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2010 Chrysler Sebring Introduction

The Chrysler Sebring is a stylish midsize car available as either a four-door sedan or a two-door convertible. For 2010, changes to the Sebring include a sleeker hood, new wheel designs, a revised instrument cluster, and driver and front passenger active head restraints. Four-wheel disc brakes with ABS comes standard on all 2010 Chrysler Sebring models. The 2010 Chrysler Sebring earned Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an insurance industry group.

The Sebring sedan offers competitive passenger room, with plenty of room up front and a useful rear seat. The sedan seats five. The trunk is small for the class and has a small opening, however.

The Sebring convertible is available with a conventional soft top or a retractable hardtop, which distinguishes it from its competitors. The Sebring convertible offers good interior space up front. It seats four passengers, but the rear seat lacks the legroom to make it comfortable for adults to sit back there on long trips. More than half of the available space in the convertible's trunk is taken up by the top mechanism when the top is down.

The Sebring cabin is pleasant. The look is sleek, and it is all nicely integrated and finished. Some of the interior surfaces are cold and hard to the touch, however. With an available DVD rear-seat entertainment system, navigation and UConnect, the Sebring's available technology is as good as or better than anything in the class.

In driving behavior and feel the Sebring fits in the middle of the midsize class. We found ride quality to be generally pleasant, soaking up most bumps well. Handling is competent in the sedan. The convertible lacked the driving feel of the sedan, however, and exhibited noticeable cowl shake.

The 2010 Sebring sedan is available in two trim levels, Touring or the up-scale Limited, with a choice of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. The convertible is available in LX, Touring or Limited trim levels, with the same engine choices as for the sedan, plus the availability of a 2.7-liter V6. The four-cylinder engine and the 2.7-liter V6 are matched with a four-speed automatic transmission, while the 3.5-liter V6 has a six-speed automatic. All Sebring models are front-wheel drive.

The four-cylinder engine is rated at 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque; the 2.7-liter V6 at 186 horsepower and 191 pound-feet of torque; and the 3.5-liter V6 at 235 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder gets an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg City/Highway; the 3.5-liter V6 gets 16/27 mpg. The 2.7-liter V6 will run on gasoline or E85, the combination of 85-percent ethanol and 15-percent gasoline. We found the four-cylinder fairly responsive in the sedan, but think the V6 is the best choice for the convertible. We found the six-speed automatic more responsive than the four-speed automatic.

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