This year marks the 90th year for Chrysler as an automotive brand. Not too long ago it was incorporated into the Fiat Chrysler Automobile global family and part of that new partnership meant new models rolling out that received global influence. The Chrysler 200 midsize sedan was one such vehicle.
We brought you our first impressions of the all-new 200 about a year and a half ago and recently a 2016 200C spent a week in the test driveway. My initial reactions to the vehicle were merely confirmed during my time with the new 200, those being of the “Chrysler finally got it right” nature.
The new 200 features all of the latest safety and creature comfort technologies offered by the brand and arrives in front- or all-wheel drive powered by choice of Tigershark 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, each backed by the new corporate nine-speed automatic transmission. Our 200C tester arrived with the smaller engine that proved to provide plenty of smooth power for the vehicle while delivering excellent fuel economy of 23 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
Styling is certainly what garners first impressions in this vehicle and it is probably the model’s singular biggest improvement over the car it replaced. Designers stepped up their game both inside and out with this vehicle while engineers managed to squeeze some 60 safety and security features into the frame including rear backup camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, adaptive cruise control-plus, LaneSense Plus with lane keep assist, forward collision warning-plus, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.
Inside there is the new 8.4-inch color touchscreen that is the heart of the infotainment operations and all audio, nav, communication, and climate controls can be accessed here with redundant controls found on steering wheel, center console stack, and via hands-free and voice-activation modes. The test vehicle arrived just as temperatures were heading south along with all the snowbirds so the heated steering wheel was an extra treat.
The 2016 200C rides comfortably and quietly, offering more than adequate acceleration when needed but the powertrain never becomes intrusive into the driving experience. The car handles quite well and there is a Sport model available for those seeking just a bit more attitude in your commute. If the rear seat would support three child seats across the 200 would be on our short list of vehicles being shopped for when the new grandbaby arrives.
Chrysler offers this vehicle in LX, Limited, 200C, and 200S trim levels. Base pricing for our 200C tester was $27,450 with this vehicle arriving with a final sticker of $33,420. Some of the highlights of the add-ons include a set of stylish polished and painted 19-inch aluminum wheels and a 506-watt Alpine audio system.
The new 200 replaces not only the outgoing model of the same name but the Dodge Avenger variant as well and Chrysler boasts new model sales outpacing the combined numbers of those vehicles combined. This new global 200 is certainly heading things back in the right direction for the brand and as Chrysler celebrates 90 years we wish them well and congratulate them on delivering product like the new 200.