Midsized sedans offer the American family roomy interiors, seating for five, easy maneuverability and solid fuel economy. Comparing the Chrysler 200 and the Honda Accord reveals that the 200 holds a distinct advantage for savvy shoppers.
The 2012 Chrysler 200 LX starts at an MSRP of $18,995 while the Honda Accord LX starts at a much higher $21,380. That’s nearly $2,400 more money, but you don’t get more for it. On the contrary, the 200 offers 17-inch wheels, compared to 16-inch wheels on the Accord, approach lighting, LED brakelights and heated exterior mirrors, all of which won’t be found on the Accord.
Outside, the 200 has fresh new styling derived directly from the 200C concept. The newly sculpted front fascia features the signature Chrysler grille topped with the winged badge that ties it together with its big brother, the 300. The Accord’s styling has always been generic – as one CNET reviewer noted, “The car's bland looks made it blend in with other midsize sedans on the road.”
Inside, the 200 has an all-new interior that drivers and passengers alike will appreciate. High-quality materials and the expert craftsmanship give the impression of a car with a much higher price. The new soft-touch surfaces and comfortable seats feel as good as they look.
Stepping up to the 200 Touring – which still costs less than the Accord LX – adds a plethora of features you won’t find on the Accord LX including automatic headlights, automatic climate control, a power driver’s seat, premium cloth seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a trip computer.
The 200 offers more impressive audio system options across the model range including the available Media Center 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio with 6.5-inch touchscreen and 40GB hard drive. The best the Accord can give you is a 270-watt AM/FM/six-Disc In-Dash Premium Audio System.
Both cars offer drivers a choice of four-cylinder or V6 powertrains. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder in the Chrysler 200 generates 173 hp and 166 lb/ft of torque. The Honda 2.4-liter four-cylinder offers 177 hp, but only 161 lb/ft of torque.
While the four-cylinders produce plenty of power to satisfy most drivers, those who want more grunt can select the optional V6 engines. Honda's 3.5-liter generates 271 hp and 254 lb/ft of torque. The 200 benefits from Chrysler's all-new and award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6. The lightweight, all-aluminum Pentastar produces 283 hp and 260 lb/ft of twisting force. The editors of Ward's Auto World were so impressed with this new engine that they selected it to their annual Ten Best engines list in its first year of availability. The FlexFuel capable Pentastar also gives drivers the option to run on gasoline or domestically produced E85 ethanol.
The Chrysler 200 offers better transmission choices than the Accord. The Accord comes standard with a five-speed manual, and buyers have to pay more (yet again) to get a five-speed automatic transmission. The 200 utilizes a value-oriented electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission in LX models while Touring, Limited and S sedans have an advanced six-speed automatic. This six-speed features Chrysler's AutoStick manual shifting system that allows the driver to tap the shift lever for quick sequential gear changes.
Chrysler once again steps up to the plate with a five-year/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty, compared to only 60,000 miles for the Honda. And only the 200 offers Roadside Assistance.
Buyers who demand more for their money should take a serious look at the Chrysler 200. Contact us today to set up a test drive.