshened up mid-sized sedan will now be called the Nassau . This name was used for the first time on the concept car revealed by Chrysler in 2007. Of course, the production version will look nothing like the concept, but Chrysler hopes it will give them a chance to match up to its mid-sized competitors in the market today.
"If you look at the Sebring and benchmark it against the competition, it’s not where it needs to be,’ CEO Sergio Marchionne said at this year’s Detroit Auto Show.
Chrysler designers have been working on completely new interiors for the 2011 Chrysler Nassau and the Dodge Avenger. Not only will the interiors be brand spanking new, but the exteriors will look substantially different as well. The 2011 Nassau will be offered with a choice of 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a new V6 Pentastar engine.
Hopefully, Chrysler will learn from the debacle that was the Sebring and invest (crazy four letter word for some automakers) in better quality materials and engineering. We don’t think they can afford any other flops.
After Fiat has bought Chrysler, the first decision is to replace the models that are considered as being unsuccessful in Chrysler line-up: Sebring and Avenger. Both models will be replaced by a model based on the Chrysler 200C EV .
Production version could be based on either the LX platform that was used for the concept and that can be built in both rear-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. The second choice is Fiat’s D-Evo platform used for the 2011 replacement for the Alfa Romeo 159.
Sources say Chrysler is interested in the shortened LX platform and would not necessarily build the concept as shown. Also, the D-Evo suspension would likely be used on the LX platform. But if the concept was rear-drive, the production version could be a FWD model, because a RWD model is not good for the fuel economy.
The Chrysler Sebring Limited sedan features standard leather interior, heated seats, power front driver seat and tortoiseshell accents, as well as chrome and brushed trim accents and is priced $23,380 with the fuel-efficient 30 mpg, 2.4-liter I-4 engine.
For the Chrysler 300 the new entry model is the Touring Edition with a base price of $27,41. The WPC Touring Signature Edition is priced at $31,825 and comes with 18" chrome clad wheels, touring ride control, 60/40 rear folding seat, power adjustable pedals, Unlimited Powertrain Warranty. The 300 Limited has a MSRP of $36,035. The 300C, powered by the 5.7-liter V-8, has a MSRP of $37,585.
The Avenger lineup now includes only three models: R/T powered by a 30 mpg 2.4-liter I-4 engine and priced at $22,790. The R/T version powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engineis priced $1,160 less than the previous R/T 3.5-liter model. The Avenger SXT is the new entry-level model with a base MSRP of $21,255.
Back in 1985, Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca asked his engineers to build him a convertible out of a K-Car. Production convertibles in the early 80s had been absent from the North American market due to safety concerns, and Iacocca wanted a car he could enjoy for the summertime. Iacocca claims that wherever he went people were interested in the car. This left enough of an impression on him that the next year the Le Barron convertible was born, and ended a nearly fourteen-year drought of convertibles for Chrysler.
Our Chrysler Sebring Limited is a descendent of that original rebirth of the American convertible, and this car shows it. Just like how American cars are best known, the Sebring is big and roomy convertible with a plush ride.
The Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger have long been a disappointment to Chrysler. As it comes time to change them, Chrysler is looking to replace the mid-sizers with a quality product in the least expensive way possible. There are three ways to go with the future cars, but all will likely ditch the Mitsubishi platform the twins are based on now. First option is for Chrysler to develop its own new platform. The second idea is to use either Fiat’s premium platform, or Nissan ’s midsize (Altima), with distinct sheetmetal. The third option is using more than just the platform, and include the Fiat or Nissan firewall, A-pillar and windshield, kind of like Volkswagen ’s new Routan minivan, based on the Chrysler minivans. In the end it’s likely that there will be less products to choose from as Chrysler well drop the four-door Sebring from the line up.
What do you think? What is the best move for Chrysler to make the Sebring more successful?
The current generation Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger have met with mixed reviews at best. Back in October rumors began to swirl that Chrysler was focusing in on some troublesome models including the Sebring and Avenger. To date Chrysler has publicly announced its intention to kill the Dodge Magnum , Chrysler Pacifica, PT Cruiser Convertible and the Chrysler Crossfire. What fate awaits the Sebring and Avenger?
If you leave in UK you have one more reason to be happy: Chrysler UK Ltd has launched its ‘AllStar Weekends’ test drive incentive, which will see one lucky motorist win a Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle worth up to £30,000.
The prize draw competition is open to anyone that registers and takes a test drive at their local dealership before the end of December.
Oups! Tom LaSorda, Chrysler’s CEO got upset after Consumer Reports made their evaluation over the Sebring and the Dodge Nitro. As he says the company underestimated its competitors, set standards too low in some areas and was not where it needed to be in areas such as fuel economy, interior quality, and limiting noise and vibration. As a result of this “embarrassing misses” extremely aggressive actions are to be taken. In an interview with Detroit News, Chrysler’s product development chief, (...) More
Chrysler has announced today that the production of the all new 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertible started at Heights (Mich.) Assembly Plant (SHAP) alongside the Chrysler Sebring Sedan and the 2008 Dodge Avenger. The Assembly Plant featurs a new technology, called Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS) that allows the company to bring its new vehicles to market more quickly and to manufacture multiple products on one assembly line. "We are seeing a great deal of success at the (...) More