2009 Chrysler 200C Review

Chrysler unveiled the 200C, but did not bother to put it into production. Happily, Fiat, who now owns Chrysler gave the green light to the 200C. The extremely attractive luxury saloon is going to have an electric motor connected to a V6 for better efficiency.

The car is surprisingly elegant, considering the fact that Chrysler hasn’t built a good looking car in a while! It will most likely share a platform with the 300C. But, unlike the 300C, this one will actually handle, or at least we think so. Fiat will give it some goodies that will help it perform better not only in a straight line.

The interior is also a thing of beauty. The concept version had a very elegant and luxurious interior with two seats in the rear, not just a bench. But better yet, the exterior is a thing of beauty. It’s very smooth with elegant curves. It looks nothing like the 300C. The 300C is essencially a box, while this is more like modern car. For a little taste of what Fiat has for Chrysler with the 200C, there are plenty of official pictures from the auto show, here’s one.

For some reason, it reminds me of the Opel Insignia, which I’m very fond of. The styling is very European. There’s a problem though. Chrysler has been building boxes for decades, and now this strange concept of curves was introduced to them. It’s very unconventional. And that’s brilliant! Normally I would like a company to stick to tradition and take design cues from the past. Rolls Royce, for instance, built the Phantom – a brilliant car that looks like a box. But then again, the Phantom is something to behold. I would encourage Chrysler to break from tradition, and that’s what they’ve done with the 200C.

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Now, Toyota, Chevrolet, Honda, and a few others have already given us the hybrid, but Chrysler, for some reason, has decided not to bother, until it came up with the ENVI system. With most of the hybrid market taken up by Priuses and Honda Insights, where does Chrysler fit in? Well, one of the ugliest shapes called Prius will have to go. So will Honda Insight. Hybrid cars represent modern technology, and shouldn’t look like they’re from way back. And while I’ll be the first to say that I’m not a fan of hybrid technologies, unless it has anything to do with hydrogen fuel-cell, I like the 200C. The reason for that is because it’s an elegant car. It’s “green” and beautiful.

So, with the 200C looking this good, and being a little brother to the 300C, what’s the point of a 300C? It’s ugly, it’s big and boxy, it’s heavy and not very fuel efficient. Everything the 200C isn’t! I hope it’s a replacement, unless Fiat is going to restyle the 300C and give it some Italian handling.