2008 Chrysler Sebring Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Chrysler Sebring Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Chrysler Sebring Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 235 hp @ 6400 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 15/24 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Chrysler Sebring

  • The 2008 Chrysler Sebring is an improvement over its predecessor, especially with the convertible's available retractable hardtop. While that convertible makes a case for itself, the sedan is outdone by just about every other vehicle in its class.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Lengthy equipment list, choice of traditional fabric top or four-season-friendly retractable convertible hardtop, impressive hard-drive-based stereo and navigation system.

  • Cons

    Weak and unrefined four-cylinder engine, poor fuel economy with top V6, limited transmission choices, underpowered brakes, poor interior materials, not at all sporty.

  • What's New for 2008

    Joining the Sebring sedan is a convertible model available in soft- and hardtop body styles. The latter is a first for the Sebring and better provides all-season protection for America's best-selling convertible. All Sebrings gain standard satellite radio and an in-dash CD changer.

Full 2008 Chrysler Sebring Review

What's New for 2008

Joining the Sebring sedan is a convertible model available in soft- and hardtop body styles. The latter is a first for the Sebring and better provides all-season protection for America's best-selling convertible. All Sebrings gain standard satellite radio and an in-dash CD changer.


Whether you've just left the Enterprise Rent-a-Car desk at Tampa's airport or you're a regional manager for a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Chrysler Sebring convertible has always served as comfortable top-down transportation with a touch of luxury. Debuting more than a decade ago, it has been one of America's most popular convertibles in terms of sales. With its redesigned 2008 Sebring convertible, Chrysler is hoping to maintain that supremacy by upping the comfort and luxury quotient with a longer equipment list and an available retractable hardtop.

The new Sebring convertible, as well as the redesigned sedan body style introduced last year, are based on a stretched and widened version of the platform also used for the mediocre Dodge Caliber compact. And like the Caliber, the Sebring's driving experience leaves much to be desired, with subpar handling and unrefined engines. Although the optional 3.5-liter V6 is fairly powerful, its gas mileage is poor. In all-wheel-drive form, it gets 15 mpg city and 24 mpg highway -- worse than a Chevrolet Corvette.

More attractive for consumers is the convertible's choice of either a retractable hardtop or conventional soft top. The optional retractable hardtop successfully hushes cabin wind noise and creates a more all-season-friendly car. The standard soft top is offered in vinyl or cloth, depending on the trim level, and comes with a large glass rear window. Although it may not be as trendy or all-weather capable as the $2,000 hardtop, it does maintain a nice-looking roof line.

In our tests of the Sebring midsize sedan, we've come away disappointed. It's rather bland and offers nothing special in terms of performance or interior design. In what is arguably the most hotly contested car segment, the Sebring ranks far behind practically everything, from the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima to the Saturn Aura and Hyundai Sonata. We recommend looking elsewhere.

The Sebring convertible, however, makes a more compelling case. Partly, this is because there isn't as much competition (Honda doesn't make an Accord convertible, for instance) and partly because there's just more to like. The Sebring's closest competitor is the Toyota Camry Solara, and compared to that aging vehicle, the Sebring offers a steel roof option, better driving dynamics and more interior features. The Pontiac G6 convertible also has a standard retractable hardtop and is sportier, but it's neither as elegant nor as spacious. Therefore, the new 2008 Chrysler Sebring convertible is a pleasing middle-ground choice. Just don't be surprised when you start to see it showing up in a Florida rental car lot or in Michael Scott's parking space on The Office.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring is offered in sedan and convertible body styles with three trim levels: LX, Touring and Limited. The LX sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories, a 60/40-split rear seat and a four-speaker audio system with six-CD changer, auxiliary audio jack and satellite radio. The LX convertible adds a power-operated vinyl soft top, six-way power front seats and a six-speaker stereo system (optional on the sedan). Both LX body styles can be optioned with upgraded cloth upholstery.

Both Touring body styles add 17-inch wheels and a lengthier options list, while the Touring sedan adds the upgraded cloth and six speakers. The range-topping Limited sedan adds leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded Boston Acoustics sound system. The Limited convertible includes a cloth top. All of these items are optional on the Touring.

The Sebring's lengthy options list available on the Touring and Limited models includes heated front seats, Bluetooth (known as UConnect), heated/cooled front cupholders and remote start. A rear-seat entertainment system and sunroof are available on the sedan. The most interesting option available is a Harman Kardon-designed navigation/audio system (known as MyGIG) with real-time traffic updates and a 20GB hard drive that allows owners to rip their own CDs or download MP3 files from a jump drive using a USB port.

The convertible's retractable hardtop is an option on the Touring and Limited levels. A button on the remote fob that retracts the roof and windows is also an option.

Powertrains and Performance

The Chrysler Sebring sedan is available with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. All Sebring convertibles are front-wheel drive. The standard engine is a 2.4-liter inline-4 that produces 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque. The Touring can be upgraded with a 2.7-liter V6 making 189 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. Both of these engines come with a four-speed automatic transmission. The Limited features an optional 3.5-liter V6 that produces 235 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque and is coupled to a six-speed auto. All-wheel drive is only available with this latter engine and the Limited sedan trim level.

The four-cylinder 2008 Chrysler Sebring sedan has an EPA fuel economy rating of 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway, while the 2.7-liter V6 gets 19/27 mpg. The front-wheel-drive 3.5-liter V6 in both body styles is below many other top V6 sedans with a 16/25 rating, and all-wheel drive drops those figures down by 1 mpg.


