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2012 Chrysler 200

Overview
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2012 Chrysler 200 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

In what must be one of the most ambitious model overhauls in Chrysler's long and rocky history, the company updated or completely remade its entire model line in the last year, including its Dodge and Jeep divisions. Such massive change in a short time is impressive, and none was more in need than the dowdy Chrysler Sebring sedan. Given a new look, a new interior and a new name, the 2012 Chrysler 200 is a far more competent competitor in the midsize sedan class, and no longer feels like a car one would only rent but not buy. Still, its greatest virtue might be its combination of a premium ambiance and respectable performance in a crowd of mainstream cars like the Accord, Camry and Sonata.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a mid-size sedan with a stylish and well-appointed interior, a powerful V6 engine and a decidedly European driving attitude, the 2012 Chrysler 200 deserves a nice, long test drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those looking for a roomy rear seat may find more to like in the Nissan Altima or even larger Hyundai Sonata. The 200's base price may look appealing, but start to add options and the price tag quickly pushes past the $25,000 mark.

What's New for 2012

While the 2012 Chrysler 200's Sebring roots are still evident in its profile, it's a new experience from the driver's seat. The front-wheel drive sedan's strong 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 nearly matches the efficiency of the entry 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, handling is crisp, and the cabin offers a premium feel. After such a drastic transformation for 2011, little is changed for 2012.

Driving the 200

Driving Impressions Beyond all the visible improvements over the Sebring, the 2012 Chrysler 200 shines most brightly in the way it drives. Equipped with Chrysler's latest 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, the 200 can...

rocket to highway speeds or pass slow traffic with confidence. Smooth, quiet and surprisingly fuel-efficient, the V6 is a far better choice than the buzzy 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Chrysler spent considerable cash revamping the 200's suspension, and it was money invested well. The 200 drives beautifully, corners with enthusiasm, and absorbs bumps without effort. Surprisingly, despite having its 283 horsepower directed through the front wheels, the 200 exhibited little sign of torque steer, even when launched hard from a dead stop. On long stretches of highway, the 200's steering required little input to keep the car on course, and uneven or grooved pavement did not upset its manners. The styling and finish of the 200 are no mere window dressings on the old Sebring. This is a far better car.

New Suspension
Where the old Sebring drove like a softly sprung rental car, the 200's revamped suspension and steering place it at the top of its category. It's an unexpected but welcome pleasure.

Garmin Navigation Radio
Chrysler's newest audio units feature mapping by industry leader Garmin. Not only is the system intuitively easy to operate, the large 6.5-inch screen makes it easy for older eyes to navigate the on-screen commands.

2012 Chrysler 200 Details
Interior

Goodbye, sow's ear; hello, silk purse. The Sebring's hard plastic finishes and dowdy colors are replaced by deep blacks, rich browns and warm tans. Sweeping, richly textured, soft-touch surfaces display fewer seams but more chrome and metallic trim, elevating the 200's cabin to business class if not first. Layered trim replaces unsightly gaps, and instrumentation combines modern function with classic style. Both cloth and leather seats are well-tailored, but rear legroom is tight if the front seats are adjusted for six-footers. A driver's lumbar adjuster and split-folding rear seatbacks are standard on every model. Noise insulation is admirable; great for Bluetooth users.

Exterior

Forget the awkward Sebring and its grooved hood. The 200, as its name implies, looks more like a junior Chrysler 300, with LED-accented headlights flanking the new corporate grille. Around back, a thin chrome crossbar bridges slim wraparound taillights. Chrome details are generous but tasteful, and 17- and 18-inch wheels add to its premium presence. The 200 sits lower than the Sebring, for a more aggressive stance, and Chrysler even took pains to conceal the more unsightly underpinnings visible on the Sebring. The overall effect is a car that went to finishing school rather than being rushed to market.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The entry-level Chrysler 200 LX features a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, a 4-speed automatic transmission, power windows, mirrors and locks, keyless entry and remote trunk release, heated side mirrors, 17-inch wheel covers, manual air conditioning with filtration, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, driver's-seat manual lumbar support and height adjustment, and an AM/FM stereo with MP3 compatible CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. Instruments feature LED lighting, an outside temperature display and an analog clock. Standard safety features include 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, electronic traction and stability control, front-seat side-impact airbags, and front and rear side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

