Chrysler 200

The Right Number

“Chrysler 200 ticks the boxes”

Chrysler is mounting a steady-as-she-goes campaign with its new 200 in the Middle East and further afield, and it should work fine. The midsize sedan market is not the place for full-on styling exercises and boat-rocking. It’s a segment where buyers tend to be fairly conservative concerning the design of the cars they put in the garage.

The Detroit automaker seems to have the balance right with the 200 - it needed to, as it replaces the unloved Sebring. For the 200, Chrysler addressed each of those pesky Sebring issues and made improvements. The drivetrain, the interior, the styling - even the name - were skittled.

“The 2012 Chrysler 200 Sedan is proof that a well-made, luxurious, American midsize sedan not only exists, but hails from a place where hard work and style have been a hallmark for generations,” says Jack Rodencal, Chrysler Group Middle East’s regional chief. “Born from the belief that luxury is for anyone who deserves it, the Chrysler 200 offers the best value in its class.”

Driving Impressions

We put a long day in on the road near the UAE-Oman border as the summer was starting to hit and the comfort level is one of the 200’s strongest points. Chrysler has replaced the hard plastic interior pieces with components that feel softer and more upscale.

The seats are well padded and comfy and the vehicle has what may be one of the best ventilation set-ups in this market. When you want the coolest of cool air with the 200, you get it immediately.

The car is also easy to get in and out of, with plenty of interior elbow room. Your tester laid the front (passenger!) set back to relax for half an hour or so and enjoyed a treat of a rest.

The 200 has particularly compliant suspension, and the emphasis is on comfort, not speed. Suspension is MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link arrangement in back. This is a softly sprung car but not to the point of being annoying.

It’s not an especially lively car, but the engine is quiet and well-behaved. No one was expecting a pavement burner, but it’s not going to be out of place on a Dubai-Muscat run.

The 200 is offered with a 2.4 liter World Gas Engine mated to a six-speed auto. The 2.4 liter I-4 engine produces 173 hp and 225 Nm. A 3.6 liter Pentastar V6 engine, one of Ward’s ‘10 Best Engines’, is mated to the 62TE six-speed auto and kicks out 283 hp and 353 Nm.

Verdict

The Chrysler Jeep and Dodge outfit is doing record sales in the Middle East at the moment and the 200 will add some numbers to the tally. It ticks quite a lot of boxes as there’s an attention to detail that is part and parcel of the “new Chrysler”.

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