The Sebring convertible comes standard with antilock brakes and side seat-mounted airbags, while the sedan offers full-length curtain airbags. Stability and traction control are standard on the Limited AWD sedan, optional on the front-wheel-drive Touring and Limited trims, and not available on the LX trim levels. In government crash testing, the Sebring sedan scored five out of five stars in frontal protection as well as front seat side protection. It scored three stars in rear seat side protection. In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Sebring convertible scored the best possible rating of "Good" in frontal-offset and side impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like the pictures on a McDonald's menu, the Sebring's interior looks far better than it really is. Despite its ergonomically friendly art deco design that says Chrysler Building more than Chrysler car, materials are below average, with cheap plastics and hard surfaces. Opting for the pricier trim levels and luxury options helps the situation somewhat, but there's no escaping the general cost-cutting feel.

The Sebring convertible generally comes off as more luxurious than its four-door competition. It offers more backseat space than the Pontiac G6 or Volkswagen Eos, adding up to decent room for four. Like almost all hardtop convertibles, the bulky folded steel and glass panels take up significant space in the trunk, but the Sebring offers one of the most commodious top-down cargo holds, with room for two golf bags. In the G6, you'd only have enough space for two golf balls and a couple of tees.

Driving Impressions

Although the base four-cylinder delivers the best fuel economy (which isn't saying much), we think most buyers will be put off by its sluggish response and coarse power delivery. A better choice for most people is the 2.7-liter V6 available on the Touring. Still, the 3.5-liter V6 is far and away the best power plant in the lineup, but it comes at the expense of fuel economy. Ride quality is among the Sebring's strong points, as it's smooth and composed at high speeds. Handling is average as midsize sedans go, and no one will ever describe a Sebring as "fun."

The 330 pounds the convertible has gained over its predecessor is readily noticeable. This is especially true when the optional steel hardtop is folded away in the trunk, as the tail bobs up and down on undulating pavement. Handling is also compromised by all that weight over the rear wheels. The upside of the hardtop is that, when in place, it significantly cuts down on wind noise.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

I like the car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Sebring LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I think the Sebring gets a bad rap. I am a salesman so my car is my office. The car handles nicely in rain, snow, or dry highway and I get 36 plus mpg on the Interstate doing 68 mph. The 4 cylinder is all the power I need. The only problems have been the radio (replaced twice) and the turn signal assembly had to be replaced. I put OEM Chrysler 300 17" Chrome wheels and a chrome grill on which really dressed up the car. Currently with over 65,000 miles, I'd recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Nice car, nice price

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Sebring Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my 4 door, limited, 4 cylinder a little over a year ago. I was surprised at all the bells and whistles I got for the price I paid. The engine does fine, no thrills but lets face it, how much power do you really need to get around town? I completely disagree with the terrible reviews it gets from various editors. The car is a great value and delivers more than many of its competitors. I was looking at Fusions and Altimas, the Sebring was far ahead in almost every trait. Exterior design is sharp; it looks like a much more expensive car.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Would not recommend!

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Sebring LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this car because I liked the looks - unfortunately I didn't do my research ahead of time. This car has some very strange 'quirks' that the mechanics have no explanation for. The transmission shifts very hard sometimes and sometimes the car sputters and almost dies as it's shifting between 1st and 2nd (automatic transmission). I could deal with this problem, but for about a year now sometimes the car will just not start. I'll turn the key and nothing happens, then take the key out and try again and it starts right up (usually). Dealer can not figure out the problem. So far it always starts eventually, but makes me a nervous wreck! We'll be trading this one in very soon!

Great little car, for what

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Sebring LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

It's a 4-door, 4-cylinder commuter car. I live and commute through the flat cornfields of southern MN. Boring roads, straight lines, long distances. This car is perfect for commuting here. It's roomy, comfortable, reliable. Okay, so I can't add powerful, but I'm past that. Once you get to 65, what do you do with all that power anyway? This is my second Sebring. I love the styling, and I still have people come up to me in parking lots to comment on how beautiful the color is (glacier blue). I bought it well, had a few visits back to the dealer to get it sorted out, only one warranty problem since then (power steering went out.) I'm totally satisfied with this car.

Wish i never purchased

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Sebring LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

This was by far the worst car I have ever purchased. I have nothing but problems with this car. The blinkers dont work correctly, when I turn on the blinker the wipers come on. I have gotten it looked at a few times and still does the same thing. Like it has a mind of its own and I already had to replace the shifter on it. I could go on about problems I've had with this car. Not a good buy at all..sorry Chrysler

Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler Sebring LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I really don't understand the ratings this car has received. Maybe the folks that do the evaluating would prefer a cherry wood dash like those in their Bentley's. Either that or I am just uncommonly easy to please. This car is a fantastic value. I have taken several trips with it and consistently get 37-38 MPG. It is easy to drive, has plenty of passing power and is comfortable and reliable. The exterior design is very stylish and I find the interior to be both attractive and functional. My wife is the primary driver and she loves the car too. You can nit-pick this vehicle apart, if you choose to do so, but, for the price, I think it's an incredible value. Not a bad warranty either (lifetime)

Talk About The 2008 Sebring

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Read more about the 2008 Chrysler Sebring

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 24
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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