Chrysler 200

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The 2016 Chrysler 200 is an affordable and capable four-door sedan with some stiff competition. It’s classed with other popular sedans such as the Toyota Camry and the Chevrolet Malibu. Yet, the Chrysler 200 still manages to hold its own by offering a dependable vehicle at a price that is sublime. It has a base price of $22,115, with most dealerships offering a host of incentives and discounts to sweeten the deal. The 200 gets decent gas mileage (32 mpg on the highway) and plenty of stow-and-go cargo space on the interior. There are six different model trims to choose from, so it’s certainly worth a closer look.

 

Performance

Even though there are six different model trim packages, with options ranging from interior tech upgrades to larger alloy wheels, at the heart of the 2016 Chrysler 200 are only two choices for the powertrain. There’s a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that gets 184 horsepower. It’s paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission that’s controlled from a rotary dial E-shifter in the center stack.

The Sport mode setting allows you to have a more responsive driving experience by shifting the torque mostly to the rear wheels and delaying the gear change for an athletic feel. You can also choose a paddle-shifting transmission on the 200S model and do all the work yourself. Do yourself a favor though, and skip the inline 4 and choose the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine configuration that all the critics are raving about. It has best-in-class horsepower (295) and 262 lb. ft. of torque. It goes well with the all-wheel drive (AWD) option, which gives seamless traction control and added stability without any extra input from the driver.

Exterior Style

This isn’t a cheap-looking sedan, even though it’s priced to move. The 2016 Chrysler 200 is available in nine different premium paint coats, including velvet red pearl and black forest green. It has fine lines and curves, but it’s far from a unique look. The front grille design does bear some resemblance to the Dodge Dart, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The car’s exterior is sporty and sleek, with subtle accents at the headlamps and intake. It has advanced LED lights in the front and rear.

The Chrysler 200S model trim offers chrome-tipped exhaust pipes, fog lamps and 18-inch alloy wheels. The 200S model also has a sport-tuned suspension and heated mirrors to boot. You don’t have to choose the 200S model to turn heads on the road. There are 11 different wheel configurations, in sizes ranging from 17 to 19 inches.

Perhaps the only drawback to the exterior design is an elongated roof line that drops down to a plunging rear. The result is a more cramped rear bench that you can definitely feel as you try to enter the vehicle from the rear doors.

Interior Amenities

This feels like a driver-first vehicle. There’s plenty of knee and head room in the front, and the controls are optimized for easy access. The center console of the 2016 Chrysler 200 certainly is unique and distinctive. It has hidden compartments and a fly-through space that goes from the driver side straight through to the front passenger side seating.

Although you might not think Chrysler can cut it with other luxury automakers, you’d be wrong to shortchange the 2016 Chrysler 200. The Platinum model trim has a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and a nine-speaker Alpine sound system that truly packs a punch.

A sunroof is standard on all models, but higher model trims like the Platinum edition have a larger dual-pane sunroof that gives you a panorama of the night sky. The 200C has an especially attractive wood paneling that gives the 2016 Chrysler 200 a premium touch that can rival the Hyundai Genesis and Ford Fusion. The interior, although not roomy, is absolutely adequate. However, there are 16 cubic feet of trunk space, and compartments here and there, to help make a handful of knick-knacks disappear.

Safety Features

Some of the best aspects of the 200 are its award-winning safety features. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highlighted the vehicle’s front crash prevention system and awarded it a Top Safety Pick for 2016. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also gave it five stars, their highest government rating.

The advanced safety features that are available on the 2016 Chrysler 200 include Lane Departure and Forward Collision warning systems, both of which have automated functions that can assist the driver in maintaining their lane or stopping the vehicle outright if a forward crash is imminent. The vehicle also monitors your blind spots with a host of onboard sensors and cameras. Those same tools are also employed in the Parkview backup camera and Park Assist semi-autonomous features. The latter helps you with parallel and perpendicular parking, although it’s not a full takeover. The car controls the steering angle, but you have to follow onscreen prompts to complete the maneuver yourself.

Technology

The 2016 Chrysler 200 has an information and entertainment system called UConnect. You won’t get UConnect on the base model LX, but it’s available on all trims starting with the Touring and Limited. UConnect is controlled through a large 5-inch touchscreen display in the front central dashboard. The UConnect system ramps up a few notches on the higher packages like the Platinum edition. Not only is the touchscreen much larger, but at 8.4 inches, it’s also the largest touchscreen display in its class.

With the addition of Sirius XM satellite radio, hands-free calling, 3D graphic navigation and voice texting, this system keeps you connected to the world around you. It also lets you download a number of fun and useful apps, just like your smart phone. If you want all the bells and whistles, you might like the wireless remote transmitter for garage doors, the 200 ft. remote vehicle ignition option, and USB ports.

Final Thoughts

The 2016 Chrysler 200 is certainly not the leader of the pack, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s got a reliable V6 engine, appealing style elements, connective technology and great safety features. It’s an economy vehicle for new families just starting out and drivers who need to save some money. It’s gotten some mixed reviews though. Consumer Reports has the 2016 Chrysler 200 in their Bottom Picks list, but Motor Authority notes that “offering AWD is a bold gamble.” That leaves auto enthusiasts with a tough decision when considering the new Chrysler 200. Yet, the good far outweighs the bad, and the Chrysler 200 can certainly roll on for another generation or two.