Smooth, quiet operation, tight handling, space, luxury: The Chrysler 300 sedan has it all, at attractive prices. Yet what the 300 has more than anything is bold, appealing styling.
The Chrysler 300 nameplate includes a wide range of engines and amenities, from a frugal V6 to the powerful SRT8. The Touring model comes well-equipped for a bit over $27,000 MSRP. The Signature Series adds leather, amenities, and a more powerful V6 for about $30,000. The Chrysler 300C offers a truly powerful Hemi V8, with Chrysler's fuel-saving Multi-Displacement System, and it can be equipped with most of the gizmos and luxury features available today.
Long-wheelbase models are also available that some families may find appealing. Aimed primarily at the chauffeur-driven executive class, the long-wheelbase version offer a cavernous back seat, th more leg room than just about anything on the road. It's great for tall folks or anyone who likes space and convenience and can be equipped with custom features such as writing tables and foot rests.
The Chrysler 300 is rear-wheel-drive, and we consider that a benefit. Rear-wheel-drive adds to the pleasure and excitement of driving this big sedan, and that's partly why luxury sedans and sports cars continue to use it. The 300's traction and stability electronics are well sorted and effective, delivering good all-season performance, and all-wheel-drive is an option for those who live in the snow belt. With the big-torque V8, the 300 also offers something buyers that has had buyers turning to SUVs: enough towing capacity to pull a lightweight trailer.
The Chrysler 300 models are comfortable. They're also responsive for large cars. The 300C delivers thrilling acceleration, while the SRT8 offers true high performance in civilized fashion.
Then there's the styling. Inside and out, this car makes no apologies. It won't be mistaken for any other sedan the road. It can be trimmed with chrome, mono-chrome and various wheels to look stately and elegant or downright mean.
The Chrysler 300 delivers impressive value, but emphasizing the cost/benefit ratio may minimize its other strengths. The 300s are good, appealing cars, and they've set the benchmark for Detroit's car builders.
For 2010, all Chrysler 300 models receive supplemental side-curtain airbags as standard. Touring models get chromed door-handles and front and rear fascia accents, as well as heated chromes mirrors. Chrysler 300C models now feature keyless entry and go and rear parking sensors.
The 2008 Chrysler 300 lineup includes nine models: two V6 engines, two V8s, all-wheel-drive, and two long-wheelbase models.
The Chrysler 300 Touring ($27,260) has a 2.7-liter dual-overhead-cam V6 generating 178 horsepower and 190 pound-feet of torque and matched to a four-speed automatic transmission. It's equipped with cloth upholstery, 8-way power driver's seat, cruise control, air conditioning, front map lights, solar-control glass, power heated mirrors and windows, tilt- and telescoping steering-wheel, 60 / 40 split-folding rear seats, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The 300 Touring Signature Series ($30,475) upgrades to a 3.5-liter single-overhead-cam V6 making 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. The Signature Series comes with automatic headlights; fog lights; automatic air conditioning; leather seating, shift knob, and steering-wheel; and Uconnect tunes, an audio system with DVD player and a touch-screen, and Sirius satellite radio; and 18-inch wheels. An all-wheel-drive model ($32,640) is available that comes equally equipped but features a five-speed automatic transmission with Chrysler's AutoStick manual-shift feature.
The 300 Limited ($35,110) adds power passenger seat; heated front seats; power-adjustable pedals; and Chrysler's electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) with, compass, HomeLink universal home transceiver, auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, in-cluster reconfigurable display and trip computer, and steering-wheel mounted audio controls. The Limited AWD ($37,415) is identically equipped.
The Chrysler 300C ($38,010) features a 5.7-liter overhead-valve V8 (Hemi), delivering 370 horsepower and a substantial 398 pound-feet of torque. It also has a premium six-speaker Boston Acoustic sound system; remote starting; keyless entry; power tilt/telescoping steering column; memory for the driver's seat, mirrors, pedal, and steering-wheel; rear parking senors; and rain-sensing wipers. The 300C AWD ($40,050) is equipped the same.
The Chrysler 300C SRT8 ($44,865) features a 425-hp, 6.1-liter Hemi V8 with loads of performance tweaks, 20-inch wheels, and unique design features.
The long-wheelbase Executive Series, available in Limited and 300C trims, adds six inches of overall length and an additional 10.2 cubic feet of interior space.
Options are plentiful with many available packages that require research. The Media Center includes a touch-screen navigation system, a 30GB harddrive, phone, Bluetooth phone connection with voice command, Sirius Traffic, and iPod control. The Comfort/Convenience Group for Signature models includes heated front seats, power passenger seat, and power adjustable pedals. The Luxury Package available with Limited models comes with a sunroof; Boston Acoustic six-speaker sound system with 276-watt amplifier, real wood trim, remote starting; rain-sensing wipers; and SmartBeam intelligent headlamp system. 300C models feature the optional Luxury Equipment Group II which includes adaptive cruise control, HID headlamps, heated rear seats, Boston Acoustics with seven speakers and 368-watt amplifier, and California Walnut real wood trim. Also available in 300C RWD models is the Heritage Edition, which adds a Boston Acoustic eight-speaker surround sound system; real wood (Poplar Burl) steering-wheel accents, door pulls/accents, center console bezel, and instrument-panel trim; leather-wrapped shift knob with chrome insert; heated rear seats; side-curtain and seat-mounted air bags; performance front seats with perforated suede inserts; and chrome bodyside molding, grille, and 20-inch ultra-bright wheels.
Safety features include multi-stage front airbags. For 2010, curtain-style head protection airbags are also standard. An Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Traction Control System (TCS) and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist are standard on all but the base Touring model, where they are optional. Other safety-related options include rear obstacle detection, high-intensity discharge headlamps, a tire-pressure monitor, and all-wheel drive. The Chrysler 300 has earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for front-impact crash protection.
The W.P. Chrysler Executive Series, or long-wheelbase option, is offered on the 300 Touring and 300C with rear-wheel drive. This package must be ordered from a dealership through the Acubuilt coachworks, which finishes the cars in partnership with Chrysler.