2007 Chrysler Sebring Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Lengthy equipment list, powerful 3.5-liter V6, composed highway ride, good fuel economy regardless of drivetrain.
- Weak and unrefined four-cylinder engine, limited transmission choices, underpowered brakes, low-grade interior plastics, small trunk.
With its fuel-efficient engine lineup, extensive options sheet and cleanly styled interior, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring is a big improvement over last year's model. However, in areas like driving dynamics and materials quality, it still lags behind the import-brand competition.
For many years, the Chrysler Sebring has been an underwhelming choice for a midsize sedan due to its unrefined nature and drab design. For 2007, however, Chrysler has executed a full redesign in hopes of making this mainstream vehicle more competitive. The 2007 Sebring is now based on a lengthened and widened version of the front-wheel-drive Dodge Caliber platform. Although the Sebring is only available as a sedan for '07, the convertible should return within a year or two.
Three engines are available: a 173-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder; a 189-hp, 2.7-liter V6; and a 235-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Equipping a Sebring with either the 2.4-liter or 2.7-liter results in up to 30 mpg on the highway, but your only transmission choice is a relatively low-tech four-speed automatic. Sebrings with the 3.5-liter V6 qualify for a new six-speed automatic, however, and still earn a respectable 19/28 EPA rating.
Cabin space is also much improved in the '07 Sebring, which has as much headroom and legroom as any sedan in this class. Its narrow body is still short on hip and shoulder room, though, and the trunk measures just 13.6 cubic feet. The design of the cabin is clean and ergonomically sound, but interior plastics are behind the curve for this price range.
The equipment list is fairly impressive, as all Sebrings come with ABS, a tire-pressure monitor, front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, air-conditioning, a CD player, an input jack for MP3 players, cruise control and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. An extensive options list includes everything from predictable extras like stability control, satellite radio and remote start capability to more unusual items like front cupholders that can warm your latte or chill your cola, and a Harman Kardon-designed, hard drive-based navigation and audio system with real-time traffic rerouting and 20GB of MP3 file storage.
Even with all these features, though, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring comes up a bit short in the midsize sedan segment. It lacks the kind of innovation we've seen in cars like the PT Cruiser and 300, which makes its middling performance credentials and ordinary cabin accommodations all the more obvious. Alongside better-known competitors like the Accord, Camry, Nissan Altima and Mazda 6, that's a liability. Only when pitted against less expensive players like the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata does the Sebring stack up better. Overall, however, we think there are simply better choices for a midsize sedan than the '07 Sebring.
2007 Chrysler Sebring models
A midsize sedan, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring is offered in base, Touring and Limited trim levels. Base cars start you out with 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, air-conditioning, a CD stereo with an MP3 player input jack, cruise control and full power accessories. Sebring Touring models get 17-inch alloy wheels, stain-resistant cloth upholstery, an extra pair of stereo speakers, LED cabin lighting and a lengthier options list. The top-of-the-line Limited provides leather upholstery, a power driver seat, single-zone automatic climate control, Boston Acoustics speakers, Sirius satellite radio and, in a nod to the 300C, tortoise-shell interior accents. All but the accents are optional on the Touring.
The Sebring's lengthy options list includes an in-dash CD/DVD audio changer, a rear-seat entertainment system, a sunroof, heated front seats, Bluetooth (known as UConnect), heated/cooled front cupholders and remote start. The most interesting option available on Touring and Limited models is a Harman Kardon-designed navigation/audio system (known as MyGIG) with real-time traffic updates (via Sirius) 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.
Performance & mpg
Standard on all 2007 Chrysler Sebrings is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated for 173 hp and 166 pound-feet of torque. Optional on the Sebring Touring is a 2.7-liter V6 good for 189 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque. With either of these engines, a four-speed automatic transmission routes power to the front wheels. Available on the Limited model only is a 3.5-liter V6 capable of 235 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. In addition to earning you the right to have a more sophisticated six-speed automatic transmission, opting for the top-line V6 provides a stiffer suspension and 18-inch wheels and tires. Chrysler claims a 0-60-mph time of 7.7 seconds for Sebrings with the 3.5-liter engine. Equipped with the 2.7-liter, the car takes about a second longer to perform the feat.
Antilock brakes and a tire-pressure monitor are standard on Chrysler's midsize sedan. All four-cylinder models come with front disc/rear drum brakes, while Sebrings equipped with either V6 upgrade to four-wheel discs. Also standard are front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags. Stability control is optional.
Although the base four-cylinder delivers the best fuel economy, 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: Refinement still isn't a strong point, but with this engine, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring feels much stronger when merging and passing at highway speeds. Still, the 3.5-liter V6 is far and way the best power plant in the lineup for those who can swing it. The top V6 is still a tad light on off-the-line pull, but it's plenty satisfying once it revs up and considerably smoother than the smaller engines.
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, with moderate body roll around corners and decently weighted steering. Those who like to drive will prefer the 3.5-liter V6-equipped Limited, which feels sharper through the turns. Braking is an area in which the Sebring could stand to improve. On four-cylinder models, the brakes fade quickly with heavy use, and although the full-disc setup on V6 models holds up better, stopping distances are still long for this class.
Clean if unremarkable, the Sebring's cabin is defined by a simple control layout, comfortable front seats and mediocre materials. In Sebrings with the multi-featured MyGIG navigation/audio system, it only takes a few minutes to figure out how to enter an address or rip a CD onto the hard drive, thanks to the simple menus and instructions. The rear seat is spacious enough to accommodate a pair of adults, although the seat-bottom cushion is a bit too low for comfort and the outboard head restraints are nonadjustable. Partially compensating for the Sebring's small 13.6-cubic-foot trunk is the ability to fold down both the 60/40-split rear seat and the front passenger seat.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger3 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
More About This Model
If you asked us to name the one thing that made the Chrysler 300 an overnight success, we wouldn't point you to its rear-wheel drive, its retro styling or its Mercedes-Benz mechanicals. No, it's the fact that Chrysler took a risk: The company bet real money that real people would spend their real money to buy this stylish, agile and unconventional sedan, and it paid off.
