By on December 16, 2008

Yesterday was fun. For me at least. Seriously, as someone who thinks about cars all the live long day it is always fascinating to get inside other peoples’ heads and see how they perceive those lovable hunks of steel, cloth and plastic. So, doing Crown Vic vs. Camry was actually interesting and informative, not just petty and vindictive. Today we’re going to focus on two other cars that don’t interest me in the slightest. The first is the very worst new car I’ve ever driven and the second is by far and away the most boring. I ain’t kidding around here people — when Chrysler’s obituary is written, the Sebring should take center stage. Remember, it’s the car they released after the smash success of the 300C. Sad times. But at least the Sebring has a (optional) motor with some guts. The Corolla is like driving chloroform. Snore says I, big time snore. And so if I was forced to choose, I’d actually pick the Chrysler. While holding my nose, of course. You?

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


73 Comments on “Question of the Day: Chrysler Sebring or Toyota Corolla?...”

  • avatar

    Given this choice, I believe I would contemplate taking my own life. But, if I had to choose I would go with the Corolla. Both cars are equally offensive to my car guy core but at least the Corolla could be traded for money at a later date.

  • avatar

    Morton’s Fork right there…but I guess I’d opt for the Sebring convertible, because at least you can open it up. You just have to make sure that you wrap a big scarf around your face so that nobody recognizes you in there. Or give me the Dodge Avenger…same crappy car but at least it doesn’t look as hideous (you’d probably still need the scarf though).

  • avatar

    I haven’t driven either, but if buying new, there’s no way I would buy any Chrysler vehicle due to resale and reliability concerns. The only way I’d pick the Sebring (or any Chrysler) is if I got a screaming deal on a used one.

  • avatar

    Take the Corolla and smash it into a tree. then go buy something that would be fun to drive.

  • avatar

    The Sebring is useless. therefore, I would pick the Corolla and use it when necessary. At least I know it’s functional. And useful, however boring. And it will last, like nothing from Chrysler. It’s a boring appliance. But it works. The Sebring is just worthless.

  • avatar

    Interesting choice of cars. During the past year, I took 2 business trips where I had to rent a car. The first was a sebring convet, the second was a corolla. I vowed never to drive either of those again. I can not see any reason why anyone would pay money for those two vehicles. But if I had to pick, it would be the sebring, at least I could move the steering wheel on that one.

  • avatar

    Having driven both the Camry, Corolla, and last gen Sebring, I would take the Toyota in half a heartbeat. I’ll take boring over sloth any day. Since Chrysler couldn’t be bothered making a decent car, I can’t be bothered to buy it.

  • avatar

    As a daily driver, Toyota Corolla is my car…

    I put between 75 and 120 miles a day on my car. It sits on blacktop in the south Florida sun all day. It has to go aleast 180,000 miles before is five years old. I do not have the time/patience deal with a broken daily driver. It has six airbags and ABS standard and a five star crash test rating. It has a forty year history of mechanical excellence. When I sell it with well over 200,000 miles on it my cell phone will be blowing up with people wanting to buy it. I see it as sacrificial lamb that allows me to keep my classic cars in the garage and lets me put my extra gas money in the tank of my Cigarette 28.
    It is cheap to buy, run, insure, and maintain. My employees are not jealous, and I don’t get any positive or negative attention in it. It is built by a solid company with a great reputation.

    Now, ask yourself if a Chrysler Sebring meets enough of my criteria as a daily driver to even consider walking into the dealership.

  • avatar

    Buy Corolla
    Turbo charge

    Chrysler reeks of death anyway.

    P.S. Check out to see some of toyotas um… interesting jdm products.

  • avatar

    Is the Citroen still available on eBay?

  • avatar

    I’d probably choose the Corolla simply because I could count on some form of customer support into the foreseeable future and also a better chance of not needing said customer support.

  • avatar

    I second the first comment. Killing myself seems like a good idea given these horrible choices.

  • avatar

    Given a choice between a Sebring and a Corolla I would choose what any same person would choose…

    Bus pass.

  • avatar

    Corolla can at least be an organ donor to a (reformed) Celica GT-S with a blown motor. I don’t see where the Sebring has anything meritorious to offer.

