By on November 12, 2010

Now that Chrysler has released full side-on images of its new “200” sedan, its Sebring heritage is plain to see. But will a new name, a new V6, improved handling and a new interior be enough to get D-segment shoppers to forget the Sebring’s ignominy and head back to Chrysler showrooms?

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46 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The Sebring Connection Edition...”

  • avatar

    This is the way it must have looked when launched.
    Let’s hope for the best for them.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Yeah it looks basically the same.  I want to try it with the new engine and the “revisions.”  With as much negative press as the car has gotten maybe people will want to test drive it just to see if it’s that bad.

  • avatar

    At least they put the ‘200’ badge in the blackout panel. But tellingly, I clicked through the post expecting the first picture to have been the Sebring and a new 200 to have been posted below for comparison. Front is much more finished looking, which helps this car vs hurts the new 300.

  • avatar

    I think I’ve figured out why many people hate the look of compacts and many mid-sizers. The proportions are off. This car has a long hood relative to its truck and is too tall. I didn’t like the last gen Sebring on looks alone as I thought the two generations before that looked better. This is to say nothing of the powertrains contained within as I knew nothing about them. So I don’t really like this car either, but it will serve many people I’m sure.

  • avatar

    Hmmm….Nope. Still looks like a Sebring. The Audi’esque wheels and the new’ish front clip merely function as the lipstick on the pig.

  • avatar

    Short answer – no.
    Long answer – boring as Melba toast, from a company with a not so good past and an uncertain future.  My bet is that this car will not distract the Toyota/Honda/Nissan faithful.
    Chrysler needs some Fiat funkyness to succeed.  The boring, reliable, appliance market is sewn up by others – why chase that?

  • avatar

    Also this:

  • avatar

    And as the Rent-a-Wreck fleet manager fills out his 2011 bulk order form, the guys from Hyundai chortle, searching the office for an empty cupboard to stash their money in.

  • avatar

    Agreed, the car is not tremendously attractive.  But it is not horrible, either, and I think that the full-on side angle is its worst view.  The problem with the Sebring was not as much with the looks as with the car itself.  There is a certain percentage of the buying public that will put up with ho-hum styling (or worse) for a decent vehicle.  The last Taurus/Sable fit this demographic.  The old Sebring appealed to nobody.  Maybe if the new one is sufficiently improved, the “substance over style” crowd (of which I am a member) will give it a second look.  

    Chrysler did what it could with what it had, and as a car-guy, I am happy that they spent their (our?) money on the mechanical issues rather than keeping the old car and trying to sell it by making it prettier. 

  • avatar
    George B

    In my opinion, the boring 200 is better than the ugly Sebring.  Never going to buy a new one, but used 200s might be ok after massive depreciation.  Unfortunately there are many ugly mid size cars to choose from right now.  At least the new Kia Optima looks pretty good.

  • avatar

    It looks like a Pontiac G6.  Government Motors sold a bunch of G6s, even before the fire sale, and during the fire sale, they still didn’t slash considerable amounts off the price.
    Chrysler would love to get G6-style volume.  Plus, if they can offer a better engine than the 3500 and they’ll offer a 6 speed instead of a 4 speed, that was what everyone claimed the G6 always needed.
    Chrylser and GM appear to share half a designer for their exteriors.

    • 0 avatar

      The G6 actually did offer two better engines than the 3500.  The 3900 version of the G6 was still usually stuck with a 4A (although a crummy 6M transmission was available too), but the 3.6L “LY7” powered G6 came with a 6A.
      Unfortunately, the 3.6L G6 looked like this. In factory trim.

    • 0 avatar

      I must have erased that 3.6L G6 from my memory.  FIAT should track some of those down and put that next to the Sebring 200 in the show rooms.
      “See! Consumers have purchased worse steaming piles!”

