Utah International Auto Expo: Surprise! The Chrysler 200 Doesn’t Suck In Person

By | January 15, 2011

Chrysler 200It’s a rare day when we admit that our first impressions of a vehicle may have been really off. Today is one of those rare days. The vehicle in question is the 200, Chrysler’s answer to the recent influx of new and fantastic C-segment cars including the Ford Focus, Buick Regal, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Forte. Its features aren’t anything that will help it stand head and shoulders above the crowd and from what we’ve heard the driving experience is nothing to write home about.

But we can say that in terms of looks, whatever the cameras have been spitting out since the car’s debut don’t do it justice. Seeing it in person reveals a much more thought out design than is evident in photographs. So much more that we’ve decided to retract our original statement claiming the 200 is just a fat Sebring in tight clothes. Now, we’d say that Chrysler has introduced a C-segment contender in the realm of aesthetics.

Of course, a few of the first impression irritations still exist. We hate the stubby trunk. Sure, there’s plenty of trunk space but the Chrysler 200 takes a page from the Mazda 3 and the Subaru WRX with the short, stubby trunk. It may work with the overall design of the car, but it’s at the expense of practicality. Think of building a ship in a bottle and you have a general idea of what loading the trunk must be like.

Finally, our distaste for the Audi-esk eyeliner in the headlights still stands. This feature is really cool if you have an Audi. A Chrysler 200? Not so much. Imagine driving down the highway, seeing a pair of headlights with the roped LED lighting above the main bulb and expecting to see a nice R4, Q5, or perhaps even an R8. Now imagine the disappointment when that Audi is actually a Chrysler. Alright, maybe disappointment is too much. Odds are you probably won’t even care. The fact of the matter though, is that “cool car” features should be reserved for such- not used to decorate a mid-entry sedan.

Chrysler 200

[Chad Waite]


1 Comment

AJ Wilcox on January 16, 2011 at 4:07 pm.

LOL! When I saw it yesterday, I said “Oh gross! They killed the Sebring just to call it the 200.”

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