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1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

2dr Convertible JXi

Starting at | Starting at 19 MPG City - 27 MPG Highway

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  • $26,360 original MSRP
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Printable Version

1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Printable Version

1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

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1999 Chrysler Sebring Coupe LXi

Source: New Car Test Drive

by Kevin Ransom

Comfort with sports appeal.

Base Price $17,660
As Tested $23,325

If you're in the market for a mid-sized sporty coupe, there's a good chance that you're open to compromise. Sure, you want a car that will hustle in a pinch, give you a little rush when you're out on the twisties and make your heart go tweet-tweet when it's just lounging around in the driveway.

But you're not willing to accept a buckboard ride or skimp on backseat-legroom for your kin. So you're willing to give up a little in the road-burning department in return for comfort. And while you're not on a budget in the strict sense, you'd still like to get out the door for under $25,000.

That's where the Chrysler Sebring Coupe comes in. The Sebring coupe achieves a pleasing middle ground between the hot, cramped Mitsubishi Eclipse and the roomier, less nimble Chevy Monte Carlo.

The Sebring Coupe and its cousin, the Dodge Avenger, provide a smooth, quiet ride, ample legroom in front, a back seat that's big enough to keep folks from getting cranky on long hauls, and a suspension stiff enough to keep the tires planted in corners.

Chrysler introduced the Sebring as a 1995 model. For 1999, the company has added next-generation dual air bags, body-color mirrors and wheels for the LXi model, and two new colors, plum and shark blue.

Walkaround

The Sebring Coupe comes in two trim levels: $17,660 LX and $21,760 LXi.

Our Sebring Coupe LXi came standard with air conditioning, power everything, a CD player and aluminum wheels. Options included leather trim and six-way adjustable driver's seat ($630); anti-lock brakes ($600); power sunroof and multi-function rearview mirror ($640); and upgraded stereo ($325). Subtracting a $630 discount brought the total to $23,325.

By comparison, the Chevrolet Monte Carlo Z34 lists for $21,095, while a Toyota Solara ranges from $19,058 to more than $26,800.

The Sebring LX comes standard with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve engine and 5-speed manual transmission. Four-speed automatic transmissions are optional. A 2.5-liter, six-cylinder, 24-valve engine is optional on the LX and standard on the LXi. Five-speed manuals are not available on the LXi.

Our LXi sported an elegant "cafe latte" clear coat. Elegant is actually a good word to describe the Sebring coupe's all-around appeal. Its contoured and windswept lines, predatory-looking air dam, and compact grille convey a sense of motion and style.

The Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger share basic platforms with the Mitsubishi Galant and are built at the same Normal, Illinois, plant that assembles the Galant and Eclipse. The Chrysler Sebring Coupe should not be confused with the Chrysler Sebring Convertible. Though they share styling cues, they are built on entirely different platforms and have little in common other than their names.

The Inside Story

The Sebring's cabin is smartly laid out, with dials that are instantly readable and switchgear that is easily reachable.

When the driver's seat is pushed all the way back, it delivers enough headroom and legroom for a six-foot driver. Its 43.3 inches of front legroom is the same as the Camry Solara SE's, and surprisingly more plentiful than the Monte Carlo Z34. (At 190.9 inches bumper-to-bumper, the Sebring coupe is one inch longer than the Solara and 10 inches shorter than the Monte Carlo.) We wish the manually adjusted driver's seatback offered more precise adjustments.

Some two-doors are better than others when it comes to climbing into the back seat and the Sebring is among the better ones. An adult can easily pass through the driver's side opening -- as long as the driver's seat is slid all the way forward. That's accomplished easily, unless the driver is occupying the seat. The back seat offers sufficient legroom for two normal-sized adults -- 35 inches, compared to 34.9 inches in the Monte Carlo Z34 and 35.2 in the Camry Solara SE.

Nice features include the digital compass readout that appears in the upper right corner of the rear-view mirror; all cars should have compasses, but many don't. And instead of having to reach over and behind your head to locate a dome light switch, the Sebring provides good map lights accessed by three small, easy-to-locate buttons that run along the bottom of the rearview mirror. Recessed cupholders in the Sebring are far superior to those unsteady slide-out trays popular in other cars.

Ride & Drive

Earlier, we speculated that sporty-coupe buyers might be the compromising sort. But with the Sebring coupe, you won't have to compromise when it comes to ride quietness. Whether darting in and out of main-drag traffic or barreling along at 80 miles an hour on the E-way, the Sebring offers a quietude that rivals Chrysler's more up-market entries like the Concorde and Dodge Intrepid. It kept noise at bay even when flanked by 18-wheelers on a downtown-Detroit freeway.

On a winding, weaving Michigan road, full of hills and dips, the Sebring's speed-sensitive steering and independent suspension made it a pleasure to drive. The Sebring Coupe offers a comfortable ride quality that added to this pleasure on Michigan's rough roads.

A stable platform allows the Sebring to soar through sweeping corners with ease. Sharper curves induce some body roll, one of the compromises of the coupe's nice, quiet ride. So, while the Sebring can outmaneuver a larger, heavier sport coupe like the Monte Carlo, it's not as sporty as a smaller coupe, like the Honda Prelude.

The Sebring's 2.5-liter V6 deploys its 163 horses with little effort and minimal engine noise. It offers excellent performance for passing maneuvers, healthy low-end torque for driving around town and plenty of horsepower for high-speed cruising.

While we prefer the V6, the 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine costs less and offers better fuel economy. This engine is best paired with the standard five-speed transmission as the Sebring is no lightweight.

In the braking department, the Sebring's combination of discs in the front and drums in the rear bring the vehicle to an admirably quick stop, with no grabbing and minimal fade.

Final Word

Sebring Coupe is in a category by itself. It's roomier and more comfortable than coupes like the Mitsubishi Eclipse and Honda Prelude, but smaller and more maneuverable than the Monte Carlo Z34. The Honda Prelude and Ford Mustang are faster and hug the road harder, but have niggling back seats.

The Sebring Coupe is proof that compromise can be a very good thing, indeed.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/100,000 Miles

Chrysler Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125 point
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1999 Chrysler Sebring Convertible

Data on this page may have come in part, or entirely, from one or more of the following providers.

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