There are times as a big Chrysler fan when I find it very difficult to stand by the brand – this is one of those times. Behold the new 2011 Chrysler Sebring… err, I mean the new 2011 Chrysler 200! A car that shares much of its styling and underpinnings with the much despised Chrysler Sebring that was introduced in 2007. When looking at the new 200 I immediately get visions of the old Dodge Durango/Chrysler Aspen. These were two mediocre vehicles that Chrysler simply re-badged to suit different audiences. The Chrysler version was of course, more upscale with more bells, whistles and luxury, while the Dodge Durango was more for the blue collar audience. Neither one though was considered to be a great vehicle.
The new Chrysler 200 seems to be falling right into the same trap even though it is clad with some shiny new parts. Yes, the front and rear ends have been revamped as has the interior and option groups. That doesn’t change the fact though that Chrysler is essentially pulling the old bait and switch on us again by simply putting new make-up on what’s more or less an unappealing automobile.
The big news about the 200 is that it can be optioned with Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, as well as a much needed 6-speed automatic transmission. I know I’m being hard on the new 2011 Chrysler 200, but until they decide to give us cars that are fresh and new as opposed to crappy old revamps, I feel that my dislike is warranted.