In a classic “Simpsons” episode, Homer objects when his wife wants to leave a ritzy private club because she’s uncomfortable with all the high-brow snootiness. “But, Marge,” Homer protests, “it’s the first time anyone’s ever called me ‘sir’ without adding ‘you’re making a scene.’ ”
I can relate.
During our recent stint with the 2013 Chrysler 200 Limited convertible, the surprising elegance of this affordably priced drop-top drew a bevy of gushing compliments. Among them was one from a young lady strolling past our top-down 200:
“I’d sure love to have your car, sir.”
I said to my wife: “Honey, that’s the first time . . . .”
Well, you know.
The raves, I should note, are elicited specifically by the open-air version of the 200. It’s also available as a sedan but, in the case of these siblings, the convertible got most of the looks and personality.
The 200 is available in three versions: base Touring, tony Limited and sporty S.
Touring gets a 173-horsepower I-4, which you’ll want to avoid; 200’s 283-horsepower V-6, standard on Limited and S, optional on Touring, is far livelier and – stop the presses! – it gets better fuel economy, too, despite two additional cylinders! Either way, a six-speed automatic is standard.
All trims feature a tight-fitting soft-top while Limited and S can be had with an optional folding hard top. Both are power, of course, and both fold into the same storage space. The result is that the folded soft top gobbles as much trunk room as the folded hard top. So, whether the top is soft or hard, you’ll have just 7 cubic feet of top-down cargo room. On the other hand, the 200 boasts a generous 13.3 cubes of top-up cargo space.
The trunk lid, by the way, made large to cover that stowed top, is heavy to open.
We drove a Limited soft-top, which looked great and sealed well. At speeds up to 60 mph, the cabin is quiet. Above 60, wind and road noise begin to make their presence felt.
Inside, room is great up front. In back, it’s better than you’d expect, although the cheap seats are park-bench firm and front passengers will have to be kind if rear riders are to have any leg room.
Overall, this ride is classy, fun and reasonably practical by four-seat convertible standards. All spring and summer you’ll be making a scene – in a good way.