For the better part of the last decade and a half, Chrysler’s midsize sedans, the Sebring and the mid cycle updated 200 were mostly loved by the rental companies who offered them from Maine to Hawaii to customers who just wanted a set of wheels without paying too much for it. As time progressed, competition from Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Hyundai and other manufacturers in the midsize sedan segment relegated the Sebring/200 cousins either to the middle or the bottom of the list and this why many people choose not to have this car as their personal mode of transportation. This lack of love from the consumers was clearly noted by the Chrysler officials and they began to work frantically on creating a replacement which would make their offering once again competitive in the heavily crowded midsize family sedan segment.
So, what was their final result after all the hard work? The end result was a very attractive four door coupe called the 200. So, some might be wondering why create an all new car, but name it the same as the previous car which was more famously known for poor build quality, more than forgettable interior and an engine and transmission combination which felt more at home on a container vessel than an family sedan. Well, the good thing is that the design and manufacturing team did an excellent job of creating a new vehicle which sure looks to be a hell lot more attractive than the previous model. But, at the same time, the complements cannot be sent to the marketing and the product planning department of the company because all they did was restyle the badge and apply to the all new vehicle.
So, has all the hard work paid off? Lets have a look, shall we? From the outside, the 2015 Chrysler 200 looks a lot more attractive compared to its predecessors with its dynamic lines and a four door coupe profile. The same design elements have also been carried to the inside of the car as well. The overall layout of the car’s interior is well designed with all the key controls within reachable distance of the driver and the front passenger. The interior materials used in this particular trim level are many steps ahead of the ones offered in the previous generation of 200 and its Sebring cousin. The controls are very sturdy and the plastics used in the car are vastly up rated and gives the interior an overall premium feeling worth comparable to the interiors offered in some German sedans.
The “S” in the badge also offers a lot of unique features which are usually reserved for cars in the full size segment. The 200 S comes standard with a 3.6 L engine which makes class leading power figures of 295 Horsepower and 262 Lb.Ft of torque at very low RPMs. The engine is exclusively backed by a segment’s first nine speed automatic which can be shifted either by the gear selector or the paddle shifts behind the steering wheel. The standard 200 S comes with front wheel drive but this particular model has the optional all wheel drive system. Combine the engine, transmission and the drivetrain, and the end result is a very class competitive zero to sixty of 6.3 seconds and a top speed of 130 MPH. When a consumer opts for the 200 S, they are also treated to a specially tuned sport suspension, a unique wheel and tire package and a true sport mode on the transmission, which combine to give the car a very solid and planted feel while traveling around town or on the highways at triple digit speed.
At this time, some may wonder “What is the price for all of these goodies?” The base 200 S with the engine, transmission and the chassis upgrades starts at a very competitive $29, 695. But, with the optional all wheel drive system and additional safety features, the 200 S can easily top out in the mid thirties to even low forties after all the mandatory fees and charges.
In the end, all the hard work done by the Chrysler research and development has definitely paid off. The new 200 and especially the 200 S AWD really elevates the midsize sedan to a new level and put it at the top of the highly competitive midsize sedan segment in the U.S. After being a rental favorite for the better part of the last decade and a half, Chrysler finally has a midsize sedan which can compete with the best of the best in the segment and will also attract a crowd who will be more than open to have one as their personal mode of transportation.