It was America's best-selling convertible, just like the LeBaron it replaced, but the slick new "Cab Forward" 1996 Chrysler Sebring Jxi was a far better car -- arguably Chrysler's best all-around ragtop yet.

1996 Chrysler Sebring Jxi
The 1996 Chrysler Sebring Jxi was America's best-selling convertible.

As one of Chrysler's "Cab Forward" generation, the dashing Sebring convertible bowed for 1996 without a trace of K-car in it. Yet like its LeBaron predecessor, it was America's best-selling ragtop -- not to mention the "rent-a-vertible" of choice in playgrounds from South Beach to Palm Springs.

1996 Chrysler Sebring Jxi
The 1996 Chrysler Sebring Jxi model featured a 163-bhp 2.5 V-6.

There was certainly lots to like about this Sebring. For starters, it was a four-passenger convertible that actually seated four adults in real comfort, helped by a relatively long 106-inch wheelbase and a wide stance that also contributed to secure handling. And though loosely based on Chrysler's Cirrus sedan, the ragtop Sebring was engineered to be a convertible, so it's pleasantly rigid. Acceleration? Decent with the JX model's 150-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder, almost lively with the 163-bhp 2.5 V-6 in the upscale JXi (shown here).

Add standard power top, automatic transmission, and other essential amenities at low-to-mid-$20,000 prices, and it's little wonder the ragroof Sebring sold at a 50,000-plus annual clip. In terms of popularity, nothing else even came close.

For more convertibles of the 1990s and 2000s, see:

1990 Buick Reatta
1998 Chevrolet Corvette Pace Car Replica1999 Pontiac Trans Am 30th Anniversary Chevrolet Camero SS
2000 Panoz Esperante2000 Plymouth Prowler2002 35th Anniversary Chevrolet Camaro SS
2003 Dodge Viper2004 Cadillac XRL

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