m&m Car, Briefly

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Thread: m&m Car, Briefly

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    m&m Car, Briefly

    I went to visit the friendly local Mopar dealer today. Frustration with the pathological lying at KIA, I thought I should range afield a bit.

    There are two 200s sitting on the lot, a white Touring and a black Limited. Both sporting the 3.6/6-speed with stickers of about 24 and 27 grand, respectively.

    The salesguy and I head out in the white. Seems nice enough inside. Cloth, yes. Straightforward controls, yes. Clear instruments, yes. The seat is good enough, it doesn't hurt and it forms well. Seats have come a long way in the last 10 years.

    We shift into Go and drive off. A smoother, more smothered ride than the KIAs. Well, this car weighs about 3550 or so compared to 3250-3300 depending on where you read specs on the H/K Sonata/Optima cousins.

    Power of course is smooth and far beyond adequate. The trannie shifts smoothly and frequently, going into 4th in half a block as we drive by the local gendarme HQ.

    I head up a steep hill which is taken in stride. Really, I haven't had trouble climbing a hill since we drove west a few years back and the PT struggled with heartburn and indigestion trying to burn E10/15 semi-gasoline and go up mountains.

    There are a few twisties here and I charge through a couple. This car corners flat and stable. Holy moly! Seems the makers have discovered roll control, too, somewhere around 2011. Wonder what took so long.

    As I said, the controls are simple, as I like them. I hate controls and readouts that are made complex on purpose, as if some 22-year-old geeks spent too much time in the let's-have-fun room.

    Really, nothing remarkable about this drive. Well, there is a low ceiling on the floor right where my left foot awaits its braking duties. I bump it a couple of times with my boot-top, but it doesn't seem to restrict brake foot. Maybe a little dremel work...

    The car is comfortable, temp control works fine, power is smooth and beyond most mortals' needs. What's to not like?
    Well, lots of people seem to hate this car. But that's not good enough for me. Even m&m driving the thing didn't turn me against it.
    Two negatives: Small trunk, though on visual inspection it doesn't look like 14.5 cu. ft. or whatever it is. And at 16.9 gallons, the petrol holder is on the small side. I like range, range, range. The more the merrier. You never know when you'll exceed mission parameters, and the extra miles come in handly.

    So. Nice luxury ride with handling thrown in. The 225.55.17 Michelin MXV4 tires give a solid feel of smothering the bumps and absorbing chunks while holding the road.

    While not Concorde/Intrepid handsome, the car is in the better-looking 1/3 of the medium-sizes IMO. Yes, interior and exterior styling are subjective. And it looks good in white.

    The dealer experience is, so far, superior to the H/K. H/K have been very devious about lease money, i.e. the $1000 KIA lease money has been regularly and quite-poorly lied-about by both local KIA emporiums. Their lies are childish, and I don't appreciate being assumed a fool.

    Military note: Chrysler offers a $500 military credit. So do H/K, but at H/K it cannot be combined with anything else.
    At Mopar, active, retired, recently-discharged, active and reserve, and spouses qualify. At KIA, active duty only.

    Thank you, Chrysler, for showing good support for the armed forces. All of us, not just active-today component.

    With a 3.6 @ $1795, 27U Cold Weather Group including heated front cloth seats and remote start @ $385, and a $300 Media Center with 430 CD/DVD/HDD 30 GB Hard Drive, there're enough toys for me.

    The lease deal, $205/mo for 35 months @ 10,000 miles a year (easily in range for us, spread out over 3 cars) with $1900 down and no salesman/fi-guy/general manager trying to tell me that what do I believe, what I saw or what he says I saw, I'm thinking...hmmm.

    Tomorrow I'll check the car out and let my wife have a look. She hates car dealers, and the sales guy was nice enough to offer a spin sans saleshomie.

    Let the flames begin. I offer premature apologies to all 200-haters.
    The 200 IS made in Sterling Heights, MI, though. Mmm hmm. Not the Emerald City.
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 03-27-2011 at 01:00 AM.
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    6.2 Liter LS3 V8 Quixote88's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    Sorry to hear about, well sort of, your experience at the Kia dealership. Sounds like the 200 may be a fit with your family. Hopefully, the Chrysler dealer doesn't spring any surprises on you when it's time to sign. Best wishes...

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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    To me it sounds like the dealer cycle when cars become in demand or popular the sales experience gets much worse. Glad your willing to give the new Chrysler and 200 a try.

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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    EDIT: 3 items. Forgot this is a FLEX FUEL (note bold green!) vehicle, capable of digesting E85.

