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Hello all, I am in the market for a new car and it's currently down to to a 2015 Chrysler 200S, 2016 Buick Regal Turbo, and a 2016 Ford Fusion Titanium, all FWD versions.

The first two have about 65k miles, the Ford at 80k, which is why it's my 3rd choice right now.

I test drove all 3 and absolutely love the power of the 200, but I can see why people have issues with the transmission as it definitely is much, much different than the 6 speed CVT I'm used to in my 2011 Altima. The Regal seemed to drive smoother and has virtually zero cosmetic issues, but just isn't quite as fun to drive, though I didn't get to really test it as I had a dealer with me.

My main concern with the 200S is the reliability of the car. I really need it last me about 4-5 years, or 100k-150k miles. I have read a lot of horror stories about the tranny in this particular model, but it's been a mixed bag. A lot of people say it's the previous models that had the issues, and some say the 2015's are absolute junk. I am unsure when the car was manufactured, I have heard a post-September manufacture date is the best ones to buy, so I'll get back on that.

Has anyone had issues of reliability for the 200S? It has 2 previous owners, and the car was repossessed from the 2nd driver so it's not like he/she dumped the car. My main reason for concern is the "car complaints" website, the 2015 200 has hundreds of complaints, mostly to the transmission, and the Buick has almost none, the Ford around 2-3 dozen.

I know this is a pro-chrysler 200 board obviously, but I want as unbiased of opinions as I can get. Please don't think you'll offend me if I'm completely offbase, I'm just trying to do as much research as possible. Thanks guys and girls!
 

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I’m a little biased because I’m a Mopar guy. But my 200c puts a smile on my face just like my old Hemi Magnum did. I have a 2015 200C 3.6 FWD and I love the car. Not say it’s not been without its issues. Most of them were addressed by the dealer under warranty, but they also try to talk you out of most of your concerns. At this point I have 70K and my Navigation doesn’t work all the time (there’s an issue with some of the radios Sierra wireless card fails. It can be sent off to a place and repaired for $300 or get a new unit from Chrysler for $1,300). Also I do get a little shake from my eng/trans when I reapply throttle at 1000-1250 RPM. It’s a quirk and I still have powertrain warranty and CPO warranty, so I’m not concerned about it. Other than that, I get 35 MPG, can hang with R/T’s and I love the features. I think the style is awesome and though I like the Buick looks, I worry about turbo issues down the road. Fusions are okay, but they just don’t do it for me personally. But I hope you are happy no matter the direction you go in. Congratulations on a newish car. 👍🏼
 

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I’m a little biased because I’m a Mopar guy. But my 200c puts a smile on my face just like my old Hemi Magnum did. I have a 2015 200C 3.6 FWD and I love the car. Not say it’s not been without its issues. Most of them were addressed by the dealer under warranty, but they also try to talk you out of most of your concerns. At this point I have 70K and my Navigation doesn’t work all the time (there’s an issue with some of the radios Sierra wireless card fails. It can be sent off to a place and repaired for $300 or get a new unit from Chrysler for $1,300). Also I do get a little shake from my eng/trans when I reapply throttle at 1000-1250 RPM. It’s a quirk and I still have powertrain warranty and CPO warranty, so I’m not concerned about it. Other than that, I get 35 MPG, can hang with R/T’s and I love the features. I think the style is awesome and though I like the Buick looks, I worry about turbo issues down the road. Fusions are okay, but they just don’t do it for me personally. But I hope you are happy no matter the direction you go in. Congratulations on a newish car. 👍🏼
Thanks for the info! What's the difference between the 200C 3.6 and the 200S 3.6? Just different interior style? I have heard you should stay away from used turbos, so I do have that concern as well. I think it's really gonna come down to the Buick vs 200, I appreciate your response.
 

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The 200 C is more chrome trim and 17” wheels. The 200 S would have blacked out trim and usually larger wheels, 18” or 19”. Plus I think the S has larger side bolsters on the seat if I’m not mistaken.
 

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Not a single report I have read about the clunkiness of the 9-speed has mentioned a functional failure. These are good cars and I wouldn't hesitate. I bought a used 2011 with 95K miles, based on my wife having bought a 2012 new. So far both have been virtually trouble-free.
 

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Not a single report I have read about the clunkiness of the 9-speed has mentioned a functional failure. These are good cars and I wouldn't hesitate. I bought a used 2011 with 95K miles, based on my wife having bought a 2012 new. So far both have been virtually trouble-free.
That's good to hear for sure. I personally have seen a lot of forums/car review sites that mention specifically the 200S having issues with the transmission.

http://m.carcomplaints.com/Chrysler/200/2015/

That's the link to the site where you can read a ton of complaints. FWIW I was only able to find a handful of complains about the tranny for the 200S. Most of the complainants were about the 4cyl model. Any credence to these reports? I just find it strange how many more complaints this car has on this site than any of the other cars I've researched.
 

