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2011 Chrysler 200 Limited Convertible Review

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Rob Rothwell
Designed for my generation
We are in the midst of resurgence. The uprising I refer to has nothing to do with occupying financial districts as a form of democratic expression or the increasing popularity of everything 1960s. No, the revival I refer to is that of the hardtop convertible car with seating for four.

2011 Chrysler 200 Cabriolet Limited rear 3/4 view
New for 2011, the Chrysler 200 is a heavily reworked version of the former Chrysler Sebring. (Photo: Rob Rothwell/Auto123.com)

BMW’s 3 Series convertible and Volvo’s C70 are among the initiators in this field, which includes Volkswagen’s Eos and the IS series from Lexus. So how does the domestic stack up against the competition from abroad? Let’s find out.

The looks
New for 2011, the Chrysler 200 is a heavily reworked version of the former Chrysler Sebring. Perhaps “reworked” doesn’t do the 200 justice. It’s so far removed from the Sebring that it could easily be considered something completely new from the shelves of Chrysler, which incidentally are tightly packed with new product of late.

I’m of the view that Chrysler has succeeded in elevating the visual presence and sophistication of the car to heights previously thought unattainable. I admire the clean, fairly sleek lines of the 200 and its tasteful display of chrome adornments.

I doubt the imagery of cruising behind the 200’s leather-wrapped steering wheel is what Generation X and Y segments have in mind when dreaming of topless motoring beneath a blue sky, but it’s likely what baby boomers have in mind.

Whether baby boomer or baby maker, the interior of the 200 is certain to please. Chrysler has been lauded over the quality of this cabin, and quite justifiably so. In the case of the hardtop convertible, the compliments are even more deserved.

I found the retractable hardtop to be richly lined inside and nicely finished overall. When in place, the roof easily performs like that of a non-retractable hardtop, keeping wind and rain at bay while allowing sufficient headroom front and rear for the 90th percentile.

Visibility with the roof up is average, except to the rear where a smallish rear window and head restraints affixed to the rear seats impede sight lines. Of course, such sacrifices are commonplace with convertibles. These deficiencies are more than compensated for when the roof drops and the outside becomes inside.

Dropping the 200’s hardtop retractable roof takes approximately 30 seconds, but it’s a snap. There are no clasps or latches to release – only a button to push. I’d be remiss in not mentioning that the hardtop retractable roof is a $2,500 option over the standard soft top retractable roof, and I think it’s money well spent.

I also think that selecting Chrysler’s Pentastar V6 engine over the base 4-cylinder mill is money well spent.

2011 Chrysler 200 Cabriolet Limited left side view
Dropping the 200’s hardtop retractable roof takes approximately 30 seconds. (Photo: Rob Rothwell/Auto123.com)
Rob Rothwell
Rob Rothwell
Automotive expert
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