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Chrysler working on emergency overhaul of Avenger & Sebring interiors

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Chrysler has announced that it is working on an emergency interior overhaul of its Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger sedans — dubbed Project D. The redesign is due to harsh criticisms of the cars' interiors. The automaker is currently assembling a team of senior managers and directors who took recent buyouts to head Project D.

Leftlane News

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In upmarket trims, the interiors don't look half bad. It's the exterior that need a lot of work.

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Project D?

They're just revising the interiors. Unless they're making a special Drift version of the Avenger, I don't think they need to have a special name.

Edit: Avenger is Go!

Edited by siegen
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Agreed that the exteriors need something as badly if not worse (especially the Sebring) than the interiors.

Project D? Well, I guess if you're working on a major Disaster, then sure, it needs a name to have it fixed!

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One positive thing about the midsize Mopar interiors, even though their interiors are ugly w/ cheap gray plastic, at least they offer optional NAV systems..

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One positive thing about the midsize Mopar interiors, even though their interiors are ugly w/ cheap gray plastic, at least they offer optional NAV systems..

I don't know if that's a positive. You have to want to be in the car in order for nav to be useful...then again, they did put those handy little beer coolers in the glovebox, so at least everything can start to blur together after a while.

Of course, I don't condone drinking and driving in any form, but you would have to be drinking to buy a Sebring or Avenger...

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I like the Avenger, with a spruced-up interior I'll like it even more.
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I don't know if that's a positive. You have to want to be in the car in order for nav to be useful...then again, they did put those handy little beer coolers in the glovebox, so at least everything can start to blur together after a while.

Of course, I don't condone drinking and driving in any form, but you would have to be drinking to buy a Sebring or Avenger...

Good point...I could never see buying a Sebring or Avenger over a Malibu or Accord. The FWD family sedan is not a type of car I'd ever see myself buying, though.

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I like the Avenger, with a spruced-up interior I'll like it even more.

To be honest, I have less of a problem with the Avenger than with the Sebring in a styling sense. So I agree with you there.

Where both cars fall flat for me is in the overridding cheapness of detail - little things like the plain black plastic panel to finish the rear window lines, the poor panel gaps, the unpainted parts on the otherwise color-keyed outside mirrors, the rough edges on various interior pieces.

It's almost like they figured "the styling will hold it together; we're not concerned with the little things." Obviously, the styling has not exactly gelled, which leaves the rest to suffer as a consequence.

What's interesting is that now we should ask the same question of Chrysler that used to be asked of GM and (to a lesser extent) Ford: "Have you never been inside a Honda or Toyota?"

Well, maybe Toyota's a bad example these days, given the latest Camry's slipping interior...

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Something tells me this won't be as drastic as Chrysler wants us to think it will be.

I've lost a lot of faith in them over the past couple of years.

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Hmm... When I hear "emergency overhaul" I imagine a drastic update. However, the text that accompanies that doesn't convince me. I'd have to agree with the post above mine.

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The emergency overhauls should have begun the day after the current interiors were improved, not 4 years after.

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redoing the interiors alone will not fix the car, regardless of how badly it's needed.

let's start with brutal interiors, brutal exteriors, subpar engines, undersized for midsize class (these cars are classic 'tweeners').

lastly, Avenger is a really bad name for a car in this segment. There was nothing wrong with Stratus.

Note to Bob Nardelli: here's an even quicker fix. Pay Mitsubishi to redo the Galant interior and sound deadener and rebadge and regrille a bunch of them as Intrepids or Stratus. Put the Avenger and Sebring out of its misery now. Then you have a real midsize front drive car to sell, with a new interior. It would not be a class leader, but it would be much more credible than what you are throwing out there now.

Edited by regfootball
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One positive thing about the midsize Mopar interiors, even though their interiors are ugly w/ cheap gray plastic, at least they offer optional NAV systems..

OMG, I was sooo totally gonna buy a Malibu, but the optional NAV in the Sebring was the cincher for me. Totally going for the Sebring now.

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Seriously, didn't they get anyone's opinion on the interior before it went into production?! And the exterior--can they fix it a little too? Chrysler/Dodge interiors have blown for years... they knew this, and now they're freaking out about it? C'mon already. I feel like Chrysler is an immature child I just want to say "Oh grow up already."

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Hmm... When I hear "emergency overhaul" I imagine a drastic update. However, the text that accompanies that doesn't convince me. I'd have to agree with the post above mine.

I feel the same way...

Chris

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actually the easier fix would be to just shut down and pay off all the dodge and chrylser dealerships. It would probably cost them less money.

