DetNews Auto Critic Resigns Over Chrysler 200 Review Edits

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
detnews auto critic resigns over chrysler 200 review edits

The first time I saw Scott Burgess’s review of the Chrysler 200, I very nearly posted a screengrab of the headline to TTAC as a conversation-starter. Why? Because when a Detroit automaker re-launches a worked-over vehicle in a crucial segment and then hypes it with a Detroit-boosting Super Bowl ad, the local paper just doesn’t go and slam the car in question. In fact, it’s rare to ever see a negative review of a Detroit-made vehicle in either the Detroit News or its sister paper the Detroit Free Press. Ultimately I decided against pointing out the DetN’s slam, as one headline does not a story make… unless, of course, it does. reports that Burgess has resigned from the Detroit News, and that a number of his bon mots have been excised from the online version of his 200 review. Lines like “regrettably, the 200 is a dog,” as well as his conclusion that

It’s vastly improved, but that’s only because it was so horrendous before. Hopefully, this car is a placeholder until the real redesigned 200 arrives – eventually.

The only thing this 200 proves is that good enough is never going to be good enough.

The Detroit News hasn’t yet commented on the story, but Jalopnik’s investigation creates a pretty damning case against the paper [Ed: for all we knock ’em, we have to acknowledge El Jalop’s fine work here]. The DetN may have lost a huge amount of credibility by forcing out Burgess for daring to tell the truth, but this story will only help draw more awareness to the ugly reality that still defines too much of the automotive media. Painful incidents like this one will ultimately leave the automotive media more healthy for having forced writers to stand up for the truth.

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 17, 2011

    I still do not get why people keep reading car reviews in newspapers. It does not matter is it New York Times or Detroit Free Press or local Middleton Forum. Unprofessional journalists get their news and ideas from internet and already have popular preconception pro or against car from internet or just try to be politically correct like "Toyota" is good and "Chrysler" is crap. 200 is based on smaller Caliber platform in contrast with Mitsu Galant which is on its own larger platform. I hope they approach engineering more seriously and invest more money in development of next 200.

  • Spartan Spartan on Mar 17, 2011

    Piss poor journalism, no real comparison to the competition, and apparently wanted to make a name for himself IMO. Glad he got the boot. The Sebring/200 isn't NEARLY as bad as people make it out to be. Yes, I've driven one (Sebring). It was equally as bad as the Camry rental I had. Both smelled like cheap plastic and the 4 cylinders sounded like industrial blenders under load.

  • Neanderthal Neanderthal on Apr 24, 2011

    Russycle pretty well nails it. The Sebring-hating drones whose magnetic vitriol the 200 attracts like flies, from what I suspect is a readership--not a drivership--of ~98.6% who have not driven the car or even planted butt in it, speaks of people who don't get out enough and are perhaps too intimate with their keyboards. Our (yes, we now have one in the garage, does anyone else here?) 200 Touring V6 compares quite favorably to the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. I drove all models of the H/K cousins, from Optima LX/automatic to the Sonata turbo with full battle rattle. While the Sonata and Optima are fine cars that go, stop, and handle well, so is the 200. But the 200, or should I say Eminem's car?, rides far more smoothly while giving nothing away in the cornering, lean, and braking departments. It's a bit heavier so not quite as snappy in the response department, but the driver/passenger point of view are a little higher up and therefore to my wife and me superior. The seats are grippy enough if not quite the coddling--and hip-squeezing--buckety-buckets that the bolstered H/K chairs are. Controls are simple and obvious. LEDs are the SOP for all but the vanity mirror and trunk lights. MOST IMPORTANT, the car is a very comfortable ride. At road test, the first thing I did was fling it around some corners, and the lean control is quite good, just as in the H/K cars. But it doesn't give you a constant readout on the passing pebbles and expansion joints, as even the Optima LX with 205.65.16" Korean rubber does. Stock shoes on the mid-level Touring are Michelin MXV4 225.55.17 on attractive aluminum wheels, and they likely contribute a bit to the comfortable ride. The Limited has 50 series 18-inchers sporting the not-so-sporty Goodyear LS-2, which ride a tad harder. The V6 flies, I don't know how it will do on the strip vs. the turbo Optima or 3.6 Malibu (fine I suspect), but I spend a great deal more time on normal roads than drag strips so I don't really care. There is some sort of trannie or ECM hiccup which the dealer reflashed but did not completely cure. A very nice car, at a very good price point, that does everything asked of it while so far delivering in the low 20s for all driving with three fill-ups so far. If you must hate the car, have at it. Just for yuks and chuckles, you might consider driving it first, along with a couple of its competitors.

  • Akear Akear on Dec 07, 2011

    The 200 is plainly better than the Malibu. 1. It has the Pentastar V6 (Wards ten best list!) 2. The 200 has the fastest 0-60mph times in its segment. 3. Its interior is far superior to both the Malibu and Fusion 4. Hmmm, it looks better than the Sebring, but the weird roof line returns. What is with the ION-inspired slash down the side of the car? Well, nothing is perfect, but I would buy this over the domestic competition. If you look at it from the front only it reminds one of the Genesis. If the Genesis and ION had a child it would be the 200. It is a car that has some excellent details along with some strange styling choices. The 200 excites and repels at the same time.