Full 2014 Chrysler 200 Review
What's New for 2014
Chrysler has discontinued the outdated four-speed automatic transmission on the 200 LX sedan, which now uses the six-speed automatic exclusively (though you'll still encounter the four-speed in some rental-fleet cars). Apart from a few other minor equipment updates, the 2014 Chrysler 200 is unchanged.
Currently the entry-level car in the Chrysler lineup, the midsize 200 comes in sedan and convertible body styles. Although they share their engines, transmission and interior furnishings, the 2014 Chrysler 200 sedan faces a tougher road. The sedan is one of the older entries in its class, and it's up against newer cars with huge interiors, cutting-edge technology and high fuel economy ratings. The Chrysler 200 convertible is of a similar vintage, but it competes in a smaller field and it's still one of the better options out there if you want a four-seat convertible.
Both versions of the Chrysler 200 are notable for their smooth ride and composed handling. Although performance and fuel economy are below average with the base four-cylinder engine, the available V6 offers strong acceleration, and gas mileage is on par with the four-cylinder. Relative to the competition, the 200 convertible also offers ample room for a family of four. But as modern family sedans go, the 200 sedan feels cramped, especially in the backseat. Although both cars have handsome cabin furnishings, the electronics are hardly state of the art. The available touchscreen infotainment interface offers basic functionality, but its graphics are dated and the menu structure isn't very intuitive.
As a four-door, the 2014 Chrysler 200 doesn't stand out among midsize cars. It's a decent choice if you really want a V6 engine, but we'd advise you to check out such competitors as the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, which surpass the 200 in nearly all respects, including interior comfort and gas mileage.
It's easier to make a case for the 2014 200 convertible, which is simply more practical than the other convertibles in this price range, including the Chevrolet, Camaro, Ford Mustang and Volkswagen Eos, thanks to its impressive trunk space (with the top up or down) and rear-seat passenger legroom. The Chrysler 200 convertible can be equipped with either a soft or hard top, too -- a real plus on such a reasonably priced drop top.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2014 Chrysler 200 is available in midsize sedan and convertible body styles. The sedan comes in LX, Touring and Limited trim levels, while the convertible comes in Touring, Limited and S trims. A power-operated cloth top is standard on all 200 convertibles; a body-colored, power-retractable steel roof is available on Limited and S models.
The LX sedan comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, heated mirrors, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Touring sedan comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-way power driver seat and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio. The optional Cold Weather package adds heated front seats and remote ignition. Optional on the LX and Touring sedans is the Uconnect Voice Command package that contains Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auto-dimming mirror.
The Touring convertible comes with a few more features. In lieu of an eight-way power driver seat, it has six-way power driver and front-passenger seats. It also comes standard with an enhanced version of the Uconnect package that features a 6.5-inch touchscreen interface, a 40GB hard drive (with 28GB available for owners' personal media storage), a CD/DVD player and an auxiliary audio jack in addition to Bluetooth and a USB input. These items are available via an option package for the Touring sedan. Eighteen-inch wheels are optional on all Touring models, and a sunroof is available on the sedan.
The Limited sedan adds a V6 engine, foglights, leather upholstery and an upgraded Boston Acoustics sound system, but the 6.5-inch touchscreen interface remains optional -- it's available via the Sun/Sound package that also includes a navigation system and the sunroof. The Limited convertible has all of the Touring convertible's features, plus the V6, foglights and leather interior; however, the Boston Acoustics stereo is optional. Navigation is also optional in the Limited convertible.
The 200 S convertible adds standard polished 18-inch wheels, a black grille treatment and headlight surrounds, special exterior badging, S-badged leather seats and the Boston Acoustics stereo. The S convertible's exterior add-ons are available via an option package for the Touring sedan, and the Limited sedan is eligible for the interior and exterior enhancements via an option group.
Powertrains and Performance
Two engines are available on the 2014 Chrysler 200: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 173 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque and a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 283 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission available.
Four-cylinder-equipped 200 sedans return an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined, which is well below average for this class. The four-cylinder convertible rates 18/27/21. In either body style, the six-cylinder returns an EPA-estimated 19/29/22, which is average for midsize cars.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Chrysler 200 sedan with the V6 engine went from zero to 60 in 6.9 seconds. A V6-equipped convertible needed 7.5 seconds. Both times are on par for the class.
The 2014 Chrysler 200 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, active head restraints and front side airbags. The sedan gets side curtain airbags and the convertible gets front-seat-mounted side airbags with head protection.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Limited sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is slightly longer than average for this class. A Limited convertible stopped in 121 feet.
In government crash tests, the 200 sedan received four out of five stars for overall crashworthiness, along with four stars for frontal-impact crash protection and three stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Chrysler 200 sedan the highest possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The 200 sedan also earned a second-best "Acceptable" rating in the institute's newer small-overlap frontal-offset crash test. The Chrysler 200 convertible earned "Good" ratings in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact tests.
Interior Design and Special Features
One of the better attributes of the 2014 Chrysler 200's cabin is its materials quality. Overall, the interior has a pleasing ambience, and its look and feel are competitive with the best of the midsize sedan segment. However, the 200's electronics are less impressive, as the available 6.5-inch touchscreen interface looks dated and isn't very intuitive to use compared with the slick audio-navigation interfaces in newer midsize rivals.
The 200 sedan has a smaller footprint than its rivals, and backseat passengers pay the price, as rear accommodations are more cramped than in most midsize sedans. Also, front passengers will find themselves perched in a slightly odd, elevated seating position -- the idea here is to enhance legroom, but it's not ideal for taller adults who need all the headroom they can get. With just 13.6 cubic feet of space, the 200 sedan's trunk is undersized, too.
It's a different story with the convertible. The drop top's backseat is one of the roomiest in the segment, easily providing functional seating for adults. The 200 convertible also offers one of the most generously sized trunks in the segment; at 13.3 cubic feet, it's enormous when the roof is raised and relatively spacious with it lowered as well. That roof can also be either a conventional soft top or a retractable hardtop that promises better security and noise isolation. Either way, the power-operated top deploys or retracts in about 30 seconds. Wind noise is impressively subdued with the top up; we've found the convertible to be just a bit louder than the sedan.
Acceleration is no more than adequate with the Chrysler 200's 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, and fuel economy is well below average for this class. Life is much more enjoyable with the 3.6-liter V6. It's one of the more energetic engines in the segment, offering robust acceleration without a significant fuel economy penalty. The six-speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift at times, but it goes about its business smoothly and quietly.
Although the 2014 Chrysler 200 is one of the older models in the midsize-car class, the sedan and convertible offer composed, comfortable rides. Handling is above average, too. These aren't meant to be sporty cars, but they steer precisely and feel steady around turns.