When I think about driving a convertible, I automatically transport myself mentally to someplace more interesting and convertible-friendly than my own climate. Usually that place has palm trees, a place like California. What about you? Are you driving through the autumnal beauty of New England, hair in a scarf and sunglasses a la Audrey Hepburn? Or are you rebelliously racing through the desert like Thelma and Louise? Mental surf, sunshine, and gentle breezes welcome me to my test drive of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring. I am excited to get in and check out the latest update of the Sebring.
Unfortunately, I don't get to be Audrey, Thelma, or Louise. I feel more like Judge Smails from Caddyshack (you remember Ted Knight's character, "You'll get nothing and like it!"). Or maybe it just seems like the car itself is Judge Smails: a bit cranky and crotchety. It takes all my energy and effort to get the car to accelerate and then I have to muster more to get it to corner and even brake. There's no smooth sportiness, nothing effortless about its handling. The only thing really smooth and sporty, actually, is the key fob with a button built in to operate the convertible top remotely.
The exterior of the '08 Sebring is sharp looking, with an automatic hard top (or the choice of a soft top). The car is nice looking, but bulkier than I expected. It is reminiscent of Chrysler's 300 with a large grill, boxy feel and fairly long wheelbase. I have nothing against a distinctive design, but I definitely feel younger than the Sebring's target market.
I'm happy to report that for any market, the Sebring comes with ESP with Traction Control. This is just another one of those fancy systems that can bail me out if I'm on ice or sand and start to slip. The car will automatically correct and keep me going on my way. What would I need with that, being in sunny California?
The interior feels more country-club than sporty, and off-white leather and wood trim abound. I am greeted with heated/cooled cup holders (my favorite feature of all). The Sebring R&D team went to Starbuck's to inquire about the ideal temperature for their coffee drinks. Per Starbucks' temperature recommendations, the Sebring will keep my tall extra hot two pump chai heated to the perfect degree.
The entertainment system in the '08 Sebring is a convenient addition, with large font and buttons (easy to use, although visually geriatric). I am comfortable in the Sebring with everything in reach. In addition, the back seat of the Sebring is roomy. It holds adults comfortably, and car seats would not be a problem. I'm pleasantly surprised and happy at the thought of the kids in the back not kicking the seats. Not that my kids ever do... As is typically the case with any 2-door, the climb into the back could get old fast, but is made easier than other vehicles in this class with seatbelts that don't require obstacle course maneuvering to get around.
I'm sorry to say that overall I am underwhelmed with the Sebring. Its lack of zip and cumbersome drive make it a good rental car choice for a Q-tip's dream vacation to Hawaii perhaps (cheesy straw hat and Bermuda shorts required), but not as a permanent resident in my garage. Thelma, Louise and Audrey wouldn't abide its dull drive. I simply don't want to be in the same league as the white-haired cranky guy from Caddyshack.
*For more information on the 2008 Chrysler Sebring and its safety features visit Cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 4
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): Some
Cars.com Expert Reviews
|Mike Hanley||Cars.com National||May 16, 2007|
|Cars.com Staff||Cars.com National||September 1, 2007|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||July 26, 2008|
|Dan Neil||Los Angeles Times||August 8, 2007|
|Tom Strongman||KansasCity.com||June 15, 2007|
|Jim Mateja||chicagotribune.com||May 6, 2007|
|G. Chambers Williams III||Star-Telegram.com||April 8, 2007|
|Scott Burgess||The Detroit Newspapers||April 4, 2007|
|Sara Lacey||Mother Proof||March 23, 2007|
People Who Viewed This Car Also Viewed
Closest Dealers Listing this Car
Featured Services for the Chrysler Sebring
- Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.