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Louisville, Kentucky.

2015 Chrysler 200 launch.

As you know, over the last couple years, Chrysler has gone from zero to hero with some great new products and some bold marketing/advertising moves. But that was then and this is now.

We are in the most competitive auto market in history as Chrysler tries to write their next chapter with their next wave of vehicles.

2015 Chrysler 200 Launch





And the second era will not get easier than the first one for them.

Because they have awoken the sleeping giant competitors like Toyota, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, etc. by trying to challenge them right in their sweet spots.

First with Dart, now with the all new 200.

The first part of this for Chrysler was the easy part.

Make a next generation 200 that was night and day better than the outgoing model.

Let’s face it, we’re not going to rehash history but it’s common knowledge the car it is replacing wasn’t the most stellar product ever to come out of Detroit.

We know that. They know that. The world knows that.

So to raise the bar on the new one was probably the easiest thing they had to do since the crisis.

And they have done a fine job with this new 200.

It’s better looking, it drives better, it feels better, etc., etc., etc.

But the challenge in this segment is huge. The Fusion, Optima, Sonata, Mazda 6, are ALL nice looking rides.

So let’s get into the nitty gritty route de suite and examine the different pluses and minuses of the 200 vs. the competition.

Some quick facts about the car first:

The 2015 Chrysler 200 Sedan Is All New From the Ground Up

Inspired by iconic American design, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 delivers beautiful craftsmanship using high-quality materials, understated elegance, and is loaded with state-of-the-art technology and safety features

2015 Chrysler 200 is the industry’s first mid-size sedan with a standard nine-speed automatic transmission, which enables expected highway fuel economy ratings of 35 miles per gallon

The Chrysler 200 sedan’s innovative available all-wheel-drive system is the first to deliver an automatic fully disconnecting rear axle, improving fuel economy by reducing parasitic loss when all-wheel drive is not needed

Choice of two world-class engines are available: the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine produces a best-in-class 295 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, or the standard 2.4-liter MultiAir®2 Tigershark I-4 engine produces 184 horsepower and 173 lb.-ft. of torque

The all-new 200 features state-of-the-art electronic shifting with rotary dial

An inventive center console offers pass-through storage space for driver and passengers, covered charging station and sliding cup holders for even more storage space when needed

2015 Chrysler 200 offers the most available safety and security features in the segment with 60

All-new 2015 Chrysler 200 delivers an array of easy-to-use, state-of-the-art advanced technology to keep drivers connected and informed yet focused on the road

World Class Manufacturing principles and a new, updated assembly plant set the table for a world-class vehicle – the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200

All-new paint and body shops and improvements in the assembly process enable precision-built vehicles and reduce the energy required to build the 2015 Chrysler 200 by 22 percent compared with the outgoing model
The all-new 2015 Chrysler 200 has a starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $21,700 (excluding $995 destination)

And now our overview and opinions of the car…

First the looks:





EXTERIOR: The new car is handsome from all angles but it’s got the sexiest booty in the segment. Beats ALL its rivals in our opinion.

The tail lights, the nice integrated spoiler and especially the rear 3/4 is world class and screams ‘I HEART AUDI’.

The face however, although quite attractive doesn’t beat the game leading Aston Fusion (sorry, Ford), nor Kia Optima. We give the 200 a third place finish here.

INTERIOR: A world of difference better than the last car. We especially like the blue Eames-like wood on the 'S' model









The drive:

Hands down, this is where it shines best. The new 200 is the driver of the bunch and has the best steering feel and suspension setup for all kinds of driving. PLUS, this bad boy is the first with an AWD option which will sell well and force others to enter the fray.

Power: Two engines offered- 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, 2.4-liter MultiAir®2 Tigershark I-4 If power is your thing then definitely the Pentastar 6 is your obvious choice but the 4 banger was respectable and gives the best mileage figures.

Mileage:

We were averaging on our test cars between 22-30 mpg in mixed driving with the two engines. Nothing to write home about but respectable. But missing here is a Fusion Hybrid beater in the lineup. On the sales floor the Fusion hybrid offering brings in a lot of foot traffic to dealerships even though most go home with the 22k gas engine offerings. Chrysler really needs an answer here.

Electronics and tech:

Best of breed here too and better than a lot of premium imports. This is Chrysler’s strongest suit because the total package they offer of voice/nav/bluetooth/Sat, etc. is very nicely integrated with a high quality design and simple interface.

Conclusion. The 2015 Chrysler 200 is night and day a better car than its predecessor. But it will be the market that decides if their efforts are a success, not us. Remember, Dart had a ton of pluses over the others but has languished in the marketplace. Coming into this market segment is like entering the eye of a Hurricane. No one knows where the pieces will settle but our hearts hope well for the new 200.

2015 Chrysler 200 Launch



























































2015 Chrysler 200 Launch



REVIEW: 2015 Chrysler 200. The Most Hotly Contested Segment Has A New Entrant. Is It FINALLY A Worthy Competitor?

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