2001 CHRYSLER SEBRING LXI SEDAN 4D
Used Car - 2001 Chrysler Sebring LXi Sedan 4D in Portland, Or
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2001 Chrysler Sebring ReviewThis car review is specific to this model, not the actual vehicle for sale.
Dramatic drop-top styling and a spacious cockpit too.
For 2001, Chrysler rolls out a fresh design for the sleek Sebring Convertible. The new Sebring Convertible brings increased horsepower, while expanding the best attributes of the previous edition. For the past five years, the Sebring has scored as America's best-selling convertible, lauded for its sleek design, roomy back seat and attractive pricing.
This new Sebring Convertible was designed to maintain that leadership position, with generous room for backseat riders and best-in-class interior space. Its water-tight drop-top disappears behind the rear seat with the touch of a button.
Handsome new exterior styling looks dramatic with smooth lines similar to the new Sebring coupe and sedan. (Chrysler's Sebring Convertible, Sedan and Coupe have all been completely redesigned this year; they share the same sporty body style, but differ in engineering details.) Behind the slick shell is a stiff new structure, new suspension components that produce sporty ride traits, and a new engine charged to 200 horsepower.
Best of all, this new Sebring, like its popular predecessor, carries an attractive price, starting at just $24,370.
The new Chrysler Sebring Convertible is available in three trim levels: LX, LXi and Limited. All come with the same double overhead-cam 2.7-liter V6 engine and four-speed automatic transmission.
Sebring Convertible LX ($24,370) comes with a high level of standard equipment, including a vinyl convertible top, premium cloth-covered seats, a floor console with cupholders and armrest, air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, and 15-inch steel wheels.
To that, the Sebring LXi ($26,830) adds a cloth-coated top, leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a CD player with six Infinity speakers, plus 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels.
Sebring Limited ($28,915) increases the luxury gear with premium leather on the seats, instruments with bright white faces and electroluminescent lighting, an in-dash CD changer for four discs, and a driver-interactive AutoStick shifter for the four-speed automatic transaxle.
Active safety equipment includes bigger four-wheel disc brakes. Optional is a sophisticated anti-lock braking system Chrysler calls ABS Plus ($565) designed to better balance braking forces at each wheel; this helps improve stability when braking and turning at the same time by counteracting yawing or swerving. ABS Plus comes with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), which distributes braking forces front to rear for better stopping performance.
Sebring Convertible shares its name and styling with a new two-door Sebring Coupe and four-door Sebring Sedan. Sedan and Convertible use similar chassis and suspension elements, and share the same V6 engine and automatic transmissions. Convertible and Sedan roll out of the same Chrysler assembly plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan.
The Sebring Convertible is not simply a Sebring Sedan with the roof chopped and a soft-top added. Instead, it was designed from the outset to function as a two-door convertible. As a result, its reinforced structure is so strong that the topless Sebring feels as stiff as a hardtop car and behaves with sporty characteristics.
It's also drop-dead gorgeous.
Smooth sheet metal stretches long and broad over a taut form with fluid lines patterned after the slick coupe. The overall shape is dominated by a prominent hood and cantilevered windshield that rakes rearward at an extreme angle.
A broad nose focuses on the Chrysler signature of an exaggerated oval air intake port inset with a dark egg-crate grille ringed in chrome. Narrow headlamps wrap around front corners above round fog lights flanking the grille.
Side panels with rolled shoulders flare in rings around wheelwells to draw attention to large wheels that include multi-spoke designs in cast aluminum for the LXi, and chrome alloy for the Limited. At the rear a spoiler lip arches over large corner lamps and the thick mass of a monotone bumper.
Sebring's passenger compartment is an expansive space filled with form-fitting seats and stylish design elements like chrome highlights or leather and glossy simulated walnut wood.
Generous room for riders stems from architecture that extends the windshield forward, abbreviates space for the engine, and increases the length and width of the cabin. High-back bucket seats are standard in cloth fabric for Sebring LX; the LXi gets leather trim, while the Limited comes with softer premium leather trim. Seats feel firm and comfortable; the driver's seat has six-way power adjustments.
