Unlikely Sex Symbol: The 2015 Chrysler 200S

Front 3/4 view of 2015 Chrysler 200S
The 2015 Chrysler 200S.
The more I see the 2015 Chrysler 200 on the streets, the more it grows on me.  The car looks very good in the sheetmetal, with balanced proportions, a purposeful stance and an upscale look.  About eleven months ago, I reviewed the top-of-the-line 200C AWD and liked it a lot, finding the price to be the only real drawback.

Rear view of 2015 Chrysler 200S
2015 Chrysler 200S.

The good news is that there are four trim levels of the 200 available, and it only takes one step down to bring the price back in line.  That step down takes you to the 200S,  which is the sportiest of the 200 models.  It has the same optional 3.6-liter, 24-valve, 295-horsepower V6 engine ($1,995) and 9-speed automatic transmission, and while the 200S is also available as an all-wheel drive, our test vehicle was front-wheel-drive, which improves on the 200C AWD's EPA estimate of 18 city/29 highway, instead delivering 19 city/32 highway. 

The base price of $24,725 includes a sport suspension, electronic stability control, traction control, anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, brake assist, keyless entry and more.

Where the 200C's interior is a study in light, contrast and wood, the 200S goes for a business-like envrionment, while still retaining standard features like air conditioning, a 6-speaker audio system with UConnect, and a power driver's seat.  

Our test vehicle was heavy on the options---more than $7,000 worth, including leather-trimmed heated and vented sports seats, upgrading the passenger seat to power adjustment and adding hydrographic interior accents ($995); the Comfort Group, which adds sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, an upgrade to a dual-zone climate control system, heated steering wheel, back-up camera, rear air conditioning and heat ducts, a humidity sensor and remote start ($845); the Navigation and Sound group, with a Harman audio system with 9 speakers and HD Radio, 8.1-inch touchscreen display, SiriusXM traffic, and front and rear floormats ($1,495), and the Premium Lighting Group, which includes HID headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and LED foglamps ($795). It also had 19-inch Hyper Black aluminum wheels ($745) and blind spot and cross path detection ($595).

With $995 destination charges, the as-tested price came to $33,185, about $2,500 less than the 200C we tested and right in line with well-equipped competitors like Honda Accord and Mazda 6.  

The 200S (and all the 200 models) will fight the bad impression its predcecessor, the Sebring, made in the marketplace.  But its sleek styling makes a very strong first impression, and given a chance, this car can back that up.