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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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    twisting motion of a knob like that is hard for some people......disabilities, etc.

    In those cases only a minority of shifters will work anyway.

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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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      A single electric motor provides the motivation for the front wheels. Under the floor lies a 100-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can provide an overall range of more than 250 miles. When plugged into a 350-kW fast charger, the Portal's battery pack can be recharged to have a 150 mile range within 20 minutes. 
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      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The Chrysler Portal concept is designed to keep the driver and passengers connected – to each other, to the vehicle and to the surrounding world.
      Starting with today’s widespread use of the Internet and social media for communication and information, the FCA User Experience (UX) team, and an internal UX Tiger team from the Panasonic Automotive Advanced Engineering function, jointly picked a blend of emerging and future technologies to engage the next generation of vehicle users.
      “When our teams began imagining the user experiences inside the Chrysler Portal, we set out to identify a long-time supplier partner who could help push the limits of customization and personalization,” said Scott Thiele, Chief Purchasing Officer for FCA NV and Head of Purchasing and Supplier Quality for FCA – North America. “Working with Panasonic Automotive on this concept vehicle is just one example of how FCA is engaging strategic suppliers early in the development phase to bring to life innovations that can become industry benchmarks.”
      Tapping the Panasonic Cognitive Infotainment (PCI) platform as the foundation of the UX feature set, the Chrysler User Experience team matched future consumer needs (life, finances and new technology) to those new technology solutions now exhibited in the Portal concept.
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      “In fact, we are so delighted by the partnership, Panasonic has created a complimentary technology exhibition to further showcase our joint interests in UX, software, hardware, and cloud services specifically featuring a unique e-commerce retail use case.”
      The battery-powered Chrysler Portal concept electric vehicle was unveiled today at CES 2017 in Las Vegas.
      Facial recognition, voice biometrics provide a seamless, personalized experience
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      The hub of this technology is the mobile phone. The Chrysler Portal concept is engineered to seamlessly detect and connect with passengers’ mobile devices, expanding the social canvas.
      Recognition and user authentication is the next level of personalization and a primary driving factor for the user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometric technologies work together to provide a seamless personalization experience. As a result, all passengers can set up individual and group settings for an enjoyable, customized experience. For example, facial recognition tells the Chrysler Portal who is in the vehicle and how to automatically configure preferred settings, such as music, lighting, vehicle temperature, heated or cooled seats, etc. Internet cloud-based technologies, combined with facial and voice recognition, keep those preferred settings in sync should a passenger move to another seat.
      Accessing technology inside the vehicle is naturally intuitive using a blend of voice controls with familiar touch controls. With an array of microphones inside the Portal concept, voice control is available to all occupants. Advanced speech software can identify who is speaking to accurately determine an action, such as which display screen to access. Embedded interior and connected portable device cameras also facilitate conversations and interactions.
      Want to play music tailored for an individual, such as a child? Simply say, “Play Johnny’s ‘Naptime Favorites’ playlist.” Personalized audio zones enable each passenger to listen to their own content isolated to their seat without the need for headphones. 
      Facial recognition enables the Chrysler Portal concept to track the driver’s directional gaze, as a result, the intensity of the high-mount display screen can automatically dim or increase to help reduce eye strain. If the driver is looking at a specific location on the display and a critical notification occurs, such as an oncoming emergency vehicle, a message pop-up in the area where the driver is looking helps reduce reaction time.
      Turn road trips into social memories
      Social media plays a large role in the lives of many Millennials. In the Chrysler Portal concept, sharing content between passengers is as easy as a swipe to the right. A personal tablet or mobile device becomes a community display screen via a docking station in the Chrysler Portal’s headliner, making it easily viewable by second- and third-row passengers. Media such as music, images and videos from personal devices can be shared with a simple upward swipe to the display screen. The community display is ideal for road trips with family and friends. At a glance, infographics show the progress of the vehicle to the trip destination. 
      The Chrysler Portal concept also takes into consideration each passenger’s media preferences and enables them to contribute to the road trip experience. Using predictive intelligence, passenger preferences can be merged to create an overall community setting that can help the group find destinations and plan the best route, select a restaurant, and play music and videos everyone can enjoy. 
      Once a route is set, it can be added to the community display so all passengers can monitor the trip’s progress. At the lunch break, passengers can use the technology in the Chrysler Portal concept to order from a quick service restaurant via voice or touchscreen without rolling down the window or leaving the vehicle, a real convenience in inclement weather. If someone is not sure what to order, the system’s intelligence can offer suggestions based on the passenger’s personal settings. With ecommerce, there is no need for cash or a credit card as the payment can be securely transacted from the vehicle while in transit.
      Once at the destination, interior and exterior cameras can capture the moment with a selfie, which is then automatically downloaded to everyone’s personal device and can be shared via social media.
      Affordable, upgradeable technology designed to be added as needed
      Keeping the user experience affordable, the Chrysler Portal concept’s in-vehicle technology is designed to be adaptable and upgradeable. Cost-conscious consumers are able to decide what technology they want to add and when they want to integrate it into their vehicle, such as adding technologies to meet the ongoing needs of a new family.  For example, the vehicle’s short-range wireless network enables parents to connect a baby monitor camera to a seat, with the image appearing on the high-mount display.
      Another way consumers could integrate their personal devices is by using the Chrysler Portal Concept Companion App. Once downloaded to a mobile device, the companion app has the ability to customize vehicle lighting, control vehicle and home settings, lock/unlock doors and operate other functions from any location. 
      Advanced driving assistance
      A key element of the Chrysler Portal concept’s user experience is the graphic-rich, high-quality information available to the driver.
      The hub of this information is the high-mount display, located above where a traditional instrument panel would be placed. Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) technology in the display makes the screen brighter and sharper. The technology embedded in the Chrysler Portal collects a wide spectrum of visual, sensor-based and infrastructure data; organizes and configures the information for display; and tailors the presentation to keep the driver’s attention on the highest priority functions.
      The display, which spans nearly the entire length of the instrument panel, is positioned higher intentionally for greater visibility and to aid the driver keeping his/her eyes on the road. Maintaining visibility with the horizon helps reduce the possibility of motion sickness while interacting with the 3-D graphics, especially if Level 3 autonomous driving mode is engaged.
      The length of the screen enables three zones of information. The first section of the screen, located in front of the driver, offers traditional vehicle information, such as speed. The middle section displays a 360-degree situational awareness view, such as surrounding vehicles, GPS information and points of interest, and can be viewed by other vehicle occupants. The third section can be used for media sharing, status updates of passengers, such as their seat temperature, music or videos being played and a view of them.
      During Level 3 autonomous driving, the display communicates the status of the vehicle and the surrounding environment. Should the vehicle come to a stop or perform a quick maneuver, the viewable display makes it clear to all occupants the status of the vehicle.
      The Chrysler Portal concept is constantly using Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication that enables the vehicle to “talk” with the public infrastructure, Internet, and other vehicles via an array of sensors. For example, if an approaching ambulance is out of sight, V2X systems will notify the vehicle that the ambulance is approaching. Graphics on the high-mount display will communicate the oncoming ambulance by simulating its approach and direction, and the audio system will provide cues that the vehicle is approaching.
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Back in May, Google and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles made a startling announcement. The two would partner on building 100 specially prepared Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans with Google's autonomous driving technologies to be used for testing. Today, Waymo (the offshoot of Google's self-driving program) and FCA revealed what the van would look like.
      Yes, the van looks a little bit goofy with sensors sticking out on the front fenders and under the grille, along with massive radar dome. Other changes include major modifications to the chassis, electrical system, powertrain, and structure. Considering this took around six months, it is quite the achievement.
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months. They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer of Waymo in a statement.
      The vans will join Waymo's test fleet early next year.
      Source: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
      Press Release is on Page 2


