1998 Chrysler Sebring Review

Pros & Cons

  • We like the Sebring's fresh exterior shape, and usable interior. The optional V-6 engine is worth the price of admission.
  • It would be nice to find the 5-speed manual transmission with the V-6 engine. After all, this is supposed to be a sporty car.
List Price Estimate
$704 - $1,634

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

After three years of production, Chrysler wisely decides not to tamper with its attractive Chrysler Sebring. This sports coupe carries four occupants in comfort, with reasonable performance abilities and suave good looks.

Aside from the goofy grille, we can't fault Chrysler's stylists on the Sebring. Huge fog lights lend the sophisticated coupe an aggressive look, and tastefully restrained rear styling exudes class. Underneath the sheetmetal, you'll find the underpinnings of a Mitsubishi Galant, and the dashboard of the Mitsubishi Eclipse/Eagle Talon twins. The fact that the Sebring is built in the same Illinois assembly plant as these models bodes well for long-term reliability.

Two kinds of Sebring are available: LX or LXi. The LX is powered by a 140-horsepower version of the 2.0-liter four found in the Neon. A five-speed is standard in the LX. The LXi adds a 163-horse Mitsubishi V6 and a mandatory automatic transmission. Alloy wheels shod with bigger tires, and four-wheel disc brakes with antilock are also standard fare on the top-level Sebring. Although the four-banger, when equipped with a five-speed, is the quicker car, we prefer the smoothness of the Mitsubishi powerplant. Option packages let you trim the LX out to base LXi standards.

At just over $21,000 for a well-equipped LXi, the Sebring competes very well against the Pontiac Grand Prix, and midsize coupes from Japan. However, we would be hard-pressed to give up the Grand Prix's 3.8-liter V6 for this pretty face from Chrysler. Nonetheless, style is the name of the game in the personal coupe segment, and the Sebring is nothing if not stylish.

1998 Highlights

Evolutionary, mostly aesthetic changes enhance the Sebrings this year. The Sebring Coupe LX and LXi now offer a black and gray interior, and a new exterior color, Caffe Latte.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Chrysler Sebring.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

1998 Chrysler Sebring (Limited)
chrysler777,09/29/2011
This Sebring is the first generation sebring and in my opinion the best! It is an affordable convertible that is not boring to look at or drive by any means. It has a refined transmission with plenty of power but pretty good mpg. If you are in the market for a convertible consider this one.
My Sebring Experience by JW
JW,02/28/2002
Main issue was reliability. Two top motors. Then rear window defogger kept coming off (7 times). Then steering column locked. Had to have it towed. Final straw was the transmission started shifting erratically. Dealer replaced mounts. Few days later no transmission. New torque converter, no credit for mounts. Two weeks later transmission starts to slip (had 70K miles on it at this point). Am 56 years old, take care of my cars.
After 80000 miles
Robert W. Porter,11/07/2004
After 80000 miles and 7 years later, the body is still in excellent shape and the paint still shines. But the tie-rod ends go bad and then break, yes I said break, so you cannot steer when they break and could cause an accident. So have them replaced as soon as you buy one of these cars, or have the owner do it before you buy. The cross over tube in your cooling system deteriorates and needs to be replaced, kind of pricey. The rear defogger hasn't worked since I bought the car. The tranny is geared high so you don't get the full effect of the 168hp V6. And the computer puts the engine at idle once you hit 105mph. Doesn't go any faster unless you can get the rev limiter shut off.
Money Pit
joey_r,09/30/2011
I've had my '98 Sebring Lxi for 3 years now. I've sunk around $2500 into it. Had to replace the upper passenger side control arm, alternator, timing belt, computer, fuel pump & lines, and both tie-rods. Cheapest tire replacement was $121 each. I love the aggressive style of the car and the interior but all the money into it is not worth it.

Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 29 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
17 city / 25 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
Gas
163 hp @ 5500 rpm
See all Used 1998 Chrysler Sebring features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Poor

More about the 1998 Chrysler Sebring

Used 1998 Chrysler Sebring Overview

The Used 1998 Chrysler Sebring is offered in the following submodels: Sebring Coupe, Sebring Convertible. Available styles include LX 2dr Coupe, LXi 2dr Coupe, JX 2dr Convertible, and JXi 2dr Convertible.

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Should I lease or buy a 1998 Chrysler Sebring?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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