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Video: Chrysler 200 Talks Trash On Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion
Motor Authority

Nelson Ireson
December 15, 2010



We love it when carmakers have the guts to put their products up against the competition in actual tested and measured comparisons. Unfortunately, that's a rare event, and that's not what we have here. Instead, Chrysler employs a host of yes-men (and women) to talk up the new 2011 200 while talking down the Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion.

Admittedly, making grandiose subjective statements without any frame of reference or evidential basis takes some serious cojones--just not the same kind it takes to actually put a yardstick on the claims, despite being pitched as a direct comparison to the Malibu and Fusion.

Our own Marty Padgett got behind the wheel of the 200 back in November, and came away with appreciation for the massive upgrade over the Sebring, but less than impressed overall, noting that the 200 is "still unlikely to trip up the Subaru Legacy, Ford Fusion, the Hyundai Sonata or the Kia Optima on its way out of recovery, but the fleet-car stigma is showing signs of healing over."


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I appreciate the Italian passion and look forward to the day Chrysler has the product to justify it.
 

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As much as I want to like the 200 it still reminds me of the Sebring...not in a good way. I really don't want to bash it but there is nothing desirable about the car in my eyes.
 

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They are grtting alot of press for this refresh, and they need it.

No question it is better than the old Sebring, but from the side, it still looks mostly the same.

Shouldn't they be comparing the Avenger to the Malibu/Focus, and comparing the 200 to the Buick Regal? Chrysler is their 'slightly upmarket, but not quite luxury' brand...right?
 

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As much as I want to like the 200 it still reminds me of the Sebring...not in a good way. I really don't want to bash it but there is nothing desirable about the car in my eyes.
+1

It is still too much like the Seebring, the worst part about that car was the C-pillar and they kept it in there
 

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Very good engine & powertrain (at least the V6) strapped to a dated platform. Interior is much improved, but for what's basically a mid-cycle refresh, it's a dramatic improvement.
 

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What a load of crap. Funny how the numbers were missing, How they didn't show a top of the line fusion interior, or thier hybrid version. Oh wait, they don't have one. All I read into this was: "please buy this car so I can have a job".
 

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They have a standard 4 speed auto. They have nothing to brag about.
:agree:

4 speed auto these days is unacceptable!

I am also looking at you Trasit Connect and Econoline
 

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They have a standard 4 speed auto. They have nothing to brag about.
Perhaps a separate issue than the article at hand, but you bring up a point. I'm beginning to feel 6-speed auto's are overrated. I hear journalist complaints on just about everyone of them that it feels like it's hunting too much. A couple different vehicles, ok, but it's almost every one! Which makes me think that the fault isn't in the integration, it's just a function of too many gears (especially on lower hp vehicles). As much as I liked the '10 LaCrosse rental I had for a few days, as far as the transmission is concerned, I prefer the feel of my '96 Riviera only kicking down one gear instead of two when you really step on the gas. Of course, I ultimately like a manual transmission best but that's not always possible...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What a load of crap. Funny how the numbers were missing, How they didn't show a top of the line fusion interior, or thier hybrid version. Oh wait, they don't have one. All I read into this was: "please buy this car so I can have a job".
Torino 429 . . . so far this is my favorite nick name in FIN. I feel kind of envious . . .
 

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Man, They need to try out the Fusion and Malibu before they open their mouths. I doubt their little update could even come close to these products, and 2012/2013 will bring new entrants by both giants.

Plus, is Chrysler not supposed to be their upscale brand, sort of the Mercury and Buick or lower level Lincoln (MKZ) of the corp, yet they are going after Dodge level products?

I though GM marketing sucked but this really sucks.
 

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Man, They need to try out the Fusion and Malibu before they open their mouths. I doubt their little update could even come close to these products, and 2012/2013 will bring new entrants by both giants.

Plus, is Chrysler not supposed to be their upscale brand, sort of the Mercury and Buick or lower level Lincoln (MKZ) of the corp, yet they are going after Dodge level products?

I though GM marketing sucked but this really sucks.
Isn't the new Chrysler 200 going to be out by then? From what I have read this is just a placeholder....

Plus the new Fusion will be out by 2012

I am guessing we will get a new Camry/Accord/Altima by then too

It is going to get really competitive in the mid size segment
 

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Isn't the new Chrysler 200 going to be out by then? From what I have read this is just a placeholder....

Plus the new Fusion will be out by 2012

I am guessing we will get a new Camry/Accord/Altima by then too

It is going to get really competitive in the mid size segment
It should as well, but with the new Malibu and Fusion right around the corner ...I am willing to bet that they will be better.

