Sebring Survivor?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Chrysler’s rolling punchline may have received the least-deserved stay of execution in automotive history, as Automotive News [sub] reports that the Sebring/Avenger duo may not die until “late 2012.” The gruesome twosome were supposed to be put out to pasture by the end of next year under plans made when Chrysler was owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Instead it appears they’ll be receiving facelifts and soldiering on. The Avenger will be freshened first in what is rumored to be the milder of the two reskins. The Sebring will receive a more thorough going-over with the new look set to be debuted in 2011. In the meantime, Chrysler hopes you’ve noticed that new Sebrings are missing their unnecessarily frumpy hood strakes. Don’t count on any of this making a difference though. Chrysler’s products should continue to be backmarkers for at least another two years, with only Grand Cherokee/Durango and 300/Charger redesigns bringing anything new to a table otherwise set with microwaved leftovers. Someday there will be Fiats and Alfas to choose from. In the meantime, lazy auto journalists looking for a cheap shot will keep getting by on a ‘bring and a prayer.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Cpmanx Cpmanx on Sep 29, 2009

    Also, for someone who hasn't bought a new car in a decade--and who might very well have bought a Chrysler product last time around--the Sebring/Avenger might seem a fine and quite reliable appliance. Expectations mean a lot. It seems to me that an extremely quick, low-budget facelift (headlight and taillight forms, that smooth hood, getting rid of the black paint on the C pillar, maybe some revision to side trim) makes more sense than a more extensive overhaul. Fiat needs to show changes and shore up sales now, not in 2011. And why do a major 2011 facelift on a car that will be scrapped in 2012? Of course, we won't really know what Fiat is planning until November. Even then there may be some deliberate smoke-blowing.

  • John R John R on Sep 29, 2009
    We need to find some of these people and see just exactly what the thought process was. It would be fascinating. For posterity’s sake. It's actually quite surprising/baffling/terrifying to tell the truth. I know a person that did not buy one of the Chrysis POS twins, but this person did get something that would raise an eyebrow. I won't name names as I might get in trouble if someone I knew were to read this. In any event, a lot of times it goes like this: 1) They hate the car buying experience. 2) When they have to buy a car, they drive into the nearest stealership and get episode over with as quickly a possible. That's it. No shopping around. "Don't not pass go". Nothing. The end, roll credits. Wouldn't even wait until the weekend for someone knowledgeable to go with them. Amazing.
  • Brett Woods Brett Woods on Sep 29, 2009

    What bothered me most about the "new" Sebring was the waste of its potential. I kinda wanted one. There really was not a mid priced, practical four seat open air cruiser to buy. The Toyota Solara had it, but you had to get past its funky bad looks and foreign high price. I lost respect for the Sebring convertible, not because of what it was, but because of what it could have been. I was hoping they would lengthen the hood line. It was front wheel drive and looked it. As it was, only a mother could love the look and it was best suited to female real estate agents. The cab forward design style that continued with the previous re-fresh made it look - under endowed. Then came the most recent body re-style, which following all the fabulous exterior designs of other Chryslers, was a derivative after pen. It also suffered from the same poor interior material feel and ergonomics that hamstrung the Nitro. I do not want to see this car discontinued. I want a comfortable open air cruiser that doubles as a family sedan and there still isn’t much to choose from.

  • Jeff Snavely Jeff Snavely on Sep 29, 2009

    I had an Avenger as a loaner - worst car I've ever driven - absolutely shameful in every way.