Chrysler recently spent $1 billion on a new assembly plant in Michigan and millions on a Super Bowl ad featuring Bob Dylan for the 2015 Chrysler 200 to try to convince you to buy one as your next car. But should it be your next family sedan?
Chrysler invited us to Louisville to see how their new car compares. We had an opportunity to drive all the new versions of the 200, but spent most of the day in the 200C. The 200C is the most luxurious version of the 200. It sports leather seats, comfortable suspension and advanced technology features. Here’s why Chrysler believes they will sway Fusion and Camry customers, which they told us they view as their competition, to the 200.
It’s All New
The previous 200 carried over many components from the Chrysler Sebring. The 200 shares a platform with Jeep’s new Cherokee and also the Alfa Romeo Giulietta in Europe. The newness carries over to the production facility, which Chrysler spent $1 billion dollars to make.
The new 200 spent a great deal of time in the wind tunnel as Chrysler tried to make it as efficient as possible. It has a 0.27 drag coefficient, which makes it the slipperiest of the midsize cars. Every piece of the car’s body is both beautiful and aerodynamic. Form follows function in most of the design.
Chrysler told us that they thought hard about how people would use the interior when they redesigned it. There is tons of storage throughout the cabin, even in places you wouldn’t expect. There is also enough power for everyone in the car to have a gadget charging, including a 115v standard plug to charge a laptop.
Packed with Technology
A premium stereo system, the latest Uconnect infotainment system, radar cruise control and a 9-speed transmission are some of the technologies available on the luxurious 200C. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 sends power to all four wheels through an all wheel drive system never before seen on Chryslers. Under normal driving conditions, the system acts like a front wheel drive car with no power sent to the rear wheels. When four wheel drive activates, it sends up to 60% of the total power to the rear wheels.
When you are driving and approach slower traffic, the available adaptive cruise control will pace the car in front of you. If the car in front of you comes to a complete stop, so will the 200. If you stray from your lane of traffic, the car will steer itself back on track with available lane keep assist.
The 200 has a 9-speed automatic transmission for optimal performance and fuel economy. Paddle shifters liven up the driving experience, allowing the driver to select any gear from the 9-speed transmission, or ignore them and get 32 mpg on the highway.
It Competes with More Luxurious Cars
The 200C competes with cars like the Ford Fusion and the Toyota Corolla. The loaded 200C we drove was $36,365. Expect to pay $38,120 for a Fusion with similar features. The 200C also makes more power and features HID headlights that aren’t available on the Fusion.
The fit and finish of the 200C reminded us of the Lincoln MKZ that we drove last year. That car rang the register at $45,550 and still didn’t have the horsepower of the 200C.
The 200C is a luxury minded car that is great value for money. Not only does it cost less than its direct competition, but it competes with the entry-level luxury cars from Lincoln and Acura. Good fuel economy and a fun drive round out the reasons why you might want to consider the 200C for your next car.
|Motor Review Fast Facts:|
|Fuel Economy:||18 city / 29 highway / 22 combined|
|Engine:||3.6L V6 with VVT|
|Horsepower and Torque:||295hp and 262lbs/ft|
|Base Price:||$25,995 FWD ($21,700 for 200 LX base)|
|Price as Tested:||$36,365 AWD|
|Pros:||Luxury car quality, family car price.|
|Cons:||Sport mode feels out of place on this version.|
|Final Thoughts:||The 200C is a compelling alternative to the current batch of midsize cars.|
|Vehicle, accommodations and food provided by manufacturer for review.|