One wonders what platform they will use for the next Avenger and 200 though. Will they go RWD like the rumors? I doubt it, so I bet they will use the Fiat Croma platform.
 

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It should as well, but with the new Malibu and Fusion right around the corner ...I am willing to bet that they will be better.

One wonders what platform they will use for the next Avenger and 200 though. Will they go RWD like the rumors? I doubt it, so I bet they will use the Fiat Croma platform.
200 should go RWD and Avenger should stay FWD
 

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Alright folks, everyone here is hitting the nail dead on the head!

Firstly, the Chrysler 200 is just a heavy refresh of the Sebring, so front and rear end styling was redone and the massively improved interior was fitted. But the reason it still looks like the Sebring on the side view, is because the roof line hasn't been changed. So, the Daylight Opening or Greenhouse, is exactly the same. The reason behind this is because that part of the car is the single most expensive piece to have to retool and redesign. Changing out the dyes and the stamps would have been even more costly, and at which point, Chrysler might as well design a new car entirely. But, as has been stated correctly, the 200 is a short lived car to hold buyers over and stem the losses until a new replacement arrives in a few years based on a new FIAT vehicle. Ausrutherford, I think you are right, I think the FIAT Croma is the basis of the new 200 and Avenger replacements.

The plan that Chrysler has for its vehicles is to actually add even more speeds to its transmissions. Chrysler is accelerating development of its new Eight-Speed Transmissions for its product range because it plans to use Eight-Speeds to try and meet the upcoming CAFE requirements hitting in 2016. The base Four-Speed...may last as long as the 200...but past this car...I imagine it will disappear.

UPDATE: I just was able to find some details from Olivier Francois, the Manager for the Chrysler and Lancia brands, and he states that with the 200, it will be the first car in the US market to be receiving the FIAT DSG Dual-Clutch transmission...which he claims is a segment first when it arrives. Secondly, the 200 and 300 will both be sold in Europe as Lancias...so they both have to be "perfect" in order to don the Italian Lancia brand name. You can elaborate on that last point about Lancia yourself.

Overall impressions from the real automotive press...not Chrysler's marketing arm, have been very good and very positive, but still reflecting the truth of the real car and that it is still a heavy refresh of the old Sebring. Here's a great example, it is John McElroy's Instant Impressions of the Chrysler 200.


Here's Motor Trend's impressions on the new 200...and they are much more blunt in their displeasure on aspects of the car...and give some real power and speed figures.

Review of Chrysler 200 from TFLCars.com and where you'll hear some interesting plans for the its future from Olivier Francois himself.

The competition is moving up fast...and will be outpacing this 200 in the coming years with a new Global designed and tuned Fusion/Mondeo...a new Malibu, and updated competitors from Japan. Plus there is the all new Optima, and Sonata on the market now...and a new Mid-Sizer coming from VW...the field is filling up real fast and Chrysler needs to work a miracle to not be relegated back to the "Also-Ran" category.

Those are my two cents...what are yours?
RG59061
 

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Such wise and honestly true words! Yes...the Sebring was the worst on the market and had nowhere to go but up. If you want to know just how bad the Sebring was...then just take a gander at Jeremy Clarkson's, yes...of Top Gear fame, review of a rental Sebring Cabrio he had to use when last in the states on a film shoot for the show.

Here's a snippet from the post from The Sunday Times of London.

From The Sunday Times
October 5, 2008
Chrysler Sebring Cabriolet 2.7 V6
Jeremy Clarkson

Many people imagine when they rent a convertible in America that they’ll be thumping down Highway 1 under a blazing sky in a throbbing Corvette or an evocative Mustang. Yum yum, they think. Freedom. Sunshine. A V8 bass line. Engineer boots, leather jackets and tight blue jeans. The American dream.

Sadly, however, most tourists end up with a Chrysler Sebring convertible, which is almost certainly the worst car in the entire world.

My journey in this automotive horror story began in Wendover. Famous for being a base used by the Enola Gay back in 1945, it lies on the border between Utah and Nevada. So half the town is full of man mountains emptying what’s left of their savings into MGM’s shiny and very noisy slots. And the other half is full of Donny Osmond. As you can imagine, I was in a hurry to leave and so I piled, along with my Top Gear colleagues, into the rented Sebring and set off for Denver.

Immediately, I was annoyed by a nonstop whining sound from the back. This turned out to be Richard Hammond, who, despite being 8in tall, claimed that he had never been so uncomfortable in his life, apart from when he was being born. “Only that,” he said, “was more spacious.”

