2015 Chrysler 200 Road Test | Edmunds.com
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2015 Chrysler 200 Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan

(2.4L 4-cyl. 9-speed Automatic)
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New Styling, New Features, Better Fuel Economy


Quick Summary
Redesigned for 2015, Chrysler's 200 is the brand's entry into the highly competitive midsize sedan segment occupied by the best-selling Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Stacked with new powertrain options and new features, the 200 includes a thoroughly modern interior, offering competitive safety and technology amenities.

What Is It?
The 2015 Chrysler 200 is a redesigned midsize sedan that's available in front- or all-wheel drive. Its wheelbase is about an inch shorter than that of the outgoing 200 and shorter than the current Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Overall length, width and height, however, exceed those models. Interior space improves this year as well.

Two engines are available, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 184 horsepower and a 3.6-liter V6 rated at 295 hp, both paired with a segment-first nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available only with the V6.

2015 Chrysler 200

Our S trim tester is one of four trim levels: LX, Limited, S and C. Both the V6 and all-wheel drive are available on S and C trims. LX models start at $22,695 and our well-optioned S AWD model stickered at $34,465.

How Does It Drive?
Possibly the most unique experience from driving the 200 is using its rotary-knob shifter, which is mounted on the panel spanning the dashboard and the center console. Though it takes some getting used to, the knob-style shifter is functionally useful for at least one solid reason: It's augmented by steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. It's also well placed and consumes minimal space, both of which are virtues.

Otherwise, the 200 is amply powerful when optioned with the V6. Our test car hit 60 in only 6.2 seconds, which is on par with other V6-powered midsize sedans. Manual shifts from its nine-speed automatic are lazier than we'd like, but downshifts are rev-matched. In Drive, the nine-speed seamlessly swaps between cogs with little interruption in power delivery. You'll never know there are so many gears available, as the transmission disappears under the engine's substantial output.

Four-cylinder versions are a pleasant surprise as well. Though it isn't the quietest or smoothest engine in this class, there's plenty of power for passing and merging on the highway.

2015 Chrysler 200

Steering weight is heavier than in many rival sedans but it's not burdensome. Sport mode (one click past "Drive" on the shifter) increases steering weight, throttle sensitivity and shifting to better suit aggressive driving. Ride quality, due in some measure to optional 19-inch wheels, is taut in the S model. But the 200 lacks any kind of rewarding driving experience that might justify its ride. Most customers will prefer the smoother ride of the other trim levels, which are better suited for highway cruising and still provide adequate control in most situations.

What Kind of Fuel Economy Does It Deliver?
The obvious point of a transmission with so many gears is to achieve good fuel economy, which the 200 does given its ample power. All-wheel-drive 200s are EPA rated at 22 mpg combined (18 city/29 highway). Our test car produced 27.5 mpg on our 116-mile test loop, which is mostly highway miles but also includes mountain roads. Four-cylinder 200s earn 28 mpg combined (23 city/36 highway).

Ford's 2.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Fusion, which makes 64 fewer horses, is available with all-wheel drive and rated at 25 mpg combined. The 2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6R will offer 256 hp, and Subaru estimates it will earn 23 mpg combined.

How Safe Is It?
Neither the federal government (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted crash tests on the 2015 Chrysler 200. However, the outgoing model was rated favorably by both.

2015 Chrysler 200

Stopping from 60 mph required only 119 feet, which puts it among the best-stopping midsize sedans. Antilock brakes, stability control and 10 airbags — including knee airbags for both the driver and the passenger — are standard. A rearview camera is only standard on top-trim C models and isn't available on the base (LX) trim. Rear cross-path detection is standard on S and C models.

Though they weren't present on our tester, the 200 brings several new safety technologies to the midsize segment. Adaptive cruise control with the ability to bring the car to a complete stop, forward collision warning with autonomous braking and a park assist feature are all available.

What Kind of Technology Does It Offer?
Most tech features are packed into the 200's Navigation and Sound package, which is optional on S and C trims. Included in the package are an 8.4-inch touchscreen for the GPS-based navigation system, audio system and settings control. The screen is high-resolution and the system is among the easiest to use and quickest to learn.

