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Car Review: 2015 Chrysler 200 Windy City Review

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2015 Chrysler 200

2015 Chrysler 200 Windy City Review

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel

Auto industry sales have been on an upward trajectory all this year. Chrysler brand sales in November were up 30 percent. Largely driving this increase is the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan. Sales of the 200 were up 155 percent, the mid-size sedan’s best ever sales in the month of November and its best sales month since arriving in dealers last Spring.

The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 competes in the mid-size sedan segment, one of the largest segments in North America, with more than 2 million sales annually. Roughly one of every six new vehicles sold in the United States is a mid-size sedan.

Chrysler needed to step-it-up in the mid-size segment and invested heavily in the design and development of the 2015 Chrysler 200 as well as in its manufacture. The Sterling Heights, Michigan Assembly Plant was the beneficiary of a $1 billion investment including an all-new state-of-the art paint shop and a new fully robotic body shop featuring the latest in technology and quality controls.

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Chrysler 200 is available in four different models: LX, Limited, sporty 200S and the premium 200C. The LX is priced starting at $21,700. The 200 Limited, which Chrysler expects most customers to buy, runs $23,225 and the sporty 200S is $24,495. The top of the line 200C has an MSRP of $25,995. All have an added destination charge of $995.

The standard engine on all four of the 200 models is a 2.4-liter MultiAir2 Tigershark I-4 engine, which produces 184 horsepower. A 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine, which produces 295 horsepower is optional on the 200S and 200C.

Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. All-wheel-drive is optional on the 200S and 200C only with the V6 engine. The AWD features a full disconnecting rear axle for better fuel economy when AWD isn’t needed.

Even though, as I write, gasoline prices are as low as they’ve been in a long time, they will go up again. Summer will come and that will bring summer-blend fuels that on average has a cost increase of around 50 cents per gallon.

EPA test fuel economy ratings for the 4-cylinder 200 are 28mpg combined, or 3.6 gallons per 100 miles, with 23 city mpg and 36 highway mpg test ratings. The V6 front drive models are EPA test rated 23mpg combined, 19 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. With the all-wheel-drive V6 EPA test ratings are 22 mpg combined with 18 city mpg and 29 highway mpg.

Chrysler did a good job of really improving the EPA test mpg ratings on the new 2015 200 over the previous model. The 9-speed automatic is a big, big contributor to this as it keeps the engine operating in its most efficient range. Rather uniquely, the transmission is controlled with rotary dial electronic shift. The simpler design of the e-shift freed up a lot of space for added interior storage.

Chrysler has an indicator in the instrument cluster to show which speed or gear the transmission is in while driving. Purely as a matter of note, in city driving you get up to 5th gear. It takes an open highway where the speed limits are in the 65-70 mph range to finally get in the 9th gear.

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I spent a week driving the Chicagoland city streets and urban highways in a 200 Limited model. Options on my test car were a Convenience Group priced at $895 that includes one-year SiriusXM Radio, body-color power heated mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, ParkView rear backup camera, power four-way driver lumbar adjust, power eight-way driver seat, and sun visors with illuminating vanity mirrors.

Also equipped was a Comfort Group priced at $645 that includes air conditioning with dual zone temperature control, heated front seats, humidity sensor, rear air conditioning and heat ducts, auto dimming rearview mirror and remote start system. 18-inch Alloys for $395 rounded out the extras and brought the total to $26,385 including destination charge.

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As I mentioned, Chrysler needed to step it up with the all-new 200 and they did so with a new overall design aesthetic. They began with FIAT Group architecture from the award-winning Alfa Romeo Giulietta as the basis for the underpinnings. On the outside the 200 has strong shoulders, subtle wheel flares and a one-third/two-third ratio of glass to body. On the inside there is a nice application of high quality material.

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In daily use, ride and handling are quite comfortable and there is minimal engine/transmission noise since the 9-speeds keep the engine operating at low RPMs while still providing good acceleration performance. Front seat ingress and egress was very easy for my 5ft-10ish self and the seats proved supportive and comfortable. I found rear seat entry a bit confining due to the roof slope with its coupe-like shape.

The trunk is roomy with 16 cuft of space. And, the 15.8 gallon fuel tank should make for a long all-day highway road trip without refueling.

The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 has earned a five-star overall safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Five stars is the highest possible safety rating given by NHTSA.

The 200 earned a “Best Buy” from Consumers Digest and from Consumer Guide Automotive, as well as the “Best Sedan” award from the Hispanic Motor Press Awards.

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Comparing the Chrysler 200 to other 4-door midsize sedans can be done right here on If you would like more information and detailed specifications and to see all the standard features as well as options on the entire 2015 Chrysler 200 model line they can be found a mouse click away at

If you are looking for a midsize sedan with a distinctive appearance you might want to check out the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200. Local Chicago area Chrysler dealers regularly advertise 20 percent off MSRP and also zero-percent financing for 84 months, helping to make for low monthly payments if you plan on holding on to your car for awhile. And why not? New cars today are very well built and last a long time.

2014 Larry Nutson, Chicago Car Guy

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