The Fall season is a great time to have a convertible. I was eager to have the Chrysler 200 Limited retractable hardtop convertible. I was pretty impressed when I reviewed the 2011 sedan. For the money, it is a really good buy. However, I find the 2012 convertible edition to be very different, and quite frankly unremarkable.
There are some good things about this roadster. For one thing, the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that produces 283-horses. It runs great and is quiet, but a little sluggish. With the 6-speed automatic, gas mileage is good in this mid-sized car.
It is has a nice interior too, with very soft leather and a smooth dash. My review car has predominantly white seats with black accents. Although pretty, with 7000 miles the seats are already showing wear. Unlike a lot of convertibles, it actually has a decent amount of rear seat room, unless the front occupants have the seats all the way back, and it has a good amount of headroom.
The 200 Limited also comes with an impressive list of standard features. Besides all power including dual power seats, the car comes with keyless entry, Bluetooth, remote start, heated front seats, a good stereo with 40 GB hard drive, steering wheel controls, automatic headlights, and 18” wheels.
Options on my tester were GPS navigation with SiriusXM Travellink, which gives you real-time traffic, weather, sports scores, and gas prices. The up charge for all that is only $695, a bargain by today’s standards.
The downside to the car is driving characteristics. It doesn’t handle really well and certainly doesn’t corner great. The brakes feel spongy and you just feel too much of the road when you drive this car. It has more wind noise than I expected in a hardtop convertible, and the road noise levels were higher than I thought it should be.
The top works great, going from open to close in 30 seconds. You can operate the top either way with the key fob, which is a nice feature, and once the top is down, it has a decent amount of trunk room. With the top up, it has a very nice trunk.
It is hard not to compare this car to the Volvo C70, and it does not stack up. In fact, it is not even close. It has some advantages over the base Mustang convertible, like more room inside, but the drive of the Mustang is much superior in my opinion, and the Mustang is less money.
The Chrysler 200 convertible would be a great car to rent, and with the big depreciation this car suffers, I can make the case that a used one is a good value. As a new car however, I just can’t make the case for it. It is a shame too, the car really looks good on the outside.
What I liked most: The engine/transmission combo and fuel economy.
What I would change: Make it quieter and change the suspension.
MSRP: Base price $31,950. As tested, $35,490.
Fuel Economy: Rated at 19 in town/29 Highway-doing slightly better
Warranty: 5 Year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty, 3 year/36000 mile bumper-to-bumper.
2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible in a few words: It’s a great rental car.
Car Pro Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars