2008 Chrysler Sebring Performance

$2,692 - $3,913

2008 Chrysler Sebring Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2008 Chrysler Sebring was new.


Performance: 6.5

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring is not considered a performance vehicle, but test drivers found it to be a comfortable cruising vehicle. As Car and Driver points out, the Sebring offers "adequate performance on the boulevard but not on back roads."

Acceleration and Power

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring has three different engines -- a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine; a 2.7-liter V6, or a 3.5-liter V6. The base model's 2.4-liter is "a good choice if you're concerned about fuel economy," to the Detroit News, but reviewers like Edmunds report that "the mileage isn't good enough to justify the 2.4-liter's lethargic response and coarse power delivery." According to the EPA, the Chrysler Sebring's four-cylinder engine rates at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

Test drivers have mixed impressions of the Touring Trim's 2.7-liter engine. Newsday calls it "thrashier on hard acceleration than a Toyota or Honda V-6 tends to be," while Road and Track describes it as "a bit winded," also noting that it "lacked snappy off-the-line performance." But Consumer Guide is kinder and classifies the engine as "modestly more refined" than the Sebring's four cylinder. Similarly, the Chicago Tribune notices a "quieter and quicker response" than the base engine. The EPA rates this engine, which is FlexFuel capable, at 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

The Limited trim's 3.5-liter V6 with 235 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque is "naturally the most spirited" to Car and Driver. The 3.5-liter V6 also left that impression with several other writers. As the Detroit News writes, the 3.5 is "an impressive performer on the highway, with lots of power for passing and merging." The EPA rates the fuel economy of this engine at 16 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on highways.

Sebrings come with a four-speed automatic transmission that the Detroit News says is "outdated." Comparing the Sebring to its competitors, Edmunds notes that "the Camry and Accord have more sophisticated five-speed automatics (in addition to offering manual gearboxes), while the Altima has a continuously variable transmission." New Car Test Drive also criticizes the Sebring's transmission, saying it "hunts endlessly for the proper gear on mild grades, whether up or down, often shifting up at exactly the wrong moment."

Handling and Braking

Reviewers like Edmunds call the 2008 Chrysler Sebring's ride quality one of its stronger points, "as it's smooth and composed at high speeds." Edmunds further describes handling as "average as midsize sedans go, with moderate body roll around corners and decently weighted steering." Car and Driver says the Sebring's suspension creates "ride-and-handling characteristics closer to its contemporaries such as the Saturn Aura and Mazda 6." Motor Week rounds out praise, noting that the feel is "more smooth Camry than slightly edgy Accord … a very soft ride."

Auto writers have less praise for the 2008 Sebring's rack-and-pinion steering, but still find its capabilities "responsive," as the Sacramento Bee describes, or "direct and obedient," according to The Car Connection. But About.com represents those who are less than thrilled. Although its reviewer finds light steering on straight roads and at low speeds, the highway was an adventure. "Turn the wheel a bit and nothing happens, turn a bit more, and the car says 'Oh -- we're turning? Sorry, I was napping.' All your steering input suddenly comes home to roost at once, and off you go in your chosen direction, generally much more abruptly than you planned."

The 2008 Chrysler Sebring's brakes are "underpowered" to Edmunds, but Car and Driver and Consumer Guide have more confidence. As the latter finds, the brakes are "strong in simulated panic stops." Autoweb finds the same, writing that the pedal is difficult to get a feel for, "but the four-wheel discs did a good job of stopping quickly under duress." The base Chrysler Sebring has front-wheel disc and rear drum brakes, while higher trims receive four-wheel discs.

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