Above the 200 LX, the three remaining trims are the Touring, Limited and S, all of which include a 6-speed automatic transmission, aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic on/off headlights, 8-way power driver's seat, SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The luxury-oriented Limited adds leather, heated front seats, 18-inch wheels, touch-screen audio system with a hard drive (though navigation is optional on all but the LX), foglights, remote start and Chrysler's UConnect hands-free phone setup. The 200 S upgrades the Limited features with the V6 standard, along with Boston Acoustics audio and sportier trim inside and out, including suede seating inserts.

Under the Hood

Chrysler's 2.4-liter 4-cylinder is not the most refined engine in its class, but with 173 horsepower on tap, it's not the weakest either. When paired with the 6-speed transmission, this engine can move the 200 briskly and promises fuel economy near the top of its class. If you can pony up the extra $1,750, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is the engine to have. Smooth, potent and nearly as efficient, it turns the 200 from a sleeper to a keeper.


2.4-liter in-line 4
173 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (4-speed automatic), 20/31 (6-speed automatic)


3.6-liter V6
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29

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2012 Chrysler 200 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 130 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

The 200 has been an excellant value for the price

By on Monday, December 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very Good Performance, good gas mileage"

Cons: "No real updates to the myGiG infotainment center"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Love everything about the car, my biggest complaint involves updates to the MyGig system. Impossible to update the grace notes and very expensive to update the GPS maps. It is an expensive option, they could do better with it"

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Awesome car!

By on Saturday, November 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fast, fun to drive, safe."

Cons: "I want 2 of them."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this car for my wife when she was away for work. I bought the "S" model with the Pentastar V6. It has everything you could want, and looks beautiful. I have had no problems with this car at all. You can't even compare a Camry or Accord to this car. A Lincoln MKZ is a better comparison. I would highly recommend getting the V6 and 6-speed transmission. The 4-cyclinder is a good engine and a joint venture with Hyundai, but for the little extra you can get a Wards-10 Best engine. We have the NAV system, sunroof, black-pocket wheels, heated mirrors, Satellite radio. I couldn't ask for more. The only other car we liked this much was a Pontiac Bonneville, which had similar options. GM quit making those, and I am not into Buicks or Chevrolets right now. It is a great car for the money in my opinion."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

very nice

By on Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Its fun classy a good price"

Cons: "The resale value isnt all that good."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have been a truck man all my life but because of high gas prices & a 100 mile round trip commute to work, went with this car I didn't think I would like it at first but its sporty a classy and after looking at all the foreign cars in this class group I went with this American made car and just fell in love with it.by the way I went to go buy a new F150 but the money I save on gas all most makes my car payment.A few of my buddies from work seen me driving it & now they own one to or the Dodge version but the Chrysler has better features."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car overall!

By on Saturday, November 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "I love the quality of the interior."

Cons: "The engine is too powerful for FWD."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is a wonderful car overall. My only complaints are the following: The engine is too powerful for FWD. This car should be AWD only. Secondly, fuel economy is a little too low. This car could benefit from a start/stop system to help stop the fuel wasting. I have been averaging 22 mpg. I love the quality of the interior. The ride is compliant and the car is very quiet inside."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

A terrific car for the money.

By on Friday, October 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car has everything I need, remote start and navigation to name a few important to me. Very comfortable on longer drives."

11 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Good vehicle that blends in well

By on Friday, October 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Nice features and 0% interest"

Cons: "Trade -in value, torque steer"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"This is a good vehicle that has many features of most luxury cars. Accelerates pretty good with the V6 but has a pretty bad case of torque steer. Quality has been pretty good without many trips to the dealer. Not a good value as the trade in after two years is less the 40 % of the sticker price. 0 % interest was nice. Should have gone with used infiniti G37 awd coupe"

4 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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