Chrysler's Sebring, Topless in LA

A la Nikki and Paris Hilton, Chrysler’s Sebring sedan definitely lives in the shadow of its considerably racier, less-clothed sibling. Even when Chrysler debuted the new sedan earlier this year before its drop top counterpart, the main question on everybody’s lips was, “what about the convertible?!”

The wait’s over. Chrysler took the wraps off America’s favorite domestic convertible at the LA Auto Show. The 2008 comes in many flavors, with vinyl and cloth top options, as well as 4- and 6-cylinder power plants. A hard top version joins the Volkswagen Eos and Pontiac G6 at the burgeoning inexpensive hard hat party.

When I saw the Sebring sedan at a Chrysler brand tour a few months ago it failed to impress – especially sandwiched in between the large Pacifica and massive Aspen. (Two exceptions to this were the nifty but non-functioning MyGig prototype and the car’s C pillar, which strongly echoes the last generation Mercedes E-Class.)

Luckily the new Sebring convertible looks a lot better, especially with the top down. Unfortunately when the hard top is up, the car looks, well, gaptastic with unseemly seams marring the top, trunk, and doors. With an expected base price around 30 grand and the hard drive based multimedia options, the Sebring has a good chance of staying on top though the competition is tougher than ever.