By KBB.com Editors
TV watchers have seen the impressive new Chrysler 200 ad with the tagline, "Imported from Detroit." It touts Michigan's motor city as a place where proud, hard-working people design and build excellent automobiles, and the new 2011 Chrysler 200 - an extensively retouched and re-engineered Sebring - as one of their best. And, if we hadn't examined and aggressively test-driven it ourselves, we might be skeptical. The unrefined mid-size Sebring was hardly one of Chrysler's finest, but this new 200 is indeed a huge improvement...perhaps not a new leader in the cutthroat-competitive mid-size segment but fully competitive and worthy of consideration.
If you covet a mid-sized all-American convertible that can comfortably seat four adults with usable room in the trunk, even when the power top is dropped, this is your car.
If you would prefer a more aggressive, more performance-oriented four-seat convertible and don't need the 200's rear-seat and cargo room advantage, check out Ford's Mustang and Chevrolet's Camaro ragtop pony cars.
Not only is this new 200's interior all new and its powertrains new or upgraded – thereby erasing the Sebring's most serious shortcomings – so are most of its structure and suspension. And its refreshed exterior is appealing enough to bring it up to competitive standards.
Driving Impressions The new 2011 Chrysler 200's re-engineered, retuned, wider-track and slightly lowered suspension offers more than just a more athletic stance. In a day of hard driving on a variety...of challenging roads, we were seriously impressed. Performance is adequate with the standard four-cylinder and near-exhilarating with the smooth, powerful and noticeably quiet new Pentastar V-6. The steering is precise and responsive, the brakes are sure and strong, and the stiffer chassis and wider, upgraded tires provide a smooth ride on most surfaces yet hold on hard through both tight and faster corners. An unexpected bonus: Even the standard soft top provides a surprisingly quiet cabin thanks to thick padding and the new 200's extensive noise-isolating and sound-deadening measures, including an acoustic windshield and laminated side glass.
Choice of Tops
We love the availability of two automatically latching retractable tops: Standard (black or beige) cloth or optional body-color steel, both of which retract with the press of a button on the console or key fob.
This highly refined, versatile and fairly fuel-efficient new engine will soon replace all seven old Chrysler V6s to power 13 new Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep vehicles.
Inside, the soft-touch cabin is worlds better than the outgoing Sebring's budget interior, beginning with its new, sculpted one-piece instrument panel, large chrome-ringed instruments and central signature clock. A new leather-wrapped steering wheel on a tilt/telescoping column serves up handy controls for cruise, audio and phone. The larger center console has illuminated cupholders, the door trim panels are elegant and understated, and the seats are redesigned with new cloth or available leather, cushier cushions and a revised spring system for better support and comfort.Exterior
The 2011 200's fresh look begins with a new winged badge over a Chrysler 300-like wavy horizontal-bar grille flanked by projector headlamps wrapping around the front fenders. LED light pipes inside clear headlamp covers are a modern high-tech touch, and the LED theme is continued around back in the taillamps, which are visually connected by a chrome light bar.
The well-equipped 200 Touring has a six-way power front seats, automatic headlamps, remote keyless entry, power heated mirrors, automatic temperature control, CD/MP3 audio with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and cabin-air filtration. The Limited adds Pentastar V6 power, remote start, leather heated seats, a touch-screen media center with HDD/CD/DVD/MP3 audio and USB port, UConnect hands-free phone capability, express up/down windows, projector fog lamps and premium tires on 18-inch aluminum wheels. The S boasts a sport-tuned suspension, unique aluminum wheels, two-tone leather-covered steering wheel and Boston Acoustics speakers. Standard safety features include front and front-seat-mounted side airbags, electronic stability control (ESC) with brake assist and traction control and four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS).
The two most important options for the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible are the PentaStar V6 engine and the retractable hard top.
The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible's standard engine is Chrysler's 2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve VVT "World Gas" four-cylinder, while Chrysler's all-new 283-hp DOHC 16-valve VVT Flex- Fuel 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is the option. Both drive through six-speed automatic transmissions. And it's interesting to note that the new V6 is somewhat more fuel efficient, at least in EPA testing.
2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
166 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/29
283 horsepower @ 6400 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 (gas), 14/21 (E85)
By Florida Native on Thursday, July 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,540overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, comfort, affordability, style"
Cons: "Blind spot"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had been driving SUV's for a very long time and didn't think I would ever revert back to a Sedan until I test drove the 200S. Purchased one in July 2011 and have loved it ever since. Makes me feel special like I'm driving a luxury car. The only complaint I may have is there is a significant blind spot when the driver looks to the left & back side. But I have adjusted myself to this and am looking forward to future 200 purchases. The only reason I rated an 8 on Comfort & Convenience is because of this blind spot. Certainly NO complaints on comfort, you have so many seat options."
By "Bo" on Saturday, July 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,500overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"Not happy with vehicle. Many recurring problems with front end. Mileage doesn't meet expectations. However, it is quick and responsive."
By Bobby D on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great price"
Cons: "A little cramped in back seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car has been a real good value for the price. I have been happy with the handling, braking, and good pickup in this 4 cyl. motor. The interior is nice and comfortable. My wife and I have enjoyed this car."
6 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By chrysler200 on Tuesday, May 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"red, black leather interior. fits 5 people comfortably. fully loaded. lots of trunk space. 29mpg highway. new tires. 6yr warrant, scheduled maint.reciepts available. 18'premium wheels."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By G on Wednesday, May 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gets you from point A to point B"
Cons: "Interior design, blind spots, lackluster drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I will start off by saying I am not a big fan of this car and ended up with it by circumstance rather than so much by choice. It is definitely not built for tall people as my field of vision is cut off by the roof line. The number of blind spots in this vehicle is rather surprising given that it is a sedan. The turning radius is horrible - you have to swing wide to make it into parking spaces. The pick-up on the highway is poor. I jokingly say that if it were the Zombie Apocalypse - we'd surely be eaten if we were relying on this car to escape. The interior layout is poor with cup holders in awkward places. Seats are adequately comfortable and it does get you from point A to point B reliably enough. Gas mileage is worse than many small SUVs, so be prepared to pay at the pump. All in all - not recommended."
8 people out of 14 found this review helpful
By Hank Q on Monday, April 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,100overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great acceleration and, smooth ride on the highway"
Cons: "Thin mats, visors and carpeting."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Have had my eye on a 200 convertible for two years; hoping to purchase one when I retire in 2015. My son was in a rollover accident with his Jeep Liberty last Dec., but fortunately nobody was hurt. The Jeep was totaled, and rather than scramble to find him a replacement (which would've required a temporary rental and force my wife and I to share one car), I opted to give him my 2006 Hyundai Sonata. Coincidentally, a dealer had a 200 convertble with everything I wanted. I am now the proud owner of a 2014 Chrysler 200 convertible-deep cherry red, black interior-V6-Sirius XM sound system, black clothe top, and 18-inch wheels. I used the proceeds from my son's accident for the down paymant. Because of the severe weather this past winter, I haven't driven it all that much, but was impressed with no detectable air leaks, even on the coldest windy days. Time will tell how it holds up long term, but so far so good."
9 people out of 16 found this review helpful