But Chrysler decided not to gamble on the redesign of the midsize Sebring sedan. Instead, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring, which goes on sale in early November, represents a safe move, a defensive play borne of the same kind of carefully measured thinking that puts hundreds of thousands of people in Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys every year.
Still front-wheel drive, the 2007 Chrysler Sebring rides on a stretched and widened version of the Dodge Caliber platform, which is also the basis for the next Sebring convertible. Overall length remains the same as last year's Sebring, but the car is now taller, and rides on a wider track and slightly longer wheelbase.
This opens up considerably more headroom and legroom, now on par with most competitors in this class, and backseat passengers can easily slide their feet under the front chairs. We're told DaimlerChrysler chairman Dieter Zetsche was adamant about increasing headroom in the new Sebring — likely because he banged his melon getting into the old car, which had as much cranial clearance as a Little Tikes pedal car.
Still, the '07 Sebring remains narrow for a midsize sedan, resulting in about an inch less hip- and shoulder room front and rear than any of its rivals. Trunk volume measures just 13.6 cubic feet, a low number for this segment.
Sparsely equipped and hastily furnished, previous-generation Sebrings felt like rental cars on the inside. Chrysler addressed both issues during the redesign, although materials quality still won't threaten the import-brand leaders.
Chrysler will sell the new Sebring in base, Touring and Limited trim levels. If you go for a base Sebring, you won't do without anything important, as all models come with ABS, a tire-pressure monitor, 16-inch steel wheels, front-seat side airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, air-conditioning, a CD player, an input jack for MP3 players and cruise control. Finding a comfortable driving position isn't hard either, now that there's a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.
Touring models get 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded interior trim and lighting, and a lengthier options list, while the Limited adds single-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, Boston Acoustics speakers and, in a nod to the 300C, tortoise-shell interior accents.
An extensive options list includes everything from predictable extras like stability control, satellite radio and remote start to more unusual stuff like front cupholders that can warm your latte or chill your cola, and a Harman Kardon-designed, hard drive-based navigation and audio system with real-time traffic rerouting and 20GB of MP3 file storage.
No matter which trim level you select, a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine is standard. Also used in the Caliber and Jeep Compass, the engine makes 173 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 166 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm. It comes only with a four-speed automatic transmission. Thusly equipped, the Sebring earns a 24 mpg city, 32 mpg EPA rating.
Unfortunately, the mileage isn't good enough to justify the 2.4-liter's lethargic response and coarse power delivery. It's no match for the standard four-cylinder engines in the Camry, Accord or Nissan Altima. Plus, the Camry and Accord have more sophisticated five-speed automatics (in addition to offering manual gearboxes), while the Altima has a continuously variable transmission.
A better choice for most buyers is the carryover 2.7-liter, twin-cam V6 optional on the Sebring Touring. Its 189-hp rating may look feeble next to last year's even 200, but engineers retuned it to provide more torque at lower rpm — 191 lb-ft at 4000 rpm compared to 190 lb-ft at 4850 rpm on the '06 Sebring.
Although you're still forced to get friendly with a four-speed automatic, the small V6 is infinitely more livable in everyday traffic situations. It's not as smooth as we'd like, but its 22/30 mileage rating is respectable.
The 3.5-liter SOHC V6, available only on the Sebring Limited, is far and away the best engine in the lineup. Rated for 235 hp at 6400 rpm and 232 lb-ft of torque, this V6 is light on off-the-line pull but plenty satisfying once it revs up. It also earns you the right to have a six-speed automatic, which likely accounts for the Limited's 19/28 fuel economy estimate with this engine option. Upshifts happen at redline under full throttle, but downshifts take a little longer than they should whether you're in "D" or the autostick manual mode.
Fine ride, average handling
Ride quality is vastly improved, thanks to the Sebring's stiffer structure and a new front strut/rear multilink suspension with increased travel. Commuters will find it acceptably smooth for this class, and the sedan feels stable at high speeds.
In corners, the '07 Sebring doesn't feel quite so solid, as soft suspension tuning and minimal feedback from the power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering curb its entertainment potential. Limited models equipped with the 3.5-liter V6 feel crisper and more energetic, thanks to firmer springs and shocks and lower-profile 18-inch tires. If we had it our way, this would be the standard setup on all Sebrings.
More problematic is the Chrysler's lack of serious braking hardware. If you get the four-cylinder engine, you're stuck with rear drum brakes, and on mountain roads, they cook faster than the trick new cupholders. Sebring V6 models upgrade to four-wheel discs, which perform better but lack pedal progression.
Radical it isn't, but the '07 Sebring does meet the minimum requirements for a midsize family sedan. It starts at a comfortable $19,000, tops out just over $30 grand and can deliver 30 mpg on the highway.
But look past the numbers and the fancy electronics (as cool as it is to rip CDs from the driver seat), and the 2007 Chrysler Sebring is an ordinary car with middling performance credentials. It's too safe a bet from a car company that's better off taking risks.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
Used 2007 Chrysler Sebring Overview
The Used 2007 Chrysler Sebring is offered in the following submodels: Sebring Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), Touring 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), and Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A). Pre-owned Chrysler Sebring models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 172 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2007 Chrysler Sebring comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2007 Chrysler Sebring comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a unlimited yr./ unlimited mi. powertrain warranty.
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Should I lease or buy a 2007 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.