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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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      966
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      43
      65%
      140
      158
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      1,106
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      4,020
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      106
      535
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      284
      1,262
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      726
      1,056
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      1,966
      3,258
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      961
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,922
      3,085
      -5%
      7,231
      8,115
      -11%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      190,254
      199,467
      -5%
      510,798
      558,137
      -8%
          Total Car & MPV
      51,432
      59,902
      -14%
      136,381
      172,370
      -21%
          Total UV's
      87,073
      90,768
      -4%
      241,838
      259,613
      -7%
          Total Truck & LCV
      51,749
      48,797
      6%
      132,579
      126,154
      5%
                    MASERATI BRAND
      1,312
      997
      32%
      3,288
      2,250
      46%
                 
    • By William Maley
      FCA US Reports February 2017 U.S. Sales
      Ram Truck brand sales up 4 percent compared with same month a year ago Three Jeep® brand vehicles record sales increases in February; Jeep Grand Cherokee sales up 11 percent Three Dodge brand vehicles post sales increases in February; Dodge Journey sales up 55 percent  February 1, 2017 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - FCA US LLC today reported U.S. sales of 168,326 units, a 10 percent decrease compared with sales in February 2016 (187,318 units).
       
      In February, fleet sales of 44,898 units were down 26 percent year over year as FCA US continues its strategy of reducing its sales to the daily rental segment. Fleet sales represented 27 percent of total FCA US sales in February. FCA US retail sales of 123,428 units were down 3 percent for the month, and represented 73 percent of total February sales.
       
      Ram Truck brand sales were up 4 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Three Jeep® brand vehicles topped February sales from a year ago, including the Jeep Renegade with an 11 percent increase. Sales of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the brand’s volume leader in February, were up 11 percent as well. Three Dodge brand vehicles recorded year-over-year sales increases in February led by the Dodge Journey’s 55 percent sales gain. Sales of the Fiat 500 and the all-new Chrysler Pacifica minivan were up year over year as well.
       
      Ram Truck Brand
      Ram Truck brand sales were up 4 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the Ram pickup truck increased 5 percent year over year in the month. The brand introduced new special-edition Night packages for Ram 2500 and 3500 HD pickup trucks at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show in February. The new Night editions further expand the Ram factory-custom truck family from the half-ton Ram 1500 announced in September 2016 to the brand’s three-quarter and one-ton models. Production of the 2017 Ram HD Night models began in early February.
       
      Dodge Brand
      The Dodge Challenger, Dodge Journey, and Dodge Viper each posted sales gains in February, led by the Journey’s 55 percent year-over-year increase. The Challenger turned in a 19 percent increase, while Viper sales were up 23 percent in the month. The Dodge brand unveiled the new 2018 Dodge Durango SRT – America’s fastest, most powerful and most capable three-row SUV – at last month’s 2017 Chicago Auto Show. In addition, Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com announced at the show that the Grand Caravan earned its 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the minivan category for the third time in four years. The awards honor the vehicles and brands (luxury and non-luxury) with the lowest projected ownership costs, based on Kelley Blue Book’s 5-Year Cost to Own data for new cars for the initial five-year ownership period.
       
      Jeep Brand
      Three Jeep brand models recorded sales increases in February. Both the Jeep Grand Cherokee – the brand’s volume leader for the month – and the Jeep Renegade posted 11 percent year-over-year sales increases. In addition, the Jeep Wrangler logged a 2 percent increase in February. Jeep brand retail sales were up year over year in February. The latest Wrangler – the new 2017Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon – debuted at the Chicago Auto Show last month, featuring improved off-road prowess with a stronger front axle, enhanced rock rails and heavy-duty cast differential covers. Also last month, KBB.com announced at the Chicago Auto Show that the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited earned its 5-Year Cost to Own Award in the Mid-size SUV/Crossover category for a third-consecutive year.
       
      FIAT Brand
      Sales of the Fiat 500 were up 1 percent in February, compared with the same month a year ago. Sales of the new Fiat 124 Spider were up 26 percent compared with the previous month of January. The 124 Spider was named in February as one of the Best Cars for the Money in the Sports Car category by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, according to the valuation experts at Hagerty, is one of 10 vehicles this year that stand out as the likeliest to grow in value and appeal to classic car enthusiasts. That puts the 124 Spider Abarth on the “Hagerty Hot List” for 2017. 
       
