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    Review: 2015 Chrysler 200C


    • Has the Chrysler 200 gone from Zero to Hero in the Midsize Sedan Class?


    The last-generation Chrysler Sebring/200 was the punchline to a bad joke. Whenever you saw one driving around, you could easily assume that it was either a rental car or the person got a smoking deal. Not a good sign when you’re playing in one of the highly-competitive classes in the marketplace; the midsize sedan class. So what do you do? For Chrysler, it was to start with a blank sheet and get some help from Fiat. The result is the 2015 Chrysler 200. So how does new 200 stack up against the midsize class? Well I spent a week in a 200C to find out.

    2015 Chrysler 200C 2

    The 200’s exterior design appears to be a mishmash of other midsize sedan designs. The front end looks to be borrowed from the Ford Fusion and/or Kia Optima, while the roofline comes from the last-generation Hyundai Sonata. Say what you will about Chrysler’s designers being somewhat unoriginal, you do have to admit that the new 200 is far and away a huge improvement over the old model. My test 200 was wearing a burgundy paint color and sharp 19-inch wheels which make it quite the standout.

    If the exterior is quite the shock, then you might have your mind blown when stepping into the 200’s interior. Chrysler’s designers threw out the book on how to create a midsize interior and went in their own direction. The results are something you might be more used to in a luxury car, not something a midsize sedan. On the 200C, the interior is lined with leather along the dash and seats, and real wood trim. Designers also went for a knob for to select gears which opens up the center console to allow for a massive storage area. You could fit a small laptop computer in this space. Above the large storage space is Chrysler’s UConnect system with an equally large 8.4-inch touchscreen. The system as ever is easy to use and quick to respond.

    Space in the 200C is a bit mixed. Front seat passengers are able to find a comfortable position thanks to supportive bucket seats, and power adjustments. On my tester, the seats were ventilated, which only adds to the comfort level. Back seat passengers will find a decent amount of legroom, but headroom is at a premium. Due to the sloping roofline, it cuts the amount of headroom available in the sedan.

    2015 Chrysler 200C 13

    Thoughts on Power and Handling are on the next page


    As power, you have the choice of either a 2.4L four-cylinder or a 3.6L V6. My tester was equipped with the latter which produces 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque and comes paired with a nine-speed automatic. The V6 is a perfect pairing to the 200 as it offers plenty of punch, along the refinement and smoothness the 3.6 has been hailed for. The nine-speed automatic seems to be a bit more in order from the last time I drove it as most of shuddering and not shifting into 9th gear has gone away. I think its a combination of the V6 engine and number of software updates Chrysler has been doing since 200 was launched. But that doesn’t mean all of the woes have been cured. The shift from 2nd to 3rd in my test car were very harsh. I can’t tell you if this was something with my test car or if it appeared in other 200s at this time. As for fuel economy, the EPA rates the 200C at 19 City/32 Highway/23 Combined. My week saw an average of 23.3 MPG.

    2015 Chrysler 200C 14

    As for ride and handling, the 200C is more aimed at delivering comfort. Driving on some of the worst roads Michigan has to offer, the 200C’s suspension is able soak up imperfections and bumps with no problem. Road and wind noise is kept down, making this a perfect long-distance cruiser. As for sporty driving, the 200C isn’t really suited for it. The suspension does keep body roll mostly in check. Steering is quick but is a little too light for dicing with corners. Those who want a sporting 200 should look at the S model as it features tuning to the suspension to deliver a fun car in the corners.

    Calling the 2015 Chrysler 200 a major improvement over the last-generation model would be an understatement. Chrysler has made major strides in erasing the past and bringing in a credible contender with best-in-class interior, smooth performance from the V6, and styling that brings it into the present day. But the nine-speed does spoil the 200 with a harsh 2-3 shift. Chrysler has mostly everything right in 200 to make it a real champ, the nine-speed is holding it back.

