Chrysler 300

2016 Chrysler 300

Few cars express a greater sense of capability and confidence than the Chrysler 300, the marques largest sedan. Even fewer are so quintessentially, boldly American in essence, with a heritage that dates back to 1955.

Classified as a large family sedan, the Chrysler 300 provides abundant helpings of space and luxury amenities. In addition to a smooth-running and fuel-efficient V6 engine, its available with brawny V8 power. More than most comparable vehicles, the Chrysler 300 occupies a position between near-premium and mainstream categories.

Following a major refreshing for 2015, the Chrysler 300 gets some updates to its suspension and technology for 2016.

For 2016, a 90th Anniversary Edition is a new option celebrating 90 years of Chrysler automobiles. Technical changes include a new Drag and Drop menu bar now on the 8.4-inch touchscreen control interface, and an addition of Siri Eyes Free voice control. A new safety package for 2016 Chrysler 300 models can help mitigate or prevent forward collisions and keep the car in its lane. The base suspension is a bit firmer for 2016, while 2016 Chrysler 300S models are offered with a performance suspension.

With its boldly upright design and unabashedly squared off profile, the Chrysler 300 looks ready to swagger and quarrel. Yet, theres a substantial degree of elegance.

Inside, its a blend of organic shapes and smooth curves. The top model boasts unique two-tone leather upholstery. Space is plentiful for five, in an interior aimed toward comfort, featuring supportive bolstering and firm (but compliant) seat cushions. Headroom is spacious, but the back seat can be short on legroom.

Both the 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 and the 363-horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V8 mate with an 8-speed automatic transmission. In the Chrysler 300S, the V6 is rated 300 horsepower, courtesy of a cold-air intake. Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive optional for the V6. A Hemi V8 model can quickly reach 60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

Despite hefty weight and large dimensions, fuel economy is decent, at least with the V6 engine. Chryslers 8-speed automatic transmission helps. With the V6, the Chrysler 300 is EPA-rated at 19/31 mpg City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive drops the estimates to 18/27 mpg, 21 Combined. With V8 power, the 300 is EPA-rated at a hardly frugal 16/25 mpg City/Highway, or 19 mpg Combined.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 300 a Good rating in all categories, except for the small front overlap test.


2015 Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 offers the boldest styling in the segment, and for 2015 it gets even bolder. Chryslers full-size flagship sedan has been redesigned front and rear and features a larger, more imposing front grille, while inside is an improved interior.

The front end of the 2015 Chrysler 300 looks more aggressive but also less gaudy than before, with thinner, more subtle chrome detailing, giving it a more sophisticated, upscale look. A big grille has been a signature design cue since the introduction of the Chrysler 300 in 1955.

Inside, the 2015 Chrysler 300 gets its best interior yet, with a new steering wheel, a new color drivers display, an updated version of Chryslers Uconnect infotainment system, as well as many attractive interior finishes and materials. We think its one of the nicest cabins in the class. Designers describe the Chrysler 300 interior as full of contrasts between old-world, handcrafted touches and new, modern cues. Seats are comfortable and roomy, and feel more lounge-like than those in competing vehicles.

Back-seat passengers have plenty of leg- and headroom, on par with the class. Two USB ports in the rear of the center console let rear passengers plug in their phones and other devices. Cargo space for the Chrysler 300 remains at 16.3 cubic feet, less than both the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus.

Engines carry over unchanged from the previous model. The standard engine is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, or 292 hp and 264 lb.-ft. in the sportier Chrysler 300S. The standard V6 is perfectly capable, with plenty of power on tap in most driving situations. An optional 5.7-liter V8 Hemi, available on rear-wheel-drive models in nearly every trim puts out 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. The V8 is more powerful and better sounding than the V6, and its especially fun in the 300S model.

Every 2015 Chrysler 300 comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is now controlled from the center console by a rotary knob instead of the traditional gear shifter used on the 2014 model. The knob is easy to use and opens up more space in the cabin, creating an airy feeling between driver and passenger. 2015 Chrysler 300S and Platinum models get steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Fuel economy for the 2015 Chrysler 300 is good for a car of its size. Rear-wheel-drive V6 models achieve an EPA-estimated 19/31 mpg City/Highway, while all-wheel-drive V6 models are rated at 18/27 mpg. V8-powered models dont fare nearly as well, with an EPA rating of 16/25 mpg City/Highway.

