July 10, 2014
2011 Chrysler 200 Limited, 2012 Chrysler 200S convertible, 2013 Chrysler 200S. Click image to enlarge
Review by Justin Pritchard
Vehicle Type: Mid-size Sedan / Convertible
History/Description: Since its redesign for model year 2011, the Chrysler Sebring, er, 200, gained more comfort, better handling, more features, a more upscale interior and more power, all while maintaining a high-value approach to delivering a four-door family sedan or two-door, family-ready convertible.
Appealing largely on equipment and performance levels relative to its price, the redesigned 200 sold from 2011 to 2014 inclusive and has now been replaced by an all-new model that’s gearing up for launch.
Look for feature content including automatic climate control, Bluetooth, motorized heated leather seats, a touchscreen navigation system, LED cabin lighting, an optional Boston Acoustics stereo system, USB connectivity and hard-drive audio storage for ripping your CD collection directly into the stereo for future use.
Engines / Trim: The 200 was offered numerous variants with a model range that offered up plenty of selection. Shoppers can look for four-door sedan or two-door convertible models, numerous top-options for the latter, and four or six-cylinder power all around. Nomenclature saw the ‘LX’ badge applied to entry-level models, with ‘Touring’ and ‘Limited’ versions ascending the trim-grade ladder. A special 200 S model launched later in the model’s life too – offering unique and exclusive visual treatments and interior upgrades.
Engine options included a 2.4 litre four-cylinder unit with 173 horsepower, teamed to a four-speed automatic, or Chrysler’s new Pentastar 3.6 litre V6, tuned here for horsepower approaching the 300 mark and paired with a six-speed automatic. This one’s a rocket.
What Owners Like: Good overall bang for the buck, a comfortable ride, a potent six-cylinder engine, smooth performance and an upscale feel to the cabin were all reported frequently by Chrysler 200 owners taking to the web to share their stories. Fuel efficiency is also rated well, as is the trunk space, and overall cargo volume with the seats folded.
What Owners Dislike: Typical owner complaints include less-than-adequate performance on models with the four-cylinder engine, as well as a vague and limp feel to the steering system.
Here’ as list of Chrysler 200 owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca.
2011 Chrysler 200 Limited. Click image to enlarge
Common Issues: There’s some discussion about the six-speed transmission relating to shift quality and smoothness, particularly with owners debating how ‘smooth’ the transmission should be, and if more abrupt shifts might indicate a problem. Some owners have had their transmissions inspected by Chrysler dealers and been told that a hard or abrupt shift was normal. Others have had the transmission computer reprogrammed with updated software to tweak torque-converter engagement properties for smoother gear changes. If your provide your local Chrysler dealer with the VIN number of the model you’re considering, they’ll be able to tell you if the updated transmission software has been uploaded into the gearbox of the car you’re considering.
In any case, be sure the 200 you’re considering shifts smoothly and consistently, and have the model investigated by a Chrysler mechanic if it doesn’t. Gear shifts may be quick or even abrupt, though if they occur with a bang, or any sound effects, there could be trouble brewing between the front wheels.
2013 Chrysler 200S. Click image to enlarge
Confirm proper operation of all on-board electronics, paying close attention to the Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and instrument cluster illumination. Note that a weak or dying battery can cause a slew of electronics related problems in a newer vehicle like this, so be sure to confirm that the battery in the 200 you’re considering isn’t on its last legs.
Next, check out the climate control system. Be sure the air conditioner works, and then check to make sure that you get heat out of the vents on both sides of the cabin when called upon. There’s some discussion about clogged or leaky heater cores being a potential issue on the Chrysler 200 which could negatively affect the 200’s ability to deliver heat in colder months. Other signs of trouble here may include low coolant levels, or the smell of coolant in the car. It’s a sort of sugary, sweet, slightly burned smell, typically. Look for it. With your nose.