From £29,480
Sharp pricing and real four-seat space balance out dull road manners.

Our Verdict

Chrysler 300C
The car’s nomenclature is inherited from a 6.4-litre Hemi-engined limousine of 1957

Can this reworked exec saloon take the fight to Europe’s finest?

  • First Drive

    Chrysler 300C

    The new Chrysler 300C is the sister car of the Lancia Thema, and continues to offer a unique charm, even if its detailing fails to match the class best
  • First Drive

    Chrysler 300C

    Still lacks a little polish next to the established rivals, but seriously competitive and likeable nonetheless

What is it?

These days there seems to be more hardtop convertibles around than there are cheddars at a Tesco deli.

Joining the junk-in-the-trunk parade is Chrysler’s handsome new tin-lidded Sebring Convertible, which lands just in time for 2008’s daffodils.

A little late to the disco? Not necessarily so.

What’s it like?

What the wing-nosed Chrysler has in its favour is a trio of major pluses; space, fun stuff and price.

On the space front, here’s a full four-seater with proper adult-accommodating rear kneeroom. And even with the top folded, there’s boot space for a brace of golf bags.

Fun stuff on offer includes a combo audio and nav system that comes with a 20-gig hard drive that lets you download up to 1600 songs, download jpeg photos to view on the screen, or play DVD movies.

As for pricing, expect Chrysler UK to be as cut-throat and aggressive as ever. Which, for the Sebring coupe-cab means low-£20,000s for a nicely loaded car.

The three-section tin lid works a treat. Finger on the button and it’s 30 seconds beginning to end. Top up, the car feels as tight as a drum with no wind whistles or squeaks. Top down and there’s little turbulence.

Engine choices will be limited to Chrysler’s 189bhp 2.7-litre V6 mated to a one-gear-too-few four-speed auto. Or VW’s 2.0-litre turbodiesel lump, which cranks out a healthy 138bhp and 229lb ft of twist and comes with a six-speed manual.

Should I buy one?

As you’d expect, the Sebring is a cruiser not a bruiser. The 2.7 gives decent performance, despite the dull auto ’box, though a four-pot turbo VW Eos will run rings round it.

Push hard through the twisties with the top down and you definitely feel the effects of all that folded metal in the boot. But cruise and smell the daisies and the Sebring makes an affordable, fun-for-four cab.

Howard Walker

Join the debate

Comments
3

31 May 2009

Any chance of writing a review on the UK version as we don't get the hardtop and the 2.7 comes with the 6 speed gearbox. However I must declare an interest as I have just bought this version for an absolute steal at £16950 new and would be interested in your view.

31 May 2009

Jeremy Clarkson wrote a review... though you may not like it!

1 June 2009

[quote theonlydt]

Jeremy Clarkson wrote a review... though you may not like it!

[/quote]

Yeah, but to Clarkson everything is either absolutely the worst thing ever in the universe or the best thing he has ever experienced in his life. The man is the master of the hyperbole. Fun to read (for the most part - when it actually doesn't have much to do with the cars he is suposed ot be testing), but not a serious motoring journalist.

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