      Chrysler Brand
      Sales of the all-new 2017 Chrysler Pacifica – the most awarded minivan of 2016 and 2017 – were up in its second month of year-over-year comparisons, and increased 36 percent compared with sales in the previous month of January. The Pacifica continues to earn a plethora of awards and accolades in 2017. In February, the Pacifica was named Best Minivan for the Money by U.S. News & World Report, 2017 Family Vehicle of the Year by the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), and MotorWeek’s 2017 Drivers’ Choice Award for Best Minivan. The Chrysler 300 full-size sedan turned in a 2 percent year-over-year increase in February.
        
      Alfa Romeo Brand
      Alfa Romeo brand sales of 443 units were up 843 percent compared with the same month in 2016.
       
      Maserati Brand
      Maserati brand sales of 1,087 units were up 49 percent compared with the same month a year ago.
       
      U.S. Sales Summary February 2017
                Month Sales
      Vol %
      CYTD Sales
      Vol %
      Model
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Curr Yr
      Pr Yr
      Change
      Compass
      2,737
      8,893
      -69%
      5,901
      15,164
      -61%
      Patriot
      5,512
      11,363
      -51%
      10,212
      19,947
      -49%
      Wrangler
      13,641
      13,349
      2%
      24,975
      24,336
      3%
      Cherokee
      13,615
      15,353
      -11%
      26,166
      32,136
      -19%
      Grand Cherokee
      18,925
      16,990
      11%
      36,226
      30,965
      17%
      Renegade
      7,915
      7,115
      11%
      17,280
      13,282
      30%
      JEEP BRAND
      62,345
      73,063
      -15%
      120,760
      135,830
      -11%
      200
      2,194
      6,259
      -65%
      4,055
      10,944
      -63%
      300
      5,386
      5,304
      2%
      10,094
      10,969
      -8%
      Town & Country
      108
      11,645
      -99%
      246
      23,028
      -99%
      Pacifica
      9,042
      71
      New
      15,712
      110
      New
      CHRYSLER BRAND
      16,730
      23,279
      -28%
      30,107
      45,051
      -33%
      Dart
      1,683
      5,824
      -71%
      3,080
      11,104
      -72%
      Avenger
      0
      6
      -100%
      0
      15
      -100%
      Charger
      6,930
      8,765
      -21%
      14,083
      17,547
      -20%
      Challenger
      6,107
      5,142
      19%
      9,500
      10,803
      -12%
      Viper
      54
      44
      23%
      107
      72
      49%
      Journey
      9,906
      6,375
      55%
      22,542
      17,961
      26%
      Caravan
      13,682
      13,978
      -2%
      24,452
      24,933
      -2%
      Durango
      5,516
      6,851
      -19%
      10,223
      12,852
      -20%
      DODGE  BRAND
      43,878
      46,985
      -7%
      83,987
      95,287
      -12%
      Ram P/U
      39,046
      37,087
      5%
      72,815
      69,651
      5%
      Cargo Van
      0
      0
      0%
      0
      2
      -100%
      ProMaster Van
      2,648
      2,697
      -2%
      5,999
      5,039
      19%
      ProMaster City
      1,091
      1,509
      -28%
      2,016
      2,665
      -24%
      RAM BRAND
      42,785
      41,293
      4%
      80,830
      77,357
      4%
      Giulia
      412
      0
      New
      482
      0
      New
      Alfa 4C 
      31
      47
      -34%
      69
      115
      -40%
      ALFA BRAND
      443
      47
      843%
      551
      115
      379%
      500
      1,131
      1,120
      1%
      2,349
      2,101
      12%
      500L
      72
      370
      -81%
      178
      727
      -76%
      500X
      640
      1,161
      -45%
      1,240
      2,202
      -44%
      Spider
      302
      0
      New
      542
      0
      New
      FIAT BRAND
      2,145
      2,651
      -19%
      4,309
      5,030
      -14%
      TOTAL FCA US LLC
      168,326
      187,318
      -10%
      320,544
      358,670
      -11%
          Total Car & MPV
      47,134
      58,575
      -20%
      84,949
      112,468
      -24%
          Total UV's
      78,407
      87,450
      -10%
      154,765
      168,845
      -8%
          Total Truck & LCV
      42,785
      41,293
      4%
      80,830
      77,357
      4%
                    MASERATI BRAND
      1,087
      728
      49%
      1,976
      1,253
      58%

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