A mobile phone app allows remote start as well as door locking and unlocking functions. The 200's UConnect Access service will read incoming text messages and provides voice-to-text services for outgoing text messages. On-demand WiFi connectivity is available for a fee in cars equipped with UConnect Access.

2015 Chrysler 200

Two 12-volt outlets, a USB port and an aux jack are standard on all trims. Bluetooth connectivity is standard on all but the base LX trim, where it's optional.

How Comfortable Is Its Interior?
Chrysler uses some interesting design features to maximize space inside the 200. The merging of the center stack on the dashboard and the center console between the seats is more effective here than in other cars where this trick has been employed (think Lincoln MKZ) largely due to the functionality of the shifter and location of the electronic parking brake button, both of which are quite intuitive.

The unusual packaging also creates a "bridge" over the footwell area, which functions as usable storage. There's a clever pass-through for a charging cord and the two-section center console offers more space than most.

Our car was optioned with the leather-trimmed/vented sport seat option ($995), which adds leather interior appointments, heated and ventilated front seats and a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat. A heated steering wheel is optional on all but the base trim.

2015 Chrysler 200

Front-seat comfort is admirable with the optional sport seats. Space, however, is compromised by the 200's long, sweeping roof-support pillars both front and rear. Front-seat occupants, though they'll have enough space, will be aware of the front-most pillar's proximity simply because of its width. Rear-seat passengers taller than 6 feet may lack headroom. Sense of space, too, isn't as good as the class leaders, which maximize the perception of room with less shapely bodies.

At 16 cubic feet the 200's trunk offers more space than the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Mazda 6. Its 60/40-split folding rear seat also includes a small trunk pass-through under the fold-out armrest.

What Are Its Closest Competitors?
2014 Honda Accord Sedan: No conversation about midsize sedans is complete without mention of the current Accord. Its combination of packaging, efficiency and performance is strong.

2014 Toyota Camry: A long reputation for durability and reliability get the Camry on the consideration list as well. This is the no-frills entry in the segment, but it's highly practical, roomy and efficient.

2014 Ford Fusion: Available with all-wheel drive and thoroughly modern, the Fusion is a relevant choice thanks to solid tech and safety features.

Why Should You Consider This Car?
Because it's unusual in the segment, all-wheel drive is a major selling point for the 200. But this is a genuinely nice car. Upper trim levels offer interior quality that's higher than it's ever been from Chrysler, and its infotainment system is among the most full-featured and easy to use on offer. The 200's numerous safety features are attractive and its five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't hurt, either.

2015 Chrysler 200

Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
If your sedan needs involve carrying large adults in the backseat often, there are better choices on the market. That's no small criticism in a class with a huge premium on space. However, you should experience it for yourself before making the call because the positives certainly outweigh the negatives with the new 200.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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Comments

  • With 9 speeds and other modern aero tricks, I'm surprised Chrysler couldn't have done better than 35 on the highway mpg. Perhaps a newer version of this 4 cylinder engine will be out 1-2 years that will fix this issue.

  • ed341 ed341 Posts:

    Nice rental!

  • okbeartoy okbeartoy Posts:

    With all the problems this 9 speed auto caused on the Cherokee I am suprized the Fiat hasn't got it sorted out yet..

  • hank39 hank39 Posts:

    Really improved design. The dark gray version is a looker. The black interior is REALLY dark. It's like the Bat Cave in there. A little splash of color might have done it some good (i.e. the cupholder and gauge cluster surrounding notwithstanding). I commend them for revamping the interior and exterior though. Nice job all around.

  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    I saw the 200 at the Chicago Auto Show and was really impressed. It's a beautiful design (not original, but still very attractive). It has one of the best center consoles I have seen in quite a while. And I did my standard test to see if I could adjust the front seat to comfortably fit my 6-3, 225 pound frame and still sit behind myself. The answer was yes, and most importantly, my head didn't hit the top edge of the rear window. Four average size adults should fit very comfortably in the 200. Kudos to Chrysler. This car would definitely be on my midsized sedan test drive list.

