• Redesigned Chrysler 200 for 2015
  • High scores in all IIHS crash tests
  • Available crash-prevention technology

Redesigned and re-engineered with new technology, the 2015 Chrysler 200 earned the highest safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in recent evaluations. The midsize sedan captured the coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation with top scores in each crash-test category -- an improvement over the 2014 Chrysler 200 -- and a near-perfect score for its available crash-prevention technology.

While the outgoing 2014 Chrysler 200 performed commendably in IIHS testing, that model did not offer a forward-collision-warning or collision-prevention system. Buyers of the new 200 can opt for the system, which gets a Superior rating from IIHS and scores five points on its 6-point scale.

The advanced crash-prevention technology that helped the new 200 score a Top Safety Pick+ goes beyond warning the driver of danger. It also includes an automatic braking function to slow the vehicle should the driver fail to act. Part of the available SafetyTec package, the system is not available on the $21,700 base-model 200 LX.

Drivers that want these features must choose the $25,995 Chrysler 200 C and pony up another $3,500 for SafetyTec and two other options packages. Of course, the extra money brings more than just the safety technology. Drivers also get Uconnect with navigation, an exterior-lighting package, adaptive cruise control, a slick automatic-parking feature and more.

The latest 200 also outperformed its predecessor in the small-overlap front crash test. In this rigorous evaluation, cars are smashed into a narrow barrier, concentrating impact forces in a small area at the front of the vehicle. The newest 200 achieved a top rating of Good, while the 2014 model achieved the second-highest score of Acceptable.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that also crash-tests and rates safety on a 5-star scale, has not yet tested the new 200, but the redesigned model has room for improvement there, too. The outgoing 200 earned four stars.

Even without the crash-prevention system, the new 2015 Chrysler 200 outperforms its predecessor in terms of safety. Chrysler credits extensive use of high-strength steel in the 200's body for the improvement in strength. With a Top Safety Pick+ behind it, the new 200 now needs a 5-star rating from NHTSA to solidify its safety stature.

What it means to you: Equipping the new 200 midsize sedan with advanced safety features can cost thousands, but even the more affordable versions offer better passenger protection than the outgoing model.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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