Memo to Chrysler: Better Benchmark the Chyrsler 200

I recently had a Chrysler 200 for about a week while my Lincoln was being repaired (a LOL ran into the driver side door), and here are some thoughts ( I have some expertise in the field, having been a product planner and manager for Ford (Mercury Merkur and Scorpio), plus numerous ideas to Jim Farley and Allan Mullaly. Mark Fields came up through product planning, so he’s ok.

1. The car feels larger than the competition (Fusion, Chevy something), but not as large inside as either. Can’t speak to a Chevy, but the Fusion is clearly better. The Dart appears smaller, for whatever reason, even though they’re probably the same. Seats need to be deeper for larger folks over 6-3.

2. The inside feels smaller, probably because the window sills are higher. I’m slightly claustrophobic, so I notice this stuff. Steering wheel position clearly designed by Italians, if you’ve ever driven a Fiat or Ferrari; needs a tilt/fore/aft lever on steering column. Hide those wires, too.

3. Where’s the hybrid or diesel version? In city/suburban driving. I averaged about 22 mpg. That’s below the competition. The four banger in my car sounded pretty industrial. It did rev well, though, and the tranny was  smooth, although it’s fun to know which gear you’re in.

4. The dash nav system is easy to use, but you still have to take your eyes off the road, which is a common complaint for everyone. Or wait until you’re stopped. Google Maps on IPhone is the benchmark, guys, with voice readout.

5. Suspension feeds back a lot of road noise, but then so does everyone except the Camry.

Nothing here that can’t be fixed for the 2016 model year, guys. Sergio, send me an email where to send my stock.

For everyone, if you haven’t benchmarked against your competition, you can use these ideas as starters. Call us on the 800 line if you need help.

 

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