6 best bits: Pikes Peak, Ute Pass, and my week driving a 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD

Any time I have an opportunity to review a new vehicle, a photo with Pikes Peak in the background is a must. So when a 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD sedan was delivered to my door (free for review), the first place I drove it was to a nearby parking lot where Pikes Peak towers in all its glory.

And why not, when Pikes Peak provides the best backdrop ever?

chrysler 200C

A parking lot wasn't the only spot I drove the sleek and shiny 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD. No, my husband and I decided to drive the elegant sedan up Ute Pass to get a real feel for how such a car might handle the curves and grade of our nearest mountain pass.

mountain road

One that puts us right at the foot of Pikes Peak and the North Pole (the "Santa's Workshop" amusement park, not the true arctic outpost).

pikes peak road sign

pikes peak toll road

chrysler 200C

Our excursion "up the Pass," as we locals say, was the perfect road trip for discovering the delights of the 2015 Chrysler 200C. In addition to that Sunday outing, I used the comfy car for tooling about town for errands and outings of various sorts—outings in which I gleaned even more about the goodies of the vehicle.

Here are the best bits I learned about the 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD:

Smooth moves. The 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD, my husband and I agreed (and oohed and aahed), provides one of the smoothest rides we've ever experienced. It seemingly glides where ever it goes, uphill or down, in the city or outside of town. Thanks, no doubt, to the 3.6-liter V6 24-Valve WT Engine.

Leather and the luxurious interior. Premium leather seats (vented and heated, no less), leather headrests, even a leather-wrapped (and heated!) steering wheel. I have never felt so comfortable—pampered, even—while running errands. I could have sat in the 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD all darn day because the seats were so cushy and comfy, seemingly hugging me and providing impressive lumbar support. The backseat was spacious and comfy, too, with a pull-down console and heated/vented seats.

UConnect. A navigation and sound system beyond compare. My fave feature? SiriusXM emanating fabulously from the nine Alpine speakers and subwoofer. I cranked the Pearl Jam Radio station a time or two to see just how loud the system would go. Pretty loud and clear, I assure you.

chrysler 200C interior

Bells, whistles, alarms, and emergency assistance. That super sound system was just one of the incredible features of the Chrysler 200C. Some of my faves from the SafetyTec package: rain sensitive windshield wipers; lane departure warning with lane keep assist; back-up camera; and Park Assist. I must admit, I didn't fully try the Park Assist feature (which automagically parallel parks the car) because I didn't visit any place where there was parallel parking.

One more admission: I didn't care for the brake assist, primarily because every time I backed out of my garage, the brake automatically engaged as if it perceived something (animal? child?) about to get run over... though there was nothing in the way. Ever. My husband thinks it may have detected the shadow of our American flag waving in the wind, but I'm not positive.

Standard features that were pretty great include the steering wheel-mounted shift controls (so you don't have to take your hands off the wheel; circled in red above) and a shifter like I've never seen before. In the center console in the picture above is a big round, silver button marked with P R N D and S (sport mode). You shift into the desired gear by turning that button rather than engaging a shifting stick/arm of any sort, on the wheel or in the console. I also appreciated the roomy console with cup holders large enough to hold even the flowers I brought to an ailing friend.

Push-button start. THAT is cool. Just have the key fob in your possession and you can start the car with a push of a button—inside or outside of the vehicle.

The color. Such a superficial reason to love a vehicle, right? But the "Velvet Red Pearl Coat" exterior paint was gorgeous and literally turned heads. To wit: My husband and I stopped for lunch on our road trip and as we returned to our vehicle afterward, a group of four baby boomer women walked ahead of us. As they passed the Chrysler, they couldn't help but slow down and exclaim how beautiful the color. All four agreed and looked back a time or two once they'd passed the car. Unsolicited testimony to the beauty, for sure.

There's much, much more to the 2015 Chrysler 200C AWD, all of which you can find on the 2015 Chrysler 200C webpage. The vehicle gets 22 MPG combined city/highway and has a base price of $30,425 (my test vehicle had all kinds of goodies included, for a price of $35,900).

Disclosure: I had the opportunity to test drive this vehicle free for a week; all opinions are my own.