Admittedly somewhat bland on the outside, the 2014 Chrysler 200 offers an impressive interior of quality materials and elegant style that looks entirely appropriate for a more expensive sedan. The suspension delivers a comfortable ride over irregular pavement, secure highway stability, and handling that, if not in the realm of sports cars, is still responsive. In addition to the very nice interior and competent road manners, the Chrysler 200 offers the availability of Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which is matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The Chrysler 200's shortcomings are in rear-seat comfort, where it's a little cramped, and trunk capacity, which is on the smallish side. Pluses include an attractively affordable pricing structure and the availability of a retractable-hardtop convertible.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're drawn to the attractive interior at an affordable price, like the refined level of ride and handling, and are ready to spring for the powerful V6 engine, check out the 2014 Chrysler 200. The 200 Convertible offers the only retractable hardtop within this price range.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're after exceptional fuel-economy numbers or a more refined 4-cylinder engine, you'll have to shop elsewhere. And, even though the Chrysler 200's initial pricing can fit modest budgets, adding optional extras can send the final price much higher.
For 2014, the biggest change for the Chrysler 200 is that the S model is now offered on the Touring and Limited trim levels as a package, rather than as a stand-alone model.
Driving the 200
The quiet, smooth and remarkably fuel-efficient V6 is so much better than the noisy and buzzy 2.4-liter 4-cylinder base engine that we have difficulty recommending the 2014 200 without the...
... V6. Available on 200 LX, Touring and Limited models, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 of 283 horsepower delivers impressive acceleration, getting from rest to 60 mph in just over six seconds. Merging with freeways or passing slower traffic is not a problem. As mentioned earlier, the Chrysler 200 suspension engineers have done their work quite well, and the 200 provides a smooth, compliant and entirely comfortable ride yet, when the pavement hits the twists and turns, it settles in and responds to the curves with admirable precision. The steering offers ease in tight spots with noteworthy directional stability on long interstate stretches. And, with its retractable hardtop, the 200 Convertible is surprisingly quiet going down the road.
TAUT SUSPENSION You might expect mid-size American sedans to drive like rental cars, but the 2014 Chrysler 200's suspension and steering place it at the top of its category. It's a surprising and welcome pleasure.
REFINED INTERIOR If you're going to spend time inside a car it's nice to have an interior as refined, artistic and elegantly styled as that of the Chrysler 200. Quality of materials is first-rate and fit-and-finish is exceptional – it really is a nice place to take a ride.
2014 Chrysler 200 Details
Chrysler interiors of the past have often been hard plastic and frumpy colors, but the 2014 Chrysler 200's interior seems more appropriate to an Acura, Lexus or Audi, with pleasing shapes, soft-touch surfaces, tight seams and chrome highlights. The upholstery, whether cloth or leather, is tailored like a nice suit. Standard are a driver's adjustable lumbar support and split-folding rear seatbacks. Those in front ride well but, if the front seats are slid all the way back, legroom in the rear is cramped. Finally, the noise insulation is exemplary, which is nice for using the Bluetooth or catching some tunes.
The 2014 Chrysler 200 shows some family resemblance to the Chrysler 300, and that's a good thing. Up front are headlights with tasteful LED accents. Chrome trim adds a touch of luxury and style, while 17- and 18-inch wheels give it a solid stance. While it remains on the bland side of high style, the 200 is at least properly finished and detailed.
Standard equipment for the 2014 Chrysler 200 LX starts with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, and includes power windows, mirrors and locks, keyless entry, a remote trunk release, heated side mirrors, 17-inch wheels with covers, air conditioning with filtration, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, driver's-side lumber and height adjustment, and an AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player. Instrumentation includes LED lighting, an outside temperature display and a stylish analog clock.
Above the 200 LX, the two up-level trims are the Touring and Limited, each of which can be equipped with the S trim package that includes 18-inch wheels, black-finish grille and blackout surrounds. Standard on the Touring and Limited is a 6-speed automatic transmission, aluminum-alloy wheels, automatic on/off headlights, 8-way power driver's seat and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. The luxury-oriented Limited adds a V6 engine, leather, heated front seats, 17-inch wheels, touch-screen audio system with a hard drive (though navigation is optional on all but the LX), foglights, Boston Acoustic audio, remote start and Chrysler's UConnect hands-free phone setup.
Under the Hood
The standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine makes 173 horsepower and delivers reasonable performance and fuel economy. But it's noisy and has never been accused of being refined. The far superior choice is the potent 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which is smooth, responsive, quiet and almost as easy with gasoline. It makes 283 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, is matched to a 6-speed automatic and, in our opinion, is worth every penny.
The 2014 Chrysler 200 LX has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $22,000, the 200 Touring is over $23,000 and the Limited will be around $26,000, while the convertible Touring starts around $28,000, the Limited is about $33,000. Compare the base Volkswagen Jetta at just over $18,000 or the roomier Honda Accord LX at about $22,000 and Chrysler's 200 seems in line. To make your best deal on a 2014 Chrysler 200, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price and see what others in your area are paying. As for resale, we think the 5-year residual value for the Chrysler 200 will likely remain on the lower end of the category, below those of the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata, and much lower than those of the Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.
"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."