The 2015 Chrysler 200 first meets your eye with some new forms and design DNA for the brand. While similar in silhouette to the Dodge Dart to which it shares some architecture, the new 200 really sets itself apart in the details and forms.
The 200 is aimed directly at the heart of the mid-size sedan category which includes top competitors like the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. It’s sized identically to them and styled a bit more daringly than the previous 200 sedan.
Looking close you notice more carefully formed creases and carved out trims than before. A new face signals future design from the brand proudly with a new interpretation of the Chrysler logo and wing. The integrated duck-bill spoiler of the rear decklid features the wing as well.
While seemingly benign from a distance a close look at the greenhouse also reveals a crisp and elegant shape, if not somewhat sophisticated.
The interior of the 200 while again showing some corporate design DNA, offers up a host of new and exclusive features for the Chrysler. High tech infotainment and driver aids will be available in 200 models which even full loaded only reach into the mid $30,000’s.
In our short drive I found the seats to be comfortable and easily adjusted, and the materials to be of a high quality to the touch. The door panels, dash and other trims indeed appear and feel much better than anything we have seen before from the brand.
While the 200 shares architecture with the Dodge Dart, the interior has a number of key differences and unique qualities. These include a flowing console with turn dial gear selector similar to that introduced in the Ram 1500. There’s also a handy pass through stowage area under the console Chrysler says can take even the larges of purses.
Under the hood of the Chrysler 200 for 2015 are two available engines including a 184 horsepower 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine and a 295 horsepower 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 which we had in our tester. Both engines come mated to a segment first 9-speed automatic transmission.
The 3.6 liter V6 gives a healthy dose of punch in your back and seems well mated to the new 9-speed transmission. We found the shifting behavior in this car much more refined than its application in the Jeep Cherokee we recently tested.
Under acceleration I might add, I detected little or no torque steer which with nearly 300 horsepower on tap to the front wheels is an engineering feat in itself. Overall, the new 200 feels well sorted on our first and brief drive.
A uniquely quiet ride comes from a number of 200 specific chassis features including a cast aluminum sub-frame for the front suspension, a tighter body structure which uses a high percentage of high strength steels, and key aerodynamic refinements.
We look forward to bringing you a much more detailed review when we get the opportunity to review the new Chrysler 200 for an extended time very soon.