A dashboard collection of round analog instruments, tucked beneath an arched cowl and ringed with chrome bezels, employs easy-to-read white-on-black graphics for LX and LXi; bold black-on-white graphics and electroluminescent lighting add zest to the instruments in the Limited.
Although the dashboard is essentially linear, there's a wrap-around feel to the cockpit. From the driver's seat you can easily reach the shift lever and the window and lock switches mounted on the door. A center console houses the transmission shift lever and a padded armrest. Above the console, a central stack of controls for the audio and climate systems shows large rotary dials in a simple scheme.
At the top of the dash, an available display provides compass headings, outside temperature readings, trip mileage, fuel economy and estimated distance to an empty tank -- useful information on trips or when out and about.
Unlike some convertibles, the Sebring provides enough room in the backseat for two adults to sit comfortably; and it's fitted with three-point seatbelts. Twin cupholders extend from the rear of the floor console. Front seatbacks tip and slide forward quickly for easy backseat entry, and the front seatbelts do not impede entry because anchors are integrated in top corners of the seatbacks.
Trunk space is also good for a convertible; the trunk will accommodate two golf bags stacked together.
The convertible top is a snap to operate. Simply unlock two latches located above windshield visors, then touch a single button on the dashboard and the lid folds quickly into a well behind the rear seat. Continue to depress the button and side windows will also drop out of sight. Reverse the process to seal the top shut -- it's quick.
You can hide the collapsed roof by covering it with a smooth boot that locks in place with Velcro taps; when not in use, the boot folds and stows in the trunk.
The streamlined styling of the Sebring positions this new convertible as a prime choice for cruising down the boulevards. Yet behind this slick skin are the ingredients of a sporty car charged with power and rigged with tight and precise mechanical elements that make it fun to drive over a curvy course.
We cruised the broad boulevards of Palm Springs in a Sebring LXi with the top down, basking in the warm California sun as the compact disc player spun a tune. It wasn't until we headed out of town, climbing high into the Santa Rosa Mountains on the switchbacks of snaky route 74, that the Sebring revealed its dual personality as both boulevard cruiser and sporty performer.
Step on the pedal to leap around traffic and it pounces like a cat catching prey. The V6 engine, displacing 2.7 liters out of an aluminum block fitted with dual overhead cams and multi-valve technology, produces 200 horsepower spread over a broad torque band. It can charge off the line at a stoplight, but still have enough guts at speed to surge ahead of other cars in a quick lane change. Despite the muscle, it earns respectable fuel economy and operates on 87-octane regular unleaded gasoline.
The electronically controlled four-speed automatic shifts quietly and efficiently.
To enrich performance, Chrysler adds to Sebring's Limited edition the AutoStick for shift-it-yourself control like a manual stick. Although the AutoStick is fun to play if you're in a sporty mood, for everyday use in urban traffic the standard automatic employed on LX and LXi editions may be more practical.
Sebring's steering mechanism, with power assistance linked to a crisp rack-and-pinion device, reveals a nice neutral feel.
The suspension, fully independent in short- and long-arm arrangement up front and a multi-link rear rig with stabilizer bar fore and aft, fashions smooth ride sensations. It excels in a set of curves by maintaining an impressively flat stance, even when pressed through a hard-cut corner. The super-stiff body, fortified by lateral braces to compensate for the convertible's lack of a unifying roof structure, plays a key role in achieving Sebring's taut ride traits.
All three trim choices use the same suspension components, but wheels and tires differ. The LX has 15-inch wheels, but the wheels for LXi and Limited bump up an inch larger and carry Michelin all-season tires. The larger tires feel more aggressive when turning, and ultimately improve Sebring's agility.
Chrysler's Sebring Convertible dazzles the eye with its sophisticated styling. It also comforts the body with a luxury-lined passenger compartment that carves out best-in-class space for four riders.
The power-operated pop-top drops in seconds with one-button ease to let the sun shine in or closes equally fast to block a sudden shower.