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I have one of the early 200C with the 3.6 and coming close to 110k miles on it. Chrysler/ZF has with their latest updates on the transmission made it a much better shifting transmission. But, it's not perfect and my 200 still has at times rough and weird shifts. But in general it's ok. With the early 2015's, you have to give it a bit more power and not granny it up through the gears to get it to shift smoothly. There will be some things that will take getting used to, like how it engine brakes and clunks into gear if you are shifting it while inclined on a small hill. It does not shift from park to gear or forward to reverse and vice versa quickly, there is a second lag to it. Expect to replace the battery to the car soon, if it's still original (which I would doubt). The car does some really weird things when the battery goes.

But, it seems to be fine as far as reliability with the main components. This along with a great and nicely powered engine makes for a nice cruiser. Gets great gas mileage and you don't have to use premium fuel like the turbo engines require for full power. Plus, it's muffler system just sounds great.

Some things to look out for, if you have the 19 inch wheels, tires are not cheap. If the car does not have the upgraded lighting, expect to spend a bit more money on some upgraded headlight bulbs cause the factory bulbs are miserably dim in the darkness of country roads. City driving, their fine. The original radiator hoses seem to have a early death. So check this to see if they have been replaced or have some leakage. Leakage and you need to get that car priced down further since these hoses (labor specifically) are not cheap to replace.

Expect to replace smaller items like the lug nuts on the wheels, since Chrysler like so many other manufacturers use caps on the nuts and they expand. Don't buy Chrysler lug nuts, cheaper to buy good quality aftermarket items. Expect to replace the battery's in the keyfob about once every 18 months.

I could go on and on about the cool and weird things on this car. But when you read into the "Avoid Like the Plague" on Car Complaints.com, realize that these sites only cater to the people whom have problems. Your not hearing from the people whom don't have problems with their cars.

One recent pluses I have with this car...Chrysler's touch up paint is spot on with this car. My past cars, there would always be a slight color difference. My red 200, you can't see the scratches or chips now.
 

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That's good to hear for sure. I personally have seen a lot of forums/car review sites that mention specifically the 200S having issues with the transmission.

http://m.carcomplaints.com/Chrysler/200/2015/

That's the link to the site where you can read a ton of complaints. FWIW I was only able to find a handful of complains about the tranny for the 200S. Most of the complainants were about the 4cyl model. Any credence to these reports? I just find it strange how many more complaints this car has on this site than any of the other cars I've researched.
The 200 and Jeep Cherokee for the model years 2014 and 2015 were the first non luxury cars to have such transmissions. While it certainly didn't help that Chrysler did not have the programming even half baked on these cars at the time. I believe much of the complaints were people expecting these transmissions to act much like the 6 speeds do. They don't and won't. There are numerous other front wheel drive cars that now come with 8 and 9 speeds like the Malibu, New Regal, Camry and many others that actually share the same frustrating experiences of rough or slow laggy shifts.

I feel as if Chrysler got a bad rap on this because they were the first to really do this on such a high production level vehicles to consumers whom didn't understand that higher amount of geared transmissions just work differently than what they are used to.
 

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The Regal and Fusion are both direct injected and forced inducted. That combination would make it so I wouldn't buy either - mostly because of the direct injection.

I don't like the idea of removing the intake manifold to clean the backs of the intake valves because fuel never touches it in a direct injected engine. I also don't like knowing the more I drive, the dirtier the valves are getting and the more diminished the performance and power is until I manually clean it or take it in and spend tons of $$ etc...

 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have one of the early 200C with the 3.6 and coming close to 110k miles on it. Chrysler/ZF has with their latest updates on the transmission made it a much better shifting transmission. But, it's not perfect and my 200 still has at times rough and weird shifts. But in general it's ok. With the early 2015's, you have to give it a bit more power and not granny it up through the gears to get it to shift smoothly. There will be some things that will take getting used to, like how it engine brakes and clunks into gear if you are shifting it while inclined on a small hill. It does not shift from park to gear or forward to reverse and vice versa quickly, there is a second lag to it. Expect to replace the battery to the car soon, if it's still original (which I would doubt). The car does some really weird things when the battery goes.

But, it seems to be fine as far as reliability with the main components. This along with a great and nicely powered engine makes for a nice cruiser. Gets great gas mileage and you don't have to use premium fuel like the turbo engines require for full power. Plus, it's muffler system just sounds great.