  • avatar

    I’d try welding half of each together. Something offensive combined with something inoffensive might be just right.

  • avatar

    The Corolla in the photo is painted the right color to blend in with the pavement. The perfect invisible car.

  • avatar

    I think the Corolla gets a bad rap. It’s definitely the most comfortable car in the class. Great seats, smooth ride, quiet. It had qualities that felt almost Lexus-like. Now that it has become heavier without an increase in engine size, it’s slow, which the last two generations weren’t. I drove a Yaris before it and the Yaris felt faster. Also, the manual shifter blows and the steering is quirky. I would absolutely recommend it to normal people who just want something comfortable with good fuel economy. I may have a Mazda 3 now, but I used to have an older Corolla and I thought it was excellent.

    How is an Elantra less boring than a Corolla? It has some nice power, but the steering/handling is a joke. Worse than the Corolla for sure.

    I haven’t driven the Sebring so I can’t compare, but I can say that the styling and interior are gross. Also, I don’t think you can get it with a manual tranny, in which case, the Corolla wins by default.

  • avatar
    Dangerous Dave

    I’d choose the Corolla over the Sebring. I’d rather be thought of as boring than stupid.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I have 3 kids. I would take the Corolla and give it to one of them.

  • avatar

    I don’t know if JL means purchasing or driving here. As far as purchasing, there are many sane, logical reasons to purchase a Corolla. There are no sane, logical reasons to purchase a Sebring. In fact, I question the thought processes of someone who has.

  • avatar

    I would choose the Corolla over the Sebring because it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to watch a crap car depreciate before your eyes.

    I would not drive a convertible Sebring even if you gave me one free because I wouldn’t want to be seen driving it.

    The Sebring is the car that killed Chrysler.

  • avatar

    I would definitely go with the Corolla over a Sebring. Dull, boring, probably reasonably reliable and surprisingly good gas mileage. Too bad they don’t offer a 5-speed auto, or better yet a 6-speed, with the base 1.8 liter 4.

    If you want a stick-shift, the standard 5-speed manual is actually pretty sweet. It’s the kind of car that you’d use to teach your kid sister how to drive stick.

    Recent Chrysler Sebrings have not aged well, we had several as company cars where I used to work, and they spent more time in the shop than the other cars, and no one liked them. People used to fight for the Malibus over the Sebrings.

    on the other hand, its hard to imagine a Sebring getting stolen or jacked.

  • avatar

    When I see a Corolla, I think to myself, “There’s someone who doesn’t enjoy cars; I probably wouldn’t like hanging out with him.”

    When I see a current-gen Sebring, I think (after looking for an inconspicuous rental car sticker), “Really? REALLY? WHY?!”

  • avatar

    Anybody who would honestly pick the Sebring should have their head examined. My wife drives an 05 Corolla, it has 90,000 miles on it, has never needed a dime in maintenance, and consistently gets 35 MPG calculated. It still has the original rear brakes and is on it’s 3rd set of Yokohama Avid Touring tires. It has been absolutely flawless.

  • avatar

    A choice between those two piles-o-crap, I’d be ordering a custom
    built bicycle from my brother… Yeah, it’d cost about $2K, but I’d
    be healthier riding it…

    Or just a new pair of shoes…


  • avatar

    It should be noted that the Corolla has an optional engine with guts as well. The XRS has a 2.4 that delivers the goods. Nice torque too. So what do you think Jonny, Corolla XRS with a manual tranny, or the Sebring? I think the XRS makes this no contest even to the guys here who can’t stand what they consider to be vanilla autos.

  • avatar

    Corolla. I’ve owned an ’06 Corolla CE since new for 3 years now. With 32,000 miles, it has been completely trouble free. Boring as hell and as fun to drive as brushing my teeth, but reliable as hell.

    The Corolla isn’t a Lexus nor a sports car – it’s not supposed to be. It’s not meant to be endearing nor entertaining. It’s just basic economy tramsportation – period. It gets great mileage, and without all the bling, I don’t worry about it being stolen or stripped for parts. Cops ignore me. Even when I break the law.

    The cloth seats are adequate, the radio sounds like it costs all of 39 cents, and the engine drones on to my annoyance. And the damn thing runs and runs without protest, without reluctance to start, and without any bullshit.