With strong power from the V6 engine and precise road manners derived from a stiff platform and independent suspension elements, Sebring defies the image of a loosy-goosy boulevard convertible and instead acts like a toned hardtop sports coupe.
All three trim choices contain the same essential ingredients including power-operated luxury gear, but prices skew to fit different budgets. Even the top edition, Sebring Limited, draws the bottom line well below $30,000.
LX ($24,370); LXi ($26,830); Limited ($28,915).
Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Options As Tested
ABS Plus ($565).
Sebring LXi ($26,830).Stylish new sports coupe is quick and affordable.
Chrysler has introduced a totally new Sebring Coupe for 2001. This new two-door replaces the previous coupe by the same name. But it rolls on a stiff new platform and is powered by bigger engines than the predecessor. It comes with a sleek new shell and an all-new interior.
The Sebring label also applies to a new four-door Chrysler sedan. Despite a shared name and similar styling, the sedan should not be confused with the coupe, as they do not share chassis, powertrains, or components. Instead, the Chrysler Sebring coupe shares components with the new Dodge Stratus coupe.
Consider the coupe variation of Sebring an entirely new product rigged for comfort. Powertrain choices provide two different flavors. The Sebring coupe comes out of a joint-venture assembly plant in Illinois that also produces the Stratus and the Mitsubishi Eclipse coupes; Sebring, Stratus and Eclipse use the same engines, chassis, and suspension designs.
Behind its smooth shell, the Sebring coupe provides a generous interior environment that adds a quality rare for a two-door sports coupe: Genuine legroom in the rear seat.
Another rare trait among sporty coupes concerns the bottom line, as Chrysler casts the Sebring coupe with a price that begins at $19,910.
Chrysler splits the Sebring two-door coupe into two models: LX and LXi.
The base LX coupe ($19,910) uses a single-cam 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 142 horsepower and links to a four-speed automatic transaxle.
The luxury version, Sebring LXi, starts at $21,475 with a 3.0-liter V6 charged to 200 horsepower. The V6 mates either to the standard five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic ($825) that can be rigged with Chrysler's AutoStick ($165) for no-clutch shift control. Optional safety equipment includes ABS ($565) for Sebring LX, or ABS with Traction Control ($740) on Sebring LXi when equipped with the automatic transmission.
Chrysler's coupe treatment for Sebring looks bold and dramatic, with uncommonly fluid lines flowing over an oval format featuring a curt prow and exaggerated cabin clustered behind so much reflective window glass. The windshield initiates a graceful arching profile that extends over sensuously shaped doors to merge thin rear roof pillars in a swoop to the high deck of a tail.
The Sebring coupe is elegant in shape and style, a slick design that clearly harmonizes with the curvy sedans in Chrysler's fleet.
Up front, the broad oval grille inset with an egg-crate pattern and round foglamps comes off the styling chart for the LHS sedan. Above the grille, front corners carry multi-lens headlamps in oval clusters flanking the bulging hood.
Rolled side panels flare in rings around wheelwells to draw attention to large wheels, including optional seven-spoke chrome wheels.
Following the arching roofline, shapely back pillars slide down into the coupe's rear flanks to form shoulders of the high tail, which bows over bold corner lamps and the thick mass of a monotone bumper.
The architectural design of the Sebring carves out generous space for riders by extending the windshield forward to the firewall, increasing the length and width of the cabin, and abbreviating space for the engine.
Up front is a pair of high-back bucket seats clad in cloth fabric or optional leather. The rear bench seats three, with folding seatbacks split 60/40 for access to the trunk.
Unlike some sport coupes, the Sebring has a chassis long enough to leave room in the backseat for adult riders. To prove the point, we crawled into the rear seat and found that long legs fit neatly -- even comfortably -- behind the driver's seat. Further, we could extract ourselves easily from that space because the front seat slides forward sufficiently to permit a quick exit.
