Chrysler has dropped its Sebring coupe for 2006, but retains the midsize Sebring sedan and convertible. Sebrings are available only with an automatic transmission. Dodge offers a similar Stratus sedan but no convertible.
Sedans come in base, Touring and Limited trim. A sporty new limited-production TSi sedan includes an AutoStick transmission, sport-tuned suspension and exhaust, antilock brakes, ground effects, a decklid spoiler and fog lamps. Wheels hold 17-inch performance tires.
New sedan packages are available for 2006: a Leather Value Package, a Chrome Value Package, and a Protection Value Package that includes all-disc antilock brakes, low-speed traction control and side curtain-type airbags.
Convertibles are offered in base, sporty GTC, Touring and Limited trim for 2006. Sirius Satellite Radio is a new option, and a navigation radio with a six-CD player is available.
Similar styling is evident on both Sebring body styles, led by an eggcrate grille. Sebring convertibles and sedans may look similar 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. 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 has 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. Leather-trimmed, two-tone bucket seats are installed in the TSi sedan.
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 work with a four-speed-automatic transmission, which includes AutoStick for manually selected gear changes in the TSi sedan and Limited convertible.
Antilock all-disc brakes are standard on the Limited convertible and TSi sedan. 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 with the V-6 engine 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.
The mild-mannered yet satisfying V-6-equipped Sebring Limited sedan yields a refined experience and an excellent ride. A roomy interior and generous standard-equipment list enhance its appeal, even if the Sebring sedan fails to stand out from the midsize crowd.