2013 Chrysler 200 Limited new car reviews

It's a car!

Better than: The Sebring
But not as good as: The competition
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 81.58

Chrysler's mid-sized competitor is a bit long in the tooth. When Fiat took over, it made a serious attempt to move the brand's vehicles forward into competitiveness and out of the cost-cutting hole they had dug. It received a restyle for the 2011 model year, along with a different interior and now the Pentastar V6, but the financial meltdown meant they couldn't afford a clean-sheet redesign. It's still riding on a version of the Sebring platform from 2007.

The particular model we received was the top-spec Limited version, with chromed side mirrors, navigation, and so on. It empties the wallet heartily, the window sticker reading nearly $28,000. The base 200 starts at $18,995.

Other staff views

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar

I drove this thing to the 2012 ARRC. I wasn't thrilled—hey, last year I drove the Subaru Legacy GTk, with a kickass stereo and great seats—but I was glad to just have something that wasn't going to abuse me for the 8-hour drive to and fro. The Legacy was cool, but hey, the 200 should have good seats and sounds, yeah?

No. The stereo was good enough, but my back wept after the first hour or two as I shifted to find a better position the flat-backed buckets. It has all the power I could need from that type of vehicle and returned fine fuel mileage on the long trip. But it's no Ford Fusion, a car that's much more engaging and satisfying to drive. Both the Fusion and the Chevy Malibu are new for 2013.

In top spec, this 200 is hopelessly outclassed and outrefined; the six-speed automatic sometimes sends shudders on downshifts. Though it does undersell and outpower the competition. The Pentastar is a potent and smooth mill. Too bad it's in such a subpar car. Here's hoping for an all-new one in the not-too-distant future.

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