Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Impression: Chrysler 200

Chrysler produced a mid-size car from 1995 to 2012 called the Chrysler Sebring. The Sebring used Chrysler's JS platform, which is used for the Dodge Avenger. In December 2010, the successor to the Chrysler Sebring, called the Chrysler 200, went on sale. The Chrysler 200 uses the same JS platform that was used for the third and final generation of the Sebring. The 200 is a front-engine, front-wheel drive mid-size that car this is available as either a four-door sedan or a two-door convertible. In Europe, the two-door convertible version of the  200 is sold as the Lancia Flavia. Chrysler used to "200" name to try to convince consumers that the 200 is the younger brother of the Chrysler 300.

I first saw the 200 at the 2011 Houston Auto Show. The 200 looks like a more aggressive version of the final version of the Sebring. The 200 has a more aggressive front grill, headlights, and front bumper than the outgoing Sebring. There is nothing special about the 200's design. It looks like an average mid-size sedan.

The Chrysler 200 is available with two engine choices and two transmission choices. The 2.4L I4 engine, paired with either a four-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed transmission, produces 173 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4L engine is available in the LX and Touring trim levels of the 200. Only the 200 LX comes with the four-speed automatic transmission. The 200 Touring and 200 Limited come with the six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.4L I4 engine will get the 200 from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. The 200 Limited and 200 S comes with the 3.6L V6 engine, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, that produces 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 3.6L V6 engine will get the 200 from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The top speed for the 200 is limited to 120 mph, Prices for the 200 start at $18,995 for the 200 LX, $21,995 for the 200 Touring, $24,685 for the 200 Limited, $26,955 for the 200 Touring coupe, $31,950 for the 200 Limited coupe, $ 26,980 for the 200 S, and $32,450 for the 200 S coupe.

The 200 has been featured on the Office, the Mob Doctor, American Reunion, and Army Wives. The Chrysler 200 Super S is playable in Car Town.

Final Thoughts: The Chrysler 200 has average styling, average performance, and a decent price. The 200 is roomy for rear passengers. There is good head room and leg room in the rear to accommodate two adults. The 200 is a mid-size car and I do not like mid-size cars powered by engines which put out 220 hp.The engine has to be able to get a car moving. The 2.4L I4 engine gets the 200 from 0 to 60 mph in 8,2, which is barely passable. Fortunately, the 200 is available with 3.6L V6 and that is the engine I recommend for the 200. It powers the 200 from 0 to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds. Potential customers should pass on 200s with the I4 engine and go with 200s with the 3.6L V6 engine.

Photo was taken by a digital camera.
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