      CA Delivers 100 Uniquely Built Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Minivans to Waymo for Self-driving Test Fleet
      Waymo and FCA reveal first look at fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan Program kickoff to full vehicle assembly completed by technical teams in six months December 19, 2016 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Waymo (formerly the Google self-driving car project) and FCA announced today that production of 100 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans uniquely built to enable fully self-driving operations has been completed. The vehicles are currently being outfitted with Waymo’s fully self-driving technology, including a purpose-built computer and a suite of sensors, telematics and other systems, and will join Waymo’s self-driving test fleet in early 2017. Waymo and FCA also revealed today the first images of the fully self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid vehicle. 
       
      This first-of-its kind collaboration brought engineers from FCA and Waymo together to integrate Waymo’s fully self-driving system into the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan thereby leveraging each company’s individual strengths and resources. Engineering modifications to the minivan’s electrical, powertrain, chassis and structural systems were implemented to optimize the Pacifica Hybrid for Waymo’s fully self-driving technology.
       
      “The Pacifica Hybrid will be a great addition to our fully self-driving test fleet. FCA’s product development and manufacturing teams have been agile partners, enabling us to go from program kickoff to full vehicle assembly in just six months,” said John Krafcik, Chief Executive Officer, Waymo. “They've been great partners, and we look forward to continued teamwork with them as we move into 2017.”
       
      Waymo and FCA co-located part of their engineering teams at a facility in southeastern Michigan to accelerate the overall development process. In addition, extensive testing was carried out at FCA’s Chelsea Proving Grounds in Chelsea, Michigan, and Arizona Proving Grounds in Yucca, Arizona, as well as Waymo test sites in California.
       
      “As consumers’ transportation needs evolve, strategic collaborations such as this one are vital to promoting a culture of innovation, safety and technology,” said Sergio Marchionne, Chief Executive Officer, FCA. “Our partnership with Waymo enables FCA to directly address the opportunities and challenges the automotive industry faces as we quickly approach a future where fully self-driving vehicles are very much a part of our daily lives.”
       
      Self-driving cars have the potential to prevent some of the 1.2 million deaths that occur each year on roads worldwide, 94 percent of which are caused by human error. This collaboration will help FCA and Waymo better understand what it will take to bring self-driving cars into the world.
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