The Chrysler 300 is a large car, and as such isnt exactly light on its feet. But because of its rear-wheel-drive platform, its more capable and handles demanding roads better than some of its competitors. A new sport mode on Platinum and V8-powered models further sharpens performance and handling; drivers choose between normal, comfort, and sport settings, which adjust steering, throttle and shift points. In sport mode, we found the Chrysler 300 felt more agile on tight, twisty roads.

Competitors to the 2015 Chrysler 300 include other full-size sedans including the Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon. Those interested in the top-of-the-line Platinum trim might also consider sportier and similarly priced (yet smaller) Cadillac CTS.


2014 Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 is a full-size four-door sedan that comes in a variety of models to suit an owners preference for style or performance, or to provide a specific set of features. Whether V6 or V8 and regardless of model, the Chrysler 300 is a roomy, comfortable, quiet cruiser.

Chrysler 300 comes with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Apart from its corporate relative, the Dodge Charger, the Chrysler 300 is the only rear-wheel-drive sedan we can think of that you can get for less than $35,000. Most are front-wheel drive.

Chrysler 300 carries over unchanged for 2014. It was last re-engineered and restyled for 2011. Several models joined the lineup for 2012, a sporty Chrysler 300S, the Chrysler 300C Luxury Series, and the high-performance Chrysler 300 SRT. Chrysler added a pair of special John Varvatos Collection versions of the 300C during the 2013 model year: a Luxury Edition and a Limited Edition. Both incorporate distinctive styling elements based upon the famed fashion/lifestyle designers work. Each is available fort 2014.

The Chrysler 300S features 20-inch wheels and a firmer suspension. The John Varvatos Limited Edition features a monochromatic black exterior, with a titanium-finish grille surround, enlarged air vents, and special titanium/chrome-finish Chrysler winged badges. The Luxury Edition can be finished in black or Dark Mocha.

Chryslers standard V6 engine develops 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, while the 300S version gets a boost to 300 hp and 264 pound-feet. All Chrysler 300 V6 models use an 8-speed automatic transmission from ZF that performs so effectively, it makes the Hemi V8-powered car nearly irrelevant. With this transmission and rear-wheel drive, the V6 sedan gets an EPA-estimated 19/31 mpg City/Highway.

The available 5.7-liter Hemi V8 produces 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission mates with each V8 model. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 16/25 mpg City/Highway (15/23 mpg with all-wheel drive).

With a brand history dating back to 1955, the Chrysler 300 has all the heritage traits of an American luxury sedan such as room, comfort, endless features and amenities, power, and a degree of presence. Yet, it also has good road manners, and stops and changes directions as well as it forges ahead. Chryslers largest sedan also has a distinctive look thats ever harder to find in this era of economy-driven aerodynamics, pedestrian impact standards, and corporate styling. Options for the 2014 Chrysler 300 include a panoramic dual-pane sunroof.

For the all-out performance fan, the 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT model packs a 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 (only a Corvette ZO6s is larger), along with Brembo brakes and cast or forged alloy 20-inch wheels. Available Bilstein adaptive dampers are similar to those Maserati uses. Needless to say, SRT is quick; but the SRT also delivers good bang for the buck. Previously called SRT8, the 300 SRT comes in two trim levels: Core and Premium.

Consideration for the Chrysler 300 covers a wide spectrum, including the Cadillac CTS, Lincoln MKS, Lexus GS, Hyundai Genesis, Volvo S60, BMW 3 Series (by price) or 5 Series (by size), and Mercedes C and E classes for the same criteria. A 300C AWD can compete with Ford Taurus SHO.

Starting at $44,495 for the Core model, the 2014 Chrysler 300 SRT could be considered a cost-effective sports sedan alternative to Cadillac CTS-V, BMW M and Mercedes-Benz E-Class AMG. A Hyundai Genesis R-Spec is similarly priced, but we dont consider it a performance match.

Chryslers optional navigation system is the best weve ever seen, with a large, 8.4-inch screen thats easily understood at a glance and easy to operate. We highly recommend opting for it.


 

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