I’m always fascinated by lists that show the fastest depreciating cars on the used market. These lists are basically cheat sheets for which vehicles give you the most bang for your buck based on how much value they’ve lost over a short timespan. One car that’s popped up on such a list is a midsize American sedan that seems to have left the market as suddenly as it arrived. I’m talking about the Chrysler 200.
I should clarify that I’m talking specifically about the second-generation 200 — the one that shares a platform with the current Jeep Cherokee and the Chrysler Pacifica, and only survived through model years 2015 to 2017. The 200 was short-lived not only because of the crossover craze, but because of its identity crisis stuck between volume car and luxury car. Was it competing with the Toyota Camry or the Lexus ES? No one was really sure, and the car faded away.
The 200 sometimes gets the same ridicule as its predecessor, the Chrysler Sebring. Now, I think few people other than Michael Scott would disagree that the Sebring deserves all of the mockery it receives, but I’m not so sure the second-gen 200 deserves the same treatment. In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say the most recent Chrysler 200 is a great used car value. Stay with me.
In a recent study, it was found that the Chrysler 200 loses a significant 48.4 percent of its value in just three years. That’s much faster depreciation than the industry average of about 35 percent in three years.
So, what does that mean for the actual prices of these cars? The 200 wasn’t that expensive when it was new — and now it’s a steal. Right now, there are more than 200 used second-gen Chrysler 200 models on Autotrader that can be had for less than $10,000. A handful of them are even the high-end 200C trim, which throws in heated leather seats, remote start, nice wheels and a bunch more.
You can get lots of decent cars for a 4-digit price tag, you’re probably thinking, so what’s so great about the Chrysler 200? I’m not going to pretend the 200 was the most cutting-edge or most competitive car in its class when it was new, but it’s a nice, plain car that can be optioned with pretty luxurious appointments for very little money. And one cool perk of the 200 is that it was available with all-wheel drive, which was a rarity in its segment at its price point. It could also be had with a V6, which not all of its competitors could say. It has an aesthetic that still looks modern today, and it’s reasonably roomy, fuel efficient and comfortable, making it a good (enough) daily driver for most normal people.
So the next time your mom asks you for a recommendation on what car she should get next, consider pointing her in the direction of a used second-gen Chrysler 200. It’s not going to blow anyone away, but it’s affordable, comfortable and a little more interesting than a Honda Accord.
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