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2016 Chrysler 200 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Chrysler 200 was new.


Performance: 7.5

Critics say the 2016 Chrysler 200's base engine isn't as strong or refined as that of its competitors. The nine-speed automatic transmission has trouble downshifting, according to reviewers, but some note that it shifts smoothly when paired with the available V6. Fuel economy is below average for the class. Most test drivers are pleased with the Chrysler 200's handling, steering and brakes, though they some disagree and find that several rivals offer better driving dynamics.

  • "Although its 4-cylinder engine is not the smoothest or most powerful in this class, the available Pentastar V6 is just the opposite, turning the 200 into a potent contender with breathtaking acceleration." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The driving fun available behind the wheel of the 2015 Chrysler 200 should surprise the skeptics. Much like the new Jeep Cherokee, the 200 handles far better than paper specs and past experience would lead one to expect." -- AutoWeek (2015)
  • "Overall, we'd call the 200 athletic, but we're not quite sure it's ready for the ‘sports sedan’ tag." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "We just weren't expecting how much fun the 200 is to drive. The combination of the car's sporty reflexes, strong V6, available all-wheel drive and 9-speed transmission gives the 200 a powerful but light-on-its-feet feel from behind the wheel." -- AutoTrader (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Chrysler 200 is equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 184 horsepower, while a 295-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine is available. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard. The EPA estimates that the base 200 gets 23/36 mpg city/highway, which is on the low end for a midsize car. The V6 model gets 19/32 mpg, which is a bit lower than the fuel economy estimates of the 200’s V6-powered competitors.

Auto writers are disappointed by the Chrysler 200's base engine, which they say lacks refinement and is noisy under hard acceleration. While they think it provides adequate power for driving around town, some reviewers wish it had more. Test drivers say the available V6 engine offers potent acceleration that makes the 200 fun to drive. The nine-speed automatic can sometimes be slow to downshift, critics say, but a few add that when matched to the V6 it shifts smoothly.

  • "Our time in the 2016 Chrysler 200C with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine left us with lukewarm feelings. The engine's 184 horsepower takes a long time to show up in full force, and there is a lack of refinement not experienced with other 4-cylinders in this segment, chiefly the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Thankfully, the 200 has a savior in the form of its available 3.6-liter V6 engine, one of the most powerful and efficient V6s offered in a family sedan. Teamed with Chrysler's new 9-speed automatic, the V6-powered 200 goes from mild-mannered 4-door to athletic touring sedan, especially when the transmission is placed in Sport mode." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "This isn't the quietest or smoothest engine in this class, but most buyers will find that the 2.4-liter meets their acceleration needs in normal driving, as highway merging and passing maneuvers come easily. Still, the V6 is the more desirable choice. It has plenty of power in any situation and never feels sluggish, even when engine speed drops below 2,000 rpm in 9th gear. It's also commendably quiet for normal highway cruising, yet has a snarly exhaust note when you really get on the gas." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The nine-speed automatic shifts smoothly through the gears, but downshifts aren't handled as well. Due to the sheer volume of the gears on tap, we found that a quick stab of the gas pedal could result in the transmission ‘hunting’ through two or even three gears before finding the right one." -- Left Lane News (2015)

Handling and Braking

Most automotive journalists say the Chrysler 200 is one of the better-handling cars in the class. They say it feels poised and fairly agile through turns, but some point out that it’s not quite as sporty as the Honda Accord or the Mazda6. Many test drivers agree that the 200 has precise steering, but a few say it can feel numb. Reviewers find that the Chrysler 200 has strong brakes. The 200 comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available.

  • "Steering is extremely precise and the handling is better than most in this class. Those seeking the ultimate driving experience will want the 200S model for its sport-tuned suspension and more aggressive wheel-and-tire package." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "With the weight off its nose, the 200 feels much more tossable and balanced, even a little bit fun. But, in a class that includes the lot-of-fun Accord and Mazda 6, a little isn't going to cut it." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "The exhaust pops as we ease off the 295-hp V-6 and onto the brakes, which feel strong and easy to modulate." -- Automobile Magazine (2015)
  • "Steering is quick and direct, but the 200's tiller is a bit on the numb side, particularity on-center. The 200 suspension doesn't mind being tossed through the corners, but it's best suited to soaking up road imperfections." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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