Redesigned for this year – well, next year, but it’s on sale now – it’s not a model many people are excited about, primarily because it hasn’t historically been a model to get excited about. But the new generation is awesome. Seriously, check that thing out.
I’ve written about the Chrysler 200 before, after it was first revealed. Now I’m seeing it out and about on the road, and I love it even more. It looks so good on our highways. SO GOOD.
Exterior styling is retro-cool, and I’m not talking about looking back at the 80’s or even 70’s with retro reach. I’m talking about Art Deco. The 1920’s, baby. The profile of this car has the right lines to have come straight out of classic Hollywood. (That’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.)
The face, not so much – that’s very modern and just slightly forward-thinking enough to be at the forefront of what I believe is the direction of teens mid-to-late-teens overall sedan styling trend. The taillights fit right in with today’s hottest luxury cars. But that profile…yes. I can’t get enough of it.
It’s also got a nine-speed auto transmission, which is absurd and awesome and definitely a plus over any other sedans out there for smoothness and mileage. And its V6 option gets nearly 300 horsepower, which, for a family sedan, is absolutely unnecessary in the best possible way.
And for as much as I’ll talk about any car’s exterior styling – especially this car’s exterior styling – what actually intrigues me most about the new 200 is its cabin. It has a place below the cup holders & gear shift to place your iPad so it doesn’t slide all around, which, for some reason is a huge draw. It’s probably not that big a deal, but in my mind it’s fantastically innovative.
Also, it’s got a dial shifter instead of the normal stick. When I first heard of such an outlandish notion (as seen in the new Lincoln MKZ, with its console buttons), I scoffed, thinking with nowhere to place my hand, how could I possibly enjoy driving? But the more I think about it, the more and more appealing this notion is. Yes, if it’s not needed, by all means get that stick out of the way and feng shui the cabin for better flow. It will make me feel less claustrophobic, give me greater freedom of movement, and help keep me calm and serene. Ultimately, a great decision, and I secretly hope all car companies follow in that direction.
So – super-Zen, brain-pleasing driving with a nearly-300-horsepower engine that shifts smoother than butter, and exterior styling that no one else can touch? All for a price tag under $30K?