By David Colman
Hypes: Strong Motor, Excellent Packaging
Gripes: Stay Away From the 4 Cylinder Engine
The memorable 200S is Chrysler’s satisfying replacement for its eminently forgettable Sebring line. When fitted with the company’s all-purpose 3.6 liter V-6 engine, the 200S is an understated sports sedan capable of chasing down much more expensive products from Germany, Italy and Japan. For those of you who enjoy driving, but don’t need to make an audacious public statement about your choice of vehicle, the 200S is the ultimate stealth driving machine.
The 283hp, 24 valve V-6, connected to a 6-speed automatic, is so explosively potent that you need to apply throttle judiciously, especially when the front wheels are turned. If you aren’t careful, the torque-steering proclivity common to all high powered front-wheel-drive layouts will snatch the steering wheel right out of your hands. As long as you are prepared to unwind the wheel as you feed in the power smoothly, the 200S will become a willing accomplice to fast, precise driving.
The generous fitment of 225/50VR18 Goodyear Eagle LS2 tires on striking polished and painted 7 x 18 inch alloys endows the 200S with the kind of cornering power you’d expect of a front-line sports sedan. Yet the 200S’ subdued styling, modest brightwork, and family-serviceable proportions give no clue to the performance bouquet lurking within. In fact, only the driver of this car will ever recognize the car’s performance potential. Meanwhile, passengers will assume that this unprepossessing Chrysler is primarily designed to haul people and baggage without hindrance. All 4 doors open wide for good ingress, the front and back seats are comfortable enough for long jaunts, the trunk is spacious and easily accessible thanks to remote keyfob control. There’s even a drop down armrest between the two rear seats which hides a fold-down parcel door to accommodate skis or 2x4s.