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4-Door Sedan FWD LXRegular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 21,605||$ 21,700|
4-Door Sedan FWD LimitedRegular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 22,832||$ 23,485|
4-Door Sedan FWD SRegular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 23,984||$ 24,725|
4-Door Sedan FWD CRegular Unleaded I-4, 2.4 L
Front Wheel Drive
|$ 25,379||$ 26,225|
The Chrysler 200 is the automaker's mid-size sedan, and it's brand-new this year. Last year's model was little more than a rental-fleet special; now, Chrysler wants its 200 to be a leader in styling, safety, and image.
The new 200 sedan makes major strides in that direction (the 200 convertible has been axed). It has more power, a more advanced automatic transmission, more interior space, and a look that's faintly glamorous.
The problem: all the self-improvement work still doesn't bring it close to the all-around brilliance of a Ford Fusion or a Honda Accord, or close to the high-economy serenity of a Nissan Altima.
With its smooth, rounded, and very refined grille and front-end appearance—which sets a new, less upright look for Chrysler and seems to pick up where Saab left off—the Chrysler 200 sedan shows up with an unexpectedly fresh face. With an elongated roofline, nice taper going to the tail, and flush decklid with ‘hidden’ exhaust outlet, and the 200 doesn’t follow the look of the current Chrysler 300 or the outgoing 200. Inside, the 200 is transformed on the level of the Jeep Cherokee and Dodge Durango. The dash is swathed in top-grade materials, fits, and finishes, and sports an innovative center-console design that allows pass-through storage area beneath, as well as sliding cupholders and versatile cubbies. The rotary shift control is its calling card.
For performance, the 200 depends on the same drivetrains found in the Dart and in the Jeep Cherokee. It's very powerful in V-6 trim, pretty well-damped in most situations, but not the sharpest carving tool in the family-sedan set. The 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter four is admirably smooth--so long as you opt for acoustic glass--but the 295-hp V-6 is the very strong counterpunch to turbo-four offerings elsewhere. Manual-shift modes and paddles stir the best of the V-6 to the top of the mix, but there's torque steer unless you also opt into all-wheel drive.
Predictable, unremarkable handling puts the 200 in that middle band between Altima and Fusion. Built on an extended Dart platform, the 200 shares its strut front/four-link rear end and electric power steering. It's not as exciting as the taut Fusion, nor as supple as the Altima, but the 200 has pleasant, progressive responses that we think would feel more polished with a set of mildly aspirational tires.
It's only about an inch longer and an inch lower than the outgoing model of the same name, but the Chrysler 200's proportions are quite different. It's acceptably roomy in the front seats, though the driving position is low. The rear seat is difficult to access if you're tall, and impossible to find comfort in if you're more than six feet tall--the low roofline really exacts its penalty. All models get a 60/40-split back seat with a trunk pass-through, and a flip-down seat armrest that includes storage and cupholders.
The base 2015 Chrysler 200 LX will start at just $21,700—or $22,695 with destination—which makes it one of the most affordable mid-size sedans; and it includes air conditioning, rear heat ducts, a full-length console with sliding armrest, overhead storage, keyless entry, LED ambient interior lighting, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, an auxiliary input back, USB connectivity, and Bluetooth connectivity. Limited models step up to alloy wheels and an audio upgrade, and they can be optioned up with packages that include dual-zone climate control, remote start, heated mirrors, a heated steering wheel, a rear backup camera, and satellite radio, among other features. Chrysler 200S models get a sportier look, plus fog lamps, heated mirrors, bigger 18-inch wheels, a sport suspension, and other upgrades, while top 200C models heap on additional features that include a garage-door opener and upgraded materials and trims—and they can be optioned with packages including HID headlamps, LED fog lamps and running lamps, ventilated front seats, real wood interior accents, and a SafetyTec package.
That package includes both an available LaneSense lane departure warning system as well as Rear Cross Path Detection and a Full-Speed Collision Warning-Plus system (with autonomous braking under some situations), plus adaptive cruise control and rain-sensing wipers. The 200C will also offer Chrysler’s first automated parking system—for both parallel and perpendicular situations.
- Smooth, sophisticated look
- Stunning interior design, details
- All-wheel drive offered on most of the lineup
- Nine-speed automatic transmission
- Well equipped in most trim levels
Next: Interior / Exterior »
- Rear seat is tightest in the segment
- Handling is above average--but only slightly
- Gas mileage can't compete with hybrids, plug-ins
- Can it escape the last 200's reputation?