Ford and Chevrolet seem to have bounced back from the financial crisis of 2008-2009, but we've been eagerly waiting to see how Chrysler's new generation of vehicles would emerge from the economic downturn. Recently, we found ourselves behind the wheel of one of the first of these new vehicles, the 2011 Chrysler 200.
Sharp-eyed readers and astute enthusiasts will notice that the new 200 looks a lot like the old Sebring. That's because it is the old Sebring, but with a fairly extensive redesign. The sheet metal has been massaged into a vehicle that's a bit easier on the eyes, the lighting has been upgraded with jewel-like LED accents, and the new, slim Chrysler badge has been applied. Beneath the surface, the suspension has been tweaked and the cabin upgraded.
Our example of the 200, the spartan Touring trim level, was mostly devoid of cabin tech options--although the usual suspects of Bluetooth, digital audio sources, and navigation are available--but we were able to check out the more powerful and more efficient Pentastar V-6 engine. So, has Chrysler been reborn from the fires of financial ruin? Is the new Sebring, er, 200 worth a second look or is it destined to yet again fill rental fleets?