It is tough being a car company and having to enter the most popular car segment in the United States. But Chrysler under its new leadership wants a big piece of the Accord/Camry/Fusion/Malibu arena, so here comes the all-new Chrysler 200 introduced to us at a press event in NYC.
On the design angle, the Chrysler Wing Badge is prominently displayed, and the front end does look gorgeous with LED daytime running lamps. There will be an S model which is more youthful and edgy, and a C model more luxury-oriented. But you can get 19″ shoes on both.
The interior definitely looks the part. The 8.4-inch UConnect screen takes up front-and-center, and the HVAC controls sit neatly underneath. Alpine audio fills the cabin with the good stuff. The rotary shift dial is coming to cars after its appearance in the Ram. Or, if you prefer, it mimicks Jaguar. Paddle shifters will be available, supposedly a first in the segment. I also love the new corporate steering wheel with cleanly marked buttons on the front. Older Chrysler vehicles do not offer these kind of functions, as their wheels were designed before connectivity and adaptive cruise control became household words.
A very neat feature is the sliding cupholder mechanism that exposes a huge console storage area and connectivity points. You can get the car with the Pentastar V6 in snortin’ trim. Because of a new intake design, the car now makes 295 horsepower in this guise. But we’ll take the base 2.4 liter MultiAir with the ZF 9-speed transmission. After all, I had a great experience with it in the Jeep Cherokee.
Just like the Cherokee, the Chrysler can parallel- or perpendicular park itself, amazing the road test instructor of your teenager. Adaptive cruise control with full stop also is available. And, although it seems to be a common occurrence that thankfully has not happened to me, the car will automatically stop itself. Yes, it has braking assist. If you forget to put the vehicle in park and undo the seatbelt, the car will not roll into your garage.
We look forward to taking one for a spin soon!