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2012 Chrysler 200

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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
8.0
Out of 10

Based on 158 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Chrysler Sucks

By on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

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

"We've had a town & country before and we had many problems with it, the interior electronics started to break down after a year. and the engine started costing us more and more with little things that were expensive to fix. Then some years later we decided to give chrysler 1 more shot and we've regretted it since. The same thing is happening with the 200 as it did with the van. so, when anyone asks I tell them not to get a chrysler. the only good thing with the 200 was we got siriusxm, we like the satellite radio so much better then the am/fm radio"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Family Vehicle!

By on Friday, June 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable ride, Big windows for the kids to look"

Cons: "Loose steering, Car seat straps are tucked in far"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Dear future or prior owners, When I was shopping for a vehicle I would walk up to the dealership and my first words were I absolutely do not want a Chrysler 200. Every dealership had way to many so it made feel as if there were problems and why didn't people want to keep them. I finally got suckered in by my wife to purchase this vehicle and I really enjoy it. It has tons of room for the car seats, except the bars to hook the car seats onto are little weird and tucked really far back, so it is kind of a hassle hooking them up. Also the steering is very loose. I have never driven a car before where if you look at the steering wheel wrong your car is jerking all over the road. Other than I really enjoy the little features the vehicle comes with, and I love the radio functions. For a family of four I would recommend this car. It has nice pick up and go, looks very stylish and is very comfortable."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

not for me

By on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "at least it registers as a car"

Cons: "read the review please"

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

"had car almost a year and it's not what i thought it would be first the back seat is not comfortable glad i drive at least this seat is ok. when you buy a car like this i thought it would have more luxury but not. the vehicle lacks when getting on freeways so dont get the under powered 4 cylinder. blind spot from passenger rear when looking back from drivers seat good thing i check the mirrors right. note front doors are awkward to open i use my right leg to kick door open cause it weights a ton and dont get me started on closing doors. lets just say im will be going back to toyota."

Good H.T. convertible

By on Saturday, May 14, 2016

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

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: "V 6 and steel hardtop"

Cons: "sm. back seat.That is the trade off of a conv."

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

"It is the best convertible for the money. We bought this car new. The headroom and legroom , even with the steel H.T. up, is fine."

great car bad city gas mileage rear seat no room

By on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

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
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "too expenceive with car loan drive very nice"

Cons: "no rear leg room small truck bad city mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"bad city mileage no rear legroom small truck drives nice easy turning and parking good engine and pickup"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Rating shoule be closer to very good condition

By on Friday, April 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,700

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Excellent mecchanical condition"

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

"Car is in extra solid good condition should come to an &8200 trade value, a retail sale from personal sale would be asking $10,000."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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