The Chrysler 200 is powered by a choice of two modern engines. The base engine is a new 2.4L 4-cylinder engine that makes 184 hp. It promises to be both more fuel efficient and more powerful than the engine it replaces. The optional engine is a 3.6L V6 making 295 hp. Even though this engine is a carryover from the previous 200, it is more fuel efficient in the new 200, thanks largely to the standard 9-speed automatic transmission, available across all trims. When equipped with a 4-cylinder engine, the 200 is estimated to average around 35 mpg on the highway.
The Chrysler 200 comes in several different trim levels starting with the LX. The base LX trim comes standard with 17-inch wheels, power windows and door locks, keyless entry, steering-wheel mounted cruise and audio controls and 6-way adjustable front seats. The Limited trim adds automatic headlights, aluminum wheels, exterior chrome accents and a 6-speaker Uconnect stereo with Bluetooth integration.
The 200S and the 200C Platinum are the next two trim levels up. Both come standard with the 3.6L V6 engine and both are available with all-wheel-drive. The 200S comes with black trim accents around the headlamps and grill, making for a much more menacing front fascia. It also gets 18-inch wheels, power folding and heated mirrors, an 8-way power driver's seat, a leather wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, sports suspension, fog lamps and a year-long subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio. The top of the line 200C Platinum comes with chrome door handles, polished aluminum wheels, leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a backup camera, a remote vehicle starter, dual zone automatic temperature control, touring suspension and an instrument cluster with 7-inch display.
Chrysler's engineers have taken safety very seriously with the new 200, and they claim that the car has over sixty safety features, more than anything else in its class. Standard features include stability control, anti-lock brakes, knee-bolster airbags for both driver and front passenger, side and side curtain airbags and speed sensitive power locks. Optional safety features include a backup camera, a rear cross traffic warning system, a forward collision warning system and a lane departure warning system.
I was never a fan of the old Chrysler 200. My first impression of the model (back when it was still called the Sebring) was a poor one, and it never managed to win me over. Even with many small improvements over the model's lifetime, the 200 always felt like the sort of car that was designed from the ground up as a cheap car with a few nice features, that it was destined to be a rental car.
Things are different with the new 2015 Chrysler 200C. The new model makes a great first impression with its slick, updated look. It continues to wow both drivers and passengers with a plethora of cool convenience features like available automatic parallel and perpendicular parking, while bringing to the table a healthy amount of well-thought-out dashboard tech.
The new 200's chassis is based on one from Alfa Romeo, but the American design reminds me of an enlarged variant of the Dodge Dart, another attractive Chrysler Group model that is also based on Italian underpinnings.
The Good The 2015 Chrysler 200C's new 9-speed transmission and aerodynamics boost efficiency. The relatively inexpensive SafetyTec package add loads of driver aid and automatic parking tech. The UConnect infotainment suite is well organized and fully featured.
The Bad The 3.6-liter V-6 isn't as improved as the rest of the 200C. The sedan's ride and handling can be a bit soft.
The Bottom Line The 2015 Chrysler 200C is a dramatic improvement over the previous model year, boasting much better tech and amenities than similarly priced premium competition.
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