    Three years ago, I needed wheels in a hurry, was too lazy to shop around, and knew the Corolla was a known quantity. Sure, it’s more boring than my old ’89 Corolla SR5 was (the SR5 was a blast!), but it gets the job done. A work horse and nothing more.

  • avatar

    This is bullshit, the real question is ae86 vs. k-car turbo.

  • avatar

    Ooooh.. Tough one.

    No. Not really. Corolla. Every day, any way. Even if it was Sebring convertible.

    I have fond memories of nearly driving my parents’ then-new 86 into lake (didn’t know how to drive, father was humouring me, etc, etc) and I learned how to go very slowly sideways a few years later.

    I eventually inherited that car nearly twenty years and half a million kilometers later. It died when its water pump gave out on the highway and I couldn’t get over into the left lane fast enough. The heat did some real damage and, really, it was worth a sixty dollar charitable tax credit at that point.

    I’ve had a soft spot for the nameplate ever since. Yes, even the current one, “meh” as it may be.

    A Sebring? Not even fair. If this had been Old Sebring vs New Sebring, or Sebring vs. Malibu Classic. Or Sebring vs Volare. Oh, yes.

  • avatar

    I saw someone with dealer tags on a Sebring last month.

    Nearly ran the car off the road from laughing so hard.

    So Corrolla.

  • avatar

    Interestingly, the two family vehicles my wife and I have is a 2002 Grand Marquis and a 2000 Corolla. Since we have a 10 month old and she stays home, I have to drive the Corolla.

    It is boring, uncomfortable, etc., but it is reliable, sips gas, and as mentioned before, I’ll have a line of people who buy used cars precisely because they are boring, reliable, and sips gasoline.

    Plus, I have a 67 Galaxie XL convertible for fun times.

  • avatar

    Talk about Godzilla vs. Bambi!

    Camry vs. Panther was a much better comparison. Two cars in roughly the same size class with different layouts, users, strengths & weaknesses.

    The Corolla (and to a lesser extent Civic) dominate in this size class for personal transportation appliances.

    In contrast the Sebring is a pathetic also ran in this category.

    A more interesting comparison of Toyota and Chrysler products would be Wrangler vs. FJ Cruiser , RAV4 vs Liberty or Tundra vs. Ram.

  • avatar

    Why Jonny?

    I’m of the “more power, more fun” category. That said, I’d choose the Corolla over the Sebring because as someone said earlier, I can flip it and get some decent money for it. The Corolla is just this side of inoffensive whereas the Sebring is just plain offensive.

    Were it the Avenger I’d take the AWD R/T over the Corolla. At least it looks exciting….somewhat.

  • avatar

    I rented a Sebring Convertible this past October and have to say it was the second worst car I have ever been in. Second only to the Chevy Lumina. The Sebring was an 09 and already the washer pump didn’t work and the steering wheel was off center even though the car drove straight. It had a sloppy ride, no power, an unusable trunk with the top down, and a small storage compartment below the ashtray that was like a bottomless pit. I could tell others who rented it used a screwdriver to reach whatever they put in it. It was also uncomfortable and had an incredibly cheap interior. Thankfully I don’t have to drive either but it would be the Corolla over the Sebring any day.

  • avatar

    A used Corolla, no matter how many miles it has, still has some value. The same can’t be said for a used Sebring. So at least when you finally get tired of being bored to death by the Corolla you’ll be able to find someone who will buy it from you for a lot more than what you can get for a Sebring.

  • avatar


    Since the ownership timeline is unknown – I’ll go with the Sebring and hope I only have to keep it for a year. While the Corolla is clearly superior on every quantifiable quality measurement – there is something about it’s appliance like demeanor that is off-putting. And, this is from someone who owned a Corolla many, many years ago and loved it. The new Toyota Corolla simply has no soul.

    Granted the Sebring is certainly not an emotional ride – not has anyone every reported it delivered anything resembling a drivers machine. The mere thought of carving down a mountain road in one would have me reaching across the mouse-fur velour seats for some dramamine.

    Yet, through it all, I’ll take my chance and enjoy riding in what is soon to be history. And, as a bonus, I will never having to worry about where to park.

