By Chad Waite | October 13, 2010
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Let’s start with a fact- the Chrysler Sebring is and has always been a terrible car. It should come as no surprise that we hate it simply based on it’s big, fat body and a design that says “I’ve had a midlife crisis but can’t afford that Corvette I’ve always wanted.” But don’t take our biased word for it- just look at what the rest of the automotive journalism industry says about it (and not just the looks), including the holy man of motoring himself, Mr. Jeremy Clarkson.
So one would deduce, and rightly so, that Chrysler would want to step away from the Sebring reputation with something bold and fresh. And that’s exactly what the brand new Chrysler 200 was supposed to offer- a refresh on the entry level sedan that would prove America can once again build cars that don’t look like a bloated Ford Cortina with curves. So, has Chrysler done it? Um…is Paris Hilton clean?
What we have here is a Sebring in very tight clothing. Odds are it will be a completely different car underneath and the experience could be as different as driving a Maybach would be to the quarter horse ride at Wal-Mart. And while it does have some saving graces like less bulbous headlights, dual exhausts, and sharp LED taillights, it won’t matter because all that people will see when they look at the Chrysler 200 is a terrible Sebring.
Is a new design really that hard? Is breaking away from a car that has an overall terrible reputation really that difficult? It’s not like others haven’t done it before. Look at the new Ford Taurus, Hyundai Sonata or the Buick Regal- all three of these companies have managed to turn around boring, mundane names and make them into a vehicle that’s more than just better- they’re all appealing. The Chrysler 200 just gave us a second fall off the ugly tree. Only this time it hasn’t hit every branch.
Tell us what you think in the comments below.