2011 Chrysler 200

The midsize car market is one of the most competitive segments in the car market. With just about every brand having a say, it is almost imperative to create a great midsize car, or at least make something that is going to stand out from the crowd. Chrysler, one of the big 3 companies in the USA, is something that is not exactly known for its midsize cars. This is especially true during recent times. Following behind the Chrysler Sebring, which was deemed horrible by just about every automotive reviewer, this new model isn’t exactly what people are expecting. However, Chrysler is trying to change all that with the new 2011 Chrysler 200.

Exterior & Interior

The Chrysler 200 is an entirely new car. Released in 2011, it replaces the much maligned Sebring. First of all, the exterior is totally redesigned. And in a positive way, it is completely different from the model that it replaced. It has a refreshed look that at last has a semblance of effort or thought on making it a good looking car. And even though it resembles some of the styling cues of other cars and it might be deemed average compared to its competition, it is still considered to be a step to the right direction.

As for the interior, the changes are evident. The seats are wrapped in leather, materials used are much improved, and the attention to detail is much better compared to the Sebring. As for safety numbers, the Chrysler 200 has no safety ratings yet as it hasn’t been tested as of press time.

Performance

The Chrysler 200 has 2 engine options. There is the 4 cylinder engine that produces a maximum of 173 horsepower, and a V6 engine that produces 288 horsepower. That is a serious power upgrade compared to the Sebring, and it brings a lot considering its price tag. This power is then transmitted to the front wheels for both engine trims. The transmission equipped for the 4 cylinder is a 4 speed automatic gearbox, and for the V6 engine, an upgraded 6 speed automatic is offered. As for the handling, it has much better characteristics than the car that it replaces.

While it can’t beat some of its competition such as the Mazda6 in handling, it turns much more sharply, and is now more stable when coming to turns. However, its suspension can still take a fair amount of impact, ensuring a smooth ride.

The Competition

With Chrysler putting themselves in the mix against other midsized sedans with the addition of the 200, you will find other brands under the same class. Those who compete closely against the 200 are the Chevy Malibu (MSRP $21,975; 22 city / 33 hwy), the Honda Accord LX (MSRP $21,380; 23 city / 33 hwy), and the Ford Fusion (MSRP $19,850; 22 city / 29 hwy). You’ll find the Chrysler 200 LX FWD as the least expensive vehicle amongst this collection of sedans.

Pros & Cons

The Chrysler 200 is a new car that is trying to make a dent in the midsize car business, and so far so good, according to some of those that were able to drive the car. It is managing to erase the negative connotation created by the Sebring: outdated, boring, poorly made, and lethargic. The exterior design, while it is possible that it can still do better, is a considerable upgrade.

People like that it has some serious performance capabilities for its price, although for the 4 cylinder engine, it seems like its transmission has ruined its potential. Its suspension is sufficient: while it is not a sports car type that you can throw in around the corners, it now feels much more stable at the corners while still being able to absorb impact. As for weaknesses, people don’t like that some of the things that remind them of the Sebring, like poor choice of interior material, bland styling, uncomfortable seats, still remains.

Finally

The Chrysler 200 is not a perfect car. But it is a step in the right direction given that it is an upgrade from the car it replaces. A few more improvements, then perhaps Chrysler will be back on the midsize car wars sooner than later.

Overall Rating
62 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2011 Chrysler 200 covers up many of the Sebring's sins with creative new sheetmetal and a striking new interior.”Car Connection

“Not exceptional, but not a dullard either. Steering feel is fine, and body control in turns is decent. The brake pedal on one test car had a slightly mushy feel, but it stopped straight and true.”Consumer Guide

“The 200 is a freshening of the mediocre Sebring sedan and convertible. The extensive update for 2011 includes improved ride, handling, and interior quality, as well as the name change.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“While the 2011 Chrysler 200 isn't a completely new vehicle, the upgrades here are so significant that we think it's now worthy of consideration for midsize sedan and convertible shoppers.”Edmunds

“If the 2011 Chrysler 200 has a super sweet spot, it's in the way the car drives. Equipped with the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 engine, the 200 can rocket to highway speeds or pass slow moving traffic with utter confidence.”KBB

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $19,245.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17 gallons (64 liters) MPG: 21 city / 30 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 191.7 in. (486 cm) Width: 72.5 in. (184 cm)
Height: 58.4 in. (148 cm) Wheel Base: 108.9 in. (276 cm)
Curb Weight: 3389 lbs (1537 kg) Ground Clearance: 6.1 in. (15 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 13.6 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 16-Valve DOHC Inline 4 Displacement: 2.4 liters
Horsepower: 173 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 166 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds 1/4 Mile: 14.7 seconds
Available Trims & Engine
Option:Chrysler 200 Touring MSRP: $21,245; MPG: 20 city / 31 hwy
Option:Chrysler 200 Limited MSRP: $23,945; MPG: 20 city / 31 hwy
Option:Chrysler 200 S V6 MSRP: $26,240; MPG: 19 city / 29 hwy
Option:200 Convertible Touring MSRP: $26,445; MPG: 18 city / 29 hwy
Option:200 Convertible Limited V6 MSRP: $31,440; MPG: 19 city / 29 hwy
Option:200 S Convertible Limited V6 MSRP: $31,940; MPG: 19 city / 29 hwy