    Next up in the battle of boring…may I suggest “Buick Lucerne vs. Hyundai Azera”.

  • avatar

    This is not even fair question. The Sebring is the worst piece of shit on the market. My mother has one(don’t blame me, I tried to talk her out of it). I drove it about an hour ago(being a nice son and filling her tank before the snow starts). It has no redemeing qualities. None. The Corolla is just boring. Not a crime. Even the people at the plant where they build them in Sterling Heights aren’t proud of these disasters.

  • avatar

    My only experience with these shit boxes is as rentals. The Chrysler is unacceptable starting with the poor quality interior. The Toyota (I think it was a Corolla and not a Camry) was OK but nothing special.

    Other recent rentals were a Malibu (POS that feels like a bunch of spare parts flying in close formation but better then the Chrysler), and a little red Subaru. I think it was a Legacy? This one actually drove and felt like a quality car.

    What is it with all the fake wood and chrome bezels all over the instruments these days?

    They all were very low mileage so it is pretty representative.

  • avatar

    Corolla hands down. It may be plain – but at least it isn’t a$$ ugly like the Sebring. There’s not a single redeeming quality about the Chrysler. At least the Corolla is honest – a good, basic, well built car that doesn’t make you want to stab your eyes out when it crosses your path.

    And let’s be realistic – anybody who’s going to BUY a Corolla doesn’t give a rip snort about driving dynamics anyways – being bored to tears is what they expect. Any enthusiast knows well to look elsewhere, and they sure as hell wouldn’t be found near a Chrysler dealer either.

    This issue is such a non-issue, it’s amazing.

  • avatar

    This is a lame question. The two cars are not even close to being in the same class. This is like asking if you prefer to invest $100 in a bank CD or a Wall Street hedge fund.

    The Corolla is the perfect transportation appliance for those who don’t want “excitement” in their car. This is for people who want a rock-solid, reliable, and affordable way to get from point A to point B.

    The Serbring is for those who like risk… in this case, a lot of risk.

    What you are really asking is “What is your aversion to risk?” But in this case, the reward for your risk is only an occasional top-down cruise.

  • avatar

    I already commented above but I wanted to add a few things. The new corolla is very quiet for it’s class and the base stereo sounds very good. Remembering the crap stereo in the top of the line 89 Camry I drove when I was sixteen I was shocked at how good this one is. That being said, if i did not drive so much for work and I lived close to my business I would much rather lease a new A4 for my daily driver. It’s beautiful. And i could dump it in 24 months. That brings me to this, how about A4 vs 3 series. I love the idea of an inline six and RWD but the quirkyness of the Audi and it’s beautiful new look is a compelling choice. And how can you say Corolla drivers can’t be into cars, he might be next to you on the highway blogging about them on ttac on his iPhone. And you thought texting while driving was the new thing to fret about… :-P

  • avatar

    I find it really amazing the so many of you people who live breath and work in the US are so anti American products. The Chrysler Sebring is not world winner but is a very respectable car. I work for a Dodge dealership and am very proud of the products we sell. The Avenger is a great car and will work circles around the Corolla all day and has as much life as any import if maintained in the same manner the imports force their owners to perform. The cost of ownership of the Chrysler is very low for what is cost up front.

    The so called American consumer has its own foot print on the problems our domestic automakers face by their own hypocritical approach. The Asian makers produce very good vehicles no one would doubt that. And they do build vehicles here, but that does not mean that the technology or research and developement is done here. It is done in their home country and all of the income they make here is used to purchase debt in the US. Japan holds about $586 billion and China about $540 billion and will probably overtake Japan in the next year. If only a small fraction of the dollars spent on Asian brands had been spent on our domestics the problems faced now would not be there.

    I would bet that none of you have any idea what happened right after 9-11.

    GM donated $10 million and around 40 vehicles
    Ford another $10 million and 30 vehicles
    Chrysler another $10 million and funds for the victims children were set up.

    Harley Davidson $1 million and 30 motorcycles to the NYPD.
    What do you thing Toyota gave or Honda

    Absolutely Zero even after boasting record sales months in the summer of that year.

    They reap profits from our economy and do not even have the respect to assist in a horrible event to show they support our country even a little bit.

    I don’t care if you by an American vehicle but rest assured we will survive with or without you.

