Tom Crosby: 2016 Chrysler 200C is affordable luxury sedan
After being totally redesigned for 2015, the mid-size Chrysler 200 sedan has grown rapidly in popularity, chipping away at industry leaders Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
The 200 is the company’s flagship sedan and has become Chrysler’s best selling vehicle, with Chrysler noting one of every six new vehicles sold today is a mid-size sedan.
One reason is a fully loaded top-of-the line Chrysler 200C stuffed with luxury, convenience and safety options doesn’t exceed the average $33,560 price of today’s new car.
Consequently, changes are relatively minor this year, with more engine and safety options across the four trims – LX, Limited, 200S and 200C.
The Limited and 200S received standard rear view cameras and the 200C added firmer seating support on soft Nappa leather and a standard heated steering wheel beloved in winter.
Special 90th Anniversary editions are offered in the Limited, commemorating Chrysler’s launch of the innovative Chrysler 6 in 1925.
We test-drove the front-wheel drive 200C (all-wheel drive is available) with the 2.4-liter multiair@ TIGERSHARK engine that synchronized perfectly with a 9-speed 948TE automatic transmission.
Handling was excellent with nice response on city streets or high-speed highways. The ever popular MacPherson front strut and rear multilink rear suspension adequately cushioned bumps and small potholes. Mileage was excellent, averaging 35 mpg on highway jaunts.
More pep off the line -and a commensurate drop of five to seven miles per gallon and possibly more law enforcement attention – comes with an optional 3.6-liter engine.
Our interior was tastefully and elegantly luxurious with $4,975 in safety, comfort and convenience options.
Top or near top crash safety ratings were achieved with the sedan’s 60 available safety and security features.
Outside, the look is sleek with a raked windshield, steady beltline and simple front fascia with the Chrysler winged logo and cats-eye HID headlights.
Inside, the nicely sized 8.4-inch infotainment/navigation touchscreen uses sharp graphics and Chrysler’s Uconnect now lets drivers reposition app icons on the home screen via a Drag and Drop menu bar that includes Siri Eyes Free and Do-Not-Disturb feature with customizable response.
Leather, wood-inlays, upscale materials and tasteful aluminum touches provide excellent interior ambiance.
Rear seat legroom remains tight and headroom will challenge for six-footers and taller.
Clearly defined sound emits from the upscale Alpine audio, which masks some minor interior noise.
Cargo space grows with fold-down rear seats. A temporary spare tire rests under the cargo floor mat.
LIKES: Mileage, value, handling, luxury, looks
DISLIKES: Cramped rear seating, options needed
BOTTOM LINE: Value within class is high with options adding luxury, safety, comfort
2016 CHRYSLER 200C FWD
Base price w/destination fee $28,200 (as tested $33,195)
Vehicle weight 3,473 lbs.
Wheelbase 108 inches
Length 192.3 inches
Width 73.6 inches
Engine 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder, multiport injection
Horsepower 184 hp at 6,250 rpm
Torque 173 ft-lbs. at 4,600 rpm
Transmission 9-speed automatic
EPA Rating 23 mpg city and 36 mpg highway
Range 15.8-gallon tank, regular
Performance 0-60 in just over 8 seconds
Tom Crosby is a former journalist and communications director for AAA Carolinas. He has been reviewing cars since 1996, and has been active in traffic safety issues for more than 30 years. View more reviews at http://www.nvdaily.com/columns/tom-crosby & http://www.nvdaily.com/columns/tom-crosby.