Reviews

2017 Chrysler 200 Driving Impressions

Unfortunately the base powertrain doesn’t meet the quality of the cabin. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is the same as used in the Dodge Dart, Jeep Cherokee and Renegade, and in the Chrysler 200 at least, it isn’t strong, Its 183 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque should be enough, but acceleration is adequate at best. Meanwhile the nine-speed automatic transmission, which doesn’t have a manual mode, shifts unpredictably and sometimes too slowly, leaving the engine to rev while it waits for the gear to engage.

So we choose the smoother 3.6-liter V6, making 295 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and having strong acceleration. It uses the same nine-speed with similar issues, although in the V6 we’d say the shifts are too abrupt. But at least that can be overcome by shifting with the standard paddles. But if you’re in ninth gear on the freeway, and want immediate acceleration, you might have to click the paddles three times, because the top three gears are overdrives for better mileage.

The rotary shift dial lets you select a Sport mode that gives the 200 more steering weight and better powertrain response.

The V6 has some torque steer in front-wheel drive, but we think the available all-wheel drive might make it go away, because it sends up to 60 percent of the power to the rear wheels.

The handling is predictable and unremarkable, somewhere in quality between the Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion. The 200 is generally well-behaved, and it rides quite well. It shares the Dart’s front struts and rear four-links, and electric power steering, making it pleasant and progressive, with a firm yet muted feel.

It’s smooth and the steering is reasonably responsive, but its attention drifts as the cornering forces build. It’s definitely not a sport sedan. It feels better as a comfortable 200C than a sporty 200S. Although it looks better as a 200S.

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