2011 Chrysler 200

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$19,245

starting MSRP

2011 Chrysler 200
2011 Chrysler 200

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • V-6 acceleration and fuel efficiency (sedan)
  • Richer interior materials
  • Overall value
  • Brakes
  • Ride comfort

The bad:

  • Some dated controls
  • Small trunk
  • Undersized backseat
  • Lackluster four-cylinder
  • Insufficient front-seat travel (sedan)

4 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2011 Chrysler 200 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • New for 2011
  • Related to outgoing Sebring
  • Four-cylinder or V-6
  • Sedan or convertible
  • Standard automatic transmission

2011 Chrysler 200 review: Our expert's take

By Kelsey Mays

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

The 2010 Chrysler Sebring was such a disaster, we named it one of the worst cars of the 2000s. More than a new name, what it needed was a complete redesign.

Instead, for 2011 the Sebring got the name “200,” some updated sheet metal, a new interior and a reworked chassis, but it remains at least one step behind the market’s best-selling family sedans.

The Sebring comes as a five-seat sedan or a four-seat convertible. Both layouts offer a four-cylinder or a V-6. Compare them here, or stack the 200 against the Sebring here. The related Dodge Avenger, which comes only as a sedan, boasts similar platform updates. I drove a four-cylinder 200 sedan and a V-6 200 convertible.

Nicer, Not Bigger

Redesigned extensively, the 200’s interior ranks among its strengths. Chrysler needs to banish a few Sebring relics — including the clunky window controls and flimsy turn-signal and wiper stalks — but cabin materials are impressive for this class. Problem is, the Sebring’s small dimensions live on. Cabin volume in the 200 sedan is a modest 100.3 cubic feet — 2.2 cubic feet less than the Sebring and on the small side for this class. It shows: The front seats feel nine-tenths the size they ought to be. The seat cushions are too short for proper thigh support, and at 5-foot-11, I could have used another inch or so of driver-seat travel.

The backseat has adult-friendly headroom, but legroom trails its class, in some cases by more than an inch. Adults will find their shins digging into the front seatbacks, and the low backseat will leave their knees too elevated. Other editors agreed: For many families, the 200 will be a tight fit.

Trunk volume in the 200 sedan matches the Sebring’s underwhelming 13.6 cubic feet. That’s the size of many compact-car trunks. Competing family sedans generally offer more; the Ford Fusion beats the 200 by more than 20 percent.

Get the V-6

I’m at a loss to explain why a car so small on the inside weighs more than nearly every major competitor. I can only describe the consequences: Chrysler’s aging 2.4-liter World Engine is tasked with pulling the heavy 200 up to speed, and it emits a harsh, grainy sound as it does so. It gets the car there eventually, but the experience is neither quick nor refined. The also-heavy four-cylinder Chevy Malibu is similarly sluggish; others are both quicker and more fuel-efficient.

With 283 horsepower — 110 hp more than the four-cylinder — the optional 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is well worth the upgrade. Fellow editor Mike Hanley drove the V-6 sedan last fall, and he says it’s a potent engine, moving the 200 with a vigor similar to the V-6 Honda Accord. If absolute power is your thing, though, the 200 can’t outmuscle the V-6 Malibu or V-6 Toyota Camry, which are so quick you may not want to hand the keys to your teen driver.

All 200s but the LX sedan get a six-speed automatic. It upshifts smoothly and quickly around town, which is more than I could say for the 2010 Sebring’s lurch-prone automatic. Still, the 200’s auto can be indecisive in interstate passing lanes (that should be the left one, California), hunting for gears when you need it to kick down and pick one already. I didn’t drive the base LX, which gets a four-speed automatic.

Regardless of the transmission, the four-cylinder 200 sedan gets 24 mpg in the EPA’s combined city/highway rating. That’s subpar, given that many four-cylinder family cars get 26 or 27 mpg. Chrysler says a dual-clutch automatic is coming for the four-cylinder, which should improve mileage.

The 3.6-liter 200 is rated 22 mpg, which isn’t bad for a V-6. One complaint: Chrysler recommends midgrade (89-octane) gasoline for maximum performance. Most competing V-6s achieve full performance on regular.

Ride, Handling & Braking

The Sebring rode softly, but had a tendency to bounce like a pogo stick after manhole covers and potholes. The 200’s suspension has been overhauled, Chrysler says; indeed, the pogo-stick effect is mostly gone, but there are still moments of floaty turbulence over broken pavement. The car does still have a soft ride, thankfully. The suspension isolates bumps with refinement similar to the Malibu and most Camrys, and the cabin keeps road and wind noise low.

Though better than the Sebring, the 200 is still not a driver’s car. The well-assisted steering is vague on winding roads. The power assist never really abates, so the wheel feels too loose on the highway. In sweeping corners, the 200’s nose pushes gradually, but the body leans too much, even for a family car. My only praise goes to the brakes, which offer admirably linear pedal feel.

200 convertible

The 200 convertible weighs about 425 pounds more than the sedan — no small amount — and it shows. Our test car’s V-6, which Chrysler expects to power some 90 percent of convertibles, pulled well from a stop, but with two occupants it needed its full reserves to climb mountain roads. This is no V-6 Mustang.

The 200 convertible fares better as a straight-line cruiser. The body flexes a bit over bumps, but it feels as composed as a comfort-oriented $30,000 convertible should. One caveat: I drove only the soft-top 200 convertible. The Limited has an optional folding hardtop, which, in the outgoing hardtop Sebring convertible, proved a creaky bedfellow.

Against a backdrop of other affordable convertibles, backseat legroom and headroom in the droptop 200 are entirely acceptable. Unlike the sedan, it has more than enough seat travel up front. Trunk volume is 13.1 cubic feet with the top up, which is good: The Mustang and Camaro convertibles have less than 11 cubic feet.

Safety, Features & Pricing

In crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 200 sedan earned the top score, Good, across all categories. Accordingly, the car is an IIHS Top Safety Pick — a distinction several competitors share. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not yet tested the car. Standard features include the usual complement of front, side and curtain airbags, as well as active head restraints, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Click here for a full list.

With a starting price of just $19,245, the base 200 LX packs impressive value. It’s one of just three family cars you can get with an automatic for under $20,000 — the others being the Nissan Altima and the 200’s Avenger sibling. Remote entry, cruise control, air conditioning and a CD stereo with an MP3 jack and steering-wheel audio controls are also standard.

Move up to the 200’s Touring and Limited trims and you can get a power driver’s seat, an iPod-compatible Boston Acoustics stereo, a navigation system, heated leather upholstery and a moonroof.  A V-6 Limited sedan tops out around $27,000. That’s less than optioned-out competitors, but the 200 sedan doesn’t offer things like dual-zone climate control or a power passenger seat, which most of them do.

As of this writing, there are few details and no pricing information yet on the forthcoming 200 S, which will slot above the Limited. The 200 convertible, meanwhile, comes in Touring and Limited trims. Prices range from $26,445 for the soft-top four-cylinder Touring to around $35,000 for a loaded hardtop V-6 Limited.

200 in the Market

Chrysler drained a lot of bathwater, but this is an instance where the baby needed to go. CEO Sergio Marchionne told us last January that the company was working to give the 200 upgrades that reflect its “fully updated technology, powertrain and architecture.” New transmissions could signal major improvements in gas mileage, but fixing certain inherent characteristics — the smallish cabin and trunk, for example — will take much more than engineering updates. What’s more, Chrysler will need to prove that this car is reliable; the Sebring was decidedly not.

As it stands, the 200 still brings impressive value to a segment where value is important. But to stand side by side with the Camry, Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, Chrysler needs more than just that.

Send Kelsey an email  

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.6
  • Interior design 4.5
  • Performance 4.3
  • Value for the money 4.4
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.3

Most recent consumer reviews

3.6

An overheating headache!

This car is a disaster, a overheating disaster! I can get 20 miles before the engine runs hot! I'm having a nightmare dealing with TKP Auto!

4.1

First car I ever owned

I bought my 200S for 11K back in 2017. I may have overpaid, but I got a warranty and the mileage was just under 55000. As a 17 year old, I was so happy with this car. It was a V6, had 283 horsepower, sadly was fwd, but none the less a fun daily driver with a leather and suede interior. Although the materials for Chrysler are known to not be the greatest, I was impressed by the styling and quality of the interior. I have had it for 3 years now and it has served me well until we come to reliability. The only issues I had were with the transmission. At 77000 miles I had to get a new transmission. Why you might ask? The car would jump forward at random times when downshifting (know that this is an automatic transmission). Eventually it got to a point that It would even stall if I tried to pull away from a stop sign or light on a incline or decline. This was also a factor of the fuel filter system having problems giving the engine enough fuel. Anyways I had it get inspected and had to leave it at the dealer for over a week. They eventually had it occur and opened her up. "Catastrophic failure of the transmission" was the mechanic's diagnosis. So I recommend this car as a great looking and driving car until you get to the transmission. If you get this car, I highly recommend a warranty that will cover a transmission change. I was lucky enough to spend 50 dollars instead of 2000-3000 for the new transmission. Afterwards few issues ever occurred but be sure to keep your fuel filter in check!!

2.9

Be prepared to budget around $4000/ year for maint

Cool car. Looks good. It’s not a sorry car though. I have the 3.6 and it’s lrett slow for such a large engine. I’m at 83,000 miles now. 3rd too on it it floats on the backroads hard. It makes it comfy but not even slightly sporty. OEM suspension is practically new. A slight jerk of the wheel sends this car out of control if yarent a decent driver. I have wide z rated tires and I can throw it into a drift with a jerk of the wheel. Despite new suspension and better tire this car does not maintain traction. I hate traction control, but I have never turned it of be it gets sideways so easily and it really needs race shocks and and struts if you’re goyto do anything in it. I’m currently shopping all new suspension and tossing OEM parts. Rides like a caddy with air ride. It’s a sporty grandma car. Leans extremely hard. My dad Jeep and my grandmothers buick, both suvs, have much sportier suspension. It’s a fun looks at, but don’t expect to take hard corners fast. It has a single forged beefy looking cross member bolted to the frame, but that’s about it. The Oem parts are luxury and not sporty at all. Brakes are xxxx. I’m getting older, I live in the country, and appreciate a smooth ride, but this car just floats along. I own the 3.6 convertible. I have never put the top down. I don’t know why it has to be replaced so often. I hand wash and treat the top by manufacturers recommendations I spring and summer. I live in Alabama and the convertible top adds an extra half hour to my morning because the car iced over fast. Knobs are cheap half don’t work. Ac vents have all become detected, so they don’t adjust. One owner before me in SOCAL. So I’m sure it hasn’t seen this kind of weather. Again im in AL, so the weather isn’t that bad. Garage kept. I don’t know how it even iced up so quickly. We don’t really get winter weather until March and April. Most of the chrome looking pieces on the interior started flaking pretty quickly. The car is mostly babied, because it’s not a sports car and more of a luxury type. I’m happy with the car overall. I won’t be replacing it with pen parts anymore. New shocks and struts still has it bouncing all over the place. Feels like air ride suspension. Wider z rated tires help me keep traction better, but I almost always spin tires coming out of the driveway or taking off from a complete stop. The suspension really has been my biggest problem, besides interior controls having to be replaced and budgeting a $1000 a year for tops. I’ve never let the top down so it’s not user error. I’m starting to shop non pen parts the dealership has does most of the maintenance. I thought I was getting something a little sporty, but it’s rides like a boat beside the steering components. I took my grandmother shopping, and she liked how it bounced over the bumps compare tho her new Buick suv. With new suspension, the backend drops so much, on take off, your headlights are pointed at the sky. The car always seems to be pointing up and out instead of lighting up the road in front of you. I’m overall pleased with the car at this price point, but it’s pretty expensive to own at 80,00 miles. I can’t turn off the ac. I can’t adjust the vents. I’m looking at replacing the console and the seats. I have to trans pulled to replace two gaskets. Trans shifts great and motor pulls strong. Needs new motor mounts already. The owner before me babies it and so do I. All maintenance has been done by the manual. Chassis is spotless. It’s just a sporty looking car that drives like a caddy.i only know about the sports performance from the test drive and another test drive getting a feel for it the day I bought it. It turned out to be the best front wheel drive drift car I’ve ever been in. It will ride sideways and spin tires for a mile. I’m not sure why it has some great reviews for the the “sporty” suspension because it doesn’t have it. I have brand new suspension, wider wheels, with all season tires that are rated over 200 mph. This car has terrible traction still. It’s far too bouncy , and it spins tires slowly accelerating from a complete stop. You have to roll with the bounce and lean or you’ll end up in a ditch. I still haven’t haven’t driven it without traction control off. It already takes a skilled driver to keep it straight with stock parts. Like I said I pleased with it, but It’s not what it seems to be. As soon as you get over 35 you’re in danger of floating off into a ditch. Previous had ac components fail before 50,000 m

See all 100 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chrysler
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
60 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/less than 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
3 months/3,000 miles
Powertrain
7 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
125-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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See all 2011 Chrysler 200 articles