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Steane Klose | May 20, 2007

Chrysler have been doing very well with their 300C large sedan range in Australia and now they are looking to back that success up with their new mid-size contender.

The new Chrysler Sebring has recently landed in Australia and is lining up to take on the mid-size stalwarts like Toyota’s Camry the Mazda 6 and the upcoming Ford Mondeo. No doubt Chrysler are hoping the Sebring’s unique styling will be an advantage much like it has been for the 300C.

The Chrysler Sebring is no stranger to the Japanese mid-size sedan titans. It is currently staring them down in the US where Chrysler is hoping the Sebring will sway more Americans away from their automatic first-choice the all-conquering Toyota Camry.

The Sebring enters Australia with unique styling and value for money being the big guns in its war cabinet. Equipped with a 125kw/220Nm 2.4-litre 16V Dual VVTi four-cylinder engine it is available as an auto-only proposition and that auto unfortunately only has 4-speeds at a time when 5-speeds is rapidly becoming the norm.

Despite only having 4-speeds the Chrysler Sebring is rated at 10.6L/100km for combined (city/highway) use, which is reasonable but not class leading in the mid-size car segment.

chryslersebringinterior.jpg

Chrysler claim that they have greatly improved the perceived quality of their cars interiors in recent times using new moulding technology for their interior plastics. The result is plastics trims and mouldings that have an improved ‘quality’ look and feel…according to Chrysler.

The interior features all of the standard kit expected in the mid-size class along with heated and cooled cup-holders…and a split-fold rear sear which is not so common in this category and allows for long items to be placed in the boot.

Standard interior features include:

• Air Conditioning — Automatic temperature control & air filtration

• Analog Clock

• Bezels — Satin Silver

• Console — Floor with fore/aft slide armrest

• Cup holder — Front, heated/cooled

• Defroster — Rear window

• Door Locks — Power

• Electroluminescent Cluster — Includes outside temperature reading

• Floor Mats — Front and rear

• Temperature and compass gauge

• Traveller/mini-trip computer

• Tyre Pressure Monitoring Display

• Power Accessory Delay

• Shift Knob — Leather-wrapped

• Steering Column — Tilt/telescoping

• Steering Wheel — Leather-wrapped with audio controls

chryslersebringcuphldr.jpg

Pound for pound the Chrysler Sebring offers tremendous value for money when you take into consideration its pricing and standard kit. This is indeed the ace up the Sebring’s sleeve and will no-doubt prove attractive to the value driven purchaser.

Pricing and specifications:

2.4L Touring Auto

From RRP $33,990 (plus dealer delivery and on-roads)

• 4-Speed Automatic transmission;

• Next generation driver and front passenger air bags

• Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

• 4-Wheel Anti-Lock Disc Brakes

• Supplemental side air bags (front & rear)

• Traction Control

• 17 x 6.5 Alloy Wheels (EVIC)

• Leather trimmed seats

• Power 8-way driver seat

2.4L Limited Auto

From RRP $37,490 (plus dealer delivery and on-roads)

Same as the 2.4L Touring with the addition of or up-grading to:

• 18" Alloy Wheels (EVIC)

• Power 8-way driver seat

• Luxury door trim panel

• Tortoise shell accents

• 6 Boston Acoustics speakers, 276 digital amplifier

• Power sunroof

• 6 disc CD changer

Will the Chrysler Sebring be another Australian success story for Chrysler? The Sebring certainly looks unique but it’s debatable as to whether unique is indeed attractive…or just unique. The Mazda 6 and Subaru Liberty are in the opinion of CarUpdate more handsome vehicles than the Sebring while the Toyota Camry makes an empty page look exciting.

We don’t believe it has the X-factor of the 300C but given it’s value and uniqueness it should appeal to the sort of person who likes a bargain and wants to drive a car with a bit of character. Everyone else will buy the Camry...

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