    Do any of you have any idea the engineering problems your beloved Toyota covers up each year because our own press helps them.

    Their new truck is breaking camshafts and the tail gate buckles with little weight on it.

    They have kept and engine sludge problem quiet for years.

    Good luck!

  • avatar

    Corolla. Corolla Corolla Corolla.

    Last time I went to Las Vegas a friend and I were saddled with a new Sebring. The car was so embarrassingly deficient in so many areas that it simply wasn’t suitable for ten mile runs to and from the strip.

    The Sebring greeted us with about 3,000 miles on the odo, and in those miles the windows made a comical flatulent sound when raised and lowered. During quiet moments in the car just yanking the window switch would generate explosive laughter. The gear shifter knob spun around like a ceiling fan. No panels in the car lined up properly, inside or out. The seats were awful (and squeaked), the powertrain made all sorts of stimulating vibrations, I could go on and on. Of course it was breathtakingly ugly, as Sebrings have a tendency to be.

    There are two primary metrics of quality in cars: the impressions from actually operating the thing and then the mechanical durability and reliability if you’re stuck with it over the long haul.

    Audis are strong in the first area, weak in the second. If you get a dud Audi, at least when it comes out of the shop you have strong driving dynamics, flawless fit and finish, and a succulent interior.

    A Miata with a leaking top will still bring a smile when nailing an apex. A 335i with a rattling turbo will still make you pee your pants when put your foot down.

    And therein lies the issue with the Sebring, even if you could find one that escaped all of Cerberus’ supplier abuse and the UAW’s indifference to precision, there is nothing in the car to bring you joy.

    The Sebring is the excrement of Sterling Heights, a wobbling argument against the D3 bailouts.

    With the “big” engine, a manual gearbox, and some suspension tweaks, at least the Corolla would be tolerable. I’d rather walk than drive a Sebring.

  • avatar

    The Chrysler Sebring is not world winner but is a very respectable car.

    No, it isn’t. It’s worse than the car it replaced. If you had said Ford Fusion or Chevy Malibu, I’d have agreed with you.

    And they do build vehicles here, but that does not mean that the technology or research and developement is done here. It is done in their home country

    So where does GM-Daewoo Auto Technology, or GM/Opel live? Since Mercedes gutted Chrysler, how much R&D is really done in North America? And how much was Cerberus really going to do, given that their original plans were to effectively turn Chrysler into a retail store for rebadged Chinese products.

    Now, what about Toyota’ Calty studio? Or Nissan’s Tenessee facility?

    all of the income they make here is used to purchase debt in the US

    Really? All of their income? I would think that, as with any company, Toyota or Hyundai or VW would be paying bonuses, reinvensting in R&D and/or paying stock dividends.

    They reap profits from our economy and do not even have the respect to assist in a horrible event to show they support our country even a little bit.

    You’re forgetting donations for Katrina, aren’t you?

    Do any of you have any idea the engineering problems your beloved Toyota covers up each year because our own press helps them.

    Their new truck is breaking camshafts and the tail gate buckles with little weight on it.

    They have kept and engine sludge problem quiet for years.

    Uh-huh. The camshaft problem was covered under a recall. Remember recalls? Everyone has them. When they’re done quickly, quietly

    And yes, the sludge issue was handled badly, but they did actually issue TSBs and extend warranties, which I’d hardly call “quietly” considering everyone knows about it, and even though it hasn’t affected a Toyota engine made since 2001, domestic fans keep dredging it up. Has GM ever owned up to the plastic intake manifold issue? Or the Dexcool problem? What kind of tooth-pulling did it take to get Ford to address either the Crown Vic fuel tank problems, or that little tire inflation spat with Firestone. Has Chrysler done anything about the warping tailgates on the new minivans, yet?

    Again, be careful with the recall and quality stick. Unless you’re spotless, you’re going to get beat with it.

    Here’s an idea: instead of waving Old Glory, trying to distract from Chrysler’s own problems and excusing their behaviour, why not actually call or write to them and demand they, oh, I don’t know, actually make better cars? While you’re at it, demanding a viable business plan–one that isn’t “cross our fingers and hope things turn around”–might not be a bad idea, and would certainly put them in better standing when they hand out the begging bowl.

