Chrysler Rolls Out New Sebring

Chrysler is trying to bridge the success of the 300 and Caliber in order to take on the Toyota Camry

With the new 2007 Dodge Sebring, Chrysler Group is trying to bridge the success of the 300 and Caliber with a mid-size offering styled as aggressively as those entries. The new Sebring is the Caliber lineup and is mated to a four-speed automatic. A 2.7-liter V-6 shores up the middle of the line with 190 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque. The top engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 with 235 hp, 232 lb-ft of torque; it's coupled only to a six-speed automatic. Markets outside North America will get a 140-hp, 2.0-liter turbodiesel four.

The driver sits 2.54 inches taller in the new Sebring, giving it a "command" driving position, Chrysler says. The rear seats fold flat in a 60/40 split, while the front passenger seat folds flat and provides a hard seatback surface for more gear storage or to use for items like a laptop.

Safety gear on the Sebring includes dual front, side, and curtain airbags; daytime running lights; anti-lock brakes; and tire pressure monitors. Stability control is an option.

A new Harmon/Kardon audio and information system is optional. It comes with a touch-screen

interface and a 6.5-inch screen that controls a 20-gigabyte hard drive for music and video storage. A USB connection allows music to be transferred to the car, and voice memo recording is available. The system also sports Sirius satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system is also available.

Other available interior features include heated and cooled front cupholders, an audio input jack for MP3 players, YES Essentials odor-resistant fabric, and remote start.

Chrysler says the Sebring will be available in showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2006 in three trim levels: Sebring, Touring, and Limited. International markets get the sedan in the first half of next year.