The Chrysler 200 has gotten a bad rap thanks to its Sebring predecessor. The Sebring was panned as the worst automotive offering on the market, uncompetitive, and a symbol of everything that was wrong with Chrysler. The 200 is leaps and bounds above what the old Sebring was, but, sadly, that's not saying much. The car still shimmies and shakes more than a dancer at the Copa Cabana and an interior well below its peers in the midsize class.
However, keep in mind that the 200 convertible has no real direct competitor -- while costing about the same (around $35,000), the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang Convertibles are both rear-wheel drive, cloth-topped, and more sporting. The Volkswagen Eos is really the closest rival, and when similarly equipped cost about $4000 more than the 200. Gone is the 200 convertible's nearest rival, the Toyota Solara.
The 200 convertible does stand out as the gold standard of any car in one area -- Bluetooth system clarity. In most cars, the caller on the other end can tell that you are in a car due to road and wind noise (and the fact that your face isn't right next to the microphone). I asked numerous people if they could hear me alright, and two of them asked if I was even in the car; I was travelling about 80 mph on the highway, top down. On the receiving end, the sound quality is crystal clear thanks to the optional Boston Acoustics sound system that is well worth the additional $475.
Donny Nordlicht, Associate Web Editor
After reading Donny's assertion that the 200 has no real competitors, I'm tempted to say the lack of competition is the only reason this car is on the market.
Convertibles usually seem like a fun idea, but rarely deliver a favorable driving experience unless the weather is perfect, the top is down, and there's a lot of interesting scenery to take in on the drive -- or if you happen to be tooling along at idle speed in a parade. As someone who enjoys driving, I have little interest in convertibles unless we're talking about a sporty roadster that can still deliver the experience a driver wants, such as a Porsche Boxster.
Still, the 200 Convertible has an important role to fill as the token convertible in the rental fleet at sunny vacation destinations. I imagine it's much more economical to rent out 200s to people looking for top-down driving than any Mustang, Camaro, or Eos.
Phil Floraday, Senior Web Editor