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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 133 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Best car we've ever owned, excellent value!

By on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,600

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great value, quality and fun to drive."

Cons: "Wish they came with a back-up camera in that year."

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

"Great value, the ride, style and interior quality put the rest to shame almost when you compare what you get for the money. Best vehicle purchase ever by far."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Beginning to regret the purchase

By on Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and great road responsiveness!"

Cons: "Very cheaply made!"

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

"It seemed like a good purchase at the time. Now, after 18 months of driving and 34000 miles odd things are happening. Like driving down the freeway and the front lower air shield (under the engine) decides to fly off and wrap over the wheels. When I went to the dealer to talk about it they accused me of hitting an object in the road to cause it to come off. Other silly small things like the trim inside the vehicle simply falls off for no apparent reason. Over all the car is very nice to look at, unfortunately it is very cheaply made. No sturdiness to body panels or front/rear bumper and grill assemblies. As far as the drive, it has great power and is very fun to drive. A drawback is that when you step on the gas to accelerate rapidly the car jerks to the right then then continues to pull to the right until you slow the rate of acceleration. The dealer said this is expected behavior... not acceptable."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Recently rented this car for 10 days..

By on Monday, December 29, 2014

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I recently rented a 2013 Chrysler 200 with the 4 cylinder engine and 4 speed automatic trans (they quit using the 4 speed trans in 2014). When they said I was getting a Chrysler I was not to pleased, but quickly changed my attitude! While driving this car over 2000 miles on a road trip, It drove very smooth and quiet and handled great, even in snow. The interior is very attractive and I love that the bigger than average, heated side mirrors come standard. They looked tinted at night (although I have not found anything saying they come with this feature) they really do look tinted after dark. I currently have a Sonata and have driven my son's a Fusion a few times but I would not hesitate to buy the Chrysler 200. Although the 4 cylinder only offered 29 miles to the gallon on the interstate (which is what I get with my 6 cylinder Sonata) it was up for the job offering plenty of get up and go. If I purchased one I would look for the 6 cylinder model though. This is a great sedan that can be picked up at a very good price!"

7 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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"

13 people out of 23 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."

5 people out of 12 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."

2 people out of 4 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

Buying this car?