2013 Chrysler 200 Limited Sedan (3.6L V6 FFV 6-speed Automatic)
Driven On 3/22/2011
The Chrysler 200 replaced the Sebring a couple of years ago, and it is a noticeable step up in terms of driving dynamics and aesthetics. Yet, the interior still looks and feels old compared to the leaders in this exceedingly competitive midsize class.
PerformanceEquipped with the optional V6, this family sedan is remarkably quick, has ample brakes and surprisingly good handling and is easy to drive.
With the 283-hp V6, this midsize family sedan is at or near the top of the V6 family sedan pack in terms of acceleration.
Mid-pack braking performance with medium-soft pedal feel and some nosedive, but always tracked straight.
For its class, the 200 offers good steering feel and response. Even has some actual feedback through the wheel.
Unexpected class-topping handling (proven at our test facility). The car leans in the corners, but the Goodyear Eagle tires provide enormous grip.
The smooth shifting automatic, effortless V6 power and good steering make the 200 a pleasant car to drive.
At a meager 1,000 pounds, we're not even sure why they give the 200 a tow rating.
ComfortThe 200 offers exceptionally good ride comfort and quietness. The seats, however, are merely adequate and are limited to just four places in total.
The seats are unremarkable. The four buckets are made slightly better (looking) with the "S" option.
Ride comfort of the 200 is quite good. It walks the narrow (and rarely achieved) line between too soft and too firm. Clearly better than most.
Acoustic windshield and double-pane laminated front glass do a very good job quelling wind noise, but occasional tire/road noise does find its way into the cabin.
InteriorThis is where the old Sebring's shadow shines through. Basic controls are done faithfully and there's plenty of room, but there's very little to get excited about in terms of modern accoutrements or clever solutions.
Simple knobs for HVAC and other basic functions. Limited (and above) standard touchscreen controller (with or without navigation) unnecessarily complicates things. Poor interface.
Access to either front or rear seats is good, pretty easy to get in and out.
Acceptable front legroom and headroom, but very good rear seating dimensions. Yet there are only two rear seats. No center head restraint.
Typical sedan sight lines, including a wide C-pillar, but without the option of a rearview camera or parking sensors.
Average-size center console, glove box, and map pocket. Standard split-fold rear seats with ski pass-through (all models) expands on the modest (13.6 cu-ft) trunk volume.
ValueValue is a mixed bag with the 200. You get a big, attractive car with a powerful-yet-efficient V6. But quality and features trail the competitive set.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Our test car showed consistent gaps between body panels, but inconsistent paint application. Inside, there were no noticeable quality or build concerns and no rattles.
Just adequate features for the price. Even a Limited model requires an option package for Bluetooth connectivity. You get a big car with a big V6 for the money spent.
At this price point, there are few cars this large and comfortable.
Fuel economy for the flex-fuel V6 is highly competitive and nearly matches that of the 4-cylinder model. Economy declines dramatically using E85.
Offered with a 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty, Chrysler is lagging far behind in this regard, although the 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty includes roadside assistance.
Changes made from Chrysler Sebring to Chrysler 200 add up to huge, noticeable differences. Whether or not those changes also include improved quality remain to be seen.
Fun To DriveIn ways that the Sebring never was, the Chrysler 200 is actually kind of fun to drive with a powerful V6 and nimble handling. Surprisingly, it still has a comfy, big-car ride.
It's a near-luxury driving experience, but without the features many of its competitors have.
It's hard to shake the "premium rental car" stigma of the previous Sebring, but as a personal car the revised styling brings it closer to the Chrysler 300 family resemblance.
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