The 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan redefines the company's exterior design philosophy, as this all-new model may well set a new direction for the market segment. The 200 showcases a sophisticated and elegant blend of shapes and planes that feature crisp, clean, expressive lines and surface transitions.
This new sculptural design application is worthy of doing battle for dominance with European and Asian sedans in the midsize arena. It is loaded with innovative segment and industry firsts.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 platform, featuring steel uniframe construction, was engineered and developed based on FIAT Group architecture of the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta, noted for delivering exceptional driving dynamics and agility to global consumers -- traits that carry over into the DNA of the 200 sedan.
Starting at $21,700, the 2015 Chrysler 200 is offered in three models: a base level with two trim options, LX and Limited; a sport S model that is available in both FWD and AWD configurations; and the C model, also offered in either FWD or AWD.
strong>Two world-class engines are available: a 2.4-liter, 16-valve MultiAir2 TigerShark four-cylinder engine that delivers 184 horsepower along with 173 lb.-ft. of torque; and a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that makes 295 horses while developing 262 lb.-ft. of torque.
Both engines mate to a nine-speed electronically controlled automatic overdrive transmission with a torque converter clutch featuring clutch-to-clutch architecture, with an integral electro/hydraulic control module. The nine-speed automatic gearbox represents a segment-first application and operates electronically via a console-mounted rotary knob. The available all-wheel-drive system is state-of-the-art and includes a "sport" driving mode that serves up optimum performance in a variety of driving scenarios.
In terms of its appealing physical appearance, the new 200 displays the emotional new face of the Chrysler brand with a bold, readily recognizable and elegantly sweeping upper mesh-effect grille unified with the swooping, wraparound "cats-eye" headlamps, all topped by a sloping, sculpted hood.
The 200 reflects a coupe-like image with its gracefully arched roofline, bright-trimmed window surround, and blacked out "B" pillars. It sits low over stylishly pronounced wheel wells, showcasing decorative alloy wheel designs (though the very base model LX comes with steel wheels and composite covers). The overall exterior persona is athletic with an elegant, soulful presence.
The expressive interior represents classic American design inspired from the Eames lounge chair, the iPhone, and Airstream travel trailers -- products that utilize materials in a simplistic, pure way, whether formed from wood, or smooth molded metal in a bold styling execution. Interior surfaces are inviting and comfortable, rewarding drivers and passengers regardless of travel scenarios.
The newly designed steering wheel features audio, voice, and speed controls in an ergonomic and intuitive fashion, adding technical sophistication. Paddle shifters are available for the first time in a Chrysler midsize sedan for drivers who desire a more spirited driving experience.
The centerpiece of the new 200's interior is the innovative center console. The pleasing contemporary design offers clever functionality enabled by full electronic gear shifting via a rotary shift knob. A pass-through storage area at the front of the console is accessible by both the driver and front-seat passenger. A thoughtful opening at the rear of the pass-through storage area allows for wires and cables to directly connect to the power supply and media center located in the center console.
I drove the 200C powered by the 2.4L four-cylinder in a FWD configuration, with the base price set at $25,995 and an as-tested price of $31,970.
The Chrysler 200 sedan is an emotionally stirring vehicle that's not only extremely visually appealing, but satisfying on all other levels as well. The performance of the four-cylinder engine is both pleasing and definitely above average in its power delivery.
The nine-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly in fully automatic mode, but in models equipped with paddle shifters, the result will prove to be more positive and pleasing to the true driving enthusiast. Even an AutoStick setup would be superior to the rotary knob arrangement, which can only be turned to a Low range for geared down engine braking.
In terms of ride quality, the 200 sedans on all levels yield a firm and stable, but quite comfortable, ride. Handling characteristics deliver a positive, if not crisp steering input through the substantial "meaty" wheel.
There should be more than enough variety in the 2015 Chrysler 200 stable to please nearly everyone's affordable, midsize wants and needs. The new Chrysler 200 has it all: value, performance, comfort, and convenience in an extremely good-looking package.
Copyright © 2014 Motor Matters
|Base price||$25,995 (as tested: $31,970)|
|Curb weight||3,473 lbs.|
|Epa mileage rating||23 mpg city, 36 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||15.8 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||184 at 6250 rpm|
|Motor type||16-valve MultiAir2 4-cylinder w/SMFI|
|Overall length||192.3 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||173 at 4600 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger FWD midsize sedan|
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