Sunday, February 6, 2011

2001 Chrysler Sebring LX V6

2001 Chrysler Sebring LXi
The 2001 Chrysler Sebring is a car that could have very well become a popular choice for cabbies around the world. Unfortunately they all seem to avoid Chrysler's products in comparison to similar Ford/GM vehicles. In a nutshell it is a mid-sized car that doesn't really stand out. Styling cues come from its bigger brother the 300M. The style suits the car nicely but does feel a bit bubbly. That can associate with the less desirable "Neon" model. Mechanically the car is a love child from the relationship between Chrysler and Mitsubishi. Good things have come from that relationship in the 1990's. Things such as the Dodge stealth(Mitsubishi 3000GT). What you get is a car with Chrysler's affordability and a bulletproof drive-train. The transverse mounted 2.7 liter V6 is derived from Mitsubishi's very successful 3.0l engine and in this configuration makes 200hp and 192 ft.lbs of torque. It puts that power to the ground through a, mundane and adequate 4 speed automatic that is best described as forgettable.
2.7L DOHC V6 - With 200hp it has that "Pep"

        Steering is a strong point as the chassis and suspension was well set up compared to similar sedans from that model year. It feels accurate but with little feedback. Consequently driving the Sebring is as engaging as having a conversation with a deaf centenarian. It takes anything you throw at it and has a slightly rewarding exhaust note but lacked the "seat of the pants" feel that should follow a heavy dose of right foot. As a daily driver it scores points for its cargo space and reliability. The rear seats fold down nicely and the trunk hinges do not take up any space inside. Four adults of normal size can fit comfortably, with the fifth person feeling a little pinched as would be expected in any none Cadillac. As for reliability: the car was subject to a teenager that had a plainly incorrect sense of entitlement driving the car on a daily basis for some time. You can imagine how "gentle" it was treated. Amazingly the Chrysler managed to stave off any reliability issues that a lesser vehicle might succumb to with abuse. It's unsuspected sharpness in self-inflicted emergencies will keep the car out of any police reports or insurance forms, which is important trait for a car piloted by a teen.

        The interior of the car has the type of plastic present that you would expect in an American entry level sedan from around the millennium. It stands the test of time well but is very mono-tone(void one strip of faux wood-grain) which makes every trip in the car feel just that little bit longer. A vehicle's interior is what you see 90% of the time and it should be the nice place that you want it to be for a long trip. I should mention that ride quality was adequate and can be described similarly to the vehicles transmission; average and forgettable.

        As a whole: the car offers no excitement and has few minor drawbacks. Those qualities alone should make it a smash hit with the Toyota crowd, but it suffers from the sort of depreciation you see with homes accidentally build over fault lines. It is no doubt that the depreciation is due to the emblem on the hood and the car's relation to dismal vehicles. Chrysler badges to this day draw up horrible unspeakable things in the minds of potential buyers. As a used car it could offer someone good value if it has been maintained well over the past decade and could easily go shoulder to shoulder with any of the respective competition from its day. Criticism aside, its a decent car that got good mileage, had surprising reliability and could do everything a sedan owner wants his car to do. I give it a 6.5/10.

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