Edited by regfootball
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OMG, I was sooo totally gonna buy a Malibu, but the optional NAV in the Sebring was the cincher for me. Totally going for the Sebring now.

admit it, it was the heated cupholders that did it. and the mood lighting around them.

ever need to sand a piece of wood? Just take it out to your avenger and rub it against the door panel for awhile. Be sure to vacuum up the dust when you are done.

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Its funny you mention the heated cupholders. Its justs boggles my mind they put the effort into that but put no effort into making an interiors that don't look like they were made to sell at the dollar store.

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Seems like Chrysler is always having some problem or another. As long as I can remember. If it wasnt the poor bodies and interiors of the 1970's to nearly being bankrupt to the transmission problems to all the other things it has went through. GM may not be perfect but I will give them my money before Chrysler.

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I think the Avenger is salvage worthy if they were to genuinely overhaul the interior and modify some of the exterior elements. I do like its "mini-Charger" styling motif, it just needs to be cleaned up a little. I would also suggest changing the outdated 4 cylinder/4 speed auto trans combo to a competitive 4 cylinder/6 speed auto trans combo. They should also tune the suspension for a better blend of comfort and sportiness (biased a little more toward sportiness to compliment the "mini-Charger" styling). If they diligently address the Avenger's shortcomings, this car might become a nice, sporty, alternative sedan to the mainstream midsize segment giants (Accord & Camry).

On the other hand, I don't think the Sebring sedan is salvageable at all. Even if they do seriously overhaul the interior, the exterior's awkward and garish lack of style still won't attract customers to this car. At the very least they need to completely restyle the front and rear end treatments as well as remove the horrendous black plastic slab on the C-pillar. Even if they do these things, I'm still not sure that those actions will be enough to make the exterior attractive enough not to repel potential customers. I would seriously like to see Chrysler develop an upscale near luxury rear wheel drive midsize sedan on a shortened version of the next generation 300 platform. I think this would give the Chrysler brand a product that's more in line with what should be their upscale status in Chrysler LLC's brand hierarchy.

I still can't believe that Daimler would allow Chrysler to release such subpar products, especially in such a hotly contested category as the midsize sedan segment. Even though these products didn't have a three pointed Mercedes star attached to them, their lack of execution made Daimler look bad. I had high hopes for both the Sebring and Avenger after Chrysler had hit homeruns with the release of the rear drive 300 and Charger products. All of my great expectations were derailed when the Sebring and Avenger hit the market. Chrysler had a clean sheet opportunity to develop solid, class competitive products, but they severely dropped the ball. I hope these proposed overhauls can keep them afloat until future, hopefully superior next generation versions can be created and produced.

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well, to expand on that, it really goes to show you how unable Germans are to throw a car together when there is actually a budget to adhere to and a limit put on how much frickin ballast you can put in the car.

Edited by regfootball
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well, to expand on that, it really goes to show you how unable Germans are to throw a car together when there is actually a budget to adhere to and a limit put on how much frickin ballast you can put in the car.

Well, I hope that was said in jest. The Germans, including GM’s excellent Adam Open, A.G. folks can certainly build a fine, low-cost, efficient price targeted automobile. The real problem is that Jürgen Schrempp’s American imperial outpost was run into the ground by Stuttgart’s incompetent bureaucratic management culture. A stifling culture that was entirely incompatible and highly hostile to Chrysler’s Lutz/Gale era management and development systems. It really is that simple.

Everyone with half a clue looked at this merger in 1998 and knew this train wreck was going to happen. Jürgen Schrempp is an egomaniacal ass who wanted to build an auto empire that would span the globe. The end result is a badly damaged Mercedes-Benz, a crippled Mitsubishi and an “operationally bankrupt” Chrysler.

As for rescuing the awful JS platform vehicles, Chrysler will need to do a lot more than interiors. Significant suspension tuning, NVH and exterior fit and finish work will need to be done to get these vehicles even remotely competitive. Sadly, for Chrysler’s product, all that work really wouldn’t address the most fundamental problem with the Sebring, which is its weird and incoherent styling.

Frankly, Bob Nardelli just needs to bite the bullet and bet the farm on a completely new, ground-up vehicle. Obviously though, it would have to be something so good that it would single handedly vault Chrysler back into the running, like the 93 LH cars. I don’t know if the Chrysler of today has the resources, or more importantly, the talent to produce such a car.

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all i know is an avenger passed me today. that car is so horrible to look at i just about yacked all over myself.

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