What's New for 2001
The Sebring sedan debuts for 2001 along with redesigned versions of the coupe and convertible. A new, more powerful V6 joins the enlarged four-cylinder, with a manual five-speed available in the coupe. The Autostick automanual is still an option for those who can't decide where they stand on the shift issue, but only on upscale LXi models with the V6. An Infinity premium sound system with an in-dash CD changer is also new this year.
Chrysler hopes to continue the success of its Sebring coupes and sedans with new designs that closely resemble last year's models, and we don't blame them. The previous Sebring coupes and convertibles were good looking, had room for four adults, and provided sporty transportation without the mid-life crisis look. With the addition of the new sedan, practicality invades the Sebring line even further, but don't think boring. The new sedan sports an attractive European inspired design that fits right in with the Sebring mantra of "elegance and engineering."
Apart from the subtle sheetmetal changes, the big news for the Sebring lineup is the new range of powerplants. At the top of the heap sits the Mitsubishi built 3.0-liter V6 cranking out 200hp and 205 ft-lbs. of torque. Available only in the LXi coupe, it comes standard with a 5 speed manual or can be mated to an Autostick manumatic. Standard in convertibles and LXi sedans is the Chrysler built 2.7-liter V6 rated at 200 hp and 197 ft-lbs of torque coupled to a four speed automatic with the Autostick shifter. The Autostick is also an option on Limited convertibles and LXi sedans.
If you're not in the market for an upscale LXi coupe or sedan, a new 2.4 liter four cylinder powerplant is offered in the base LX trim level. The Chrysler sedan version is rated at 150hp and 167 ft-lbs. of torque while the Mitusbishi built version in the coupe only claims 142 hp. Both LX coupes and sedans only offer a four-speed automatic.
Power may be diminished in the LX models but the standard feature list still continues to impress. Power windows, mirrors and door locks, cruise control, 60/40 split folding rear seats, and an AM/FM stereo cassette all come standard on both the coupe and the sedan.
Stepping up to the LXi trim level gets you the already mentioned V6 engines along with power adjustable leather seats, premium audio systems, upgraded 16 inch chrome wheels (coupes get 17") and remote keyless entry. The upscale Limited convertible sports an electroluminescent instrument cluster and a 4 disc in-dash CD changer along with upgrades like ABS brakes and chrome interior accents.
The Sebring line still offers extensive safety features including Next Generation multi-stage airbags, improved structural dynamics for frontal and side impact protection, and three point seatbelts for rear seat passengers. The Sebring sedan also offers side impact airbags, providing protection for front and rear outboard passengers as an option.
Regardless of trim level, all Sebring models still remain exceptional values in their class. Even loaded LXi models still sticker in the low 20s with base models coming in well under $20,000. Factor this in with Sebring's generous interior space and classy good looks and it's easy to see why the Sebring, whether coupe, convertible, or sedan, stands out in the crowded midsize market.