2015 Chrysler 200 Limited (1051)

Overview:

This week I had the opportunity to test the 2015 Chrysler 200 Limited. I’m always amazed at how American ingenuity dazzles us more every year. Old timers will remember the Avis car rental company who launched themselves into the spotlight by proudly proclaiming in their advertisements that they were “number 2 – they try harder”.  Now that American car makers are no longer number 1 in the world of automobiles they too are trying harder. It’s humbling to be knocked off your pedestal. But what is important is they got back up and they should be number one again. They really gave birth to the industry and set the standard of excellence for a world to shoot at. There is more innovation in our multi-cultural industrial machine simply because of that fact – producing everything imaginable from the minds of many viewpoints.

I never counted them out and the Big Three are still alive and well and it is they who continue to lead and yes be copied. A great big thanks to the consumer who wake up even sleeping giants with their purchasing power – $$$$$$.

General Information:

Parts from the US / Canada 73%; It is assembled in Sterling Heights, MI USA, Classification is Midsize. Cars from Chrysler: 200, 300 & Town & Country.

Handling & Performance:

Only adequate power for the most part from this 4-cylinder engine. It has a smooth ride but the drive train is not as smooth as I think it should be. I found myself being aware of shifting when it should be quiet. It’s not a deal breaker and it is just something you will want to watch for on your test drive.

Styling:

This is a strikingly good looking automobile and a new look I was quick to appreciate.

Fit and Finish:

Very good.

Cost:

Wow. How can you go wrong? This is a lot of car for the money.

Conveniences and comfort:

Everything you could expect and for the money I didn’t expect as much. My most favorite feature in any car today is the “Keyless Entry and Go” feature that is usually not available on cars at this price point. Literally you will likely never need to take the key fob out of your pocket or purse ever… for me it was only when I changed my pants. You gotta agree it is the most useful of features. Also exclusive in this class is the electric park brake and Safe-hold feature.

One feature I found nice but mis-placed on the control panel is the ‘Rotary E-Shift’ knob. It is a nice replacement of the shift lever. However its placement on the panel is my problem. It is right below the temperature knob and it is so easy to grab the wrong knob and change from automatic climate control to manual fan. It is even the same size and if that knob alone were simply smaller and offset from the shift knob it would be better. I’m sure after a few years of driving my motor skills would be honed in perfectly and it wouldn’t bug me.

As an aside do you recall the older Chrysler products that employed push button shift up on the dash? This must be a Chrysler thing where they are futuristic in design thinking and this time they got it right. I like the electric shift knob approach.

Uconnect Bluetooth connectivity is among the best on the market. I must say however use of my iPhone is a bit confused by the streaming audio and input commands to my phone’s Nav system or in leaving voice messages. With the system connected to the cars audio / speaker system it doesn’t always pick up the command. On the other hand it could be me and not the sensitivity of the microphone on the car.

Consumer Recommendation:

You may want to move to the V-6 engine option model if you find the 184 horsepower 4-cylinder engine is not enough power for you. I like the highway 36 mpg performance more (V6 consumes 7 MPG more), because the 4-cylinder is not that much of a drawback for me.

Recognized Competition:

Chrysler 200 $23,000, Audi A3 $30,000, Chevrolet Cruze $23,000, Dodge Dart $23,000, Honda Civic $24,000, Hyundai Elantra $22,000, Kia Forte $21,000, Mazda3 Touring $26,000, Mitsubishi Lancer  $21,000, Nissan Sentra $18,000, Subaru Impreza $22,000, VW Golf $20,000, VW Jetta $21,000.

Good News:

Attractive, great fuel economy with decent power and outstanding pricing.

Bad News:

Transmission shift not transparent, placement of the shift knob could be better.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter 184 HP inline 4-cylinder, 9-speed automatic transmission, front side and side curtain front and rear and driver and passenger knee airbags, Child LATCH system, stability and traction control, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with brake assist, electric park brake and power steering, keyless enter and go, security alarm, cruise control, air conditioning, Uconnect AM/FM/Bluetooth, 6-speakers, audio input jack for mobile devices, Remote USB port, steering wheel mounted controls, power windows and locks, manual 6-way front seat adjustment, Ambient LED interior lighting, information center, tire pressure monitor, compass, O/S temp gauge, rearview mirror with Microphone, tilt and telescopic steering column, 12 V aux power outlet, rear armrest with storage cup holder, front center sliding armrest, auto headlights, LED tail lights, 17” silver aluminum wheels.

Gas Stats:

$3.65 / Gal avg. September 22, 2014

www.fueleconomy.gov
For more information.

23 City and 36 Highway MPG

Pricing:
MSRP $23,255.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
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