Help me choose my new car!
December 30, 2008 6:34 AM   Subscribe

Help me decide between two vehicles--both 2008 Chrysler Sebring Convertibles, same price. One's a Touring (V6) with 15k miles; one's a LX (V4) with 5k miles. Leaning towards the LX but the dealer is telling me I'll enjoy the V6 more that comes with the Touring.

I plan to keep this car for quite a while and put quite a few miles on it over its life, but what's appealing to me about the 5k car is the amount of warranty remaining due to the low mileage, and also honestly the color is a lot nicer.

The features on the 2 are almost identical; both are just under $16k before my trade-in. I think I want the V4...any reasons I should go with the V6?
posted by arniec to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some of that is going to depend on the environments in which you normally drive and your driving style. I have a 2.2L V4, and I find that I often wish my car had a little more pep to it, but I could probably stand to drive a tad less aggressively. Even so, the number of times when I find the small engine to be more than a mere annoyance are few and far between, and I'm not even annoyed by it all that frequently. If you tend to be pretty easy on the gas, or don't do a lot of driving where quick acceleration is a constant requirement, you could find the V4 to be to your liking. As you aren't going to be hauling many heavy loads in a convertible, I'd go for it. You'll get better mileage too.
posted by valkyryn at 6:40 AM on December 30, 2008

To respond...I tend to be a bit of an aggressive driver, but I rarely "floor it". Both my cars are currently V6s and I do know they are "peppy"...

And I live in Illinois and will be driving this on mostly dry pavement but sometimes snow/ice, etc. Of course, a Sebring convertible is never ideal for those environments but we can't all drive Hummers :)
posted by arniec at 6:44 AM on December 30, 2008

Speaking as a former Sebring driver, I'd go for the V6. The body of the Sebrings tends to be a little too heavy for a smaller engine to really maneuver. I think I'm talking about the same thing Valkyryn mentioned. There are moments in a Sebring when you think... arrgh... could just use a bit more juice from this car... could just use a tad more pickup... it's just a little sluggish when you least expect it. It's fine otherwise, but I think it could do with a V6 standard and a V8 option.

*covers ears to block out cries of polar bears after mentioning V8 and goes to flagellate self*
posted by Grrlscout at 7:08 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I looked on Chrysler's website, and it looks like there are significant fit-and-finish differences between the LX and the Touring. You need to decide whether those things matter to you. As for the engine, a 2.4L V4 isn't bad at all. Reducing your engine size and driving less aggressively will likely improve your gas mileage should you care about such things.
posted by JMOZ at 7:09 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Have you driven them both? My main concern would be that the convertible is heavy: 3800 lbs. or so. Even with the smaller V6 in the Touring, you're going to make a lot more usable torque than with the I4. You're likely to have some trouble merging on the highway with the I4; the V6 won't be worlds better, but it might be noticeable. Drive them both.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:11 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

(pedantic - the smaller engine is not a V4 - it's an inline 4)

V6 has more power, will drive a little smoother (offset some by the higher mileage), will get worse gas mileage, and is more prone to needing/preferring premium fuel.

Me? I'd get the v6.
posted by devbrain at 7:13 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The 2.7L or 3.5L V6? The 3.5L is a better engine, and it's mated to a better transmission.

Any reason you can't test drive them both?
posted by theclaw at 7:16 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well you have to weigh your needs.

With a V4 it has less power in a bigger car. It gets better gas. It has less miles and more warranty for same cash.

With a V6 more power, worse gas, more miles, and you said you don't like the color as much.

Also with Sebrings they are a bigger car. With the 4 banger you might find out that you do lack power as grrlscout said.

I personally would choose the V6 because I live were it snows. I also owned a V4 Sentra once. (Lot smaller framed car as well) Anyways I had to get rid of it because one time I had like 4 other guys in the car and I was trying to drive up a hill. A car full of girls in a V6 (i think it was a Grand Prix?) pulled up next to us. They saw we were having a hard time driving with any acceleration up the hill. They would zoom ahead, wait for us to catch up... then zoom ahead, and repeat. Pointing and laughing the whole time. People can be cruel! After that experience I swore that I would never drive a V4 again.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:20 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The 6 is likely to have a better resale value.
posted by box at 7:21 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The 4 IMHO is under powered for the Sebring unless it also has a manual transmission (which is not even an option). Also the mileage sucks when compared to other 4 cylinder cars. (well 10-12% less on average)
posted by Gungho at 8:36 AM on December 30, 2008

The V6 is going to be a lot more fun, and gas is cheap. You are crazy to seriously consider buying a car from a nearly bankrupt company though.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:53 AM on December 30, 2008

s/from/made by/
posted by b1tr0t at 8:53 AM on December 30, 2008

I am in no way an aggressive driver, but even I found the four cylinder to be a real dog.

If you plan to put lots of miles on this I would go with the six. 100k miles later, the odometer diffrence between 115k and 105k won't seem like much.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest you consider getting something other than a Sebring. It is a regular winner of The Truth About Cars 10 Worst Autos competition.
posted by dzot at 9:22 AM on December 30, 2008

I just got rid of that engine. It sucks. Actually, it's not bad, it's dependable BUT that car weighs WAY TOO MUCH for a 2.4L v4. Way too much. Especially when living anyplace with anything that resembles hills.

That v4 for me got ~21-28mpg having to drive in mountains, whereas friends with the v6 got ~24-30 in the same conditions, just based on the weight of the vehicle and the cruising rpm's. The shift ranges SUCK, as the car is geared for ~65mph long drives, so it's underpowered up high and overrevving down low.

Honestly I'd say to avoid any of them right this minute based on resale value, you'll be so far upside down when you drive it off the lot it's hard to believe. However, if you're set, then get the v6.
posted by TomMelee at 2:29 PM on December 30, 2008

My initial reaction is to say: stay away from Chrysler, especially the Sebring convertible. Convertibles are heavier and have more moving parts, some of which (the roof) tend to be under-engineered and shoddy. If you must insist, stay away from the 2.4 under all conditions. Underpowered heavy cars=early death of driveline components. The 3.5 is a better and more time-tested engine. I'd normally jump on the gas-savings boat, but this is a no-brainer.
posted by Arquimedez Pozo at 7:17 PM on December 30, 2008

I love everyone calling it a V4.

Neither engine is particularly sophisticated, but I would go with the V6, simply because it's going to offer a better power-to-weight ratio for the car -- a good 50 ft/lbs more of torque, which is a lot. The V6 is also all-aluminum, which is lighter and stronger.

But test drive them both.
posted by luckypozzo at 9:45 PM on December 30, 2008

I went and bought a slightly more expensive, but with far more features, v6 Touring based off of everyone's comments here. Found the color I wanted, lots more features, only a couple k more. So thank you all VERY much for your help!! It made my decision.

As for buying one now...I've had 2 Chrysler Sebrings in the past (both V6), one sedan, one convertible, loved 'em both, had 'em both for about 5 years, and both were mostly maintenance free. And right now is a buyer's market on them...when I saw the prices my jaw hit the floor on how cheap they were with so few miles.

The values may continue to drop; Chrysler may go out of business; gas may hop to $6 per gallon. I can't control these things. But I like the style, I like how it drives, I like the features, and the past 2 have been good to me. And my last car was about to hit 100k miles, so I took the plunge.
posted by arniec at 6:50 AM on December 31, 2008

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