Chrysler just unveiled the all-new 200 sedan, showing that the American company has continued to reinvent itself as capable of making cars that truly compete with the world’s most popular models. The 200 sets a benchmark in a few categories for midsize sedans, though it remains to be seen if that’s enough to make it a top-seller. Considering that its main competition will come from the much more established Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima, the 200 has a lot of catching up to do in the sedan popularity contest.
But the 200 is a huge step in the right direction. It starts, as all cars do, with the engine, which has two options: the energy-efficient 2.4-liter I-4 that’s good for 184 horsepower and 173 lb.-ft. of torque, and the freeway flying 3.6-liter V-6 that cranks out a best-in-class 295 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque. Attached is a 9-speed automatic transmission (which none of its competitors offer) with a fabulous E-shifter for sport-inspired drivers. The 200 also has a unique all-wheel drive system that maximizes efficiency.
Of course, to compete with the Accords and Camrys of the world, the 200 will have to do two things: appeal aesthetically to consumers, and offer an enjoyable and practical driving experience. Chrysler nailed the first test, breaking out of their conventional (in this case “conventional” is a fancy word for “boring”) design mold to deliver a very pretty sedan. The 200 is aggressive but graceful. The first thing of note is the headlights, which capture attention in a wonderful way; work your way to the back of the car and you’ll find a derriere that has taken a page out of Jaguar’s book.
The car is well designed – and spacious – inside, as well. Gone are the days of looking like an old person’s car; the 200 is ready to compete with the big boys. And drivers will love the all-new suspension, as well as the acoustic windshields and windows, and the NVH insulation. The result is a product that allows driver and passenger to converse as though they are sitting in their living room, not their car.
The Chrysler 200 is ready to compete with the best midsize sedans in the game; if they can get customers into the dealership, they should have no problem convincing them of exactly that.
Photo Credit: Chrysler