Some things to look out for, if you have the 19 inch wheels, tires are not cheap. If the car does not have the upgraded lighting, expect to spend a bit more money on some upgraded headlight bulbs cause the factory bulbs are miserably dim in the darkness of country roads. City driving, their fine. The original radiator hoses seem to have a early death. So check this to see if they have been replaced or have some leakage. Leakage and you need to get that car priced down further since these hoses (labor specifically) are not cheap to replace.

Expect to replace smaller items like the lug nuts on the wheels, since Chrysler like so many other manufacturers use caps on the nuts and they expand. Don't buy Chrysler lug nuts, cheaper to buy good quality aftermarket items. Expect to replace the battery's in the keyfob about once every 18 months.

I could go on and on about the cool and weird things on this car. But when you read into the "Avoid Like the Plague" on Car Complaints.com, realize that these sites only cater to the people whom have problems. Your not hearing from the people whom don't have problems with their cars.

One recent pluses I have with this car...Chrysler's touch up paint is spot on with this car. My past cars, there would always be a slight color difference. My red 200, you can't see the scratches or chips now.
I appreciate the lengthy and well informed response, that helps a ton. The one I'm looking at is 12,399 with 65k miles, is that a fair price? The front passenger rim is fairly chipped, the back right one slightly around the edge of the rim. Minor, what looked to be paint scrapes, and the interior isn't in the perfect shape by any means, a few minor flaws. Outside that the car is beautiful. Also, you mentioned the Chrysler paint touch up, is that something you do yourself and buy or take into the dealer?
 

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That's good to hear for sure. I personally have seen a lot of forums/car review sites that mention specifically the 200S having issues with the transmission. Thanks for you response btw.

http://m.carcomplaints.com/Chrysler/200/2015/

That's the link to the site where you can read a ton of complaints. FWIW I was only able to find a handful of complains about the tranny for the 200S. Most of the complainants were about the 4cyl model. Any credence to these reports? I just find it strange how many more complaints this car has on this site than any of the other cars I've researched.
The 200 and Jeep Cherokee for the model years 2014 and 2015 were the first non luxury cars to have such transmissions. While it certainly didn't help that Chrysler did not have the programming even half baked on these cars at the time. I believe much of the complaints were people expecting these transmissions to act much like the 6 speeds do. They don't and won't. There are numerous other front wheel drive cars that now come with 8 and 9 speeds like the Malibu, New Regal, Camry and many others that actually share the same frustrating experiences of rough or slow laggy shifts.

I feel as if Chrysler got a bad rap on this because they were the first to really do this on such a high production level vehicles to consumers whom didn't understand that higher amount of geared transmissions just work differently than what they are used to.
That seemed to be a bit of theme on the forums/reviews I would browse. Every so often I'd see someone say you just have to get used to the 9 gear, or you have to know how to drive it. That said are their any tips or things you could advise as to how to drive it properly? I'm not a Motorhead at all. I'm fairly stupid, to put it bluntly, when it comes to car maintenance, etc. Is there any obvious things I can do to help with shifting or making life easier on the transmission overall?
 

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The Regal and Fusion are both direct injected and forced inducted. That combination would make it so I wouldn't buy either - mostly because of the direct injection.

I don't like the idea of removing the intake manifold to clean the backs of the intake valves because fuel never touches it in a direct injected engine. I also don't like knowing the more I drive, the dirtier the valves are getting and the more diminished the performance and power is until I manually clean it or take it in and spend tons of $$ etc...

I don't know much of anything about engines so that helps. I did see people say to be weary of used turbo's.
 

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I appreciate the lengthy and well informed response, that helps a ton. The one I'm looking at is 12,399 with 65k miles, is that a fair price? The front passenger rim is fairly chipped, the back right one slightly around the edge of the rim. Minor, what looked to be paint scrapes, and the interior isn't in the perfect shape by any means, a few minor flaws. Outside that the car is beautiful. Also, you mentioned the Chrysler paint touch up, is that something you do yourself and buy or take into the dealer?
Dealer sells the touch up bottle for I think was $13. Was easy to use. Rims on this car are easy to scratch up. If the rims are not too bad, you can take this to specialty shops and pay around $150 to fix.
 

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The Regal and Fusion are both direct injected and forced inducted. That combination would make it so I wouldn't buy either - mostly because of the direct injection.

I don't like the idea of removing the intake manifold to clean the backs of the intake valves because fuel never touches it in a direct injected engine. I also don't like knowing the more I drive, the dirtier the valves are getting and the more diminished the performance and power is until I manually clean it or take it in and spend tons of $$ etc...

