The all-new Chrysler 200 is a mid-size sedan that is decked out in simple elegance while offering a captivating driving experience for both drivers and passengers.
The lineup starts with the entry-level LX trim at $21,700 (Includes destination charges) and concludes with the C model at a cost of $25,995. The 2015 Chrysler 200 S model ($24,995) will be the focus of this column.
The Chrysler 200 makes no apology and takes no prisoners. The S model offers a distinctive, more sinister style, and sportier driving experience. A glossy black upper grille and headlamps, dual trapezoidal exhaust tips integrated into the rear fascia, tinted acoustic windshield, and laminated acoustic front door glass add to the sedan’s uncompromising attitude.
Deluxe door trim panels, fog lamps, gloss black exterior accents, gloss black daylight opening trim, power heated fold-away mirrors, rear view mirror with microphones, and sport suspension complement the 730 cold cranking amps, maintenance-free battery, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
The 200 sedan offers 11 different exterior color choices. Velvet Red Pearl and Vivid Blue Pearl are examples of such.
Even though the 200 S is stunning on the outside, it’s even more distinctively beautiful on the inside. Black cloth seats and Ambassador Blue leather trim, powered eight-way driver seat, and leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls just to mention a few. Also enjoy the steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, which add additional oneness to the driver.
The standard engine of all models is a 2.4-liter 16-valve SOHC Tigershark MultiAir II gasoline engine that delivers 184 horsepower at 6,250 rpm and 172 lb.-ft. torque at 4,600 rpm. The 4-cylinder gets an EPA rating of 23 city mpg, 36 highway mpg and 29 mpg combination.
There is also a $1,950 optional package that includes a 3.6-liter Pentastar engine (19 city mpg, 32 highway mpg and 23 mpg combined) which produces a best-in-class 295 horsepower at 6,350 rpm and 262 lb.-ft. torque at 4,250 rpm. The package also includes all wheel drive, dual pane panoramic sunroof, premium lighting group, and navigation with sound Group I.
I had a chance to experience both engines; the 4-cylinder had plenty of power for me and I liked the mileage.
The Chrysler 200 had an array of easy to use, beyond-contemporary technologies. You will stay connected and informed without taking your focus off the road.
The technology most appealing to me was the 8.4 inch Uconnect touchscreen with voice command. The navigation system features one-step voice destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics, which were new to me, but easily employed.
SiriusXM satellite radio provides information and entertainment. SiriusXM Travel Link operates via voice and this data service provides information such as weather and sports scores, to make a trip all the more fun and easy.
Chrysler 200 handles superbly with great driving dynamics on all road surfaces and in all kinds of weather. The quiet cabin is one more positive feature enhancing the driving experience.
In sport mode the sedan’s drive train has a configuration to deliver all-wheel drive with torque toward the rear. The nine-speed automatic transmission is alternated for firm, quick engagement, making for a smooth, fine drive. The paddle shifts add even more excitement.
One interesting aspect was the innovative rotary console gear selector. The concept was okay, but it took some getting used to.
Chrysler 200 has a comprehensive array of driver assist systems and state of the art occupant restraints, covering more than 60 available features. Launching with the all-new 200 is Full Speed Forward Collision Warning Plus, a leading-edge crash-avoidance technology. When frontal impact appears imminent, it can slow the vehicle and bring it to a complete halt. Many safety features are standard, but some advanced features such as blind spot warning systems, rear view monitor, and Forward Collision Warning are optional.
Chrysler invested a billion dollars on an all-new assembly plant with great pride in Sterling Heights, Michigan to build the new 200. There is a new 1,000,000 square-foot body shop that features fully robotic assembly for an exact fit and finish. Because of this excellence in manufacturing, Chrysler 200 becomes one of the most precise and pristine vehicles ever made. Look for the 200 in dealer showrooms this spring.
The Chrysler 200 comes with a 5-year/100,000 mile limited powertrain warranty and roadside assistance in addition to 3-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper.
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or email@example.com.
Dimensions and Capacities
Overall width: 73.6 inches
Overall height: 58.7 inches
Wheelbase: 108 inches
Overall length: 192.3 inches
Full tank capacity: 15.8 gallons
Base curb weight: 3,473 lbs.