By on November 27, 2012

TTAC commentator halftruth writes/draws:

I got taking a look at the Chrysler 200 recently and while I want to like it, I cant get past the little droop on the bottom of the tail lights. I took a couple of stabs to see what they would look like flat and perhaps they are too VW-ish, but I like them better this way..

What do you think? I did them quickly in paint but I think you get the point…thanks!After:

Sajeev answers:

Normally I prefer less fussy tail light designs, but not when it comes to very tall and clumsy proportioned sedans.  And when you think tall and clumsy sedans, the Chrysler Sebring-200 is one of the worst offenders on the planet. And not in that ironic hipster way like a Scion xD or xB or whatever…nor in that cheap and cheerful way like a penalty box Chevy Aveo or Nissan Versa. The Chrysler 200 is simply a poorly proportioned vehicle. And it needs all the help it can get.


My point is witnessed above, in the abomination that was the Chrysler Sebring. The Chrysler 200 needs those tail light flairs of modest style, it visually thins a plump sedan.

So I will disagree with you, even though I’m kicking myself for doing it! What say you, Best and Brightest???

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22 Comments on “Vellum Venom Vignette: Redesigned Chrysler 200?...”

  • avatar
    Dirk Stigler

    The main thing was probably to make sure that it was distinguishable from a Sebring from any angle. There wasn’t much they could do about the side profile, but the front and rear were easily fixable.

    You really shouldn’t judge Chrysler until the next generation 200

  • avatar

    I had a 1998 Chrysler Cirrus, the ancestor to this car. I still think it was a much better looking car than the Sebring or the 200 that came after it. Too bad it rusted so badly, or we would have kept it longer.

    • 0 avatar

      And I will agree with BunkerMan on this. The Cirrus and Stratus were created before Chrysler made the Giant Design Leap Backwards.

      • 0 avatar

        The ’95 to ’06 cars were also better in that they had a nice handling suspension. Perhaps a little overdone for an otherwise mundane car, but they do handle well. The ’07-’10s, not so much.

        The changeover to the 200 was a big improvement, especially with the 3.6L, and the car does represent decent value for the money.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but no. This is a case of ugly being more than skin deep.

  • avatar

    Umm, unless my eyesight was really bad (well, they are! but anyway…) I think the “before” and “after” photos are the same, werent’ they?

    And yes, you can’t make the Sebring, er, 200, looks good with just a little work with paint programs. You’d have to replace the whole greenhouse with one from a different car, perhaps a whole new rear end, and… er, maybe just replace the whole thing with another car. ;)

  • avatar

    Good start! Now if you could just do something with that messy C-Pillar….

  • avatar

    Everyone has their design preferences. A friend of mine always points out that the door handles on the front and rear door on the Charger at are different heights and “look crooked”.

    It doesn’t bother me at all, but to him it’s a deal breaker.

  • avatar

    I think the project by halftruth is an improvement when viewed from the rear 3/4 view, but then dropping a Fiat Panda from 100ft above may also be an improvement.

  • avatar

    Erm, it makes them look like Galant taillights from the 3/4, and boring from the rear. I’ve never noticed this detail, of course, and never been bothered by it, but I don’t find the changes to be an improvement, no.

  • avatar

    I like the little taillight “droops” or “flares”. They add some visual interest in what is otherwise a bland design. In my view, the massive C-pillars are a bit awkward, and the upper door seams don’t “mate” well into the roof. Also, the accent crease (“character line”) that runs down the length of car should typically “point at” something: in this case, the taillights have a natural topping line that could have been aligned with that side character line, and they missed it.

    But the 200 is not alone. It always amazes me that, in this day and age, so many cars continue to be poorly or blandly styled, especially those from Japan. (But, yes, they are improving.) I mean, there are a half-dozen fine Italian design houses that can be contracted to act as consultants on these things. Why not take advantage of that resource? Are car makers so filled with their own pride in thinking they “can do it all”, that they fail to realize that good design is not only in the eye of the beholder? There are some universal traits that always appeal. The Greeks discovered that millennia ago.


    • 0 avatar

      Agree! I always wonder why the hell Lexus doesn’t get Pininfarina to design for them. We’d get a stylish Maserati shape, with good build quality. Everyone would win. Hardcore win.

  • avatar

    Well, from having almost bought a 200 S convertible, I can give a little insight as to why the taillight dips. When freshening the car to become the 200, they didn’t want to invest serious money to change any expensive metal body parts or panels.. Front fender, no problem. Hood, okay. Roofline, no way. Doors, yeah right. Giant c pillar and rear quarter, might always go bankrupt. That dip in the taillights follows exactly the Sebrings body line on the quarter panel. So, to make it seem fresh, they were ale to redo the cheaper trunk panel and plastic rear bumper and narrow out the rest of the taillight. I really think it works, because as much as I love Chrysler, the Sebring was a letdown. And like many realize, the 200 is a really good value compared to the competition. Just don’t look at it from the side!

  • avatar

    Campy and cheap. They should’ve just gone ahead and thrown a faux convertible vinyl top on there, to go with that “200” emblem. If that Pentastar six is as good as people are claiming, it needs a better home than this.

  • avatar

    I believe that the 200 does not have an alibi, it is U-G-L-Y. The taillights are the least of its (many, so, so many) problems.

  • avatar

    There are so many uglier cars than this, why pick on the 200? Look at the turdmobile Fiat 500? Way uglier than a 200, all the little penalty cars are ugly as hell.

  • avatar

    Late to the game, but…..

    The little squib of taillight in the trunk lid is the detail that bugs me.And so many cars are using this styling cliche, especially since Infiniti’s M or G or whatever adopted it early last decade. It may have been a rip from Bangle BMWs.

    It makes no sense, follows no logical line, completes no cohesive design element.

    The new Camrys are the best examples of this and the worst offenders yet. Thankfully on the 200 there isn’t that large an offense. The Sebring had,[in spite of the back up/turn signal busy-ness] at least a coherent tail light shape. They helped balance that big rear end as well. The 200 is a sideways “improvement”.

  • avatar

    This car and it’s Dodge twin, the Avenger, are so oddly-styled that it really had me questioning if Chrysler designers were taking mescaline or something when they came up with them. I mean, really! The shapes of the Sebring/200 and Avenger are just bizarre, and do not translate well to the small size of the cars. Both are just ridiculously over-styled. I can certainly see why Chrysler needed the federal bailout. I cannot imagine anyone viewing these cars as being competitive in any way. I actually have a level of contempt for anyone that has bought the Sebring/200 or Avenger – how could anyone actually pay any hard-earned money on these embarrassments? Bizarre.

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