What's New for 2002
Even though it was revamped last year, the Sebring line receives a number of changes. An Enthusiast package for the sedan debuts, as will a sporty GTC convertible later in the model year. And to put the Sebring ragtop in reach of more buyers, a lower-priced LX version with the 2.4-liter inline four becomes available.
Redesigned last year, Chrysler's Sebring line benefited from upgrades over the "old" Sebring in many important areas such as structural integrity, performance, and noise and vibration control. As before, the Sebring coupe uses Mitsubishi components, while the sedan and convertible are Mopar down to the core. There's something for everyone here, with sedan, coupe and convertible body styles to choose from that are available in various trim levels and with either inline four or V6 motivation.
Looking for a stylish midsize sedan with performance to match its looks? That would be the Sebring sedan, offered in LX and upscale LXi trim levels. LX models are powered by Chrysler's 2.4-liter inline four that develops a respectable 150 horsepower and is matched to a four-speed automatic gearbox. Plenty of standard features such as air conditioning, cruise control, and power windows, locks and mirrors mean a "base" LX should be more than adequate for most folks. Step up to the LXi and a 2.7-liter 200-horse V6 is fitted, as are leather seats, a power driver seat, alloy wheels and a CD player.
The AutoStick automanual gearbox is available for the LXi sedan in a package that also includes a sport suspension and electroluminescent gauges. While we never would have said "Cirrus" (the Sebring sedan's predecessor) and "sport sedan" in the same breath, we certainly see how the taut and peppy Sebring LXi could be placed in that category.
We can count on one hand how many affordable convertibles there are that seat four adults. And the Sebring is one of the better choices. Sure, it may be a staple of Floridian rental car agencies, but now that it has some beans under the hood and a more rigid structure, we wouldn't mind tooling around in one. New for '02 is a GTC version, which pairs the V6 with a five-speed manual gearbox (automatic optional) and sweetens the deal with a sport suspension, 16-inch alloys, two-tone interior scheme and white-faced gauges. As before, LX, LXi and Limited convertibles are offered. A more affordable LX debuts, equipped with the same 2.4-liter inline four found in the LX sedan. LXi upgrades mirror that of the LXi sedan. And the Limited adds AutoStick, chrome wheels, antilock brakes and an in-dash four-CD changer.
If you like the Mitsubishi Eclipse but need more passenger room, take a look at the Sebring coupe. Built at the same plant that produces the Eclipse and the Galant, this Sebring shares many mechanical and interior components with those Mitsus. This means a choice of either a 2.4-liter inline four (142 horsepower) or a 3.0-liter V6 (200 horses) and a sporty cockpit similar to that of the Eclipse. The Sebring coupe also benefits from a stiffened chassis that contributes to the car's solid, sporty feel when attacking the twisties.
Chrysler is serious about improving its standing in the ultra-competitive midsize segment, and the fruits of their labors are obvious in this trio of attractive and well-built Sebrings.