Five-Point Inspection: 2015 Chrysler 200S V6 AWD

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Chrysler’s lamentable first-generation 200 is finally gone and the new model replacing it is praiseworthy for a variety of reasons.

A versatile car, the 200S can be had with a four-cylinder or (now rare in this class) six cylinder, along with front-wheel drive and a new addition for 2015: all-wheel drive. Our tester sported the six-cylinder and featured four-driven wheels, making it a very different car than the old models. Here are five distinct ways this new generation makes the old one look like a fossil.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Chrysler 200S vs 2015 Subaru Legacy

After spending a week with the 200S V6 AWD, it’s hard to even recall what the old 200 looked like. The new model is modern with a very distinct design. Absolutely no one will mistake this for a Sebring.

Chrysler offers the 200 with alloy wheels that measure up to19 inches. There’s equally eye-catching chrome up front and on the mirror caps, while the overall sloping shape of the new 200 is more than enough to get people to take notice.

Along with the exterior, the interior gets a huge improvement that marks the Chrysler 200S’ entry into the world of modern mid-sized sedans. Build quality is solid, with no noticeable gaps or blemishes.

One of the most interesting changes is how Chrysler ditches the gear stick for a rotary knob. By doing this, the company has opened up the area between the front two seats, allowing a ton of storage space. The cup holders can even slide under the arm-rest, exposing a hidden storage area.

There are a few downsides to the car. Headroom for rear passengers is really lacking. The sloping rear end of the car cuts into passenger space, but the driver will also notice the small windows affecting their visibility.

Under the hood of the 200S is a 3.6-liter V6 that’s good for 295 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Ask anyone and its clear those are good numbers – some of the best in the mid-sized sedan segment. That kind of power is always appreciated on the road, whether it’s at an intersection or on the highway, but helping deliver that power to the street is some more unique goodies.

A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard, helping the 200S find the right gear for any scenario you are in. Need to make a pass? Suddenly, you’re in the power band. Strolling on the highway? The engine doesn’t even crack 2,000 RPM. In our testing we found the drivetrain to be even better than advertised earning 31 MPG on the highway (when it was rated for just 29.)

While this is a 3,800-lb. all-wheel drive sedan, the all-wheel drive system can disconnect from the rear axle when it’s not needed to reduce mechanical drag and save fuel.

Our test model was loaded up with the $1,495 navigation and sound package, the $795 comfort package, the $795 premium lighting group, the $1,495 dual-pane panoramic sun roof and the $595 blind spot and cross path detection package. Oh and the 19-inch wheels cost an extra $695.

Sure it all adds up to a costly car, but the point is that they’re options and there’s a ton of them available to the buyer. Each has their positives. The Uconnect infotainment system that comes with the Navigation and Sound package is responsive and easy to use, but the 506-watt Alpine sound system is the cherry on top of the option-package-sundae. The Comfort Package was also a great addition, including heated seats and a heated steering wheel along with a backup camera and dual-zone climate control. Safety and driver assists are nice too; the blind-spot assist works well, while 200C models are available with adaptive cruise control.

There’s one glaring problem with the Chrysler 200S. It got so much better, and ends up costing quite a bit more than it used to. The 200 used to start below $20,000 while modern models start at $21,700 for a base model with few amenities. Our V6 AWD model rang in at $35,560.

Interested in the new 2015 Chrysler 200S? Then head to our new car buying page, where you can price one out, or check out the whole Chrysler lineup.

Discuss this story at our Chrysler Forums

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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