Butch vs. Femme

Posted on 21 Jun 2012 at 11:00pm

Two Chryslers go head-to-head with vastly different profiles. Is your magic number 200 (the Sebring relaunch) or 300?

200-Chrysler

Chrysler 200

CASEY WILLIAMS  | Auto Reviewer
crwauto@aol.com

There are two sizes of four-door Chrysler civility: You can steer an unrecognizably face-lifted version of the Chrysler Sebring (now sold as the 200), or go full-HEMI and get the badass butch 300. Depending on your budget and fuel thirst — and whether you go for a feminine ride or a ’roid rager — you can choose the smaller car with an efficient four-cylinder engine or slay muscular giants with the 300 SRT8. Either way, you’ll have an elegant set of wheels that can take you and four friends to the club in high style. Here are some comparisons to help with your decision:

300-Chrysler

Chrysler 300

Family heritage:
200: Ménage à Trois between Daimler, Chrysler and Mitsubishi.
300: Mercedes E-Class, generations of HEMIs

Claim to fame:
200: Driven by Eminem.
300: HEMI-powered grandpappy was a NASCAR champ.

Mad (wo)man alter ego:
200: Peggy Olson.
300: Don Draperr

Celebrity most likely to drive car:
200: Joan Rivers.
300: Cary Grant on ’roids.

Action movie identity:
200: Contact, with Jodie Foster.
300: Like you have to ask?

Gay persona:
200: Clay Aiken, numero dos, but still delivers soft tones.
300: Ricky Martin, smooth muscles and a sexy beat (gets extra daddy points for his twin boys).

Drinking bourbon:
200: Very Old Barton — barrel aged for six years, smooth, not expensive.
300: Pappy Van Winkle — an American classic, aged endlessly in Kentucky for connoisseurs.

Most-desired road:
200: The Sunset Strip on a Saturday night.
300: Wide expanses of West Texas Interstate.

Next generation:
200: Birthed from the suave Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
300: Not fixin’ what’s workin’.

If cars could talk:
200: “Thank God Fiat saved my ass!”
300: “Fiat worships my ass!”

Dinner plans?
200: Yeah, let’s check out the culinary institute’s preview night.
300: Join us at Texas De Brazil — we’re goin’ Dutch!

Paws up:
200: 2, driven from the front.
300: 4, little monster shoves from the rear or with all four grabbing.

Seats:
200: Leather and heated.
300: Leather, heated, and cooled. Did I mention a heated steering wheel?

Favorite toys:
200: Boston Acoustics audio, light pipes above headlamps.
300: Rear sunscreen controlled from touchscreen, 522 watts of Beats by Dr. Dre to rattle your sista’s closet.

Cupholders:
200: Plastic plugs in the console.
300: Heated and cooled mini-climates to turn your beverage on.

Wheel size:
200: 17-in. is big enough.
300: 20-in. for those who take more.

Useless fact:
200: Has a 40GB hard drive for music files. Like, who in Hades stores music onboard a car?
300: Luxury editions have door coverings and consoles upholstered with Poltrona Frau Foligno. God save us if the Italians get hold of our underwear!

Best-effort MPG (city/hwy.):
200: 20/31 with 173hp Inline 4 — bitch, please!
300: 19/31 with 292hp V6 — power to spare and the endurance to win one for the green team. (Or, go balls out and get stupid drunk on the 300 SRT8’s 470hp 6.4-liter V8!)

Imported from:
200: Detroit.
300: Canada.

Base price:
200: $19,000 — young and stylish, wheels for the Target set.
300: $28,500 — affordable, yet thoroughly-resolved, right out of a Banana Republic outlet store.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 22, 2012.

 

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