    I’m actually in favour of the bail-out, if for no other reason than I don’t want to see large amounts of consumer confidence evapourate while we’re on the cusp of a serious recession, but I don’t think a bail-out should be an implicit allowance for Chrysler to crank out crap like the Sebring.

  • avatar

    When I see Sebrings, I try to get a good look at the driver and see if they have some physical manifestation of complete idiocy. A drooling problem, profuse sweating in winter, etc. Seriously, why would anyone buy that thing with so many more interesting, more reliable and more fun choices?

    Corolla drivers couldn’t give two shits about what they drive, so long as they perceive it won’t break down. There is nothing inherently wrong with them. They just don’t care about it.

  • avatar

    Corolla. I’m not dumb enough to set fire to money (cliff-diving depreciation). It’s also much more likely to actually get me from A to B for 15 years (assuming a drive-it-until-it-explodes ownership) without huge repairs, and having stranded me 10 times meanwhile.

    And, I must add, Chrysler’s interiors make all of my senses recoil.

  • avatar

    I would bet that none of you have any idea what happened right after 9-11.

    And I bet…wait, I know you have no idea what happened.

  • avatar

    My hometown will crater if Chrysler goes under, which is imminent. I love my hometown. Every time I pass a Corolla (usually after having to flash lights and/or become aggressively agitated @ world’s most pathetic drivers), I sigh.

    Verdict: Get a Corolla and stay off the roads when I’m around. >:)
    Do not reward the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx and Dodge Stratus mentality of the world.

  • avatar


    would it be ok if it was called a Pontiac vibe ?

  • avatar
    the duke

    Manual tranny available?

    Corolla: yes
    Sebring: no

    Nuf said.

  • avatar

    Corolla will win this contest easily. With the Crown Vic all of the Vic-heads come out of the woodwork to try and explain how their car – a design only slightly younger than the wheel itself, is somehow the greatest enthusiast machine ever made, and if you replace most of the suspension, you will stop throwing up on yourself from the constant bobbing and weaving!

    The Sebring has no such oddball fan club. It is a truly awful machine, and much worse than a merely boring one.

  • avatar

    The Corolla is available in the XRS trim with larger (but crappy) 2.4L engine from the Camry. That being said, it handles fairly well and feels sporty. I can’t say the same for Sebring I rented.

  • avatar

    I’ve driven a Corolla for seven years now, almost eight. While I’m saving up to buy something more spicy, like a 350Z, I gotta say I love the little thing.

    Yes, it’s boring, extremely wobbly over 70 mph, and no one ever gives it a second look. But the damned thing is bulletproof. I’ve never had to fix anything on it (beyond normal wear and tear) that wasn’t my fault as a driver. I’m always giving my coworkers who own VWs, Saturns and Chryslers a ride to work, because my car is unstoppable. Plenty of room, too. Does anyone who doesn’t tow REALLY need anything bigger than a Corolla? Get creative and you can fit anything in it. Gas mileage is insane, too.

    I’d like to own something sportier and more fun, but until I can come up with the cash for it, I know the Corolla’s not going anywhere. These cars are really special because of their incredible quality. I wish Toyota still made sports cars; I’d buy another one from this brand in a heartbeat.

  • avatar

    and another thing about the Corolla, lots of them are made at the NUMMI plant in California. If you can take an old GM plant in a hippie liberal state like California and make lots of money making lots of cars, you get a gold star in my book. And, just to be a good sport, they give the Prizim and now the Vibe to GM to sell. So picture this, you are at a Chevy Stealership about ten years ago looking for a great small car. What do you choose? The CHEVROLET PRIZIM or the CHEVROLET CAVALIER? How did they sell them side by side?

  • avatar

    Give me the Corolla. At least you can get it with a 5 speed and the resale value is much better. Check out the trade-in value on a two year old 2006 Sebring.

    I have a couple of suggestions for future comparisons:
    Trabant vs. Vega
    Tata Nano vs. Cozy Coupe II

  • avatar

    I own a 2007 Sebring Limited 3.5 liter and it’s given me no problems at all. I’m really not understanding all the Sebring hate going on. (Maybe it’s because I own a Limited and not the 4 cylinder version.) I test drove just about everyone of it’s competitors and none of them seemed able to do any one thing superbly better than what it could do. Again, I can’t vouch for the base model Sebrings, but I can attest that the Sebring Limited is a fine car.

