2015 Chrysler 200: Not Big Enough To Succeed?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
2015 chrysler 200 not big enough to succeed

Even when manufacturers restrict access to events, press fleets and product previews, TTAC manages to get the juicy details, thanks to an overlooked segment of the automotive industry. Our network of supplier sources is far and wide, spanning all tiers and market segments, and our latest bit of information comes from one source, who raised an interesting question about the Chrysler 200.

According to our source, the 200 is a pretty impressive looking car. The leaked photos that appeared at the end of 2013 are accurate, and the interior is just as striking. Along with the corporate 2.4L 4-cylinder and 3.6L Pentastar engine will be a 9-speed transmission, along with lots of other technology designed to save fuel.

But according to our source, there’s one big problem. “It might not be big enough”. Our source expressed concerns that the 200 suffered from the same fate as the Chevrolet Malibu, in that the passenger compartment, and the rear seat area, would be too small for American consumers.

The Malibu, as many will recall, was hung out to dry by the press, including our own Jack Baruth, for being an awful car. I happen to agree with Michael Karesh’s view that the 2.0T is a pretty good car, a victim of an overzealous press that chose the Malibu as a low-risk whipping boy for their Two-Minutes Hate.

Having already botched the launch of the Dart and the Cherokee, the 200 is one that they must get right. A poor model mix and unfortunate pricing (the larger, more powerful Avenger can be had for cheaper in some instances) hampered the Dart’s success, and Chrysler has used up their goodwill on the Cherokee launch – they won’t be able to take the courageous step of delaying the launch of the 200 without looking incompetent. A refresh 18 months in, like GM did with the Malibu, is not an option. We’ll know next week if Chrysler has a hit on their hands or not.

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  • MRF 95 T-Bird MRF 95 T-Bird on Jan 06, 2014

    Actually if you compare compacts such as Elantra, Corolla, Fusion, Sentra and Cruze they are roughly the same size as the Dart. I guess you can call it upsizing or model bloat. 10-20 years ago cars this size would be considered mid-sized. Exmple: 2014 Corolla is roughly the size of a mid-late 90's Camry.

  • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Feb 09, 2014

    As an update to this thread, I managed to check out the interior accommodations of the new 200, especially the back seat. I'm 6'2" and 205 lbs and I found the back seat space reasonable for a midsize car. Leg and foot room were fine, the seats are comfortable. Not as much leg room as the larger cars in the segment, but definitely not as snug as others, it falls somewhere in the middle. My only concerns with the back seat was the need to duck to when climbing out. The swooping roof line and thick roof rail come down quite a bit at the door opening. Head room would be tight in the back for someone taller than me. Overall, nice accommodations, the back seat shouldn't be the car's downfall.

  • Chuck Norton And guys are having wide spread issues with the 10 speed transmission with the HP numbers out of the factory......
  • Zerofoo "Hyundais just got better and better during the 1990s, though, and memories of those shoddy Excels faded."Never. A friend had an early 90s Hyundai Excel as his college beater. One day he decided that the last tank of gas he bought was worth more than the car. He drove it to empty and then he and his fraternity brothers pushed it into the woods and left it there.
  • Kwik_Shift There are no new Renegades for sale within my geographic circle of up to 85 kms. Looks like the artificial shortage game. They bring one in, 10 buyers line up for it, $10,000 over MSRP. Yeah. Like with a lot of new cars.
  • Ribbedroof In Oklahoma, no less!
  • Ribbedroof Have one in the shop for minor front collision repairs right now,I've seen more of these in the comments than in the 30 years I've been in collision repair.