Monday, March 5, 2012

Getting to Know the Chrysler 200

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Founded in 1925 by Walter P. Chrysler, the Chrysler Corporation, now known as the Chrysler Group, has grown into one of the most popular car manufacturers in the world. Over the years, they have gone from strength to strength, manufacturing cars that are known for their reliability and superiority. One of their latest releases includes the all-new 2012 Chrysler 200.

Performance and Specifications

Two engine options grace the 2012 Chrysler 200. They include a 283-horsepower V6 and a somewhat more modest 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder option that offers 173-horsepower under its hood. While both offer a somewhat comfortable ride, many test drivers prefer the V6 option, stating that it offers far better performance than its 2.4-liter counterpart. According to many test drivers, the V6 does have the downside of inducing torque steer at higher speeds. Tests have also revealed that the Chrysler 200 offers far better handling than that of its predecessor, the Sebring.

Fuel Economy

With the ever rising cost of fuel these days, fuel economy is one of the most important deciding factors when purchasing a vehicle, be it new or used. The four-cylinder, four-speed automatic Chrysler 200 offers around 21 mpg for city driving and approximately 30 mpg on the highway. Opting for the six-speed automatic in this range will see that you get around 20 mpg for city driving and up to 31 mpg for highway cruising. The more powerful V6 model, available in both sedan and convertible styles, results in approximately 19 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the open road. Opting for the V6 model in the convertible range will yield slightly better results at 19 mpg on city roads and around 29 mpg on the highway.

Safety Features

The 2012 Chrysler 200 received a four-star safety rating for front crash tests, as well as rollover tests. Three stars were awarded for side crash tests. These results however, do not apply to the convertible models, as they have not yet been tested. Side, front and curtain airbags are standard on all models, along with active headrests and ABS braking systems. Rear-view cameras and blind-spot detection options have not yet been added to the Chrysler 200’s list of safety features. Due to the vehicle’s thick rear pillars, some drivers have reported blind spot issues at the rear of the vehicle. Traction control is a standard offering on all of the Chrysler 200 models.

Overall, the 2012 Chrysler 200 may not be the best value when compared to other popular vehicles in the midsize car class. Many test drivers have stated that its weaknesses seem to outweigh its strengths, and that it wouldn’t be their first choice when purchasing a new midsize vehicle. In particular, drivers who are looking for a vehicle with an excellent mpg rating may have better options, as the Chrysler 200 is not likely to win any awards for fuel economy. Still, the Chrysler 200’s sleek, sophisticated design may appeal to drivers seeking a winning combination of sex appeal and reliability.

Author: Shona Botes is a freelance writer who covers the auto industry as it relates to new releases, performance and even auto insurance topics.


More on the Chrysler 200 from GRAutoBlog:
Chrysler 200 S at Courtesy Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
Courtesy's 'Car of the Month' January: 2012 Chrysler 200

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