Full 2015 Chrysler 200 Review
What's New for 2015
The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is completely redesigned. The 200 convertible has been discontinued.
Although the redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 isn't much different in size from last year's 200, you don't have to look at it very long to realize this is a radically different midsize sedan. The bodywork itself is quite striking for a car in this price range, and indeed it ushers in an all-new design language for the Chrysler brand. Inside, the cabin has been overhauled as well and features nicer materials and a slick new touchscreen electronics interface that's refreshingly easy to use. In addition, new safety features like blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning systems put the 2015 200 on more equal footing with the leaders in this class. If the upgrades on the 2015 Chrysler 200 stopped right here, it would still represent a major improvement over last year's 200 sedan. But the changes underneath are even more transformative.
For 2015, the 200 has adopted a slightly enlarged version of the platform architecture already used for the Dodge Dart and Jeep Cherokee. It's a more structurally rigid foundation than before and it contributes to a quieter, more refined ride quality. Handling is also impressive for a car in this class. Even better, Chrysler's midsize sedan gets an upgraded 184-horsepower four-cylinder engine that offers competitive performance for this class -- not something we could say about the four-cylinder in the previous-generation 200. However, Chrysler will continue to offer an optional V6 as well. With 295 hp, it's among the most powerful engines available in this class. Fuel economy should be respectable as well, since both engines use a new nine-speed automatic transmission. This year's 200 also gains the option of all-wheel drive on V6 models, and that will certainly be a plus if you're looking for a little extra capability in wintry conditions.
One thing that didn't really change in this redesign is usable interior room. There's just enough legroom for a 5-foot-10-inch adult to sit in the backseat, but if you're any taller than that, you'll likely find the quarters cramped. And up front, the 2015 Chrysler 200 offers less hiproom than most competitors, so if you have a larger frame, you may find the cockpit rather snug.
Given the high level of competition in the midsize sedan class, you'll definitely want to check out a few other candidates before making your decision. Top alternatives to the Chrysler 200 include the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima, all of which offer more spacious accommodations for passengers. The Ford should be especially appealing for shoppers with an eye for style, plus it's also available with AWD, while the Honda and Nissan are superb in the fuel economy department. Less often considered is the 2015 Mazda 6, also an impressively fuel-efficient sedan that also happens to be the best-handling car in this class. Although the 2015 Chrysler 200 doesn't have any major advantages over these rivals, it's certainly worth a look if you want a midsize car with a distinctive design and an above-average electronics interface.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A five-passenger midsize sedan, the 2015 Chrysler 200 comes in four trim levels: LX, Limited, S and C.
Standard equipment on the base LX includes 17-inch steel wheels, keyless ignition and entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, manually height-adjustable front seats, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with USB/iPod integration and an auxiliary audio input (a CD player is not included). A Uconnect option package provides Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 5-inch touchscreen display for the audio system.
Next up is the 200 Limited, which has all of the above features as standard, along with alloy wheels, upgraded exterior trim and a six-speaker sound system. The Limited trim is also available with more options. The Comfort Group adds a remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and rear heating ducts, while the Convenience Group provides heated mirrors, a rearview camera, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and satellite radio. A sunroof and 18-inch wheels are à la carte options.
The S is the sporty flavor of 200, and it comes standard with all of the Limited's equipment and many of the items in the Convenience Group, though notably, the rearview camera is not included (instead, it's offered in an S-specific version of the optional Comfort Group). Also standard on the S are 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, foglights, an acoustic windshield and front-door glass (for a quieter cabin), cloth/leather sport seats and upgraded interior trim.
Optional on the S is the Navigation and Sound Group, which provides an upgraded instrument panel, an 8.4-inch touchscreen electronics interface, a navigation system, smartphone app integration, text-to-voice capability for compatible phones, an upgraded nine-speaker sound system and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Also available are xenon headlights, 19-inch wheels, a blind-spot warning system (with rear cross-traffic alerts), a panoramic sunroof and full leather upholstery with ventilated front seats.