    • 0 avatar

      The G6 came with the Ecotec and 6 speed transmission combo in the 2009 model year. The 3900 is a bored out 3500, both are solid motors far better than the predecessor 3100-3400’s. The car you reference in the link is a “Street Edition” G6, which (thankfully) was limited production. The basic GXP was pretty toned down compared to the Street Edition.

  • avatar

    It’s better than the old one, but it’s still as ugly as a mud fence.

  • avatar

    Looks good enough.
    Already a good improvement from the Sebring.
    With better engine and fair price, it could sell.

  • avatar

    Any word on the convertible getting updates? It used to be a hot seller at one time… I still see tons of the older generation ones on the road.

    • 0 avatar

      Yep . . . . and virtually all of them are driven by 20-30 pound overweight middle aged women with bleach-blond hair. Can’t remember when the last time I saw a male driving a Sebring convertible.

  • avatar

    I know people who actually liked the Sebring’s exterior and were disappointed to find out how bad the rest of it was.  I think they’ll be happy with this, stupid name aside.  And even I think the exterior’s improved.

  • avatar

    It’s got that strong Chrysler/Fiat quality reputation going for it.

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    Incredible! Congratulations, Chrysler. You’ve set a new standard for automotive blandness. Never before in the history of automobiles has a company designed a more invisible, more mediocre, more blend-in-with-the-crowd car.

    Please accept this, the highest honor of the SAA (Society for Automotive Anonymity), for your insight into the future of driving. My sincerest thanks for sharing our vision of America’s roads being covered with bean-shaped transport modules.

    Your new car embodies our motto, “Why be noticed?”

  • avatar

    Any news on the convertible?
    The topless Sebring is the only inexpensive convertible that can fit four comfortably.  Either you pay much, much more to get something European, pay a little more and get something cramped (Eos, Mustang), or pay the same and seat two (Miata).  I’ve never understood the Sebring sedan, but I’d never fault anyone for buying the drop-top.

  • avatar

    Everyone knocks these cars.   I happen to think they look pretty nice.  The reliability will likely be dreck, but on looks alone?   I’d give it a B+

    In effort for full disclosure, I used to drive a Honda Element and a Jeep Comanche.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Not at a starting price of $28K!  Super duper ugly car.

    They should have made it look like the 200 concept car, rather than this design by blind committee model.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    This is hardly enough to justify a renaming…

    • 0 avatar

      Considering the baggage the Sebring name carries, I’d say Chrysler was smart to jump on any excuse to roll out a new moniker.  I’m OK with the new look, the sculpting on the sides isn’t bad, the eyeliner around the headlights is kinda nifty, the grill looks like a new Hyundai, and the dreaded black plastic triangle on the rear doors is sported by about half the cars in its class.  If the interior is OK and the new drive trains stack up, they might do OK.  Nice to see Chrysler making an effort.

    • 0 avatar
      Amendment X

      I too appreciate a good effort but when are car makers brazen enough to attach new names to old products? In fact, I cannot recall any other time when a refreshed vehicle was given a new name. It usually is applied to all new products occupying the same segment. Seems a bit contrived to me.

    • 0 avatar

      While technically not a new name the Ford Five-hundred was renamed the Taurus again when the added the new engine and fiddled with the exterior.

    • 0 avatar

      Amendment, look at the recent Curbside Classic about the turbo Sunbird.  Pontiac changed the car’s name annually for the first several years it was in production.  Not that I’m saying that the car or the company is a good example to emulate.

  • avatar

    I saw one of these monsters on M-59 in Waterford MI.  I noticed the new grille but when it drove by it looked exactly the same as the old one.  It was white so maybe it might look better in a darker color, maybe black to hide the nasty carryover black plastic triangle on the C pillar.  That new interior and engine better be good.

  • avatar

    Is there a reason, besides keeping the arch line over the doors going, for that stupid triangular piece of nasty ugly plastic? Can one take a pry bar and rip it off with no harm done?

