I've never been a car guy. Ever. I want my car to work. I want it to get me to point A to point B. I want it to be reliable. I want it to be good with gas mileage. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less.
At first I was hesitant. I thought to myself, ok, I'm 38, have two kids, happily married and own two reliable mid-size SUVs. I don't need to test drive a sporty machine that looks like I'm nearing a mid-life crisis.
However, the minute I slid into the deep red, fully loaded, hardtop convertible with black, stitched leather seats, I was hooked.
After a week of driving it around town as well as back and forth to work, I found that the Chrysler 200S offered good gas mileage, a smooth ride, a rock-solid feel, a nice quiet cabin and superb handling.
For you gear heads out there, this car replaced the Sebring. The build of the car nods to the sleekness of the Sebring, but that's where the comparisons end, as far as I'm concerned.
The car has heated front seats, rocket-ship like interior trim, a remote starter, a touch-screen display and outside temperature reading. The sound is boosted by a Boston Acoustic 430-watt system Media Center that features a CD/DVD with 40-gig hard drive and iPod input. I loved using the Bluetooth U-Connect hands-free phone feature. The coolness factor came in with fog lamps and 18-inch polished aluminum wheels with black trim that absolutely turned heads.
The Chrysler 200S Convertible also featured a V6, on-board navigation, with Sirius Radio, Real Time Traffic and Sirius Travel Link.
The product sheet on this bad boy boasts a 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine that produces a total of 283 HP and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission gets about 29 mpg on the highway. It drives heavy, because it is, coming in around 3600 pounds.
As for the convertible action...awesome. I've never driven at convertible and the experience was both ego-boosting as well as exhilarating. I was amazed at how quickly the hard top folded into the trunk. It honestly felt like I was driving two different cars with the top up and top down.
All in all, the test drive was a pleasant experience and I honestly didn't want to give it up.
The only downsides to the car were mostly due to me, literally. You see, I'm a big guy — offensive lineman big — and while the car was comfortable, I could have used a little more headroom as well as better lines of sight (both front and back). I found myself crouching down a little bit to see street lights and check the speedometer. The trunk space was limited with the top down, but that's expected in a convertible. You could easily do an overnight trip with a family of four, though cabin space and trunk space would be tight. Again, that's expected in a convertible.
Again, these are little nuances, but not, whatsoever, a deterrent from wanting to buy this car, which goes for roughly $32k.
The bigger hurdle is convincing my wife that we need another "family" vehicle.