Friday, February 11, 2011

Chicago Show 2011 Highlights: 2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible

We auto journalists are often accused of having unrealistic expectations for some of the cars we drive. Because we drive high-end luxury and sports cars on a regular basis, critics argue that we ask too much of everyday cars. We journalists combat this by readjusting our expectations to objectively evaluate the vehicle currently under review. That said, the Chrysler 200 Convertible is one spectacular rental car.

And we mean that in all honesty. Just by looking at it you can tell it's a much better car than the Sebring Convertible. When driven as it's meant to be driven, there's precious little about the 200 Convertible worth griping about. The 283-horsepower "Pentastar" V-6 is smooth and quiet, and its 260 pound-feet of torque present themselves in a nice, flat curve, though there's a slight delay between when you put your foot down and when the engine responds. You have to give it the spurs to get real acceleration. The six-speed automatic transmission is a bit balky, particularly when you're on and off the gas, but it keeps the revs down for better fuel economy and quiet, comfortable cruising.

On the open road, the 200 Convertible's seats are as soft and comfortable as its ride. The steering is quick and light with a bit of dead spot on center for easy, carefree cruising, while the handling is composed and predictable in day-to-day driving. The new interior is a vast improvement in materials, design, and fit and finish, over the old Sebring. The ice blue backlighting highlights the new gauges, while the mix of piano-black and chrome trim gives the interior a little pop. The updated navigation system will make finding your hotel much easier with its simple, Garmin-sourced interface, and all the controls are readily at hand. The seat bottoms can be a tad hard after prolonged exposure, but they should prove comfortable enough for most trips.
Thanks to: Motor Trend

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