Surprisingly good – the 2016 Chrysler 200S AWD

Jun 23, 2016 

Surprisingly good – the 2016 Chrysler 200S AWD

I drive a lot of vehicles. In fact, I receive products on a weekly basis to road-test and evaluate. Most are quite enjoyable, there’s really no such thing as a bad driving car today. However, every now and then one pops up and surprises you, which is precisely what happened to me with the 2016 Chrysler 200S AWD.

In truth, I was never a great lover of its forerunner, the Sebring as, although it looked rather smart (especially the convertible), it fell down somewhat in the performance/handling department; as did the previous generation of the 200 (prior to 2015 MY), although it was marginally better than the Sebring. Therefore, I didn’t exactly leap into the new 200 when it first came along.

On hindsight, this was possibly a mistake, as the week I’ve just spent in the 200S has me wishing I had.

It’s a sharp looking car and enjoys that typical Chrysler design, wherein the personality of the vehicle alters with colour choice. Pick a red one and it appears sporty, while in white or gunmetal grey (like my test vehicle), it suddenly takes on an air of luxury. It’s very much like the Chrysler 300, one of my favourite designs ever.

My test vehicle came powered by the faithful 3.6L Pentastar V6 (295 hp and 262 lb/ft of torque) and when coupled to its 9-speed (yes, 9-speed) transmission, this vehicle moves. Yet it does so with utter smoothness due to the number of available gears. It also handles like a Pro with braking capabilities well matched to its performance and it sounds good. Add in the sleek AWD system which automatically disconnects the rear axle to improve fuel economy, and it’s a great vehicle for Canada.

Of course, I am speaking of the “S” sports model here with the larger motor and AWD which, with a number of bells and whistles, topped out at just over $40k. In my opinion, not overpriced for what’s on offer. However, there are other, perhaps more wallet-friendly models available in the lineup with the 2.4L LX FWD starting at just $23,095.

My 200S came with rather distinctive Grey/blue leather-faced seating, complemented by the blue ambient LED interior lighting including that of the dash display. It’s a pleasing look. It also featured heated seats/heated steering wheel and just about every luxury appointment one could ever wish for in a vehicle of its price. However, the rotary dial gear selector (just like those in Jaguar/Land Rover models) and the large 8.4 inch touchscreen notch the game up a tad. It also boasts one of the smartest features I’ve ever seen, a simple easy-to-locate button which simply turns the centre display off. I wish other manufacturers would include this as it’s nice to occasionally remove this distraction whilst driving, particularly at night.

All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the new Chrysler 200S. So if you happen to be in the market for a mid-size sedan, it’s well worth adding to your list.

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