After several hours of continuous moaning, he changed his tack. I’d selected a “classic vinyl” station on the car’s satellite radio and this did not meet with his approval. As a fan of Westlife and Girls Aloud, he didn’t see why James May and I were air-drum-ming our way across the salt flats to a nonstop selection of brilliance from Supertramp, Yes and the Allman Brothers. Eventually, Hocus Pocus by Focus drove him into such a frenzy of whingeing, we could take no more and drowned him out by turning up Steve Miller to the max.

I can only presume that when Steve went from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, he was not at the wheel of a Sebring, or the song would have been rather different. “I went from Phoenix, Arizona, to the other side of the city and then I went home again.”

Certainly, we only got as far as Salt Lake City in our rented car before we ditched it and resorted to the services offered by Delta. It had been 120 miles of abject misery, and not only because of the unswervingly pissed-off Richard Hammond.

Let us look, first of all, at the car’s only good point. The boot is bigger than the hangar deck of a Nimitz class aircraft carrier. However, the drawback of driving a car with an aircraft carrier on the back is that it doesn’t look very good. No. That doesn’t cover it. It looks terrible. Hysterically awful. Anyone thinking of drawing up a list of the ugliest cars ever made will be forced to put this one at the top. I have seen more attractive boils.

And disappointingly, if you push the button that lowers the roof - and then push it again because it isn’t working properly - you will find that a) all of the carrying capacity is lost, and that b) with no roof in place, everyone can see you at the wheel. This is very bad. Some, for sure, give you pitying looks. Mostly, though, they point and laugh.

So how much do you have to pay for the privilege of being a laughing stock? Well in the US, it’s around $29,000 (£16,400). You could buy a clown suit for less and achieve much the same effect. Here, however, a 2.7 litre drop-top Sebring is £25,100 and at that price, I simply don’t know how the salesman keeps a straight face.

For the Full Text of the Article...click HERE
Let's just say...he wasn't too happy...and in the end, he labeled the Sebring as everything that is wrong with American cars and why they can't build cars right in the first place.

Afterward...well...Chrysler wasn't too happy with Jeremy's comments about their cars...and when they came to need to borrow a Dodge Challenger SRT-8 for an episode of Top Gear where the boys drove that and a Corvette ZR-1 and CTS-V to the Bonneville Salt Flats, Chrysler told Jeremy...not only no, but **** no!

So Wingsnut, you hit the nail on the head...the Sebring was so far gone...that anything, evening making the car look anonymous, was an improvement.

Those are my two cents...what's yours?
RG59061
 

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Heres the thing, will Europeans care about Lancia's new Chryslers...because they don't now. Only Italians to a certain point do, after that in many countries a brand like Bentley can outsell them.
 

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On a side note...a newly developing story today...apparently, Chrysler is working on a more "sport" minded version of the 200...like the current 300S, this would be the 200S.

Here's the details emerging thanks to LeftLaneNews.com


By Mark Kleis

When Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy last year the automaker knew it had some ground to make up, but it had limited funds in order to make it happen. While some vehicles were given complete redesigns, the Sebring was given a very thorough, but not quite “all new” working over for 2011.

That new car, the Chrysler 200, has been mostly well received, but the chief complaints of the car were centered around its driving dynamics in comparison to some of the segment leaders. To address that, Chrysler has apparently been preparing a 200S variant, according to Allpar, and that sport-minded car will arrive in mid-2011.

To read the full release...click HERE
So...thoughts?

RG59061
 

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Isn't the new Chrysler 200 going to be out by then? From what I have read this is just a placeholder....

Plus the new Fusion will be out by 2012

I am guessing we will get a new Camry/Accord/Altima by then too

It is going to get really competitive in the mid size segment
True, based on what I have seen on the Malibu, Chevy is pulling all stops, and it will probably be Lexus Quite, powerful turbo option, direct injection, etc, etc...
The Sonata which is king now, will be obsolete, because you bet Honda and Toyota want to stay on top too.
http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/2010/09/spy-photos-2012-chevy-malibu-interior-caught.html

The Fusion is going to be great, because its probably going up to Modeo level, that is somewhere around Buick Regal and Up..


New and improved Sync, New OnStar with Android integration, man, its going to be great!!

It should as well, but with the new Malibu and Fusion right around the corner ...I am willing to bet that they will be better.

One wonders what platform they will use for the next Avenger and 200 though. Will they go RWD like the rumors? I doubt it, so I bet they will use the Fiat Croma platform.
Fiat still has not offered anything in Europe that can touch Modeo or Insignia, that is why they were trying to acquire Saab, to get a hold of GM Technology.



I am sure this is such a huge leap forward from previous, that they are all excited.
Trouble is, the previous so far behind that it had nowhere to go. It may have aspects that are same or better, but overall, I seriously doubt it.
Yes, Its going to be difficult for Chrysler to play this ball well.
 
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