Are you ready for a drop top in your life? If you’ve never driven one or ridden in one, I think I’ve found the perfect, affordable topless cruiser for you, the 2012 Chrysler 200 Convertible hard top. This boulevard baby has everything going for it, most notably, the price.

The Chrysler 200 got a complete makeover in 2011 and sales have proven that the improvements are well received. Among the upgrades were the power plant, its ride and handling characteristics and a very nice interior.

The 200 took the place of the Sebring; new look, new name. Although there are striking similarities between the Sebring’s sheet metal and that of the 200, it’s what’s underneath that adds up to a greatly improved car.

The Chrysler 200 Convertible comes with a soft top or steel retractable hard top in three trim levels, the Touring, Limited or S model; I had the mid-level Limited. Engine choices are between a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder or the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 that delivers 283 horsepower and gets a respectable 19 mpg-city and 29-highway through a 6-speed automatic transmission. That’s what I had.

I love the way the 200 rides and handles; this is the way a mid-size convertible is suppose to feel. The suspension is compliant enough to handle what is quickly becoming some of the worst streets in any major American city, yet it doesn’t “float” like Grampa’s Oldsmobile.

My 200 was equipped with a strikingly beautiful two-toned leather interior in black and white. Front seating was nothing short of complete comfort and while your rear might have felt good in the back seat, leg room was a little tight for my 6-foot frame, which is pretty typical for most mid size two doors.

Chrysler included plenty of soft touch material; on the dash, arm rests and center console. The dash and center stack are elegant in a simple way; just the right amount of chrome and a wonderful, easy to use touch screen user interface. And don’t forget the signature analog clock too. Love it.

Trunk space leaves a little to be desired, but hey, it’s a convertible! The 200 comes with a storage-well that reminds you not to put anything in that space or the roof won’t retract into it. A couple of thoughts here: Either don’t plan on top-down motoring while using it to haul stuff to Aunt Mary’s or confine your Samsonite’s to two carry-on size briefs in front of the storage-well and enjoy the free tanning salon on wheels.

Entry-level pricing on the Chrysler 200 Touring convertible is $26,955. My Limited model begins at $31,950. The retractable hard top adds $1995 and the UConnect interface with GPS an additional $695.The Grand total of my 200 limited Convertible was $35,490.
About the only real competitors in this price range are the Camaro and Mustang.

I’m giving the Chrysler 200 Convertible 5 out of 5 stars.