BIG MAN RIDES: 2015 Chrysler 200

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2015 Chrysler 200

Sorry had to go there

It’s difficult to write about the new Chrysler 200 without talking about the old Chrysler 200.   The old 200 and its twin the Dodge Avenger were not horrible cars, they just weren’t good cars.   They were products of the old Daimler (Mercedes Benz) Chrysler marriage.

Daimler gutted Chrysler.  Jeep’s technology is what they wanted and  for the most part left Chrysler with sup-par vehicles.  Today, a lot of the Jeep’s DNA can be found  in several Mercedes SUV.  The current Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango  share the same platform with the ML that was developed jointly with Mercedes.

Daimler’s  DNA can be found in the current Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger,Challenger and the discontinued Dodge Magnum. The rear suspension ,the 5-speed automatic transmission’s and  the double wishbone front suspension that is derived from the W220 Mercedes S Class.

Fiat has to be commended, they freshened and improved drivablity of the 200 in 2012 as well as other cars  from the Daimler era.  They even raised its image and sales with a bold two minute commercial for Super Bowl XLV featuring Eminem with the motto Imported from Detroit.

The 2015 Chrysler 200

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The 200 may be the best new vehicle the new Fiat Chrysler has developed.  The launch of the 2013 Dodge Dart was horrific.  Its a good car but it wasn’t ready for market.  Last year’s Jeep Cherokee was a home run and the marketing and sales for the current 200 has been excellent.

The three vehicles are built on Fiat’s Compact platform now called  Compact U.S. Wide on which the Alfa Romeo Giulietta is based.

The standard engine is Chrysler’s 2.4 Tigershark 4 producing 184 horsepower and 173 pound feet of torque.   The optional engine is the 3.6 Pentastar 6 producing 295 horsepower and 262 pound feet of torque. Both are mated to a 9 speed automatic transmission.

I drove the base model with the 2.4

Sacramento to San Francisco

The first thing I noticed was the power, I initially though I was driving the Pentastar.  The steering and the suspension felt substantial.  The 200 its its base form was very quiet.  Pairing my phone with the base model was Chrysler easy. (Believe the hype-Chrysler has it down) .  Freeway cracks and joints did not upset the Chrysler.  By the time I hit Fairfield, I was averaging 33 mpg  driving 75.


The 200 is very handsome car inside and out. . It looks much better in person than its looks on TV or the Magazine.   The interior is well done.  The transmission selector  is a knob on the console.  For the first couple of days, I had the cleanest windshield in the Bay Area as I would reach to the wiper stalk to change gears.

Interior of the LX with the standard Radio-Photo-autos,terras

With the traditional transmission selector gone, the 200 has one of the roomiest and functional consoles in the business. With a push of button the drink holder slides back to reveal a large storage area. Underneath the transmission knob is a place for two phones. In addition to the console is a large compartment underneath the arm rest.  In addition to the touch screen there are many large buttons and switches that are easily accessible.  The materials used is throughout the car is pretty good.

Huge pillars hampered visibility throughout the car.  People, mailboxes and cars disappeared.   The sloping roof line, made rear seat entry difficult for tall people and room in the rear seat was fair.  Someone sitting behind me said they lost feelings in their legs and feet.

One speed to many? 

On the streets of  Sacramento and on the local freeways the nine speed transmission was flawless. However on some of the hills of San Francisco it would lose its way .  The transmission would hesitate after a stop going up a steep street.  On a long downhill its would need a minute to find the right gear.   Noting major but noticeable.

The potholes did not upset the 200. However, a few rattles were unearthed by the rough streets of San Francisco.  They disappeared when we returned to Sacramento.

Big Man Ride

I am 6.4 and over 300 pounds.   The front seat leg room was very good.   The width of the seat was very good for this wide bodied man.  The nice thick steering wheel tilted and telescoped for infinate adjustments.  There are adjustments for the height of the seats.  On a long drive the base seats weren’t comfortable, if I were buying this car I would spring for the leather seats.

This car would be perfectly fine for an averaged size family.    However this is BIG MAN RIDES and if you are a tall man and frequently carry passengers (especially tall) this isn’t the car for you.  The Volkswagen Passat would be a better choice.


The 200 enters a large segment, the midsize field is the most crowed in autodom.  The new Chrysler 200 is impressively stylish, fuel efficient with the four.   As a midsize car its about mid pack, there are cars that have more room and handle better and get better gas mileage.  Its is one of three cars in the segment available with all wheel drive.   The person who shops the 200 are likely to shop the Ford Fusion and the Mazda 6. She needs a midsize car, but wants a little style and I think Fiat Chrysler may have another hit on their hands.


200 Chrysler

 Prices start 21,800 for the base model to 30,055 for the All Wheel Drive Model

                          mpg 23/36                                                               mpg 18/29 (V6)

Published by CityFella

Big city fella, Born and Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lived in New York (a part time New Yorker) for three years . I have lived in the Sacramento area since 1993. When I first moved here, I hated it. Initially found the city too conservative for my tastes. A great place to raise children however too few options for adults . The city has grown up, there is much to do here. The city suffers from low self esteem in my opinion, locals have few positive words to say about their hometown. visitors and transplants are amazed at what they find here. From, the grand old homes in Alkali Flats, and the huge trees in midtown, there are many surprises in Sacramento. Theater is alive is this area . And finally ,there is a nightlife... In.downtown midtown, for the young and not so young. My Criticism is with local government. There is a shortage of visionaries in city hall. Sacramento has long relied on the state, feds and real estate for revenue. Like many cities in America,Downtown Sacramento was the hub of activity in the area. as the population moved to the suburbs and retail followed. The city has spent millions to revive downtown. Today less than ten thousand people live downtown. No one at city hall could connect the dots. Population-Retail. Business says Sacramento is challenging and many corporations have chosen to set up operations outside the cities limits. There is vision in the burbs. Sacramento has bones, there are many good pieces here, leaders seem unable or unwilling to put those pieces together into. Rant aside, I love it here. From the trees to the rivers. But its the people here that move me. Sacramento is one of the most integrated cities in America. I find I'm welcome everywhere. The spices work in this city of nearly 500,000 and for the most part these spices blend well together. From Ukrainians to Hispanics and a sizable gay community, all the spices seem to work well here. I frequently travel and occasionally I will venture into a city with huge racial borders, where its unsafe to visit after certain hours. I haven't found it here. I cant imagine living in a community where there is one hue or one spice. I love the big trees, Temple Coffee House, the Alhambra Safeway, Zelda's Pizza, Bicyclist in Midtown, The Mother Lode Saloon, Crest Theater, and the Rivers. I could go on and I might. Sacramento is home.

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