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Background

I smashed up my Magnum several weeks ago by running into the back of a woman in a Liberty who cut me off and braked suddenly. The front of my car impacted the tailgate spare tire and did quite a number on my car. In my part of the world, this means I was at fault, nuff said!

Anyways I continued to drive the car with a smashed up front because there were NO repair facilities who could take the car for at least 2 weeks, and I thought my vehicle was still driveable. When I finally got it in for an evaluation, the mechanic immediately told me the car was NOT driveable and that I was lucky it had even kept running for me!

[I have never been in an smash up before and no one but me ever even looked at the car, and I am nowhere close to a mechanic, the car didn't overheat, every thing including the turn signals worked, so I just assumed the car was OK except for cosmetic damage and my injured pride. (42 years accident free).
I took the car to the police station to file an accident report immediately after the smash, no one at the police station bothered to look at the vehicle or came to the scene of the accident, even tho I phoned 911 at the time.]

Since I was now without a vehicle, the insurance company offered me a rental car which I picked up today.

To my delight it was a brand new 200 with 65 kilometers on the odometer!

It is a 2.4 automatic with a black cloth interior and I think the exterior color is 'titanium', a kind of medium silver which I love. The car came with Sirius radio, heated seats, air, CD player, cruise control, heated mirrors, (I live in central Alberta, these things are important here), and remote start.

Now, I will confess to having never driven either a Sebring/200 or an Avenger before, so I have no preconceptions about the vehicle other than what I have read and heard from others.

This is a fantastic car! It fit me perfectly, the seats were very comfortable, road noise was nearly non-existent, it steered and handled well, and the driver of the C63 AMG I passed on the freeway nearly hit his chin on his steering wheel, LOL!

I drive hard, and the car averaged about 10.6L per 100 Kms. in mixed driving around town. I'll let someone else figure the mpg's. Nice steering wheel, good driving position, excellent outward vision. This car is SO MUCH BETTER than I anticipated it would be. No wonder they are selling so well.

I can really see why Chrysler isn't hurrying to bring out the new model, if the base 200 is this good. My only minor complaint was the slightly buzzy engine noise, which could be fixed by some better audio tuning, or the Tigershark 2.4, I hope. It accelerated well and never felt stressed even at 110 kph/ 67mph.

Perhaps some members here have driven both an older and newer version of this car and could recognize the upgrades, but I REALLY don't understand how people could spend so much time dissing this car.

Were I in the market for another vehicle, I would have written a check for this one.

Comments please!
 

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I feel the same way. My Avenger is awesome. I have the v6 and it is fast and has good mpgs (except when driven fast LOL)
Mick
 

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Having owned one (in a Patriot) I don't share your enthusiasm for the 2.4 at all. But the 200 when "Pentastar" V6-powered has some serious get-up-and-go! My biggest complaint with 200 and Avenger is that the seats aren't particularly comfortable; they never were, and I understand that fixing that was cost-prohibitive when the refresh happened, and will be addressed with the next generation. Avenger seems somewhat less refined to me than 200, even though they're essentially the same car. I can't really put my finger on the reason. But this perception must be common since the 200 sells so much better. I have wondered if just the name change alone for the 200 helped it's success, whereas the Avenger kept it's old name and perhaps some of it's old baggage, too.
 

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Out of curiosity, did it have the 4 speed or the 6 speed? I know some of the rentals still have the 4 speed, or at least they did a couple years ago.
 

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joe_ said:
Out of curiosity, did it have the 4 speed or the 6 speed? I know some of the rentals still have the 4 speed, or at least they did a couple years ago.
Current LX trims have the 4; I've seen the 6 speeds in rental lots too though.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
joe_ said:
Out of curiosity, did it have the 4 speed or the 6 speed? I know some of the rentals still have the 4 speed, or at least they did a couple years ago.
I'm pretty sure it's the 4 speed, the shift lever shows D, 3, L.
 

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Likely, since I think all of the 6 speeds have the slap shift.
 

