The Chrysler Sebring Convertible was probably the worst American car built last decade. The Chrysler 200's already an improvement because it doesn't look like the "slow" character from Cars, and the just-leaked Convertible's equally not as bad. [Autoblog.it via MotorTrend]
when it first came out in the mid 90s, the sebring convertible was a decent, albeit bland appearing, midsize convertible that wasn't great to drive, but roomy and decent to ride in for the price. it wasn't all that exciting, but it was the perfect car for rental fleets, it allows for a quick upgrade over the caprice you'd otherwise be renting. when you were done renting one for your tenth high school reunion, you thought "well, that was alright, not good by any means, but better than the malibu I was expecting". it was far from the best car on the market, but it definitely wasn't the worst.
after the first generation, somebody at chrysler decided it was a good idea to make the car a cheap compact but keep the same design. the interior became plasticky, the steering was no more precise, the legroom was gone, cost cutting measures were obvious, but rental fleets still thought it was the decent car it was before. when it became the car you got stuck with when you went to your fifteenth high school reunion, you thought it was bad. not the car that you didn't really remember from five years ago. it sullied the reputation of the not-good-but-not-bad first gen.
in the mid 2000s, chrysler decided it was time to bring the sebring back up to a higher quality, so they made it look more modern. they also added even more cost cutting bits. they thought it was a good idea to make it look "aggresive", so they put on a convertible roof that gave it absolutely no visibility. rental companies loved it even more. when you got it for your twentieth high school reunion, you couldn't help but complain about it. it was even worse than before.
what they appear to have done with the new 200 is bring it back up to the spec of the second generation. bad, but not bullshit. hopefully the fourth generation sebring/second generation 200 will be more of a lesser model 300 and less of a tarted up caliber, but this doesn't appear to be what I was hoping for.
chrysler, I'm asking for mediocre here. just produce a car that's beige and predictable, something the general public forgets exists. you sully your reputation with shit like this. when people rent sebrings, it leaves a bad taste in their mouths for chrysler as a whole, not just the sebring. please, just produce another forgettable compact sedan that doesn't impress, but doesn't offend. if you can just do that (to the sebring and the caliber), us jalops will treat your entire corportation with more respect.
PS: bring back the viper faster!