Friday, May 23, 2014

Second-generation Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200

The last 200 was in the form of a facelifted Chrysler Sebring that promises to be the start of the new Chrysler, hence the new logo, but no matter how hard they tried, the previous 200 didn't fare well against the competition so instead of consigning it to the history books, the newly formed Fiat Chrysler Automobiles launched the new version of the 200 midsize sedan and by the looks of it, the new model is more of a mainstream rather than being a luxury midsize saloon.

So...is this all new?

Well, yes. This is an all-new model rather than just a facelift of the extinct Sebring. Like I told you, the previous 200 is just a lackluster facelift to the Sebring but for this new model, that's a departure to the old one and it's now a potent rival to the Chevrolet Malibu or Ford Fusion...although I'm not so sure about this...

How's it look like?

By the looks of it, the new 200 looks more of a posh Dart but both the Dart and the 200 are in a completely different league because the Dodge Dart is a compact sedan targeted for those who never liked Corollas, Galant Fortises, K3s, Avantes, or any other compact sedans of its class. The Chrysler 200 is made to target the likes of Peugeot's lackluster 508, Hyundai's Sonata, Kia's K5, Chevrolet's Malibu, or any other executive midsize saloons of this class and with this new model, Chrysler is now focused on being a mainstream brand rather than focused on luxury.

What about the interior?

2015 Chrysler 200
The old 200's interior looks more cheap and plasticky rather than being a luxury car on a budget and when I first examine the old one, it was like..."Hey! Why is this sat-nav looks like it came from cheap digicams that I bought from Fry's?" Oh dear... But now on the new 200, the new interior not only looks good as its big brother, the 300, but the new sat-nav system looks as modern as an Android smartphone. The gear lever from the old one is nowhere to be found and it's now replaced with some kind of stuff that you do with Jaguars and by the looks of it, Chrysler wanted to give the new 200 some world-class inspiration but the only thing I find about the interior is some hint of wine and bread.

So, what's it like to drive?

2015 Chrysler 200

The old 200 is not what you called refined and it feels more like a 1990's American car that an average American family would drive to school, to the shops, to work, and anywhere else. Between you and me, the old 200's platform is a bit of a Far Eastern rubbishness even though that platform the old 200 used came from Mitsubishi themselves. For this new one, it now uses the same chassis as found on the new Dodge Dart and the crossover that looks like the Bulborb from Pikmin, that is the Jeep Cherokee, and thanks to its multi-link geometry, it's rather good for a sports saloon. It doesn't feel like an American car at all and I'm starting to respect the fundamentals this new 200 had.

In the 200S model, it comes with a stiffened sport suspension so it feels as emotional as a pantomime drama theater without all the drama but for day-to-day use, being sporty isn't what you called comfortable.

Performance?

In the base model, the old 2.4L 4-cylinder engine from the old 200 has been thrown away and replaced by a Fiat-derived 2.4L Tigershark engine developing a modest 184 horsepower. Although the power output maybe somewhat lacking against the competition, the fuel economy of 36MPG highway is really a best-in-class for the new 200. If power is your thing, there's also an available Pentastar V6 engine which delivers an impressive 295HP of power output. For the first time, the new 200 is equipped with the 9-speed 948TE automatic, making this the first midsize sedan to use this new gearbox.

Wow...9 gears!!!

Yes, nine gears is a bit too much for the 200 but this new gearbox is made to help this new model achieve such a good fuel economy.

Should I buy one?

2015 Chrysler 200


The MSRP for the new 200 starts at $21,700 for the base LX model up to $30,195 for the 200C with the available 4WD drivetrain, making it one of the most affordable midsize saloons you can buy. Once more, the new 200 is benefited by Chrysler's 60 month/100,000 mile warranty so you'll guarantee a peace of mind with this one.

Will there be a...

No. Beginning with the new-generation 200, Chrysler told that there won't be a convertible model because even though the majority of these open-top models were rental cars, it is told that Chrysler will stop making an open-top version of the new 200. Even its Italian counterpart, the Flavia, is out of favor as well.

 Available colors: Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black Clear Coat, Bright White Clear Coat, Crystal Blue Pearl Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Lunar White Tri-Coat Pearl, Velvet Red Pearl Coat, and Vivid Blue Pearl Coat.

Photo: Chrysler Group LLC

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