First DriveThe 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 DriveStill 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.