Review: 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited, Overlooked For No Good Reason
One of the hardest jobs of any automotive journalist is writing about a vehicle when the company says it will stop producing it.
Such is the case with the 2016 Chrysler 200.
FCA boss Sergio Marchionne has declared they will let it run its course. For consumers, this may cast a bad mark on the vehicle since the perception is something must be wrong with it. Yet, taking a close look at the Chrysler 200, it is obvious what the problem is. The car is simply overlooked on sales lots dominated by full-size trucks and muscle cars.
With many consumers skipping over the 200, Sergio is correct in thinking they need to do something. Sadly, this could mean ending production of the current-generation 200. Sad because the reality is this is a great compact car.
The fact is Chrysler may historically struggle when it comes to reliability rankings, yet they know how to build a car. For the 200, their designers hit a home run with sharp styling throughout. No matter where you sit and what angle you view the car, the great design stands out.
On the road, Chrysler engineers did a good job of mating the 9-speed automatic transmission to the 3.6L V6 in our test model. With that many gears, the thinking is it could have dead spots or feel sluggish off the line. It does not in the least. In fact, as opposed to other manufactures who have opted for continuously variable transmissions (CVT), the 9-speed is refreshing. Sure you can feel it shifting at lower speeds, but isn’t that what you want to feel?
This powertrain is also really efficient. EPA estimated fuel economy for the 200 is 19/32/23 city/highway/combined MPG. During my week of testing the vehicle, I drove 400 miles to Denver and back. I barely used a half tank on the way down and only put in a few gallons to make certain I could make it back home. This was an incredibly cheap trip compared to other vehicles I have driven.
If fuel economy is really a key, the smaller 2.4L four-cylinder ramps up highway MPG to 36 from the 32 of the V6.
The 200 is a quiet, comfortable drive as well with comfortable seats, good driving position and sound deadening in the right spots. Also, the large 8.4-inch screen with the Uconnect infotainment system is one of the best in the marketplace and the various options packages really enhance the drive like heated and powered seats with lumbar.
About the only things this car is missing is blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control. Both of these features, available on competitor models, would have proven handy for my long road trip.
Also, Chrysler has now adopted the rotary-dial shifter throughout their lineup. While it works in certain applications, in this case, the dial is too close to the heating and cooling controls. It is simply too easy to turn the wrong dial and end up cranking the heat when you want to go in reverse. Not a huge issue, but a nuisance for sure.
In the end, the 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited is simply the overlooked choice among compact car buyers. Yet, it is a strong competitor in the compact car segment with its great interior and exterior styling and performance. Many buyers would appreciate everything it has to offer, if they would just stop by a dealer and take a look.
Model: 2016 Chrysler 200 Limited
Engine: 3.6L V6
Transmission: 9-speed automatic
Fuel Economy: 19/32/23 city/highway/combined
- Convenience Group (Sun visors with vanity mirrors, body-color heated mirrors, 8-way power driver seat, 4-way power driver lumbar adjustment) – $795
- Comfort Group (A/C auto temperature control with dual zone control, heated front seats, remote start system) – $645
- 6L V6 Engine – $1,995
- Uconnect 8.4 inch touchscreen with navigation – $795
Price as Tested: $29,715 with $995 destination charge
- Uconnect System Performance
- Lack of Blind-Spot Monitoring
- Lack of Adaptive Cruise Control
- Rotary Dial Shifter Placement
Tim Esterdahl is a married father of three who enjoys all things automotive including wrenching on his collection of old pickups. You can find his work here and in print in Truck Trend magazine as well as on Pickuptrucks.com. Recently, he is growing a huge audience at his website PickTruckTalk.com
He also plays an absurd amount of golf. Like, really absurd.