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Decent car for the money, but go Japanese if you can. by Rob on 03/01/2009. Trim: 2005 Chrysler Sebring Touring Sedan, Owned 3 years.
Pros: Decent car for the price. Good handling & brakes, good performance from 2.7l V6, comfortable ride, reasonable fuel economy (especially on the highway). Accelerates & passes well; will cruise effortlessly at 80-100 mph all day long. Touring edition is comfortable and nicely equipped, if not overly luxurious. Good car for road trips.
Cons: Interior materials are cheap but hey, it's a Mopar - they've been that way for decades. Not much headroom, especially for people over 6'. Bad blind spots at A-pillars and C-pillars. Seats lack side support for hard cornering and are a bit "flat" for long trips (this is minor - pull over, get out and stretch every couple of hours and you'll be fine). Engine makes decent power but is noisier & less refined than Asian/European competitors. Transmission doesn't always pick the right gear for speed/load, sometimes shifts a bit abruptly. I've been told this is a common issue with these cars - factory shift programming is not the greatest.
Overall review: Overall this has been a good car. I've had it for 3 years and driven it 50,000 kms with only 2 minor issues: brakes were pulsing due to warped rotors (cost $50 to have them machined and they've been perfect ever since), and the right front wheel bearing needed replacing about a year ago (covered under factory warranty). Other than that it has been 100% trouble-free and aside from the "cons" mentioned above, in my opinion the Sebring is good value for the money. However, I doubt that it's built as well as Japanese (and perhaps Korean) competitors, and I plan to trade it in soon before it starts falling apart. If you want a good, low-priced mid-size car that you're only going to keep for a few years, consider a Sebring. If you want a mid-size car that's of a higher caliber then consider something like a Camry, Accord or Altima. They're better built, more refined and resale value is higher. Korean cars like the Hyundai Sonata also look good but they suffer from low resale value as well.
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