Feel the Difference with the New Chrysler 200
The Chrysler 200 is a compact luxury sedan that was dreamt up to help Chrysler’s lineup after the 2007 financial downturn. However, it has truly come into its own since its second generation, which debuted in 2014. It offers drivers a unique blend of American luxury and European performance, sharing a chassis with the celebrated Alfa Romeo Giulietta and offering one of the most powerful engines in its class.
The 2017 Chrysler 200 wraps comfort and performance in a package that is beautiful inside and out. The exterior is aggressively modern, composed of smooth curves set at distinct angles. Inside, the 200 shows off high quality material and a well-thought-out design. It includes unique touches like a rotary gear selector knob and clever storage areas hidden throughout the upscale interior.
For the 2017 update, Chrysler has made changes to the lineup of the 200, renaming some of the trims and adding more standard features. There are five trims to choose from, including a special performance-oriented 200S model. Most features are also available independently, so the 2017 Chrysler 200 is easy to customize for your needs. This makes it appealing to buyers looking for anything from a great-looking mid-size sedan, to a performance machine, to a luxury cruiser.
The base model of the Chrysler 200 – the LX – starts at $22,115. That is slightly less than most of its non-luxury competitors. It still includes a well-rounded set of standard features on par with other vehicles, such as a rearview camera. It is missing some common features like Bluetooth, a touchscreen and alloy wheels, but those are found on the next model up available for less than $500 more. This makes the entry-level 200 a very good choice if you’re trying to stay within a budget, since you get the same number of features for a slightly lower price than the competitors.
If you load your 2017 Chrysler 200 fully with all available optional features – including the V6 engine, all-wheel drive, 506-watt nine-speaker sound system, and ventilated premium leather seats – you will come out at just over $37,000 in total. This may seem like a lot given the car’s base price, but with those features, the 200 comes close to competing with entry-level luxury sedans, which are significantly more expensive.
The Chrysler 200 comes with a very solid set of performance credentials. It is powered by one of two engines: a solid 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that produces 184 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque or a beefy 3.6-liter V6 that pumps out 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The four-cylinder is a competent and reliable engine that is roughly comparable to other four-cylinder engines in the same class. The 200’s V6, however, is distinctive and offers more power than just about any other midsize sedan.
Both engines come with a nine-speed automatic transmission, though only the V6 models get the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual control as well as a Sport mode. All-wheel drive is available on all models, and it especially improves the handling on the V6 models since they can suffer from torque steer in the front-wheel drive configurations due to the engine’s power.
The suspension is balanced somewhere between comfort and performance in the default setup that most models come with, which could leave you unsatisfied if you prefer one over the other. Luckily, the Premium models come with a softer suspension that makes the ride significantly more comfortable, while the 200S comes with a tightened-up suspension and larger brakes for better overall performance. The steering is precise and well-weighted on all models, giving the 200 a good steering response.
Safety Features and Entertainment Features
As expected from a luxury sedan, practically all of the modern safety and entertainment accommodations are found on the 2017 Chrysler 200, though many of them are limited to the higher-end models. Making life easy for those who like to customize their vehicles, most features are usually available as separate options one trim level below the one where they become standard. This makes it easy to design a 200 that includes all of your favorites without paying for other options that you won’t use.
The selection of entertainment features is well-rounded thanks to Chrysler’s luxury pedigree. A 5.0-inch touch screen running the Uconnect infotainment interface is standard on all models except the base, where it is an option. An upgrade to an 8.4-inch system is available. Other entertainment features include navigation, HD and SiriusXM satellite radio, moonroof, dual-zone climate control and heated and ventilated leather seats.
In terms of safety, the 200 also features the latest and greatest technology. Stability control, a full range of airbags – including side curtain and knee bags – a rearview camera, and anti-whiplash headrests are standard equipment. All-wheel drive is available on most models.
If you’re looking for really innovative technology for your 200, the available SafetyTec package is the go-to option for the higher-end models. It includes a forward collision warning system with automatic braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitors, parking assist and automatic high beam management.
The 200 is also well-engineered and performs well in crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave it a five-star rating while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick.
How It Stacks Up Against the Competition
While it is technically listed as a luxury mid-size sedan, based on its price and features the Chrysler 200 primarily competes against the mass-market midsize sedans, which have been improving in terms of features and steadily moving up in price over the last decade. This pits the 2017 Chrysler 200 against both imports like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord as well as domestic entries like the Chevrolet Malibu and the Ford Fusion.
The 2017 Camry and the 2017 Accord are both slightly more expensive than the 200, offer less trunk space and are less powerful than the Chrysler 200. However, they offer more passenger space, especially in the second row, making them better as family-oriented vehicles. They also offer some options that are missing from the 200, like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If you are someone who drives people around often, such as a parent, the Camry or the Accord may be more attractive options. If you are more of a performance enthusiast, you will prefer the 200.
The Chevrolet Malibu is priced similarly to the Chrysler 200 and offers a more spacious interior, but its engines are smaller, weaker and exclusively turbocharged, which have a very different driving feel to naturally-aspirated engines. The Ford Fusion is one of the few cars that can match the 200 for storage space and engine power with its similarly-sized trunk and a 325-horsepower turbocharged V6.
However, it is less fuel-efficient than the 200 with its gasoline engines and is significantly more expensive for similar features. However, both the Fusion and Malibu have hybrid options, while the Chrysler does not. If you are looking for a hybrid or a turbocharged powertrain, then the Malibu or the Fusion will be a better fit, but the Chrysler offers a better base engine.
The four-cylinder engine of the Chrysler 200 is quite fuel efficient, getting 23 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. However, with the V6 these numbers drop to a fairly average 19 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. Adding all-wheel drive reduces the city and combined numbers by 1 mpg and highway by 3 mpg.
- Excellent styling
- Powerful V6 performance
- Good value for your money
- Little back seat space
- Lacks a turbo, hybrid or diesel option
- Doesn’t commit to either performance or luxury