KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 3/17/2011
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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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.
What's Significant About This Car?
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.
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.
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.
Notable Standard Equipment
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).
Notable Optional Equipment
The two most important options for the 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible are the PentaStar V6 engine and the retractable hard top.
Under the Hood
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)
The 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible Touring model carries a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $27,000. The Limited starts closer to $32,000, and the S rings in just under $32,500. The Pentastar V6 option lists for $1,795 and the available retractable hard top $1,995. To ensure you get the best deal on your 200 Convertible, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price on kbb.com before going to the dealership. Because the 2011 200 is so vastly improved over the 2010 Sebring it replaces, its residual values should improve accordingly.