Chrysler 200
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Chrysler
Overview: Chrysler’s stylish Fiat-based sedan is offering plenty of feature and option changes for its second season.

Drivetrain: Base four-cylinder makes 184 horsepower; an optional V6 ups the output to 295; nine-speed automatic is connected to both powerplants; AWD is optional with the V6.

Thankfully, only the name carried over between the old 200 and the new. It competes in the high-volume mid-size bracket that’s the bread, butter and jam for Toyota, Ford, Honda, Nissan, Hyundai and other major manufacturers. There’s some roofline similarity with the Ford Fusion and a passing resemblance to the Dodge Dart that shares the same basic platform. The interior features easy-to-view primary gauges, plus-sized control knobs and optional 8.4-inch touch-screen display (a five-inch screen is the base car). The usual floor shifter has been replaced by a console knob like the one in the Ram 1500 pickup. Under the hood, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 184 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. It connects to a nine-speed automatic transmission, as does the available 3.6-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel-drive is available with the V6. Under normal operating conditions, the rear axle disconnects from the AWD system to cut parasitic power losses, which helps maximize fuel economy and likely saves wear and tear on various drivetrain components. When road conditions are slippery, the rear wheels can receive as much as 60 percent of the engine’s torque. AWD is also permanently engaged when the driver selects Sport mode. Then throttle and transmission shift responses become sharper and the electronic stability control becomes less nanny-like. The starting-point 200 LX includes numerous power-operated and comfort features plus keyless pushbutton start. The remaining Limited, S and C levels are where most buyers will likely shop since they include plenty of extras and are necessary for ordering the V6 and AWD. To celebrate Chrysler’s 90th birthday, an option package is available on the Limited trim level that includes the larger 8.4-inch screen, sunroof, all the upgrades included in the convenience group (power driver’s seat, leather wrapped steering wheel, vanity mirrors) and new floor mats featuring the special 90th anniversary logo.

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