  • avatar

    The new Corolla is 100% better than the old one in some ways, and 50% worse in others. The interior quality blows, the suspension’s so soft it’s not funny… and the extra weight just doesn’t sit well with the same small engines.

    Having said that, the 100% better part makes it a better Corolla if not actually a better car… it’s quieter, it has finger-light steering, it has a very good chassis (underneath all that understeer beats the heart of an… uhmm… well, I’m still trying to figure it out) which gives it predictable handling and the ride is the most syrupy in the class (unlike the stiff, stodgy old one). By refusing to go an engine size up, like others have done, Toyota has kept the Corolla one of the most economical in the class.

    I would never, ever buy one for myself. But if I had to choose a car to drive to work, everyday, I wouldn’t feel too bad about driving a Corolla. And not even the XRS model, with a sports engine that doesn’t like to rev and ride-comfort compromises that still won’t cover up the woefully inert steering. Instead, I’d pick a vanilla 1.8 liter one with an automatic. I’ll
    reserve the car I actually love for driving on weekends.


    Future comparison? Let’s see how green you are: A Tata Nano or a Smart ForTwo. That’s an interesting choice.. Pick an ultra-commuter that costs more than the gas it’d save you, or pick a really frugal little car that may just qualify you for a Darwin Award when you take it out on the Interstate?

  • avatar

    I think I would walk. But since I once had some fun outrunning some cops in a Corolla in my teenage years I would probably take that. At least I know it will preform if you cane it hard enough.

  • avatar

    I’d rather have a convertible, but i’d definitely chose the corolla.

    Somebody who lives on my block has an older chrysler lebarron and at least twice a month i see him fighting with his top, sometimes in the rain!

    forget that the sebring is a chrysler (garbage), the convertible alone is more grief than i’m willing to put up with…

  • avatar

    Sebring because I think it looks better and is larger and more comfortable. V6 and 6 speed auto is also available.
    Corolla because it’s cheaper, has a manual available and has a better reputation for reliability.

  • avatar

    npbheights said it all for me. I’m in the same situation: 90 – 120 miles a day, every weekday and I can’t afford the time or trouble of a breakdown. Previous car was a ’92 Corolla, gave it away to Salvation Army at 180,000 just because I was tired of it. Current is an ’03 (Corolla) Matrix. I change the oil and tires and one change of front brake pads and that’s all I’ve needed done. 150,000 + miles so far. It doesn’t have to be fun, it just has to get me there and back.

  • avatar

    I test drove a Sebring Limited (with the 3.5L 6-spd auto), as well as an Avenger R/T (same powertrain). My wife owned (notice, past tense) a Corolla. Assuming that there’s not much difference between the 2006 corolla and the new one other than the new one having significantly uglier apperance, it’s a no brainer. Give me the Sebring, please. My wife agrees. She was only so happy to dump the Corolla for something else at the earliest opportunity.

    The fit and finish on the Corolla was pretty horrible, with bent/misalinged trim pieces and just about everything that people normally bash Chrysler for.

  • avatar

    No question, I’d take the Corolla. 1) Toyota will still be around to make parts for it in 3 years, 2) it won’t need much work beyond regular maintenance, 3) it is relatively quiet on the highway, 4) the interior is actually a pretty decent.

    Yes, the 09 Corolla is soulless to drive. That’s true of most Toyotas.

  • avatar

    While both cars are snooze-mobiles at least the Corolla is available with a manual transmission, and while the new Corolla is not attractive it’s also not ugly like the Sebring. Plus it would be worth something later on, and probably be very reliable. So I’ll (begrudgingly) take the Corolla.

    The Sebring convertible I rented once wasn’t a total piece of crap, and it had a nice size trunk for a convertible, but the top mechanism did not inspire confidence. The drivers door would not lock either. The interior used way to many different textures and colors, and was poorly assembled. The stereo was nicely designed and performed reasonably, and I liked the digital stereo / information display built into the gauges.

