The world’s best-selling models come from the mid-size sedan segment and the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 arrives to bring even more global competition.
While the 200 competes with cars like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima and Chevrolet Malibu, we are testing the 200C with AWD.
This particular setup in the Chrysler 200 better competes with other all-wheel-drive sedans like the Ford Fusion, Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Volvo S60 and Subaru Legacy.
The Chrysler 200 is an American car “imported from Detroit” but global in its scope with an eye on the world market.
Sales hit a high point last month.
It’s chassis is closely related to the current Alfa Romeo sedan and the Dodge Dart and its attractive looks and cutting-edge styling is influenced by Chrysler’s new corporate owner, Fiat.
This week we tested the top of the line, luxury-themed 200C Chrysler with all-wheel-drive and V6 power-plant.
What’s New for 2015
The 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is completely redesigned and the convertible has been discontinued.
200C Features & Options
The top of the lineup 200C V6 AWD ($30,425) gets luxury upgrades like premium leather heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat, seven-inch color information display, rear camera and keyless remote start.
Dual-zone climate control, steering wheel paddle shifters and leather wrapped steering wheel are also included.
This 200C came with the optional SafeTec Group ($1,295) that includes adaptive cruise control w/stop and go, advanced brake assist, forward collision warning w/ low-speed full stop, lane-departure warning, perpendicular/parallel park assist, rain-sensitive wipers and smart-beam headlights.
Premium Group ($995) added perforated ventilated Nappa leather seats, heated leather steering wheel, wood trim, radio/driver seat/mirrors memory and 115-volt power outlet.
The Premium Lighting ($795) adds HID headlights, LED daytime running lamps and LED fog lights.
Navigation/Sound I ($1,395) includes Uconnect 8.4AN AM/FM w/ 8.4-inch touchscreen and connectivity, HD radio, GPS, auto-dimming rear-view mirror with microphone, 506-watt amp w/nine speakers and sub-woofer.
Sirius/XM Travel Link and Traffic and 7-inch color information center round out the package.
Total MSRP including destination: $35,900.
Our first impression of the new Velvet Red Pearl exterior 200C tester was that this car’s good looks were definitely aided by a European designer from Chrysler’s new corporate owner, Fiat.
The car may be “Imported from Detroit” but its been given a modern design language new to Chrysler.
It comes with a sleek coupe-like profile, attention-getting front end and signature LED daytime running lights that really set it apart.
The cabin matches the design cues from the outside and is attractively done on this upper trim 200C. The Chrysler 200C is loaded with luxury and the Nappa leather heated and ventilated front seats are extra comfortable.
The first thing we noticed after sliding in behind the leather wrapped steering wheel in the well-equipped 200C was the Jaguar-like selector knob for engaging the transmission.
The 8-way power driver seat allows any driver to find the perfect driving position.
Materials throughout the cabin were of excellent quality and we were impressed with amount of luxury for a sedan priced in the mid 30Ks. This loaded 300C delivers a degree of finesse that will compete well in this all-wheel-drive segment.
The noise level in the cabin is extremely low and it felt like we were in a more expensive luxury car on the road.
Interior space in the front is decent for even the largest drivers, however, with the front seats adjusted for an average driver, rear-seat legroom is limited. We took the crew to lunch and the two in back mentioned the lack of legroom.
The coupe-like roofline also contributes to limited rear headroom for tall adults. They did like the center elbow rest that folds down and provides two convenient cup holders between the rear seats, however.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Chrysler 200C comes powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission transfers power to all four wheels by way of an advanced all-wheel drive package.
Fuel economy is an EPA estimated 18/29 mpg city/highway with 22 mpg combined.
Regular unleaded fuel is okay to use.
On the road, we pushed the V6 power-plant hard this week and found the 3.6-liter engine delivered plenty of power in all driving situations. It’s also comfortably quiet on the highway, yet has a snarly exhaust note when we really pushed on the gas.
The Chrysler 200C is higher on the fun to drive meter than many mid-size sedans from Japan and Korea and even competes well with the Germans.
It offers firm and accurate steering and provides the right amount of effort and feedback.
The AWD suspension handled the more spirited driving this week with a well controlled chassis that kept the sedan flat in the tight mountain corners.
The 9-speed automatic with steering paddle shifters adds to the driving dynamics, giving the driver controlled shifts.
We were not able to test the all-wheel-drive system in the snow, but the 200C AWD provided sure-footed stability as we pushed the sedan hard in the mountain curves.
This tester also came equipped with a long list of available electronic driving aids that most buyers say they are looking for in a new vehicle.
They included: adaptive cruise control, blind-spot and lane-departure warning, multiple electronic brake assists, park assist and rear-view camera.
The 2015 Chrysler 200C is a stylish mid-size sedan with all the luxury you will want at a great price. It offers a European driving experience that keeps the driver engaged with a quiet, composed ride on the highway.
For those who are in the mid-size sedan market, the Chrysler 200 definitely deserves a serious look.
2015 Chrysler 200 Gallery
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Photos: FCA US LLC