Review: 2012 Chrysler 200 S Convertible

Posted on 08. Sep, 2012 by in Auto News

So you are planning your next car be a cheap drop top for four people? If you live in America, your options are limited to odd. By my count, only five convertibles on our shores available that seats four and costs under $ 30,000. When the "convertible hatchbacks" (Cooper and 500c) from the list swipe left with three options. The Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder, Ford Mustang, and the former king of the bond sales charts: the Chrysler Sebring 200th Does this re-skinned front airbags for the driver, which was to win back that takes "best-selling convertible in America" crown?

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Outer

Convertible sales have. On a downward spiral since 1950 At the rate we're going, only 1.1 percent of new cars in the U.S. in 2012 sold his drop-tops. What's to blame? Well, the old Sebring certainly not help.

Because euthanasia was not easy in the cards, Chrysler opted for a re-skin. Much like a freakish face transplant by your favorite B-grade movie, the Sebring was nip / tucked everywhere except the doors and the roof. I can almost see, peeled the mask by Sean Connery. The problem is, as Mythbusters showed a new face can not hide what's underneath. The awkward hood strakes are gone, replaced by smooth sheet metal and a new nose sporting wavy Chrysler corporate grille. Unfortunately nothing could be done to disappear the enormous trunk lid, so that the 200 even more booty music video as Sir Mix-A-Lot. Frankenstein sparked the transformation with new wheels, LED running lights and bling-tastic 17 and 18 inch wheels. The result is a design that. Strangely, more cohesive than the original, more a statement of how wrong the original vehicle was than anything else

As with the Sebring, shoppers can choose between a traditional soft top or a trendy three-piece folding hard top for an additional $ 1,995. Best operation is limited speeds under 1MPH and lasts 27 seconds with the fabric top and 30 to the hard-top finish, substantially excludes stoplight top drops.

Interior

In our 200 S Sebring the origin, despite the reorganization of hand. How so? It's all in the forms. The parts are at least as smart as anyone, but because Chrysler could not afford to change the car difficult points, the Sebring silhouette in a strange position and the door handle incredibly large dashboard is unmistakable. Forms apart, no one can fault the material and workmanship. Gone are the made-like Rubbermaid are plastic, gone are the faux-tortoiseshell accents. Fortunately, the "fin" that dominates the dash was like a veruca was cut out. Replacing the oddly shaped (and oddly named) rubbery steering wheel is Chrysler's new corporate tiller from the 300th The same soft leather, chunky rim and audio controls are hidden on the back of the wheel for the ride.

Seating comfort is something of a mixed bag. The rear seats are unusual for a convertible: they are sized and shaped for normal adults, as you might expect, that a seat would be formed. Why does this sound amazing? Most of the "four seater" Convertibles have rear seats that are either odd upright or inclined forward to fit it into the vehicle. Meanwhile, the 200 has rear thrones is suitable for a 2-hour wine-tasting excursion. Unfortunately, the front seats are not as comfortable suffering from a solid and "over stuffed" bottom cushion, which made me like I was on a big gumdrop towers. Or a tuffet. This is a sitting position only Mrs. Muffet would be happy.

Carry four people with relative ease is something of a miracle, but ask all convertible to four people carry the baggage, is just a pipe dream. In 13.3 cubes, the 200 easy to swallow the Bootilicious croup four roles bags and some hand luggage. Let the upper and space shrinks to 6.6 cubes, good for a garment bag, a roller bag and a purse. A small handbag. Do not believe the purchase of the top things will improve, Chrysler designed the roof parts in such a way that the hard and soft peaks share some common design elements and occupy the same space in the trunk.

Infotainment

Of an inner element is not in the Sebring-to-200-transformation touched was the infotainment system. We get the same six-speaker base unit in the 200 Touring with the same CD player and Sirius radio. If you want to pair your Bluetooth phone, you will return $ 360th The limited edition model will be added to a 6.5-inch head unit, the standard Bluetooth, USB and iDevice love and a 40GB hard drive-based music library. A $ 475 Boston Acoustics speaker package is the 200 Limited and standard on the Chrysler 200 S. the last generation nav system is also available for an additional $ 695 in the upper ledges of the 200, but honestly, you'd be better off Aftermarket .

Drivetrain

Perhaps the biggest change in the 200, the metamorphosis is under the hood. Weaksauce the 2.7L and 3.5L V6 aging were paired with new 283HP 3.6L V6 Chrysler to their in-house built 6-speed automatic has been replaced. Change as a mid-year, the unloved 2.4L four-cylinder engine also gets some 6-speed love. The additional two wheels on the four-banger mean, it's finally the economic choice deliver 20/31 mpg vs. 19/29 for the V6. Before you discount the V6 in favor of the economy, our real numbers have to motivate them on an equal footing and with more than £ 4,000, it is a serious penalty for not checking that $ 1,795 box.

Driving

The Sebring was terrible on the road. The chassis was like a wet noodle, the cowl shake so bad you could have been churned butter and the whole car was so responsive to steering and throttle input were more suggestions than commands. Despite none of the shedding almost 4100 pounds empty weight, does offer 200 some rather unexpected improvement. While there is no hiding that the 200 is a heavy front-driver proved to the 200, too much fun on the twisty Northern California back roads that I wish to me, upgraded brakes. Seriously. Who would have thought?

The 200's suspension tweaks finally have the kibosh on wheel hop. In conjunction with the V6 equipped to reach front-wheel-peel easily and quite amusing. Take the 200 back to back but forgotten with a Mustang and you will all about the comfortable back seat. They are also painfully aware of how obesity has become the 200th There is no question, however, is the improved handling of the 200, it will always play second fiddle to topless pony Fords.

How it stacks up

If the Sebring and 200 exist in a vacuum, we would praise the 200 for a major change and the best convertible ever. The problem of course is that buyers have options and pricing is the omnipresent specter. In my eyes, everything can be forgiven for the right price. The Nissan Versa is cheap and "plasticky"? Damn right. But it is the cheapest car in America, so who cares? The Chrysler 200? It has a $ 26,995 problem. Yes, it is cheaper than the Mustang, Camaro, Eclipse and EOS. But it is cheap enough? Let's do the math.

First off, no one should be subjected to the four-cylinder 200, then $ 27,600 is the real basis of price. The Mustang convertible starts at $ 27,200, to throw in the automatic transmission, and you're at $ 28,395. For the extra $ 795, the Ford has greatly improved handling, more power, less weight and improved fuel efficiency. Win: Ford

The Camaro convertible is $ 32,745 (based on the automatic) and provides at least $ 3,500 standard equipment when compared to the 200 makes the true cost of 326hp and a better RWD chassis $ 1,645. Win: Chevy

The 200 gets some relief when pitted against the old and expensive Eclipse Spyder with his old 4-speed automatic and haphazard interior. Mitsubishi wants $ 27,999 for admission to the four-cylinder four-course party and a ticket to the show you're running a 265hp V6 eye-popping $ 32,828. Win: Chrysler

The 200 has a larger trunk than many mid-size sedans, more rear legroom than Mustang, Camaro and more visibility than better "everythings" as an Eclipse. The 200 is not the best convertible in the segment, but at least Chrysler changes mean that you do not, you're just renting a car summer tires more. Do not believe me? Rent a yourself and see. TTAC the last word? If you want a front-driver, you save $ 1,000 to buy the MINI Cooper Convertible.

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Chrysler provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Technical construction file:

0-30: 2.7 seconds

0-60: 7.1 seconds

1/4 Mile: