When I found an invitation from Chrysler in my email, to check out the all new 2015 Chrysler 200, I panicked! Totally NOT my normal reaction, when invited on an all expense paid, new car press launch (consider that my disclaimer). The reason for my reaction: Chrysler was my Granddaddy’s favorite brand, therefore, Chrysler makes cars for old people. Which means, Chrysler invited me to drive the 2015 Chrysler 200, because they think I’m old! Sometimes it’s good to be wrong, and thankfully my logic was flawed.
See, much like how Louisville has undergone a rebirth, so has Chrysler with the new 2015 Chrysler 200 mid-size sedan. The car now has a more youthful, sporty exterior that lures you in like a stranger offering free candy. Then, once inside, the car is full of pleasant surprises like the Detroit skyline embossed on the pass through mat; a segment-first standard nine-speed automatic transmission; and enough technology to make even the most hardcore geek excited about a road trip.
2015 Chrysler 200 Celebrates American Design
Celebrating American inspired design, with a Michigan made Chrysler 200, the PR folks found the perfect place to school us on the vehicle: Louisville Slugger Field. I mean, what’s more American than baseball? Looking to please the mid-size consumer that wants performance, beauty, fuel economy, with a price tag that keeps fans in the ballpark (Ranging from $21,700-$33,400), the 200 is completely re-designed.
It’s a good looking car on the exterior with some great features, like the LED taillights and sculpted mirrors, but where the Chrysler 200 really sets itself apart from the competition, is inside the car. The interior has so much going for it, that it almost fooled me into thinking it was a luxury sedan. Full of premium materials, like the genuine wood trim, leather seats, rotary gear shift, and more, it doesn’t sacrifice function for beauty. Chrysler really covered all the bases, the 2015 Chrysler 200 offers 60 safety and security features, which is the most in the mid-size sedan segment.
partner in crime drive partner, Nicole Wakelin, and I first settled into a 2015 Chrysler 200 S model. A northerner, Nicole had the heat cranked up, seat warmers on, and was headed for the interstate, when she discovered the heated steering wheel. It might have been a little ironic, that this Texas girl was too warm, and testing out the ventilated seats. I think I might have frightened her a little when I opened the glove box looking for the monroney, and mentioned it was roomy enough for a glock. (Guess, it’s a Texas thing)
One of several reasons I love this vehicle, is its tribute to American design throughout. Chrysler’s design team used the Airstream travel trailers and classic Chris Craft boats as inspiration, to create a classic look. The interiors were inspired by iconic American cities: 5th Avenue in New York City, Sausalito, California and Detroit. But they truly, grabbed my attention when they talked about the technology.
My ears perked up when they highlighted the Uconnect Voice Command features, like the system’s ability to read my text messages. I don’t think I heard much of anything after they told us UConnect can also be used to create a 3G mobile hotspot! Yes, I appreciate the get up and go provided by the new Tigershark 2.4-liter MultiAir2 four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower, 173 lb.-ft. of torque AND 36 mpg. However, the way to my heart lies in the 7 inch customizable driver display; access to Yelp & Pandora; the smart remote start that allows me to cool off the car in temps over 100 degrees; and the ability to stay charged and connected with wi-fi and USB port!
My time behind the wheel was pleasant, a few wrong turns, allowed me to explore the AWD, and the blind spot monitoring helped me back out onto a busy road without getting run-over by a tractor or goat. It handled the Kentucky hills and hairpin turns without issue, and braked well, as we came around a blind-spot and terrorized some chickens and goats that were enjoying a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist tested by my other drive partner, Chad Kirchner, was one of the most aggressive and comprehensive I’ve seen to date!
My opinion: Chrysler has re-invented the brand with the 2015 Chrysler 200, and upped the game for their competitors. I’m excited to see the tribute to American design, and an emphasis on owning the influence of Detroit. You’ve hit a home run, now let’s see if the other teams are benched or come back swinging.
Oh, and did I mention there’s a Chrysler 200 app so you can explore the car in more detail?
Thanks to Chrysler for being amazing hosts in Louisville and for sharing their passion about the brand!