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2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible Limited

Old 11-02-2011, 06:16 AM
50 Watt CAFz'r
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible Limited

I know Chrysler significantly upgraded this 2011 Chrysler 200 Convertible Limited after the bankruptcy, and I also know it's an interim model meant to maintain sales while an entirely new midsize car is brought to market. But the 200 just isn't a competitive vehicle, even in hardtop convertible form, and even with the new Pentastar V6.

Full disclosure: I had the 200 convertible on a murky, cold, rainy night (and morning) in Detroit, so I was stuck with the top closed--never an ideal situation in which to evaluate the merits of a cabriolet. With the top up, the 200 was noticeably tight, with a solid-sounding body structure and no trace of water leakage.

The flaws were in the details. The shifter slid in its gate with a plastic-on-plastic scrape. The autolock mechanism on the doors sounded like cell block H bolting closed for the night. Even the vaunted Pentastar V6 engine was coarse and poorly insulated in this application.

My girlfriend in high school often borrowed her mother's 1988 Chrysler LeBaron convertible for us to tool around the Atlanta suburbs in. While my memories of that car may be artificially rosy, I was surprised at how much the 2011 Chrysler 200 convertible reminded me that old K-car ragtop--the feel of the controls, the rough edges, the raspy engine. It was all there.

I'm always up for a trip down memory lane, but I doubt that most buyers shopping $35,000 convertibles will be as forgiving.

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