The look and tone of appointments in the Sebring coupe is sporty more than it is luxurious. A dashboard collection of instruments, tucked beneath a bowed cowl, contains round analog gauges including a tachometer. Sculptured pods on either side of the central console define notched cockpit spaces for the driver and front passenger. From the driver's seat you can easily access window and lock switches mounted on the door.
With the LXi edition, a center console cradles the shifter lever for either a manual stick or the automatic with optional AutoStick control.
Above the console, a central stack of audio and climate systems contains large rotary dials in a simple scheme.
Due to the broad and tall expanses of window glass and relatively narrow windshield pillars, the Sebring provides excellent outward visibility for the driver, which becomes a factor for safety.
Safety features begin with the rigid structure that wraps around the passenger compartment. Active devices include four-wheel disc brakes with optional ABS; passive measures include three-point seatbelts for all five seat positions and dual-stage frontal airbags.
Appointments for the base Sebring LX include gear usually offered on the list of options, such as air conditioning, and power windows, mirrors and door locks.
The V6-powered LXi brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel and premium sound system with cassette deck and CD player.
Back-to-back drives in the previous Sebring coupe and its sleek replacement quickly demonstrate that the new version feels tighter, stronger and stiffer.
We spent time in both during a day driving loop courses around Lake Washington in the suburbs of Seattle. These routes ranged from congested I-5 to stop-and-go Third Street to the residential lakeshore on Mercer Island, and provided a variety of pavement types and urban speeds. The drives revealed confident road manners. They also revealed the suspension tips toward the plush side to favor softer ride characteristics.
Sebring rolls on a new chassis that improves rigidity over the previous generation by 90 percent in bending strength and 9 percent in twisting. New front suspension elements include MacPherson struts with lower A-arms, shock tower bracing, and an anti-roll bar. In the rear are upper A-arms with lower lateral and semi-trailing links, coil springs and an anti-roll bar.
While an aggressive driver may perhaps observe that the new front arrangement results in less precision when carving a hard turn, the new Sebring performs better in straight-line action and ultimately generates a smoother ride quality than the previous model.
The new coupe also delivers more power than the former Sebring through new engines that offer greater displacement as well as strength. The base Sebring LX comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that uses a single overhead-camshaft design with four valves per cylinder and sequential multi-point fuel injection. Output reaches 142 horsepower with the automatic transaxle.
Sebring LXi shows more spark with its single overhead-cam 3.0-liter V6 that develops 200 horsepower. This engine delivers exhilarating acceleration performance; it surprised us with its authority.
The shifter lever on the console connects to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. The short-throw manual 5-speed moves effortlessly fore and aft, with smooth clutch engagement and easy up-shifts. The 4-speed automatic contains an adaptive controller tied to a computer that quickly learns a driver's habits and manipulates shift patterns to suit the driving style. Take it easy and the automatic interprets that style by shifting gently at relatively low engine speeds. Pep it up and the transmission holds it in a lower gear longer to increase acceleration performance. Tackle a long downhill descent and it drops down a gear to add engine braking. With the optional AutoStick, you can slide the automatic shift lever down to a manual mode and create a shift-it-yourself option without the hassle of pumping a clutch pedal.
Chrysler Sebring coupe delivers a spacious passenger compartment behind the sensuous lines of a slick shell. With its powerful V6 and smooth ride characteristics, the Sebring LXi edition contains luxurious appointments yet holds the bottom line to a reasonable number.
LX ($19,910); LXi ($21,475).
Options As Tested
leather seat package with 6-way power for driver's seat ($1,045); ABS with traction control system ($740); power sunroof ($685); automatic four-speed transmission ($825) with AutoStick ($165); 17-in. chrome aluminum wheels ($750).
Sebring LXi ($21,475).A beautiful new mid-size sedan complements Chrysler's new coupe.
Chrysler has introduced an all-new mid-size sedan for 2001 called the Sebring.
Though it shares its name and styling cues with the sleek Sebring coupe (totally redesigned for 2001), there are key differences: The sedan offers the convenience of four doors to access a spacious cabin and comfortable seats aboard for a family of five. And the Sebring Sedan and Sebring Coupe are built on two different chassis, so they each have their own character in terms of ride quality and handling.