At the top of the line is the luxury-themed 200 C. It includes all the S trim's standard amenities and the contents of its Comfort Group, but reverts to the Limited's softer suspension setup and 17-inch wheels (18s on all-wheel-drive models). It also features standard leather upholstery and a six-way power front passenger seat.
Options for the 200 C are very similar to the 200 S, but the blind-spot warning system is part of a larger SafetyTec package that bundles adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision warning system, a lane departure warning and keeping assist system, an automated parking system, automatic high-beam control and rain-sensing windshield wipers. There's also a Premium Group with driver memory settings, upgraded interior trim (with real wood inlays), a heated steering wheel and a 115-volt power outlet.
Powertrains and Performance
All 2015 Chrysler 200 sedans come standard with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 hp and 173 pound-feet of torque. Also standard are a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
Optional on the S and C trims is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that's good for 295 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. The V6 also comes with the nine-speed automatic, but now you have a choice of front-drive or all-wheel drive.
All 200 S models include steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. In addition, the S and any 2015 200 equipped with the V6 have a Sport mode that sharpens up engine and transmission responses and provides slightly heavier steering effort.
The 2015 Chrysler 200 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and driver and front-passenger knee airbags. A rearview camera is optional on Limited and S models and standard on the C.
If you're looking for more advanced safety tech, a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts is optional on S and C models only. On the C, it's part of the SafetyTec package, which also includes lane departure warning and keeping assist and a forward collision warning system that can automatically initiate braking if the driver doesn't react to an impending collision situation.
Interior Design and Special Features
A dated control interface was one of the bigger drawbacks to last year's Chrysler 200, but company designers redoubled their efforts in the 2015 200, and the result is a thoroughly modern cabin design. It's shown off to best effect in S and C models equipped with the optional 8.4-inch infotainment interface. This large screen fills out the dash nicely and complements the automatic transmission's rotary-style shifter. The real wood inlays in the optional Premium Group package are especially striking, as they feature exposed edges inspired by the iconic Eames chair.
That said, we've also spent time in a Limited model with cloth upholstery and the standard 5-inch audio display. It doesn't look quite as state-of-the-art, but it's still a comfortable and functional interior furnished with high-quality materials. All models feature a USB port that strategically routes your power cord to a handy storage shelf in the center console.
Most people will have little difficulty getting comfortable in the front seats, and a standard tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel makes it easy to find a good driving position. However, the 2015 Chrysler 200 has less hiproom than most competitors, so if you're on the larger side, it may feel overly snug. Also be aware that the 200 offers less rear legroom than most other midsize sedans; anyone over 5-feet-10-inches is likely to find the backseat a tight fit. Trunk capacity is 16 cubic feet, which is a good number for this class.
Four-cylinder versions of the 2015 Chrysler 200 are a pleasant surprise. This isn't the quietest or smoothest engine in this class, but most buyers will find that the 2.4-liter meets their acceleration needs in normal driving, as highway merging and passing maneuvers come easily. Still, the V6 is the more desirable choice. It has plenty of power in any situation and never feels sluggish, even when engine speed drops below 2,000 rpm in 9th gear. It's also commendably quiet for normal highway cruising, yet has a snarly exhaust note when you really get on the gas.
If you're the sort of driver who likes to explore back roads, you'll likely prefer the 2015 Chrysler 200 S model and its sport-tuned suspension. The setup gives the car a buttoned-down feel around tight turns and makes it one of the better-handling midsize cars in this price range. If you just want to make time on the interstate, though, you'll probably be just as happy with the standard suspension calibration. We've sampled a Limited model with this setup and 17-inch wheels and tires, and it still provides reasonable balance around turns along with an agreeable ride quality. All 200 sedans have precise steering, but it has a heavier effort level than most buyers will be expecting from a midsize sedan.