  • avatar

    Sometimes, when I see a new Sebring on the road, I look at the driver and say to myself, “you can be lucky it’s a rental or stupid enough to buy one”
    I wonder how much Chrysler paid to be featured as the ultimate rental in the movie “up in the air” ?
    The combination of Chrysler and Fiat should not be such a great thing, I remember every Fiat I have ever drove or owned, all use to be cheaply made and could not hold it together for long.

    • 0 avatar

      “The combination of Chrysler and Fiat should not be such a great thing,”

      The alternative would have been no Chrysler at all.

      The 200 gets a resounding “Meh”. Maybe they should have brought back the Lebaron name.

      As it is, Chrysler is essentially down to being a fleet/niche manufacturer. Those sales are not enough to justify continuing the car lines so, inevitably, there won’t be any Chrysler or Dodge branded vehicles. Even the once omnipotent Chrysler minivan is on the ropes.

      There will just be Ram (trucks), Jeep (SUVs), and Fiats. I suspect that has been the plan of the Fiat merger all along, to simply wind Chrysler down slowly to avoid the financial shock of a sudden closing. This way, they just fade off into the sunset.

  • avatar

    The 200 looks like a Sebring mated with a Neon.  It looks better than the Sebring, at least.

  • avatar

    The grills on the new Chryslers kind of look off to me.  Without the logo in the center they look like the “any cars” from ads and video games.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Concerning 4-place convertibles, VW is bringing out a new Golf model.  Based on the driving dynamics of the Golf, it ought to parse that fine line of ‘enough room’, ‘fun to drive’, and ‘reasonably priced’.

  • avatar

    Oddly, there is a lot to like in the design (chunky design, coupe roof line, body-side accent line, better front-end, acceptable rear-end), but when it is all put together the result (at least as far as I am concerned) is one of ambivalence…

  • avatar

    I think the refresh is rather well done, considering the starting point and (unknown to us) what the budget allowed. I’m glad to see that they’re trying to put something new out there and improve their product, rather than letting it rot. I think Chrysler would be an interesting (not necessarily great or fun) place to work right now, trying to meld the different worlds together.
    You’ve got to walk before you can run, and it looks like they’re able to take their first steps after having been knee capped by Daimler and then having their Achilles’ heels cut by Cerberus.

  • avatar

    Three ugly things for me:
    1 – wheel arch shape strange
    2 – wheels too large and quite generic
    3 – never like totally rounded roofs like that. Blah.

    The rest, though not beautiful is ok. Would love that it sold enough so that next time Fiat and Chrysler can really apply their talents.

  • avatar

    The proportions are still odd-looking. Good ridance to the hood-strakes! Now the major eye-sore is the strange c pillar shape and trim. Talk about the perfect escape car for a witness-protection program!

  • avatar

    Yawn.  Wake me up when the Fiat-designed replacement arrives.  This screams marking time to me, even if there are some significant under the skin changes.  Fine enough as it goes, but do they really expect people to spend the money for this?

  • avatar

    Everyone I know with a Sebring LOVES THEIR CAR.   As long as its reliable I don’t think anyone who bought one thinks its ugly.

  • avatar

    Remember, this is a quickie refresh of the Sebring. It not only retains the old car’s hard points, it retains almost all of the sheet metal except for the front and rear caps. For this stopgap update, Chrysler focused on powertrain, suspension, and interior–the weakest points on the Sebring. Based on the early photos and released specs, all three of those should be much improved. The exterior changes are just enough to flag the other, more significant changes.
    The one thing that baffles me is the same thing that baffled Mazder3: that absurd bit of black plastic on the C-pillar. If you took it off the roofline would look more organic, and for essentially zero cost Chrysler would have created the appearance of a different side profile. I’m surprised they left it there.
    As for the idea that Dodge and Jeep will fade away to make place for Fiats–not going to happen. Fiat has zero brand equity in this country, Chrysler sales are starting to perk up even before most of the improved product shows up, and Fiat has been very clear that its product plan does not include lots of Fiat-badged cars in the U.S.

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