Sebring Sedan drives as sporty as a coupe, thanks to its stiff new structure and exacting handling components. Its pavement manners make it easy to control, matching those good traits of the Japanese mid-size Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Suspension tuning, while precise, favors smooth riding comfort.
Four-door sedans are available in two trim levels with a choice of powertrains. The base LX sedan ($17,945) packs a twin-cam 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 150 horsepower through a four-speed automatic transaxle. Chrysler's 2.7-liter V6, which produces 200 horsepower, may be added to the base Sebring LX for $800. Base Sebring LX trim comes standard with air conditioning and power controls for windows, mirrors and door locks.
The luxurious Sebring LXi ($20,830) comes standard with the V6, leather seat upholstery, eight-way power control of the driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a premium sound system with CD player.
Several safety systems are optional gear for both models, such as ABS ($565) and side-curtain airbags ($350). There's also a premium package available with the AutoStick transmission, electroluminescent instruments and 16-inch chrome alloy wheels ($1,295).
Chrysler Sebring Sedan replaces Chrysler's Cirrus. The Sebring structure began with the Cirrus chassis on a 108-inch wheelbase. But the new body is longer, taller and stiffer. More important, it does a far better job of resisting tendencies to twist and bend when set in motion; this more rigid construction is the key to a smooth, refined ride quality without resorting to mushy shocks. Chrysler's new package also excels in controlling noise and vibration. The result is an uncommonly quiet passenger compartment.
Chrysler's four-door version of the Sebring stretches long and wide over a slinky package that quickly shows a sedan can look crisp and sporty like a coupe. Chrysler has been a leader in design in recent years and the Sebring's exterior styling borrows design cues from the Concorde and LHS. As a result, Sebring's gracefully arched profile features a dramatic rake to the windshield. A broad but stubby nose focuses on Chrysler's signature grille design, which features an exaggerated oval air intake port inset with a shaded egg-crate grille pattern. Headlamps, shielded by polycarbonate lenses, wrap around the front corners, while available round fog lights flank the grille.
Flat side panels flare in rings around wheelwells to draw attention to the large wheels, which flash in bright highlights from optional chrome alloy multi-spoke designs. Above the beltline, blackened center roof pillars diminish definitions for doors and mimic the look of a pillar-less coupe.
Curvy back pillars flow down into rolled rear flanks in a smooth transition from roof to body. The tail incorporates a spoiler lip arched over large corner lamps and the thick mass of a monotone bumper. At the bottom of the bumper, an edgy flat facet interrupts otherwise fluid contours, extending around each corner and along low side rails to the front corners as a subtle linear foundation for the package.
Sebring's airy passenger compartment is a refined environment rigged with form-fitting seats and stylish design elements like chrome highlights or leather and glossy simulated walnut wood. The cab-forward architectural structure carves out generous space for riders by extending the windshield forward to the firewall and increasing the length and width of the cabin while abbreviating space up front for a transversely mounted engine.
Two high-back bucket seats clad in soft leather trim for the deluxe LXi edition flank a center console. The rear bench seats three with 60/40 folding split seatbacks and access into the trunk. LX models come with cloth fabric upholstery on all seats.
A dashboard collection of round analog instruments, tucked beneath an arched cowl and rimmed with chrome bezels, employs bold black-on-white graphics. Although the dashboard is essentially flat and linear, there's a wrap-around feel to the cockpit. Window and lock switches are mounted on the driver's door. The center console houses the transmission shift lever and a padded armrest. Above the console, a central stack of audio and climate systems contains large rotary dials in a simplified and easy-to-operate scheme.
With the broad and tall expanses of window glass and relatively narrow windshield pillars, Sebring sets up excellent outward visibility for the driver, which becomes a factor for safety. The glass, thicker than usual, serves a secondary function as an insulating property to dampen external noise. It combines with the structural streamlining and additional layers of insulation added to doors, body cavities and the floor and ceiling to forge the quiet interior environment.
