By Lorne Drury
Metroland Media/WheelsTalk.com –
Although the name was changed a couple of years ago, the 2013 Chrysler 200 still bears a striking resemblance to its predecessor, the Sebring.
With the new name in 2011 came a refresh of the aging Sebring model, but now two years later, 2013 marks the final year for this midsize sedan/convertible.
An all-new vehicle will be introduced for 2014, reportedly based on the platform shared by the new Dodge Dart and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta, sold in Europe.
The Chrysler 200 is assembled in Sterling Heights, Mich. and is an old-style North American sedan that is dated, yet offers great value for the dollar.
The new vehicle slated to replace it, however, will undoubtedly have a European-flavour, like the Dodge Dart has this year.
For 2013, the Chrysler 200 sold in Canada is offered in four trim levels staring at $19,995 for the LX, topping out at $29,095 for the 200 S that we tested. The 200 S is essentially a loaded Limited trim-level car.
With a few options like power sunroof and navigation package ($1,799) and a destination charge of $1,500, the final tally on the test car came to $32,585.
While the exterior look of the 200 is still very reminiscent of the old Sebring, the interior has been upgraded tremendously over the years with soft-touch materials replacing the layers of hard plastic that used to dominate. Ride and handling have also been improved and the cabin seems significantly quieter and more comfortable than before, making the 200 a pleasant car for long road trips.
A 2.4-litre 16-valve DOHC inline four-cylinder engine is standard on the LX trim. This engine produces 173 hp and 163 lb/ft of torque.
The remainder of the model lineup has an available 3.6-litre DOHC 24-valve Pentastar VVT (variable valve timing) V6 engine, which is standard in Chrysler 200 S. This engine is one of the best on the market, having been named one of world’s 10 best of 2012 by Ward Automotive.
Fuel economy for the 2.4-litre engine is rated at 9.9L/100 km city and 6.7L/100 km highway for the four-speed manual on the LX and Touring models and 10.5/6.4 for the six-speed automatic on the Limited model.
The 200 S also comes with a six-speed automatic and the 3.6-litre V6 is standard and has a fuel economy rating of 11/6.8L/100 km city/highway.
For a car priced under the $20K mark, the LX offers good value with features like 17-inch wheels, power windows/locks and mirrors (heated), 60/40 split folding rear seat, ambient LED lighting, six airbags, tire pressure warning lamp, tilt/telescopic steering wheel with audio controls, four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, remote keyless entry and air conditioning.
Moving up the Touring ($24,095) level you add 17-inch aluminum wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, automatic temperature control, Sirius satellite radio (free for one year), leather wrapped steering wheel, remote start, fog lamps, tire pressure monitoring, temperature and compass display and trip computer.
The Limited ($26,895) gets 18-inch alloy wheels, premium leather upholstery, Bluetooth hands-free phone, auto-dimming rear view mirror with microphone and universal garage door opener.
The S model ($29,095) adds upgraded polished aluminum wheels with painted pockets, suede inserts in the leather seats and a number of S-model trim features plus an upgraded six-speaker audio system.
A convertible version of the 200 is also available, starting at $29,695 for the LX, climbing to $39,495 for the 200 S convertible.
Every safety feature available on the 200 sedan comes standard, including six air bags, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control.
The Chrysler 200 competes in a strong mid-size car segment against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata, Volkswagen Passat, Kia Optima, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and others. It has seating for five adults and adequate rear seat leg and headroom. Cargo capacity is 385 litres.
In my opinion, the V6 engine is the way to go in the Chrysler 200. It is slightly less fuel-efficient than the inline four, but quieter and offers much more on the performance side of the equation.
Chrysler advertises the 200 as the most affordable mid-size sedan on market as well as Canada’s most affordable V6 sedan. As the list above indicates, there are many solid vehicles here, but on price alone, the Chrysler 200 is well worth a look.
CHRYSLER 200 S 2013 AT A GLANCE
- BODY STYLE: mid-size four-door sedan.
- DRIVE METHOD: front-engine, front-wheel drive.
- ENGINE: 2.4-litre, 16-valve DOHC VVT inline four-cylinder (173 hp, 166 lb/ft of torque); 3.6-litre DOHC 24-valve VVT V6 (283 hp, 260 lb/ft of torque).
- CARGO CAPACITY: 385 litres.
- FUEL ECONOMY: 2.4L 9.9/6.7 L/100 km city/hwy with four-speed automatic, 10.5/6.4 with six-speed automatic; 3.6L 11/6.8 city/hwy.
- PRICE: Chrysler 200 LX $19,995, Touring $24,095, Limited $26,895, 200 S $29,095. As tested $32,585.