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2011 Chrysler 200 Limited Review & Test Drive

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‘MORE REFINED, POWERFUL AND LUXURIOUS’

Goodbye Chrysler Sebring sedan, hello Chrysler 200 Limited.  Wow, what a difference a year makes.  The all-new 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited offers consumers exceptional craftsmanship inside and out, a more refined and spirited driving experience, innovative technology, an abundance of standard equipment.  The all-new Chrysler 200 Limited is an exciting alternative for customers that want style and substance, all at a surprising low base price of just $23,745.00.

Virtually every system in the sedan is new or upgraded for 2011, giving the Chrysler 200 Limited its own identity and space in the highly competitive mid-size sedan segment.  Exterior and sheet metal upgrades include a new front and rear fascias and fenders, a new five-blade chrome grille featuring the new Chrysler brand winged badge, a new hood with scalloped center, new LED positioning light pipe in the front headlamp clusters, a new rear deck lid and exterior mirrors, new projector beam headlamps and foglamps, new LED taillamps and an LED center high-mounted stoplight, new dual exhaust with chrome tips, new chrome pull-out door handles and new chrome power-remote/heated sideview mirrors.  The new styling is sleeker, lower, more elegant and more contemporary.  I like what the Chrysler designers have accomplished.

The new 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited provides drivers an agile, more confident, handling performance in all driving situations, whether it’s commuting to work, a weekend adventure on twisty roads or going out with family and friends.  Virtually every part of the suspension has been retuned or redesigned for 2011 including 26 of 30 suspension bushings for a quieter and more controlled ride.  Up front is an independent MacPherson strut setup with coil springs over gas-charged shocks, and a stabilizer bar.  The rear independent multi-link setup includes coil springs, gas-charged shocks, link-type stabilizer bar in an isolated suspension cradle to lesson noise, vibration and harshness.

The track is an inch wider, tire width has been increases from 215 to 225mm and the car has been lowered 12mm in front and 6mm in the rear for a lower, wider, more substantial stance. A new strut tower brace stiffens the front suspension and enhances the standard power-assisted rack & pinion steering system to give instant reaction to your steering inputs.  No more floating on the road like last year’s Sebring.  The performance of the suspension is top-notch for a front-wheel drive sedan.  You’ll drive with confidence in the new 200 and experience less body roll, reduced vehicle shake on uneven road surfaces, improved isolation on rough roads, better steering precision, response and feel and increased grip with new premium Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires. There is virtually no torque-steer at launch as you zoom out to 60mph from a standstill in just 6sec.

Powering the all-new Chrysler 200 Limited is the new 3.6 liter Pentastar DOHC, 24-valve, VVT, all aluminum V6 engine that offers customers the best of both world’s-best-in-class V6 horsepower-283hp at 6,400rpm and 260lb.ft. of torque at 4,400rpm-and exceptional fuel economy of 19mpg/city and 29mpg/highway.

This more powerful and fuel efficient V6 engine is mated to the 62TE six-speed automatic transmission with adaptive electronic control/AutoStick manual shifter with an electronically modulated torque converter clutch.  You can sit back and drive in full automatic or push the stick back into AutoStick and shift as you want, all the up to redline to get the most performance from the engine.

Slowing the all-new Chrysler 200 Limited down from speed are new, larger, more powerful brakes.  Up front are 11.5in. vented discs clamped by single-piston calipers while 10.3in. solid discs are clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.  Standard ABS, BA, electronic stability control and traction control help keep you in control during severe braking maneuvers.

Cabin quietness has been significantly upgraded, resulting in one of the quietest cabins in the segment, and allowing passengers to enjoy their conversations, largely devoid of outside noise.  Noise, vibration and harshness were reduced and 45 new sound deadening treatments were added, including an acoustic glass windshield, laminated side glass usually found in higher priced vehicles, and new sound absorption materials throughout the car.

With the all-new interior for 2011, customers will step into a level of craftsmanship, content and comfort that is world-class.  The all-new instrument panel, bezels, gauge face and new Chrysler steering wheel transform the driver’s seat into an elegant atmosphere.  Upgraded seats with a new design that incorporates more cushion material and revised spring geometry, as well as new leather and cloth seating materials, envelop you and passenger.   Designers developed the new 2011 Chrysler 200 sedan with new ‘soft touch’ armrest and instrument panel and new, premium interior finishes for touch points that are not only pleasing to the touch, but also to the eye such as the black piano veneer trim on the center stack and center console.  The new Chrysler clock is elegant and the new heating and cooling outlets on the instrument panel offer improved design and functionality and complete the beautifully detailed interior.  The rear seats are split 60/40 to expand the cargo carrying capacity and the rear seat has a pull-down armrest with dual cupholders and pass-thru.

The new Chrysler 200 offers customers innovative features to keep them connected and make the drive something to look forward to.  Features include new ambient interior lighting and a new Chrysler brand steering wheel with integrated controls to operate the radio, cruise control, a center console with dual cupholders, padded, two-tier storage box that slides fore/aft, hands free phone and other vehicle functions while keeping their hands on the wheel.  Drivers stay connected with an available media center with voice command that is easy to use and offers radio, SIRIUS satellite radio, a 30 gigabyte hard drive, iPod connectivity, streaming music capability and a navigation system with SIRIUS travel link.

Standard equipment on the all-new 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited include variable-intermittent wipers/washers, AC with automatic temperature control, leather trimmed bucket seats, 8-way powered driver seat/manual front passenger seat, heated front seats, grab handles in the rear above each door, 6.5in. touch screen, 6-speaker AM-FM-CD-SIRIUS stereo radio, cruise control, rear window defroster, remote USB port, beefy tilt/telescope leather wrapped steering wheel, power windows/door locks with front express up/down, self-dimming rearview mirror, dual lighted vanity mirrors, storage slots in front seats, map pocket behind driver’s seatback, chrome inside door handles, single-needle white contrasting stitching, automatic headlamps, premium front/rear floor mats.  My 200 Limited came equipped with these options-the 3.6 liter V6 engine, engine oil cooler, dual chrome exhaust tips, 6-Boston Acoustic speakers, Media Center with CD/DVD/MP3/HDD/Garmin navigation system.  The total price for this nicely loaded Chrysler 200 is just $27,600.00.  Thousands less the a comparably equipped mid-size sedan.

An abundance of standard safety and security features include advanced multi-stage front passenger airbag/driver front airbag, active head restraints, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, LATCH child seat anchor system, 3-point safety belts for all passengers with front load limiters/pretentioners, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door, rear door child protective locks, tire pressure monitoring system, keyless entry, Sentry Key theft deterrent system, security alarm, optional Uconnect voice command with Bluetooth, remote start, and a universal garage door opener.

The standard mid-size sedan segment is the largest vehicle segment in the U.S. and the new 2011 Chrysler 200 Limited is uniquely positioned as an exciting alternative for customers that want style and substance, all at a surprising value.

COPYRIGHT:2011:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base Chrysler 200 $19,245 As-Tested Limited Edition $27,600
  • Wheelbase: 108.9in.
  • Total length: 191.7in.
  • Total width: 72.5in.
  • Total height: 58.4in.
  • Track: f/r-61.7/62.7in.
  • Headroom: f/r-40.1/38.4in.
  • Legroom: f/r-42.4/36.2in.
  • EPA total interior passenger volume: 100.3cu.ft.
  • Cargo capacity: 13.6cu.ft.
  • Turning circle: 36.5ft.
  • 0-60mph: 6 seconds
  • Fuel tank: 16.9 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,559lbs.
  • EPA mileage: 19mpg/city, 29mpg/highway

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