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    Some other publishing's indicate the i4 to yield closer to 39 HWY, so the real production model will probably do better than this pre-production model. That being said, I would not be surprised if the V6 does even better than 31 MPG HWY. I had a 300s V6 with the current 8 spd and averaged 28 in mixed driving. Not a big fan of the exterior, but I don't hate it either.

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    This car needs to join the LT fleet. Chrysler products are very appealing in the showroom. Long term durability and reliability are another issue.

  • adantium adantium Posts:

    Porsche Cayman & Boxster GTS out today...nothin?

  • themandarin themandarin Posts:

    "Virtually devoid of sharp corners or angles, the 2015 200 ushers in an all-new design language for the Chrysler lineup" and harks back to the '95 Ford Taurus

  • dfelix70 dfelix70 Posts:

    Not sure there is really any compelling reason for someone to own this car over an Accord, Fusion, 6, or Optima. Exterior styling is nice, more modern than Accord but not as nice as Fusion or 6, but already looks already-done. The interior is nice, and ergonomically looks better than the Fusion, but I personally don't like the touchscreen. Also, I'm scared of how many folks get into accidents because they think they've put a car in D or R, but adjust the climate control instead. The only reason I could see would be in its driving experience. But it would be pretty tough to top the Honda, Ford or Mazda in that aspect.

  • The new 200 looks like a very nice (if not outstanding entry) in this market segment. It is long overdue. I would be interested to know how the sport-tuned 200 S would fare in a road test or comparison. I am also wondering if the V-6 models should come standard with all-wheel drive. 295 hp is a lot of power to send to the front wheels. Nice car none the less.

  • sharpend sharpend Posts:

    Oh man, all this time I thought the Speedometer was the instrument that goes up to around 10 and says 'RPM' on it. Silly me. Good thing Chrysler spells it all out. Other than that, a pretty gosh darn nice interior.

  • joellein_ joellein_ Posts:

    Why isn't the Mazda6 a close competitor? Is the Mazda so much the leader in this category the this new Chrysler is not a close competitor to the new Mazda?

  • bb49 bb49 Posts:

    I'm surprised that Edmunds failed to mention the Mazda 6 as one of the other cars in this class to consider. As I have driven and read every review on the Mazda and this is the absolute best in the class and I will buy one as it is superior to the Accord, Altima and Camry. (The icing on the cake is its styling is light years ahead of the dowdy and out dated styling of the aforementioned Accord,Altima and Camry.

  • This is a nice car and I would buy this before I even buy an Audi.

  • I love this car.

  • redgeminipa redgeminipa Posts:

    Bluetooth should be standard across the board. This isn't 2010 anymore. How much could it really cost? Maybe $5... but they'll want to charge you $299 + dealer install fee for it.

  • redgeminipa redgeminipa Posts:

    The Mazda 6 may be a nice car, but the rear seat area is probably the smallest in the class. My Sonata feels like a land yacht compared to it. On that topic, it wouldn't hurt to mention the Sonata/Optima as competitors as well.

  • Very nice looking, and the interior looks excellent. Looking forward to seeing it in person as far as dimensions and real size compared to others in this segment. So far, so good. Now, make it reliable and not a rattle-box a year out, and you've got a winner.

  • lions208487 lions208487 Posts:

    @ Throwback - Reliability? I can't comment on the Dart, because don't own and don't know anyone who does own that car. However, I do know a few Charger, 300, and Challenger owners, and none of them have reported anything but positive reviews from their

  • I wish Chrysler would invest some time and money towards improving its online configurator. Once you select a trim and color then nothing ever changes. Want to change wheels? Can't see what they'll look like. Want to rotate the car to see a different angle? Can't do that either.

  • hank39 hank39 Posts:

    Might be a dumb question...but can the rotary knob shifter be rotated while it's in Drive into a different position? I'm assuming there's something that would keep that from happening?

  • What is wrong with the Dart? Profanity doesn't help make the point.

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