Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Compact Car Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $35,000
Go

2012 Chrysler 200

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2012 Chrysler 200 Review

By

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

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

Buying this car?

2012 Chrysler 200 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 141 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

V6 Blast to drive

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,400

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
9/10

Pros: "fast 30 mpg on freeway - low rpm @ 70+"

Cons: "low to the ground - but that's the design"

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

"I have had the pleasure to own and drive some great cars in my life and as a VP OPS with a food company I rented a lot of cars during the last 11 years. This is one of the most fast and flat performance cars I have owned. My past Fiat 124 has been the best in handling and until the 200 my 280 Z was the top of the speed group. There is a lot of torque and pushing through a tight curve is tricky. Quite, fast, smooth driving, bought for my wife's 45 birthday but its all mine when I'm in town on the weekends. We drive about 200 miles a month with this car."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Worst car ever

By on Wednesday, June 17, 2015

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

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great having the roof down"

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

"I have had nothing but trouble with this car since I bought it. It has had drive train issues, leaks, instument break down, you name it it's had it. I had a Jeep for years, but wanted someing new so I went with this car and in three years it's been in the shop 6 times one was the u-connect system broke, another three times for a leaky roof, one time the serpentine belt at 20K miles,and this time for water in the door, and the topisn't working properly. I'll never buy another Chrysler again."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Very satisfied

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

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

"In the three plus years we have owned this car we have had no problems. Probably a better history than most Toyotas and Hondas."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

This car has been very reliable.

By on Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Dependable, good gas mileage."

Cons: "Some road noise but not bad. Tire dependant."

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

"The gas mileage is very good for this vehicle. Comfortable. For the price range this Is a very good vehicle."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great car, under rated,

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "looks, performance, mpg, reliability."

Cons: "Transmission is a bit jumpy in auto mode."

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

"Bought this car new in 2012. styling and performance is very good for this price range in a car. The limited "S" is a GREAT value. Have put 28,000 miles on it and have had no problems, regular maintenance has been the only cost. The wheels are some of the best looking ones out there. This is a pretty quick car and in sport mode, it just goes."

12 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Fun - lots of power - comfortable - good looking -

By on Saturday, April 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,200

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Review above."

Cons: "Review above."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Noisy back brakes when braking in reverse, water leaks on both driver and passenger when opening door on rainy days, front windows rattle, no room in back seat, and sometimes get antifreeze smell."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?