  • avatar

    The Corolla— it’s no looker that’s for sure, but it’s reasonable to assume that Toyota is going to be around to support it. The Sebring/Avenger design team should have to testify in front of Congress on that abomination.

  • avatar

    I know a guy who owns a ’99 Corolla, and his wife now drives an ’09 Corolla XRS with the thirsty 2.4 litre engine, and an automagic.

    I sat in the XRS during the summer. I wasn’t all that impressed. My 5 year old Jetta is more exciting than a brand new Corolla. Needless to say, he is not a car guy. He just wants reliable transportation, so he buys Toyotas. Toyota doesn’t build exciting vehicles, but they do build long lasting vehicles. Chrysler builds sh1tmobiles that will likely be dead before it’s paid off. So if I had no other choice, it would be a Corolla.

  • avatar

    Carbizz: I would bet that none of you have any idea what happened right after 9-11.

    GM donated $10 million and around 40 vehicles
    Ford another $10 million and 30 vehicles
    Chrysler another $10 million and funds for the victims children were set up.

    Harley Davidson $1 million and 30 motorcycles to the NYPD.
    What do you thing Toyota gave or Honda

    Absolutely Zero even after boasting record sales months in the summer of that year.

    That is false, and has been debunked by Both Toyota and Honda made substantial donations after 9/11.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    I have good news and bad news. The good news is Chrysler has been given a reprieve. The bad news is that Chrysler is going to continue making cars. – Johnny Carson, commenting on the 1980 Chrysler bailout

  • avatar

    How this could possibly be a conversation is beyond me.

    This is like having to choose between a Taco Bell bean and rice burrito and a bowl of oatmeal. One is tasteless and bland, but it will stick with you, not make you ill later on, and provide a much greater return on investment.

    Bon appetit.

  • avatar

    I can sort-of understand why someone would buy a Corolla: they hate cars. If I hated cars but still needed to drive one, I would also choose the one that neither pleases nor offends.

    On the other hand, I cannot understand why anyone would buy a Sebring. They hate themselves?

  • avatar

    2009 Toyota Corolla
    MSRP: 15,350
    Invoice: 14,198

    2009 Chrysler Sebring
    MSRP: 20,515
    Invoice: 19,9009

    Not only would you have to enjoy the gutless, leaking, rattling piece of shit that is the Sebring, you have to be willing to pay an extra $5k for those privileges.

  • avatar

    I have driven Chryslers for years and sold them. Honest to god, they are not nearly as bad as you think. Yes, the interiors can be poor to downright gross, however, they dont fall apart in your hands like you want people to believe. My friends X5 has had more stuff break in the interior and mechanically than I have ever had with my Chryslers. Most cars are horribly boring today and so are the drivers.

  • avatar

    Quite awhile ago, this situation arose. My wife traded in a Corolla for a Plymouth Sundance. The Corolla was so underpowered and handle so poorly that we just had to get a car with a bit more torque to climb the hills where we lived. The Chrysler product fit the bill for those requirements. The engine had decent torque and it handled (cornered) much better. However, fit and finish on the Chrysler was absolutely atrocious. As well, the engine cam bearing leaked and Chrysler’s remedy was to ignore it until it was to big a leak. Then slop on a gob of tar (for all to see) to plug the leak. 3 car thefts and break-ins later, we got rid of the Sundance. To this day, the person that bought the Corolla from us is still driving it. The Sundance is long gone thought I still see a few on the road from time to time. Then came the Neon and Calibers of which we never gave a thought to test out since.

    No contest. If I wanted a small economical car just to drive and I wasn’t a car enthusiast, the Corolla wins. Even though I think the current Corolla’s sitting position is kind of dorky.

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • probert: Gordon Keeble – I dropped the mic (or whatever they say).
  • CKNSLS Sierra SLT: The Explorer and Expedition don’t belong on your list. Everything else I can agree...
  • Arthur Dailey: Although Interceptor is about as cool as it gets, also have to love a car named a Spitfire.
  • Arthur Dailey: Would still love to drive something named a Riviera, a Wildcat, a Firebird, a Thunderbird, a Sedan de...
  • Arthur Dailey: We needed a vehicle for a small landscaping business. 2 lawnmowers, a weed whacker and some...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote


  • Contributors

  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States