Chrysler ultimately builds a midsize family sedan that’;s really worth owning, not just renting
What is it?
The 2015 Chrysler 200 is a make-or-break solution for the just lately renamed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, doing battle in the single greatest slice of the auto marketplace: midsize family sedans. It’;s also symbolic, a car which Chrysler can use last but not least to bury the memory of the Sebring and earlier 200 – along with the ghosts of DaimlerChrysler and Cerberus. The 2015 200 represents a fresh start.
It seems like 1 also: However there is little controversial about the style, it is an eye-catching, fluid shape that comes off greater on the street than in images. Curves abound, accentuating both front fascia and rear haunches, with a pronounced shoulder flowing into the trunklid and delivering the coupelike profile currently in vogue.
Accents fluctuate by model: The lineup consists of base 200 LX starting at $ 22,695 one particular stage up, buyers can opt for the luxury-themed 200 Constrained or the much more aggressive 200S in the $ 25k selection at the best sits the 200C beginning at $ 26,990. S trim levels get blackout exterior moldings although other lines get an desirable satin chrome trim. Purchasers can opt for 17 by way of 19-inch wheels based on cost level and selection package.
Within, this is a various Chrysler than we’;re used to. Every surface has been attended to, resulting in a comfy, quiet respite with stunning matte wood accents, particularly on higher trim levels. The adjustable, sliding center console cover/cup holder is Audi-grade, with premium hardware and a damped slider mechanism. Door panels characteristic soft materials leading-to-bottom even on base LX trim designs, whilst contrast stitching and muted copper accents lend a designer touch to almost each and every surface. Keyless entry and pushbutton begin are standard on all 200 versions, as is a rotary E-shifter knob for the automatic transmission.
Beneath that knob is an expansive open storage area protected by a rubber mat that features the type of hidden layout touch we’;ve noticed on Jeep cars of late: The downtown Detroit skyline is embossed on the rubber surface. Pushing the “Imported from Detroit” motif a bit as well far? Interior design head Klaus Busse explains, “This is an American design story. We’;re not trying to be a European or an Asian automobile.” But as someone in the workplace quipped, “Awesome kids never have to tell you they’;re great.”
Obtainable acoustic windshield and side glass, coupled with comprehensive sound-deadening efforts all through make the 200 cockpit luxury-automobile quiet it also feels a quarter-dimension smaller sized than some of its prime rivals, though. Individuals who regularly shuttle tall passengers or people with convertible little one security seats need to meticulously stability their rear seat requirements towards what’;s provided in Camry and Passat.
What’;s it like to drive?
The driving entertaining obtainable behind the wheel of the 2015 Chrysler 200 ought to shock the skeptics. Much like the new Jeep Cherokee, the 200 handles far greater than paper specs and past expertise would lead a single to assume. On the exquisite, twisting ribbons of California’;s Highway 1 north of San Francisco the new Chrysler leapt all around turns with only small body roll, and the tires maintained their composure properly into the margins of sane driving regardless of whether or not it was a front-drive I-4 or AWD V6 receiving flogged. It’;s no Lotus, but for drivers accustomed to the flaccid steering of a Camry the new 200 will feel like a sports sedan.
Engine choices include 2 now-familiar Fiat-Chrysler mills: A 2.4-liter Multiair Tigershark naturally aspirated I-4 creating 184 hp and the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 offering 295 hp. The 4 will be all most purchasers require, and reportedly will be very good for up to 35 mpg highway. Although naturally lacking some of the V6 grunt, the 2.4-liter FWD models we drove felt lighter on their feet in challenging driving than the V6 that explained, they could not touch the sound of the 6-cylinder versions which have been taken care of to a throaty exhaust tune that tends to make them sound remarkably like the Maserati Ghibli we not too long ago drove.
AWD is accessible with both engine, and the only transmission is the 9-speed automated 1st used in the Jeep Cherokee. Transmission software program has been a sticking point for Chrysler with this gearbox, and our preproduction 200 testers exhibited some rough 2-1 shift confusion in slow city targeted traffic engineers on hand assured us a new software revision was currently on the way that would correct the harshness.
For competitive comparisons, Chrysler provided examples of the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion to drive back-to-back. Both Camry and Accord were far noisier within enhanced rear legroom partially offset their chintzier interior resources. Altima and Fusion were related in terms of refinement and interior size/good quality, although the former is saddled with a CVT (albeit a very good a single) and the latter stickers many thousand dollars greater than the point a comparably outfitted 200 is expected to land.
Do I want one?
With Ford moving upmarket, the Chrysler 200 gives some thing it’;s never ever been able to declare just before: A great deal of car for the money. In many respects it is the domestic equivalent of the Nissan Altima: Comfortable and capable on the street with close to-luxury appointments within. Now it is up to the marketers to make sure potential consumers are entirely mindful the new vehicle is not the identical clapped-out 200 they rented on their last holiday.
Either way, Chrysler lastly has a competitive midsize sedan to promote, a single that will sit in many total-line showrooms beside the Dodge Dart and new Jeep Cherokee. That lineup alone exhibits a bright long term.
On Sale: Spring 2014
Base Cost: $ 22,695
Drivetrain: 2.4-liter, 184-hp, 173-lb-ft I4 FWD, 9-velocity automatic
Curb Fat: 3,473 lb
-60 mph: 8.4 sec (est)
Fuel Economic climate (EPA City/Hwy/Combined): 26/35/29 mpg (est)
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