Depending on the model year of the Fusion, it might have dual injection. Newer Fords (2017 and newer) alike Toyota (also upcoming Hyundai's) have dual direct and multiport injection to keep the valves clean.
 

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I don't know much of anything about engines so that helps. I did see people say to be weary of used turbo's.
Thing about turbo's is they are fun, when they are cool and not running too hot. Once they are hot, performance suffers. Even the dual turbo v6 Fusion suffered from the inconsistent performance due to the turbos heating up. Great video on this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AbtTgH5s88
 

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That seemed to be a bit of theme on the forums/reviews I would browse. Every so often I'd see someone say you just have to get used to the 9 gear, or you have to know how to drive it. That said are their any tips or things you could advise as to how to drive it properly? I'm not a Motorhead at all. I'm fairly stupid, to put it bluntly, when it comes to car maintenance, etc. Is there any obvious things I can do to help with shifting or making life easier on the transmission overall?
Just don't granny it...meaning when at a stop, once the engine and transmission is fully warmed up. Give it a bit of gas to push through the gears. When I was a teenager in the late 80's we were always taught to slowly bring the car up to speed for fuel efficiency. That doesn't work with this car. You don't have to chirp it or full fledge gun it, but give it more gas to get up to speed quicker is how you get better gas mileage on this car along with better shift quality.

Drives me nuts in slow traffic on I270, cause it causes my 200 to shift poorly.
 

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That seemed to be a bit of theme on the forums/reviews I would browse. Every so often I'd see someone say you just have to get used to the 9 gear, or you have to know how to drive it. That said are their any tips or things you could advise as to how to drive it properly? I'm not a Motorhead at all. I'm fairly stupid, to put it bluntly, when it comes to car maintenance, etc. Is there any obvious things I can do to help with shifting or making life easier on the transmission overall?
Just don't granny it...meaning when at a stop, once the engine and transmission is fully warmed up. Give it a bit of gas to push through the gears. When I was a teenager in the late 80's we were always taught to slowly bring the car up to speed for fuel efficiency. That doesn't work with this car. You don't have to chirp it or full fledge gun it, but give it more gas to get up to speed quicker is how you get better gas mileage on this car along with better shift quality.

Drives me nuts in slow traffic on I270, cause it causes my 200 to shift poorly.
I will have to get a bottle of that touch-up. The turbos I'm looking are 2016, I could ask the last time they were cleaned though since it has build up issues. Thanks for the tips on the drive, that makes sense. Sorry to keep bothering you but are their any specific questions you would ask about the car before I buy it? I know you ask about headlights and radiator hoses, but is there anything else I should confirm or ask about before I buy?
 

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Depending on the model year of the Fusion, it might have dual injection. Newer Fords (2017 and newer) alike Toyota (also upcoming Hyundai's) have dual direct and multiport injection to keep the valves clean.
Toyota is the only one I know of that has it 100% right, I knew Ford was doing that with the 2.7 but not the 3.5 ecoboost and never heard of the 2.0 ecoboost with dual injection either. Not saying you are wrong but I hadn't heard of that.

Direct Injection Engine aka DIE engine.
 

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Go with the Buick. I know there are die hard Mopar fans on this site but I have a 2015 Chrysler 200 AWD V6 and am on my second transmission. There has been comments made on this site that its just a matter of "getting used to the transmission". NOT. Nobody should ever have to get used to a transmission. My newest transmission has stuck in first gear and I had to pull off the side of the road and has gotten stuck at various speeds and not shifted to the gear it should have. The transmission is unreliable and inconsistent. My only option was to give it to the dealer and they have a tech drive it for 3 weeks. If they found something, they would pay for the rental, if not, I get to pay for the rental. The problems are various and the times are inconsistent. The only person that truly knows what the vehicle is doing is the owner but the dealer wont rely on that so I am waiting for the transmission to totally fail. That way the dealer has something to act on.
 

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Go with the Buick. I know there are die hard Mopar fans on this site but I have a 2015 Chrysler 200 AWD V6 and am on my second transmission. There has been comments made on this site that its just a matter of "getting used to the transmission". NOT. Nobody should ever have to get used to a transmission. My newest transmission has stuck in first gear and I had to pull off the side of the road and has gotten stuck at various speeds and not shifted to the gear it should have. The transmission is unreliable and inconsistent. My only option was to give it to the dealer and they have a tech drive it for 3 weeks. If they found something, they would pay for the rental, if not, I get to pay for the rental. The problems are various and the times are inconsistent. The only person that truly knows what the vehicle is doing is the owner but the dealer wont rely on that so I am waiting for the transmission to totally fail. That way the dealer has something to act on.
How many miles did you have on the car when the first transmission started to act up?
 
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