    Two small items I forgot: LED front and rear lights. E-brake is hand brake here, vs. foot brake on the H/K cousins. I much prefer a hand brake.

    Oh yeah, this is imported from Detroit. H is imported from Alabama. K is imported from Korea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Quixote88 View Post
    Sorry to hear about, well sort of, your experience at the Kia dealership. Sounds like the 200 may be a fit with your family. Hopefully, the Chrysler dealer doesn't spring any surprises on you when it's time to sign. Best wishes...
    Har! Your sympathy is touching.

    Yes, let's hope not. I think I'll get out and see an Avenger tomorrow morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by SonicAerio View Post
    To me it sounds like the dealer cycle when cars become in demand or popular the sales experience gets much worse. Glad your willing to give the new Chrysler and 200 a try.
    Yeah, could be. Or maybe they're a-holes all the time.

    Me too. Glad I got mailed that way courtesy of the competition.

    I had intended to see the 200 and Avenger, and now I will.

    My wife said something about "looks good in black." Uh oh. And she's not a carnut.

    The Limited on the lot has 225.50.18" GY LS-2, some of the poorest tires around. Funny they get it right on the 17s and so bad wrong on the 18s.
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 03-27-2011 at 11:47 AM.
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    UGH THE LS2'S!?!?
    They are put on because only American car makers put T rated tires on 18 inch wheels. I think they are affraid to see what might happen if they, oh I dont know, put a set of H or even...dare I say..V RATED TIRES ON IT?!?!?
    It's not because of cost of ownership, those LS2's are mucho bucks.
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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    Quote Originally Posted by BigAls87Z28 View Post
    UGH THE LS2'S!?!?
    They are put on because only American car makers put T rated tires on 18 inch wheels. I think they are affraid to see what might happen if they, oh I dont know, put a set of H or even...dare I say..V RATED TIRES ON IT?!?!?
    It's not because of cost of ownership, those LS2's are mucho bucks.
    Funny, the Touring 17s ARE V, the Limited 18s are T. Guess old fudds drive the Limited.
    And the Michelin 17s are 160 per at Tire Rack, while the Badyear 18s list at 95. I recall the LS-2 being much more expensive than this. Perhaps they dropped the price to only two or three times actual value?

    Obviously (I hope) ChryCo gets crazy good deals on tires en masse. But it's odd they'd put such an expensive, highly-rated (@ TR anyway) tire on the less expensive car, and one of the worst-rated and cheapest tires on their luxmobile.

    I guess I shouldn't be seeking rationality here.
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 03-27-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    OMG! Do they let folks who don't hate the 200 post here?
    Maybe you got grandfathered in?

    Actually, hope the 200/Avenger works for you. I've not looked at one close up yet.

    One thing I've noticed on some of the ChryCo cars that you wouldn't necessarily see in the test drive is rear headroom. Make sure it gets a test as well. It may only be a problem for the freakishly long-waisted (which my family has) though.
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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    Update:
    We drove a black Limited (18" wheels) and the white Touring again today.
    Additional observations: Very geek-happy computer in the dashboard in this thing. USB port, gadgetry galore in both these cars.

    These are geared tall. About 37.5 MPH/ 1000 RPM in top gear, at 75 the engine was turning over at 2000.

    Trannie has a funny little hesitation before it shifts in the lower gears.

    At WFO throttle from a standing start, it snaps through the gears quickly and with a smidge of the torque-steer squirrelies. Nothing insane, it just tells you there's some power up front.

    The leather steering wheel--tilt and telescope--is thick but slick. The leather chairs are just a little more buckety than the cloth buckets. Both cars had heated seats, though.

    In my view, the 18s were a little bumpier and less absorbent than the 17s. My wife couldn't tell the difference.
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 03-28-2011 at 01:13 AM.
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    6.0 Liter L76 V8 CadiEldo67's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    I do like the new 200. That side profile doesn't help it out at all, but it really appears to be a greatly improved vehicle. I'm pretty interested in the 3.6 as well, if I were to get a Charger I don't think there would be any shame in going the V6 route.

    Now I can't wait for the next 200. I just have a feeling it's going to be amazing.

