Chrysler is offering new interiors for 2005 in the Sebring midsize sedan and its convertible sibling. The Limited sedan gains automatic temperature control, automatic headlamps, an available navigation/CD radio and genuine California wood instrument-panel bezels. Sebrings are available only with an automatic transmission. Dodge offers similar Stratus models but no convertible.
Restyling of the grille and front fascia for the 2004 model year gave the Sebring sedan and convertible a fresh face. A GTC with a sport suspension joined the Sebring convertible lineup in mid-2002; it remains available. Base, Touring and Limited editions are also offered in soft-top models, as well as sedans.
Chrysler's Sebring coupe has a different design.
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Similar styling is evident on all three Sebring body styles even though the coupe is based on a different design. Each is led by the same oval eggcrate grille that's used on all Chrysler vehicles. Sebring convertibles and sedans may look the same at a glance, but they have different front fascias, taillights and side body panels.
Their dimensions also differ. Convertibles ride a 106-inch wheelbase and measure 193.7 inches long overall, while the sedan has a 108-inch wheelbase but is 3 inches shorter. The compact coupe rides a 103.7-inch wheelbase and is 191.9 inches long overall. All convertibles have a power top and a glass rear window with an electric defogger.
The Sebring sedan and convertible both contain front bucket seats. Sedans have a three-place rear bench, while the convertible contains a two-place rear seat that allows four-passenger capacity. The sedan's 60/40-split rear seatback folds to expand cargo capacity beyond the 16-cubic-foot trunk. Convertibles have a fixed rear seatback and only 11.3 cubic feet of trunk space.
Under the Hood
A 150-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder is standard in the base sedan and convertible, while the other models use a 2.7-liter V-6 that produces 200 hp. Both engines mate with a four-speed-automatic transmission. A manual gearbox is not available.
Antilock brakes are standard on the Limited convertible and optional on other models. The front airbags deploy at one of three levels based on crash severity. Side curtain-type airbags are optional in sedan models.
The Sebring convertible is easy to drive and nicely stable on the highway; it offers considerably more rear legroom than most rivals. Strong performance is likely to slow only in steep terrain. Not only is the convertible's ride nearly glass-smooth, but it also remains commendably civilized when the road surface turns harsh. Maneuvering with an appealing degree of precision, the soft-top model responds crisply with just a bit of understeer.
A V-6-equipped Sebring sedan also produces a refined experience and an excellent ride. A roomy interior and generous standard-equipment list enhance its appeal.
The V-6 Sebring coupe performs well but isn't exceptional. Except for tire noise on certain road surfaces, the Sebring is pleasantly quiet. The four-cylinder Sebring coupe is sufficiently peppy for most drivers, but it's a little noisier than the V-6. Interior space is bountiful.
Chrysler handled the exterior styling and interior design, but the Sebring coupe's front-wheel-drive platform is also used for the Mitsubishi Galant sedan. The Sebring and related Dodge Stratus coupe are built in Illinois.
The Sebring coupe gained new front fascias, grille, headlights, taillights, fog lamps and side sill moldings in 2004. The hood and trunk lid were reworked, and a new instrument panel features gauges with black backgrounds and chrome surrounds. Two new colors are available for 2005.
Coupes come in base and upscale Limited trim levels, and each promises more rear-seat space than most coupes. The base engine is a 147-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. A 200-hp, 3.0-liter V-6 is standard in the Limited coupe. Both power plants come only with a four-speed-automatic transmission. A Limited coupe with a V-6 can be equipped with AutoStick, which permits manual gear changes. Antilock brakes are optional on the Limited coupe. Side-impact airbags are also available. Back to top