Rental Car Review: Chrysler Sebring

I’ll warn you now. This review is not kind.

So I picked up my Chrysler Sebring 4 door last week and it smelled bad. It smelled like cigarette scented deodorizer. I’ve had bad smelling cars before and my main drive was only 45 minutes so I lived with it. More on this later.

This Sebring had about 18,000 miles on it which is becoming about average for the rental cars I see. I will say that the Sebring handles well at highway speeds, provided that you don’t need to pass anyone. The worst thing about the Sebring’s nice road manners is that it gives you time look around the cabin and realize how boring and cheesy the interior really is. I’m a CPA, I know boring with the best of them.

Chrysler’s easy to use controls don’t catch your eye because you are distracted by the fake aluminum silver pieces and vast swath of undistinguished plastic. You have plenty of time too look around because you’ll be stuck in whatever lane you start in. The car simply had no power and they didn’t adjust the torque to compensate either. I swear the new Ford Focus cars that I’ve rented had more low end torque.

Here’s the worst part, after a week, the smell was worse. Colleagues refused to ride in the car with me at the end of the week it had gotten so bad.

But this is car review you say and the smell is really the fault of a previous renter or the rental car agency. Sure. But what does it say about Chrysler’s fabric and materials that a smell that bad can linger that long? After all, it’s not a like a smoker owned this car, it’s a rental. So if a relative borrows you Sebring and smokes in it, are you stuck with that smell forever?

I renew my call for true smoke free cars. Marriott has figured out how to do it with hotels, you simply charge the outgoing renter $250 if the car smells like cigarette smoke when returned.

How about it, is anyone going to step up to the place and differentiate themselves that way?