2014 Chrysler 200 Research Click to hide
This is no simple refresh of an existing architecture. No, the engineers at Chrysler took what they learned with the Dodge Dart and have stretched its basic underpinnings even farther to create a truly sophisticated midsize family sedan.
Aimed at the heart of the market, the 2015 Chrysler 200 looks to be longer and wider, sharing technology like the automaker's rotary-dial shifter, nine-speed automatic transmission that debuted in the mechanically similar 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and more LED lights than a Christmas tree. Not since the 1990s has Chrysler had a truly credible family sedan alternative; we think this looks like a good attempt to get back into the high-volume sales race.
Who It's For
Chrysler's 2014 200 and the mechanically similar Dodge Avenger were classified as midsize sedans, but both were too small to truly compete against the likes of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. This car looks to rectify that.
Chrysler won't be able to wow anyone with the sort of reliability reputation carried by the Japanese automakers, so it's going to have to carry its game on the back of technology. Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment suite—a very good system—will be pivotal, as will a style that looks a bit Volkswagen CC meets Audi meets Ford Fusion to our eyes. Chrysler will be taking the 200 upmarket to go head to head with the big guys this time.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 will be a huge upgrade over the current car, including in it:
- A standard 184-horsepower, 2.4-liter Tigershark 2 engine or 295-horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6.
- A nine-speed automatic transmission with either engine.
- Standard all-wheel drive when loaded with the V-6.
- A rotary dial shifter, like what we've seen in the Ram 1500.
- Available LED fog lights and running lamps in addition to standard LED tail lights.
- Three-, five-, or 8.4-inch infotainment screens, the latter most of which will have navigation.
- A disconnecting rear driveshaft with all-wheel drive that will help the 200 achieve better fuel economy.
- LX, S, Limited, and C trim levels, allowing a huge amount of flexibility with options and pricing.
What We Think
The previous-generation Chrysler 200 and that its entire generation was a last redemption effort. It was designed when Chrysler had no money and was being sucked dry by former parent company Daimler-Benz. When Fiat picked up a majority stake in Chrysler, it dumped an emergency fund into most of Chrysler's products to give them a fighting chance. This is now the first all-new midsize sedan that Chrysler has introduced with full financial infusion from Fiat. And it looks stunning. At $22,695, including $995 for destination and handling, the 2015 Chrysler 200 looks priced to sell, too, when it goes on sale during the second quarter of 2014.
Unfortunately, it comes as a result of losing the Dodge Avenger, which we hope is a shrewd move for Chrysler. It's still too early to tell, but we're skeptical.
However, if the 2015 Chrysler 200 can get past the teething woes that delayed the 2014 Jeep Cherokee for months on end, we think it could shake of the establishment. We're eager to see how Chrysler runs with it.
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