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Chrysler's 200S ragtop convertible would make a super holiday gift

With the top up, the 200S convertible has clean, attractive styling lines
With the top up, the 200S convertible has clean, attractive styling lines
by Nick Hromiak

If you’ve always craved a conventional, and nostalgic soft-top convertible, and since only a few are being made today, now’s the perfect time to wrestle a good deal on one. And with this being the holiday week and years end, it’s a time when dealers need to move the iron. And if you can find one, Chrysler’s 2013 200S convertible would be a steal.

The 200S drop-top has a smooth, slippery appearance
by Nick Hromiak

Their 200S convertible is extremely spacious compared to its limited cloth top competition. And with the 3.6L, 283-hp (260 lb/ft of torque) V6 offered as standard on the S model trim model, there’s plenty of power to move this 3,575 pound ragtop that rates EPA mileage figures of 19 city, 29-highway mpg. With the standard 6-speed automatic transmission, the combination has been 0-60 tested at 7.5 seconds.

On lesser trim levels, a 2.4L, 173-hp (166 lb/ft of torque) is standard.

The Chrysler 200 is offered in LX, Touring and Limited hardtops, while the convertible comes in Touring, Limited and, as tested, S trim levels.

On sedan models, the 200 comes with side curtain airbags while the convertible gets front-seat mounted side airbags with head protection.

Lowering the top into the trunk takes 25 seconds with a hard plastic tonneau covering the assembly, not a separate button-down cloth cover like those of yesteryear.

Upon lowering the top, it folds nicely into a protected cradle of sorts. As such, trunk space is impressive and can hold a medium size duffel bag. With the top up, the cradle folds flat allowing two medium or one super-size roll-a-long or one golf bag.

Inside the cabin, the S model gets a touch of faux sueded door panels and perforated seat inserts that allow quick heating in winter and better breathability in summer. The motif blends nicely with the heavily cushioned, semi supportive leather front seats and overall upscale quality.

HVAC controls are large rotary dials that are easy to see and use. And the 5.5x3-inch LCD screen shows audio and GPS functions but is void of a rearview camera that would be nice to have even with the top down. With the top up, half moon shaped rear headrests allow some rear visibility through a condensed sized window, again, here’s where a rearview camera would be helpful.

Ingress into the back seat is a bit of a squeeze for large adults and legroom is somewhat limited for tall folks, especially with the front seats racked well rearward. But shoulder room is ample.

As a soft top, outside noise with the top up and windows closed is noticeable - as it is with most other similar ragtops. If you desire more silence, opt for the hardtop convertible version that comes with an understandably higher price tag.

The ride on Goodyear 18-inch tires is exceptionally smooth and stable with no windshield shimmy when traversing unimproved railroad crossings or unseen potholes. It’s a solid ragtop with above average handling traits.

The 200S base priced at $32,820 but rose only slightly to $34,610 with delivery and the 27S Preferred Package that adds Chrysler’s Uconnect, Satellite radio, voice command with Bluetooth, 40GB hard drive, GPS nav and more.

Standard features are lengthy, encompassing and include such goodies as keyless ignition, remote start (nice to have on a cold winter day), power everything, stability/traction control, halogen headlamps, LED tail lamps, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and much more.

Added to all this, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 200 convertible a “Good” rating in frontal-offset and side impact tests.

With one of the most potent engines in its class, the 200S remains as one of the most popular ragtops, even when it was called the Sebring.

To check out a 200 flip-top call or stop by Rothrock Motors off Route 22 and 15th St. in Allentown or Brown Daub in Easton. And to automatically receive auto news and reviews from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.

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