First Drive of the 2015 Chrysler 200C: Performance Technology Brings Chrysler to the Midsized Forefront
Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few hours behind the wheel of a 2015 Chrysler 200C V6 AWD to see if this new car could compete with some of the biggest names in the American auto industry. Many of the industry’s top selling models such as the Toyota Camry, the Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord comprise the midsized sedan segment and in past year, the Chrysler Group has struggled to build a car that could really compete with those big names. The Chrysler Sebring and Dodge Avenger did an admirable job of giving Chrysler fans something solid in the midsized segment, but sales numbers of the Toyota and Ford models dwarfed the two midsized Chrysler sedans. The company’s midsized program took a big step forward when the Chrysler Sebring became the Chrysler 200, but that car was really just a nicer version of the Sebring.
That all changed when the 2015 Chrysler 200 was introduced in Detroit as it is an all-new car from top to bottom, inside and out. The new 200 has a gorgeous exterior design that is unlike anything else in the company lineup with smooth, flowing lines, a very upscale looking trim layout and a high tech lighting design that makes for one of the best looking models in the midsized sedan segment. Better yet, the cabin of the new 200 looks more like something out of a European luxury car than an affordable midsized American sedan with every bit of modern interior technology that you could ask for nestled among plush, comfortable seating for five. The new 200 has the look and feel of a luxury car while having the price of some of the highest volume cars in the US industry, but the biggest test for the 2015 Chrysler 200 comes on the open road. Neither the Chrysler Sebring nor the current (2014) Chrysler 200 were bad cars to drive, but neither of them were particularly inspiring cars. The 3.6L Pentastar V6 went a long way in making the current 200 a far more engaging vehicle, but it still wasn’t a car that a great many people would call sporty. With the 2015 200, the Chrysler engineers obviously put a great deal of effort into making this new midsized sedan sportier to drive…and their efforts are very well received.
My test drive car was a 2015 Chrysler 200C with the 3.6L Pentastar V6, the standard 9-speed automatic transmission and the advanced all wheel drive system. The 295 horsepower V6 makes the 2015 200 the most powerful car in the segment and the new 200 is the only car sold in America with the fuel-friendly 9-speed automatic while also being one of the few cars in the segment to offer all wheel drive. On paper, the 2015 Chrysler 200 reads like a car that is going to be a whole lot of fun to drive…and seat time in this new sedan does not disappoint.