Sebring's safety systems begin with a rigid structure that encases the passenger compartment. Passive measures include three-point seatbelts for all five seat positions and dual-stage frontal airbags. Also, the headliner has been engineered to accommodate optional curtain-style side airbags.
Sebring the sedan surprised us with its competent road manners and the tight and precise way mechanical equipment functioned. We really liked the stiff yet smooth ride characteristics and discovered through experience that Sebring could be downright nimble in navigating a set of curves, or quick to respond when prodded in the passing lane.
Our tests of a Sebring LXi edition across the length and breadth of Seattle included a range of urban and suburban venues, from commuter-clogged freeways like the I-5 to stop-and-go treatment downtown on Fourth Street and residential romps such as Mercer Way that meanders along the shoreline of Lake Washington.
The V6 engine (standard on the LXi, optional on the LX) produces juicy acceleration. It leaps to action from a stoplight start, and at freeway speed still has guts to pop ahead of other cars in a quick lane change. This 2.7-liter V6 uses an aluminum block fitted with dual overhead cams and multi-valve technology. It delivers 200 horsepower but still earns respectable fuel economy figures. As a bonus, the V6 operates on regular-grade gasoline.
The electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is quiet and efficient. Gear ratios for the transmission have been calibrated to produce fast-clip getaways in stoplight derbies and typical stop-and-go in-town driving situations. Thus, the Sebring feels quick and can transform a freeway entry into an easy maneuver.
For added driving enjoyment, Chrysler offers its optional AutoStick for shift-it-yourself control of a manual stick with the convenience of an automatic. The AutoStick is fun to play with when you're in a sporty mood. For everyday use in urban traffic, sliding it in the standard automatic mode works just fine.
Sebring LX, when equipped with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, feels energetic through all gears. This engine was carried forward from the predecessor Chrysler sedan, the Cirrus. If the bottom line is a primary concern, this is the engine to pick. The main cost difference is that initial $800, however. EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers differ by only a single point per gallon between the two engines. Order the LX with a V6, and you get a stylish mid-size sedan with V6 power for less than $20,000. That makes the V6 option hard to resist.
Sebring's steering mechanism, with power assistance linked to a crisp rack-and-pinion device, reveals a nice neutral feel. The suspension, fully independent in a short- and long-arm arrangement up front and a multi-link rear arrangement with stabilizer bar attached fore and aft, fashions smooth ride sensations. The Sebring remains composed even when dropping the right wheels off the pavement to feel an irregular shoulder. Trim choices of LX and LXi employ the same suspension components, but wheel sizes and tires differ: LX has 15-inch wheels, but LXi bumps up an inch larger and rolls on more aggressive Michelin all-season tires.
Anti-lock brakes are an option. The Sebring's anti-lock brakes, called ABS Plus, include a software extension that senses when you're braking and turning at the same time, a tricky situation from a car control standpoint. Chrysler's system aids the driver in this situation by controlling the vehicle's yaw for improved stability. This is particularly useful on varying road surfaces, when the right side of the car is on a different type of surface than the left side. Other brake improvements include electronic brake distribution, which balances the brakes front to rear for improved stability and shorter stopping distances. Larger brake rotors and thicker linings are designed to increase durability. Brighter headlamps with an improved light pattern help visibility on stormy nights.
Chrysler Sebring Sedan's sleek skin hints at the sporty lines of a coupe, but inside is a spacious and comfortable passenger compartment. With V6 power and precise road manners, it compares in behavior to mid-size imports yet beats them considerably in pricing. The top edition, Sebring LXi, loads luxury gear aboard but still holds the bottom line to a reasonable number.
LX ($17,945); LXi ($20,830).
Sterling Heights, Michigan.
Options As Tested
side-curtain airbags ($350); ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution ($565); power sunroof ($685); premium package with AutoStick, electroluminescent instruments and 16-inch chrome alloy wheels ($1,295); premium audio system with 4-disc in-dash CD changer ($250).
Sebring LXi ($20,830).
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