    I noticed something on C&D's review about the 200, I found its performance to be oddly similar to the much heavier Lacrosse. GM and Chrysler should have co-developed their engines and saved some money

    Buick Lacrosse CXS - 4045 lbs, 3.6 V6
    Power (SAE net): 280 bhp @ 6300 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 259 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
    Zero to 60 mph: 6.7 sec
    EPA city/highway driving: 17/27 mpg

    Chrysler 200 Limited - 3591 lb, 3.6 V6
    Power (SAE net): 283 bhp @ 6400 rpm
    Torque (SAE net): 260 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
    Zero to 60 mph: 6.3 sec
    EPA city/highway driving: 19/29 mpg
    Last edited by CadiEldo67; 03-27-2011 at 10:47 PM.

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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    *Eminem.

    Are you actually going to buy a 200 or was this informational?

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    4.6 Liter Northstar V8 Murrow's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    Quote Originally Posted by Buick61 View Post
    *Eminem.

    Are you actually going to buy a 200 or was this informational?
    Chrysler probably gave him one. Whether he uses it, is a different matter.

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    3.6 Liter SIDI V6 alex725's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    I think the Chrysler might be a better value than what Hyundai or Kia offers. Which car felt better? Have you considered a subaru? I just saw an ad during swamp people for the legacy at $199 mo with 1500 down. Awd could be a plus for your winters.
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    R2-D2 Astromech Droid Premium Member Neanderthal's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    Quote Originally Posted by alex725 View Post
    I think the Chrysler might be a better value than what Hyundai or Kia offers. Which car felt better? Have you considered a subaru? I just saw an ad during swamp people for the legacy at $199 mo with 1500 down. Awd could be a plus for your winters.
    The Optima and Sonata are lighter and feel more agile. They have 5/60 B-B and 10/100 powertrain warranties.
    They're supposed to get better MPG and they have larger fuel tanks and seem to have a bit more interior space. They have up-to-the-minute-technology engine/trannie combos. They're not bound by convention, and went the road less traveled in deleting the V6 option without deleting its power, while maintaining 4-cylinder MPG qualities.
    Most would need tire replacements off the showroom floor. Stock rubber on the cars I was shopping were some Korean Nexen tires that I am leery of. Tire costs add 400-600 to the down payment, unless you can successfully peddle the stock rubber on ebay.
    They're excellent cars and deserve any sales success they're achieving.

    If my experience is at all typical of the shadiness of their sales departments, at some point they can look forward to another reputation problem. Not from primitive product, but from primitive dealership staff.

    The 200s are heavier and more luxurious. They have 3/36 B-B and 5/100 powertrain warranties.
    They're quieter, smoother, and more substantial. They're quicker (280 vs. 200 HP), and if rated MPG prove true, will have less range.
    The 17" wheels have good rubber, the 18s are wrapped with what IMO is shoddy stuff I wouldn't want my life riding on. So prepare to pay for good 18" tires. Or not.

    The 200's emphasis on what's reportedly a great nav unit for just 400 bucks, other tekky stuff behind the dashboard, Cadillac-class ride, class-leading V6 whoosh, at a price point comparable to Korea's finest in base and next-up price, is very attractive.
    The looks are nice, but I think they missed some subtle flash and other opportunities. But from what I've read, Chrysler/Fiat did wonders given the one year they had to patch tings up.
    Why did they remove the gold Chrysler emblem from their winged emblem? That was class that is not created today, period.

    Advertised lease deals are similar, but the H/K saleshomies have consistently tried to tack on charges that are consumer money or are per the advertisement part of the down payment.

    Bear in mind, I'm comparing the 3.6 liter V6 Touring vs. the 2.0 liter I-4 LX. The advertised lease deals are very close on these models.

    Soobies haven't appealed to me for a long time. With snows and FWD, winter travel isn't a problem.

    Other cars in this class I'd consider are the Malibu (not a particularly attractive car, one gen behind the Koreans in the 4-cylinder development race), Accord (bad blah looks, arrogant dealers), uhhh, let's see...Avenger?

    FWIW:
    http://carfanatics.org/printthread.php?tid=3065
    Last edited by Neanderthal; 03-28-2011 at 02:18 AM.
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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Canuck's Avatar
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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    But what is really important to Neanderthal has yet to be reviewed.

    How good is the reception on the AM band of the radio?

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    Re: m&m Car, Briefly

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    Other cars in this class I'd consider are the Malibu (not a particularly attractive car, one gen behind the Koreans in the 4-cylinder development race), Accord (bad blah looks, arrogant dealers), uhhh, let's see...Avenger?
    What about the new Jetta or even the new Passat (is that available in the USA yet??) Maybe even thinking outside the box and go for a TDI model. Wowzers!
    Research is what I am doing when I don't know what I am doing.

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