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This is one of my pet peeves with Chrysler; still using an outdated four-speed transmission when they should have switched to six speeds ages ago. They are still being cheapskates and trying to cut corners where they shouldn't be doing that. BTW does anyone know what the actual 0-60 mph times are for the 4 cylinder when equiped with the four and six speed trannies?
 

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willy said:
This is one of my pet peeves with Chrysler; still using an outdated four-speed transmission when they should have switched to six speeds ages ago. They are still being cheapskates and trying to cut corners where they shouldn't be doing that. BTW does anyone know what the actual 0-60 mph times are for the 4 cylinder when equiped with the four and six speed trannies?
Got to remember this is a rental and rental companies buy in such large volumes that they are able to get cars @ the prices they want with the equipment they are willing to pay for. I don't think J.Q. Public can order one with a 4 speed auto. The other car companies do the same.
 

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willy said:
This is one of my pet peeves with Chrysler; still using an outdated four-speed transmission when they should have switched to six speeds ages ago. They are still being cheapskates and trying to cut corners where they shouldn't be doing that. BTW does anyone know what the actual 0-60 mph times are for the 4 cylinder when equiped with the four and six speed trannies?
Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't Toyota still use a 4spd in some cars? If they can save money that can go elsewhere and still sell a lot of cars I don't see an issue with the base car having a 4cyl 4spd combo. I actually see a ton of brand new base cars everywhere so it seems to be working for them.
Mick
 

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Last time I had a rental it was a Avenger 2.4 4spd, it could not get out of its own way. Nice car other than that but was a dog.
 

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Having owned one (in a Patriot) I don't share your enthusiasm for the 2.4 at all

Last time I had a rental it was a Avenger 2.4 4spd, it could not get out of its own way.
I can assure you that the 2.4 six speed is an entirely different animal than the 2.4 four speed or the 2.4 CVT, especially when the 2.4 CVT was in a heavier vehicle (Patriot is heavier, right?).

I was amazed at how peppy the 2.4 was in the 200.

That said, I'm currently test driving a 2.0-automatic Dart, and it seems just fine. You have to sometimes lean on the gas a bit more than with, say, a 300 V6 or 200 V6, but when you do, you shoot forward just like ya oughta. I don't quite see what the complaints are about. I originally drove one at Bear Mountain, and shot right up the hill with a passenger and a/c on. No power shortage.

If you're expecting a Corvette or something, yeah, it's gonna disappoint. If you're comparing it with the Cruze, it'll be good.
 

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MPG Comparison:
200 with 2.4/4-speed: 21/29(24)
200 with 2.4/6-speed: 20/31(23)

From that aspect, the 4-speed still delivers overall.

Note that the 2.4/4-speed is only available in the base Avenger SE and 200 LX - the same models that don't qualify for most rebate and financing offers. Those are the loss leaders, the 2% milk, the ones that get their prices advertised to get you in the door.
 

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DaveAdmin said:
I can assure you that the 2.4 six speed is an entirely different animal than the 2.4 four speed or the 2.4 CVT, especially when the 2.4 CVT was in a heavier vehicle (Patriot is heavier, right?).

I was amazed at how peppy the 2.4 was in the 200.

That said, I'm currently test driving a 2.0-automatic Dart, and it seems just fine. You have to sometimes lean on the gas a bit more than with, say, a 300 V6 or 200 V6, but when you do, you shoot forward just like ya oughta. I don't quite see what the complaints are about. I originally drove one at Bear Mountain, and shot right up the hill with a passenger and a/c on. No power shortage.

If you're expecting a Corvette or something, yeah, it's gonna disappoint. If you're comparing it with the Cruze, it'll be good.
Patriot is probably a bit heavier than 200, and I'm sure the six speed does make a huge difference. I haven't driven a six speed 2.4 model more than a few yards, honestly. Next time I have the chance I'll take one for a longer test drive. Most of the 2.4 200's I come across around here, are indeed four speed models.
 

