2001 Chrysler Sebring Review


Pros & Cons

  • Value packed, powerful V6, sleek shape.
  • Poor resale value, no manual transmission for sedans.
List Price Estimate
$1,023 - $2,453

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Whether you want a stylish sedan, sporty coupe or carefree convertible, Chrysler offers some appealing alternatives to the status quo.

Vehicle overview

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.

2001 Highlights

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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2001 Chrysler Sebring.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Stay away from 2.7L V6 engine!
LXi 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
I bought this car new and always liked the styling, the features, and the ride. I had very few problems with this care until it hit 60,000 miles. I started having problems with the engine and discovered: Oil Sludge! I learned through Internet research the 2.7 L V6 engine in this car was known for developing oil sludge, coolant leaks, catastrophic failure due to poor design. At 67,000 miles, I've replaced water pump, water inlet housing, and still have coolant leaking into the engine. I'm guessing it's the gaskets.
Better than what you might think
LXi 2dr Convertible (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
For years I was reluctant to purchase a Sebring Covertible because of the reliability issues I had heard about. However having recently sold a wonderful Saab 9-3 Convertible I decided to give a used Sebring Convertible a try. Although the build quality might not be quite up to Saab standards, it is very acceptable for this price point in the market. The LXi sold for approx. $28,000 new as opposed to nearly $43,000 for the Saab. What it may lack in build quality it makes up for with better structural rigidity, a smooth ride and smooth V6. (Just be sure to maintain the engine religiously) The most pleasant surprise is the exceptional gas mileage, and the roominess also desrves mention.
Looks like an expensive foreign car when polished
LXi 2dr Convertible (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
Just maintain it properly oil change a must and as long as you didn't get a lemon from the start enjoy a few hundred thousand miles out of it I have 2 of them one has 120000 miles on it starts up like new check motor oil some burn a little oil and you always want it full
So many bad things.....
LXi 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A)
Okay, so we bought the car back in 2005 when it had just over 100,000 miles on it. I just inherited the car, but I wish I had inherited something else. It now has 166,000 miles on it. Positives: pretty fast car for a V6, nice sound system, great handling Problems with the car: the interior driver door panel has come loose, guzzles oil, ac went out and is not repairable, passenger and back seat power window switches do not work, power locking and unlocking system does not work, starter just went out, interior overhead light does not work, had to get three new power window motors installed, and because of old age, the clear coat is peeling off the top of the trunk and the roof (normal).


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2001 Chrysler Sebring
More About This Model

The launch of the 2001 Sebring Coupe and Sedan represents a belief by DaimlerChrysler's brain trust that, beginning soon, baby boomers (age 35 to 55) will abandon pickups, minivans and sport-utility vehicles in favor of midsize, near-luxury sedans. The Sebring project is a critical effort for Chrysler, which lags behind Honda, Toyota, Ford and GM in market penetration--not surprising when you consider that trucks make up three-quarters of Chrysler's sales.

Chrysler didn't go into the new Sebring half-heartedly either. The company has spent $985 million on the sedan project so far (that figure also includes development of the new Dodge Stratus Sedan). Figures aren't available for the cost of developing the coupe as it was done in conjunction with Mitsubishi, but it likely cost many millions as well.

Consider it money well spent. In terms of drivability, performance, equipment and looks, the new Sebrings will make boomers happier than an inside tip on an Internet stock.

During a sunny day in June at DaimlerChrysler's Chelsea Proving Grounds in Ann Arbor, Mich., a group of journalists were given a preview of these impressive new vehicles.

Sebring Sedan

Inside, the sedan is comfortable and noticeably roomy in front and back (thanks to the cab-forward design). The charcoal-leather interior of the testers was elegant, complemented by the chrome-ringed, black-on-white gauges (also borrowed from the 300M and LHS). Faux walnut burl accents lend a warm feel to the sculpted dash. The interior is more comfortable and attractive than the 2000 Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, which were on hand for comparison.

Out on the test track, the Sebring Sedan is a taut performer. The body was redesigned to provide 13 percent less twist and 33 percent less bend than last year's model. The added stiffness is obvious while cornering and also provides a better connection to the road, reminiscent of European sedans such as BMW, Volvo and Mercedes. The effect is a more fun to drive vehicle.

Chrysler also worked hard to reduce noise and vibration in this sedan: aerodynamics were improved; the front door glass was made thicker; parts of the frame were injected with insulating foam; and full wheelhouse shields were added to deflect wheel noise. It worked. The Sebring is noticeably quieter than the Accord and about even with the Camry.

The Sebring's steering system was redesigned to include a front crossmember that increases stiffness for better handling and responsiveness. Rebound shocks were also added to keep the wheels more closely allied with the pavement and improve road feel without sacrificing comfort. Also, the 15-inch standard wheels (up 1 inch from last year) improve ride and handling (16-inch wheels are optional). The effect is a smooth ride that is much quieter than the Accord's, equal if not better than the Camry's, and a definite improvement over the Cirrus.

The Sebring's 2.4-liter four-cylinder powerplant (standard in the LX) is adequate, but hardly thrilling. At 147 horsepower it's no weakling, but it has to work harder to get up to cruising speeds. If you don't mind trading speed when accelerating and passing for improved gas consumption, the LX engine is a nice compromise between performance and economy.

