Chrysler’s new 200 sedan is a dramatic improvement over the outgoing model, but it would almost have to be — the old Chrysler 200 (neé Sebring) was one of the most awful new cars on the market. But the new one is quite good, with its top-notch interior appointments, attractive styling, unique powertrains and class-leading multimedia systems.
Related: 2015 Chrysler 200 Expert Review
Comparisons of expected fuel economy with the previous-generation 200 are difficult, as the new 2015 200 is a completely new vehicle, riding on a different chassis with a much talked about nine-speed transmission. When an example of the latest 200 landed in our Detroit office’s test garage, we figured it would be a good opportunity to see what kind of mileage we could get on real-world roads.
The plan was to drive the new 200 round-trip from the office in Ann Arbor, Mich., to an annual gathering of Midwest automotive journalists at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill., about 250 miles away. As is the custom for these drives, I kept the windows up, the air conditioning on and the speed to within 5 mph of posted speed limits. No crazy acceleration, no hypermiling techniques, just normal driving, employing cruise control on the voyage’s highway portions (which was most of it).
The most efficient Chrysler 200 is the one powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to the standard nine-speed automatic transmission. It’s rated at 23/36/28 mpg city/highway/combined, while the 3.6-liter V-6 model is rated at 19/32/23 mpg in front-wheel drive form and 18/29/22 mpg in all-wheel drive configuration. My test car was a new front-wheel-drive 200C powered by the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine mated to the ubiquitous nine-speed auto. Yes, the 2.4-liter would have been a more fuel-efficient choice, but the more powerful and luxurious V-6 model makes for a far more pleasant interstate cruiser, and with 500 miles to cover, I was happy to cover it as painlessly as possible.