With the official pictures just released of the “new” Chrysler 200 (née Sebring), I couldn’t help but think that cockpit looked familiar. So I went to Volkswagen’s official website and found a picture of the 2011 VW Eos. I also found what was nagging in the back of my mind.
Both cars have a retractable tin roof and both claim to seat four passengers. Both have an misshapen butt due to the space needed to swallow the top. However, the Chrysler was sold primarily to rental fleets in sunny vacation states while the Eos was marketed to young, hot women and gay men in sunny vacation states (particularly here in Los Angeles).
In the past, the Sebring was famous for its crappy, cheap, hard interior plastics and abysmal build quality. Fiat, Chrysler’s new Master, ordered some cosmetic and more substantive changes to both the interior and exterior for the re-launch of the Sebring as the 200.
My question is this: Who gave the order to copy the Eos interior?
Below is the new 2012 Chrysler 200’s cockpit. Note the trapezoidal air vents and placement of the navigation screen and round controls in the center stack:
2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible's cockpit
Now here is the interior of the 2011 Volkswagen Eos. The 2011 Eos hasn’t changed much and the quality is undeniable when you sit behind the wheel.
2011 Volkswagen Eos Cockpit
The Eos’ layout is much more organic and fluidic – but VW has been practicing this art for a couple decades now. The 200 is much improved, but it’s got a way to go. At least I’ll give Chrysler props for aspiring to better design standards. Up until the introduction of the 2011 Jetta, VW has been the high water mark in the small car business.