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willy said:
This is one of my pet peeves with Chrysler; still using an outdated four-speed transmission when they should have switched to six speeds ages ago. They are still being cheapskates and trying to cut corners where they shouldn't be doing that. BTW does anyone know what the actual 0-60 mph times are for the 4 cylinder when equiped with the four and six speed trannies?
Fundamentally, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a four speed automatic. They are selling them in fleet vehicles. There is nothing wrong with clearing old inventory using fleet sales.

Mike
 

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My wife has had the 200 with 2.4 and 6-speed auto for 10 months now. It has 8,600 miles on it and is FLAWLESS. Not a single issue. We both love it. It's all that it should be. Yes, there is a little more engine noise/buzziness that you can hear inside, because the rest of the car is so quiet. A little exhaust tuning would snub that. But she is very happy to have given up her Camry for this.
 

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jimboy said:
I drive hard, and the car averaged about 10.6L per 100 Kms. in mixed driving around town. I'll let someone else figure the mpg's.
26.8 mpg. What's your highway #s @110, 120, 130 kph?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
55Plaza said:
26.8 mpg. What's your highway #s @110, 120, 130 kph?
Thanks, I only drove the car for a short time on the freeway yesterday, but I'll report back later when I've had a bit more time with it. I'll be doing some more extended driving with it in the next few days. I am surprised about the comments regarding the seat comfort tho, I found it fine, but I do prefer a harder seat with lumbar support, which the 200 provides. I find the seats very similar to the Magnum, which took a little getting used to, because they are also a little harder. Once I adjusted though, I grew to really appreciate them.

As far as engine power, I found the 200 to be fairly quick to accelerate, certainly as fast as my old '98 V-6 Contour. I had no issues passing or getting to speed on the freeway. Now I'm eager to try the 3.6 with either transmission. I still have a yen to own a convertible one last time, and I have always liked the Sebring/200 in that body style.
 

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willy said:
This is one of my pet peeves with Chrysler; still using an outdated four-speed transmission when they should have switched to six speeds ages ago. They are still being cheapskates and trying to cut corners where they shouldn't be doing that. BTW does anyone know what the actual 0-60 mph times are for the 4 cylinder when equiped with the four and six speed trannies?
Cutting corners would be keeping the 4 standard across the line instead of keeping it to the base model.

ShadowRider said:
Got to remember this is a rental and rental companies buy in such large volumes that they are able to get cars @ the prices they want with the equipment they are willing to pay for. I don't think J.Q. Public can order one with a 4 speed auto. The other car companies do the same.
Mick M said:
Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't Toyota still use a 4spd in some cars? If they can save money that can go elsewhere and still sell a lot of cars I don't see an issue with the base car having a 4cyl 4spd combo. I actually see a ton of brand new base cars everywhere so it seems to be working for them.
Mick
They do.
This article lists 13 from various car makers: Including the Tacoma, Yaris, and Corolla
http://www.leftlanenews.com/13-cars-you-might-not-know-still-have-four-speed-automatic-transmissions.html

Also the current Transit Connect or whatever from Ford is the 4 build in Turkey, and broken down and shipped to skirt the Chicken tax. The new one should be a 6 speed I think.

Stratuscaster said:
MPG Comparison:
200 with 2.4/4-speed: 21/29(24)
200 with 2.4/6-speed: 20/31(23)

From that aspect, the 4-speed still delivers overall.

Note that the 2.4/4-speed is only available in the base Avenger SE and 200 LX - the same models that don't qualify for most rebate and financing offers. Those are the loss leaders, the 2% milk, the ones that get their prices advertised to get you in the door.
Except most every time I price the cars, the LX and SE still do qualify for the major rebates, but the pricing is such that for just a bit more one can upgrade to the 6 speed and other goodies and still have some rebate left over to apply to the car.

People can't hate on the four speed, but many forget that many cars start off as a manual (a benefit to some, but not the majority of purchases) and the automatic is right off the bat over a grand more. At least this gives you the options of a true bare bones automatic car that isn't at all bad for the price.
 
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My '12 Avenger is a four speed and it runs great. My car has the Easter egg feature where putting the shift selector in 3 brings on a more aggressive shift pattern. There's nothing wrong with a transmission with two decades of refinement.
 
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