The 2.7-liter V6 that is standard on the LXi and optional on the LX is a different story. Essentially the same twin-cam V6 used in Chrysler's larger sedans, it smoothly delivers 200 spirited horsepower (at 5900 rpm), a whopping 32 more ponies than the current 2.5-liter V6. The LXi is equipped with a four-speed automatic that includes Chrysler's "AutoStick" clutchless shifting mechanism for drivers who want more aggressive upshifts and downshifts. Most drivers will likely never use this quasi-manual shifting system, but for passing on hills or at highways speeds it works well. Adding driver input to transmission shifts can help make a mundane drive more fun, too.

While whipping around the test track at speeds inadvisable on public roads, the Sebring Sedan lent confidence to our exertions and never once betrayed an unwilling heart. Standard four-wheel disc brakes, enlarged from last year, and the optional ABS Plus system added assurance. Similar to ABS systems used in BMWs and Volkswagens, the Plus system reduces yaw (fishtailing) and prevents spinout by applying the rear brakes independent of each other, thereby making smoother, straighter emergency stops possible. Should a collision be beyond your control, dual front airbags are standard and side airbag curtains that protect front and rear passengers are optional.

Sebring Coupe

The new Sebring Coupe is an all-together different animal. Borrowing heavily from the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Galant (all three are made at the Mitsubishi Motor Assembly plant in Normal, Ill.), it looks much like a Japanese car. It shares a similar profile and styling cues with the Sebring Sedan, but is much more aggressive, starting with its lower, sharper nose. The below-bumper, elliptical egg-crate grille with built-in fog lamps is reminiscent of the Concorde's front end with more than a little influence from classic Ferrari grilles. The coupe's roofline is raked and streamlined like the sedan, but its side windows are much thinner, creating an even more aggressive need-for-speed look. And, while the Sebrings' rear ends mimic that of the 300M, the coupe's circular, inset reverse lights look sportier. If the sedan looks sleek, elegant and speedy, the coupe looks sexy, raw and fast.

The coupe's interior also reflects this difference. More sporty and less elegant, it is nearly identical to the Eclipse's interior with a few wooden accents and a more muscular than tailored look. Also, from inside the Sebring Coupe, the low profile side windows and high sills are quite noticeable, giving the impression of being in a sports car, yet the coupe offers similar comfort to the sedan--in the front seats only. As in many coupes, ingress and egress to the rear seats is awkward and would make even Fred Astaire seem clumsy.

On the track, the coupe is good fun, especially the five-speed manual. The Mitsubishi-derived, 200-horsepower 3.0-liter V6 provides similar acceleration to the sedan, but the coupe's aggressive profile and standard 16-inch tires lend attitude and superior road grip to its performance. Also, the coupe's single-piece body was redesigned to provide a 90 percent improvement in bending resistance and a 9 percent increase in twist resistance over the old model. This increased rigidity and an added front strut tower brace and sport-tuned suspension system give the coupe great feel and handling on all road conditions.

The coupe's AutoStick is also set up for more aggressive driving. It uses an intuitive up-down shift pattern, as opposed to the sedan's side-to-side movement. It can shift under full throttle, skip shift, and it does not share the sedan's auto upshift mechanism, which automatically upshifts before redline. The Sebring Coupe outperformed the Accord, Solara and Mustang V6 on the track, offering better performance, similar handling and superior road feel and ride comfort.

Both the LX Coupe and Sedan come with an impressive array of standard features, including air conditioning, cruise control, four-wheel disc brakes, six-speaker stereo, four-speed automatic tranny, tilt steering wheel, power trunk release and power windows, locks and mirrors. Upgrading to the LXi adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, leather seats, eight-way power driver's seat, fog lamps, remote keyless entry, compass and temperature display, and a seven-speaker Infinity sound system with cassette and CD.

Baby boomers might find that if the kids are grown and gone, rendering the days of lugging camping equipment or a soccer team around to a cherished memory, it makes sense to ditch the minivan or SUV and buy a Sebring of either stripe. But the car's appeal isn't limited to folks seriously pondering the use of Grecian Formula as part of the morning grooming ritual. Young singles will find Sebring Coupe's upscale style and peppy performance pleasing, while young families can enjoy style and grace with plenty of room to take the kids to grandma's house in the Sebring Sedan.

Whatever the case may be, the 2001 Sebring sure makes the Chrysler brain trust look like they know what they're doing.

Used 2001 Chrysler Sebring Overview

The Used 2001 Chrysler Sebring is offered in the following submodels: Sebring Sedan, Sebring Coupe, Sebring Convertible. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), LXi 2dr Convertible (2.7L 6cyl 4A), LX 2dr Convertible (2.7L 6cyl 4A), LXi 4dr Sedan (2.7L 6cyl 4A), Limited 2dr Convertible (2.7L 6cyl 4A), LXi 2dr Coupe (3.0L 6cyl 5M), and LX 2dr Coupe (2.4L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Chrysler Sebring models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine or a 2.7 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 200 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2001 Chrysler Sebring comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2001 Chrysler Sebring comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2001 Chrysler Sebring?

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Should I lease or buy a 2001 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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