Believe it or not, I didn’t think the first Chrysler 200 was as awful a car as everyone said it was. Given the crappy Sebring that engineers and stylists were handed to fix, what emerged for the 2011 model year was almost a miracle. And given that the sticker price of one loaded with all the equipment barely exceeded $30,000 (before generous rebates and discounts), the old 200, with its powerful V-6 engine option and fairly impressive crash-test ratings, was a relative bargain among midsize sedans.
Nevertheless, it’s a good thing that this new, completely redesigned 2015 Chrysler 200 sedan is now on sale. In every respect, it is superior to the vehicle it replaces. The new 200 sedan also signals the way forward for the Chrysler brand, which will expand dramatically in coming years in order to take on mainstream models in key vehicle segments now that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has decreed Dodge to be the corporate performance brand.
Naturally, I wanted to find out how the new Chrysler 200 works as a midsize family car, since that’s the arena in which it competes. What I discovered is that it depends on how old, and big, your kids are.