2019 Chrysler 200 Convertible Srt Performance – 2019 Chrysler 200 Convertible Srt

Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press Auto Critic Published 6:11 p.m. ET June 11, 2016

2019 Chrysler 200 Convertible Srt
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2016 Chrysler 200S(Photo: A.J. Mueller, FCA US)

“Why’s Chrysler bottomward the 200 and Dodge Dart? Are they that terrible?” a clairvoyant asked recently.

No, but they’re not great. That, forth with alteration client tastes, bedevilled the two cars.

The 200 and Dart accept their virtues, but neither is a bright baton in any of the areas barter affliction about most: value, style, safety, performance, technology, ammunition abridgement and design.

Imagine yourself in a Hertz lot. Your choices are a Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and Kia Optima. Which one do you ignore? Yeah, me too.

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Related: Why car sales got ashamed in May and what it means

Related: How minivans and Jeeps led Fiat Chrysler to 74th ages of sales gains

That aloof won’t do. Fiat Chrysler needs abundant cars to affected decades of mediocrity and worse. Too abounding shoppers accept been accomplished to apathy the bunched and midsize cars in Chrysler dealerships, alike as they band up to buy Jeeps, minivans, Ram pickups and action sedans in the aforementioned showroom. Fiat Chrysler’s cars charge force their way to the top of the list.

Chrysler’s history of architecture cars alignment from the able Sebring convertible to a ablaze bag of account like the Caliber SRT-4 created a aerial bar for the 200 and Dart. They couldn’t bright it.

To affected the apathy of aloof buyers, Fiat Chrysler cars charge be outstanding. They will win buyers’ absorption back they appeal it, not before.

That requires bright administration in areas that amount to the customer, not aloof credibility the business administration invented so they could affirmation to be No. 1 at something, anything.

The 200, for instance, claimed to be the abandoned midsize auto with all-wheel drive and a V6 that amount beneath than an Audi A6 Quattro. True, but hardly anybody cared, and the avowal was accounting with lawyerly affliction to abstruse the absoluteness that Subaru and Ford awash bigger AWD sedans for about the 200’s price.

2016 Dodge Dart Blacktop (Photo: Douglas Schaible, FCA US)

2019 Chrysler 200 Convertible Srt
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It’s not that Chrysler and Dodge can’t advertise cars. Look at the PT Cruiser, 300, Charger and Challenger.

Those cars were so acute consumers couldn’t avoid them. They repaid the public’s absorption with performance, addition and design.

I’ve apprenticed bags of afar in 200s and Darts. I enjoyed both cars, but neither elbowed its way to the advanced of its chic the way the 300 and PT Cruiser did.

Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect arrangement of articulation acceptance and controls is apparently the best in the auto industry, but that abandoned isn’t abundant to drive buyers to a 200 rather than a Nissan Altima or Chevrolet Malibu, or a Dart instead of a Honda Civic or Ford Focus.

Add the absoluteness that the bazaar is alive abroad from acceptable sedans adjoin baby and midsize SUVs, and Fiat Chrysler’s accommodation to affront attitude and stop authoritative the 200 and Dart becomes the obvious, acute move.

Buyers appetite baby SUVs like the Buick Envision, Ford Escape, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe and Toyota RAV4. They’ll pay bags of dollars added than they would for a analogously able sedan.

The Dodge Durango, Jeep Wrangler and Cherokee authenticate Fiat Chrysler can body accomplished SUVs. Now it has to aggrandize that ability to new segments and added models.

2016 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD  (Photo: FPI studios, FCA US)

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2019 Chrysler 200 Convertible Srt
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FCA is done assault its arch adjoin a bank of Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords.

Concentrate on what you do well. Advertise it for a profit. Welcome to Econ 101.

It’s not absolutely actual to say Fiat Chrysler will bead the 200 midsize auto and Dart compact, though. Chrysler will stop architecture them, but it hopes to abide affairs midsize and bunched cars. If CEO Sergio Marchionne plays his cards right, FCA will alter the 200 and Dart with bigger cartage congenital by one or added added automakers.

We’re not abiding back that will happen, but it’s allotment of FCA’s admirable plan to accumulate its dealers blessed and anatomy a affiliation with addition all-around automaker.

The action acknowledges the absoluteness that Fiat Chrysler is appealing accursed acceptable at authoritative SUVs and trucks, and aloof about anybody should do bigger with midsize and bunched cars.

Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan.

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