    2015 Chrysler 200C 10

    Disclaimer: Chrysler Provided the 200C, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2015

    Make: Chrysler

    Model: 200

    Trim: C

    Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6

    Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive

    Horsepower @ RPM: 295 @ 6,350

    Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4,250

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/32/23

    Curb Weight: N/A

    Location of Manufacture: Sterling Heights, MI

    Base Price: $25,995

    As Tested Price: $34,415 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    3.6 Liter V6 24-Valve VVT - $1,950.00

    Navigation and Sound Group I - $1,395.00

    SafetyTec - $1,295.00

    19' x 8' Polished Face w/Painted Pockets Aluminum Wheels - $995.00

    Premium Group - $995.00

    Premium Lighting Group - $795.00

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    WOW  :o

     

    That is such an amazing update to the old 200. Have not seen them around here yet in Seattle but it is pretty and I do like the interior, the best I have seen from Chrysler.

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    A likeable but still flawed entry in the mid size class. The model I like most is stuck with 4 cylinder only power and that dreadful 9 speed too many gears transaxle. The V6 models are far better but still suffer the occasional stutter or jolt shift, cost a lot more than the Limited, have over sized 19" wheels that ride harsher or in the case of the C, are priced far more than I think this car is worth. Also not a fan of the rotary shifter and interior room is a little snug in the back. My pick would be a Limited with option package and a 3.2 V6 from the Cherokee for the mid 25-26k range but alas Chrysler refuses to offer this.

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    reminds me of the Kizashis I had to sell, just enough smaller than the bulk of the mainstream midsizers to seem like a tweener.

     

    In this case, maybe it makes the Chrysler feel more intimate and distinctive.  In higher trims, this is a nice interior.  I don't think i would like a rotary shifter, but I do admit its better than the Lincoln pushbutton arrangement.  And it saves space.

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    I love the rotary gear selector. It works well and it moves us into the future.  No need for the old style giant shift leaver in the center console when it's just an electronic actuator anyway. 

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    A few less impressive details but I am pretty keen overall on the interior and exterior. It's everything else I read about it frequently in reviews (transmission, ride on the S model) that gives me pause.  Have not had the opportunity to drive one.

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    I love the rotary gear selector. It works well and it moves us into the future.  No need for the old style giant shift leaver in the center console when it's just an electronic actuator anyway. 

    So do you like the dopey Mercedes column mounted shifter with push button park?  I still like the old school shifter, which I have, but the stock does open up a lot of space in the center console.

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    I love the rotary gear selector. It works well and it moves us into the future.  No need for the old style giant shift leaver in the center console when it's just an electronic actuator anyway. 

    So do you like the dopey Mercedes column mounted shifter with push button park?  I still like the old school shifter, which I have, but the stock does open up a lot of space in the center console.

     

     

    Idea = 8

    Execution = 3

     

    I think any vehicle without sporting intentions, and even some that do have sporting intentions, should have push-button/rotary gear selection.   When we're getting into the 6+ speeds, the driver is no longer going to be doing gear selection via an old school shifter anyway.

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      54,051
      62,008
      -13%
      Caravan
      10,055
      7,846
      28%
      84,140
      45,888
      83%
      Durango
      5,131
      5,270
      -3%
      43,665
      36,305
      20%
        DODGE  BRAND
      35,520
      39,492
      -10%
      311,658
      303,701
      3%
      Ram P/U
      39,827
      39,159
      2%
      270,637
      254,902
      6%
      Cargo Van
      0
      59
      -100%
      21
      2,115
      -99%
      ProMaster Van
      3,055
      2,167
      41%
      20,527
      14,225
      44%
      ProMaster City
      1,187
      636
      87%
      10,897
      3,682
      196%
        RAM BRAND
      44,069
      42,021
      5%
      302,082
      274,924
      10%
      Alfa 4C 
      43
      49
      -12%
      338
      354
      -5%
        ALFA BRAND
      43
      49
      -12%
      338
      354
      -5%
      500
      1,097
      1,940
      -43%
      8,857
      15,880
      -44%
      500L
      227
      314
      -28%
      2,527
      6,020
      -58%
      500X
      950
      942
      1%
      7,481
      1,218
      514%
      Spider
      480
      0
      New
      481
      0
      New
        FIAT BRAND
      2,754
      3,196
      -14%
      19,346
      23,118
      -16%
        TOTAL FCA US LLC
      180,727
      180,124
      0%
      1,325,536
      1,269,277
      4%
                          Total Car & MPV
      44,955
      47,177
      -5%
      374,543
      418,721
      -11%
            Total UV's
      91,703
      90,926
      1%
      648,911
      575,632
      13%
            Total Truck & LCV
      44,069
      42,021
      5%
      302,082
      274,924
      10%
       
       
    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will produce no more passenger cars in the U.S. early next year. The Dodge Dart will end production in September, while production of the Chrysler 200 will cease in December. This is to make way for more production of SUVs and trucks - Jeep Cherokee at Belvidere, Illinois and Sterling Heights, MI for the next-gen Ram 1500.
       
      "By the time we finish with this, hopefully, all of our production assets in the United States — if you exclude Canada and Mexico from the fold — all those U.S. plants will be producing either Jeeps or Ram," said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne during a call with analysts yesterday.
       
      Why would FCA end passenger car production in the U.S.? Profit margins. The Detroit Free Press reports this is part of Marchionne's multibillion-dollar plan to match the profit margins seen at Ford and General Motors. Part of the plan involves taking advantage of the popularity of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks in the U.S.; low gas prices, and the lower costs of producing passenger cars in Mexico.
       
      "When you look at the economics of car manufacturing ...the margins that we were getting from our experience of both the Dart and the Chrysler 200 ...yielded returns that would not, on a competitive basis, match even anything close or remotely close to what we could derive from utilization of those assets in the Jeep or Ram world. So we have made that shift," Marchionne said.
       
      Despite FCA ending production of both the Dart and 200, Marchionne said he is still looking for a partner to build these vehicles.
       
      “I think we have made progress. We’re not in a position to announce anything."
       
      But would any automaker be willing to take up FCA's offer?
       
      "Who would want to commit to that capacity in their own plant when they didn't sell well when they were new?" said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific to Automotive News.
       
      "No one wants to build sedans when their own capacity is at a premium and they can't build enough crossovers to satisfy demand."
       
      Source: Detroit Free Press, Automotive News (Subscription Required)


      Click here to view the article
    • By William Maley
      Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will produce no more passenger cars in the U.S. early next year. The Dodge Dart will end production in September, while production of the Chrysler 200 will cease in December. This is to make way for more production of SUVs and trucks - Jeep Cherokee at Belvidere, Illinois and Sterling Heights, MI for the next-gen Ram 1500.
       
      "By the time we finish with this, hopefully, all of our production assets in the United States — if you exclude Canada and Mexico from the fold — all those U.S. plants will be producing either Jeeps or Ram," said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne during a call with analysts yesterday.
       
      Why would FCA end passenger car production in the U.S.? Profit margins. The Detroit Free Press reports this is part of Marchionne's multibillion-dollar plan to match the profit margins seen at Ford and General Motors. Part of the plan involves taking advantage of the popularity of crossovers, SUVs, and trucks in the U.S.; low gas prices, and the lower costs of producing passenger cars in Mexico.
       
      "When you look at the economics of car manufacturing ...the margins that we were getting from our experience of both the Dart and the Chrysler 200 ...yielded returns that would not, on a competitive basis, match even anything close or remotely close to what we could derive from utilization of those assets in the Jeep or Ram world. So we have made that shift," Marchionne said.
       
      Despite FCA ending production of both the Dart and 200, Marchionne said he is still looking for a partner to build these vehicles.
       
      “I think we have made progress. We’re not in a position to announce anything."
       
      But would any automaker be willing to take up FCA's offer?
       
      "Who would want to commit to that capacity in their own plant when they didn't sell well when they were new?" said Dave Sullivan, an analyst with AutoPacific to Automotive News.
       
      "No one wants to build sedans when their own capacity is at a premium and they can't build enough crossovers to satisfy demand."
       
      Source: Detroit Free Press, Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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