This 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible reminds be so much of the Pontiac Firebird. One difference is that the Firebird is a muscle car with a big V8 and torque to burn the tires of the car. Overall I received a lot of good comments. Shelly says “Oh you’re driving the Sebring, my most favorite car in the whole world. Don’t you just love it?” Well, now that you mention it, I do think it’s a pretty nice car. Shelly is just beyond teeny bopper but old enough to have a passion for cars. Yes even women have love affairs with their cars.
I reserve my enthusiasm not because I’m jaded by having too many… cars to drive but more because there have been questions about quality. Will it hold up? Time is the only test and that’s why reputation is so important to develop. I have to say it feels as solid as a coupe. The 1991 Camaro convertible I bought new wasn’t even solid the day I drove it off the showroom floor. It would shake, rattle and roll when you went up so much as a driveway. This Sebring isn’t that way at all, and it was one of the first things I noticed about it.
In spite of that fact, I believe you’ll notice drive train and road noise more than you should. Convertibles tend to be noisy but this seemed even more so than I expected.
Another thing you’ll notice is that it feels like a slug off the line. It felt like those 163 horses were straining a bit.
Quite good considering most of the time I was testing this Sebring it was pouring rain. I tried to get it to mis-behave but it wouldn’t. Men do that you know. They keep pushing until they get into trouble. The “autostick” (Porsche calls it Tiptronic) allows you to shift manually for those mountain driving days.
Noticeably sporty and good looking.
Fit and Finish:
This wasn’t a great time to have a convertible because California decided to pour down rain for nearly the entire time I was testing the car. Convertibles are more fun in the sum-sum-summer time but on a positive note it was a golden opportunity to see if it leaked. My Camaro had an annoying drip from the corner of the top on the driver side and you just knew it was a soft top. This Chrysler has a full headliner, no leaks and you don’t get the “soft-top” feeling when it’s up.
I did put the top down when it stopped raining and unlike the Camaro manual top I had, this one is power activated and goes up and down without much effort. Yep, with the ’91 Camaro I had to get out of the car if I had the urge to “go topless”. This Sebring top also includes a real Glass rear window and has a defroster. Mine was Plexiglas and it fogged up in winter and in time they all discolor, so you can’t see through them even when it didn’t fog up.
The base price covers most everything, but add $1,890 for upgrade in décor, traction control full 4-wheel disc brakes.
The jury is still out on how well this Sebring will hold up. All Chrysler products in generations past were weak on quality. I wonder about the influence the Damlier/ Chrysler combination will have on quality. And I also wonder if being assembled in Mexico is a positive or a negative.
Chevrolet Monte Carlo $19,290-21,735, Dodger Avenger $19,045-21,290, Ford Mustang $16,615-31,605, Honda Prelude $23,500-26,000, Mitsubishi Eclipse $17,697-20,287, Pontiac Firebird $18,590-30,950, Saab 9-3 $16,695-21,165, Toyota Celica $16,695-21,165.
Convertible versatility, visibility good when top is down , roomy back seat for two more adults.
Convertible visibility is poor when top is up, too much road noise for my liking, sluggish off the line.
2.5 liter V6 163 horsepower engine, 4-speed automatic trans with autostick, air bags, antilock front disc and rear drum brakes, keyless entry, theft deterrent system, power steering, air conditioning, cloth headliner, power locks, power driver seat, cruise control, stereo with cassette and 6-CD changer, tilt steering with leather wrapped wheel, power windows, convertible top with boot cover, power mirrors and console.
18 City and 26 Highway MPG.
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