The Chrysler 300 is a full-size four-door sedan that comes in a variety of models to suit a style, performance, or set of features. Whether V6 or V8 and regardless of model it's a roomy, comfortable, quiet cruiser. The Chrysler 300 base, Limited and 300S V6 models come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The base model comes standard with a five-speed automatic transmission, but an eight-speed automatic is optional. The 300C and 300S V8 get a 5.7-liter V8 good for 363 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard, but all-wheel drive is optional. The SRT8 gets a 6.3-liter V8 good for 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic with paddle shifters are standard.
Ride quality is smooth, comfortable and quiet. The cabin has been quieted down considerably with the addition of an acoustic bellypan under the car, acoustic material in the wheel wells and pillars, laminated front glass, multiple door seals, and an acoustic wrap around the complete interior to block out noise from the mechanical systems, the wind and the tires. The anti-lock brake package with electronic brake-force distribution has everything you could ask for in terms of power, pedal modulation, and emergency capabilities, and is the largest component of a very complete safety package that includes traction control, stability control, and front, side, roof and driver knee air bags.
This is a big car, and the interior roominess and dimensions front and rear are suitably generous. One of the more pleasant surprises in the Chrysler 300 is the amount of light entering the car. The interior environment is classy without being fussy, and the LED lighting and instrumentation are spot-on. Upholstery can be cloth, leather, or suede and leather on SRT8 and trim is faux wood, real wood, carbon-fiber or piano black lacquer style; interior adornment is generally matte-finish chrome so annoying reflections are minimal. The instrument panel contains a bright gauge package, with crisp graphics and ice-blue accent lighting that is brilliantly legible day or night. The center stack is dominated by a large (8.4-inch) touch-screen control system, with audio and climate functions. Optional is a brilliantly colorful, large-icon Garmin navigation system. The 300's new four-spoke padded steering wheel has a nice, thick leather-wrapped rim and a thickly padded hub flanked by redundant switches for the voice-activated telephone, cruise control, sound system, and driver informationcenter. On S and SRT models magnesium paddle shifters rise behind the horizontal spokes. All the materials in the seats, door trim panels, headliner and instrument panel are appropriate, yielding either the classic warm luxury environment in the 300 Limited or a more youthful, efficient style in the S and SRT. Either way the cabin is a quiet. Two new audio systems are available. The Beats By Dr. Dre package features 10 speakers, one trunk-mounted subwoofer and a 552-watt 12-channel amplifier. Lest that's not enough, the Harman-Kardon system uses 19 speakers with subwoofer and a 900-watt 12-channel amplifier for 7.1 surround sound. SRT8 models get a unique steering wheel with flattened bottom, sport seats that fit even big guys, carbon-fiber look trim and dark accents, and the touch-screen adds choices like steering angle, additional instrumentation and sport-mode switching for suspension, engine and transmission.
The front of the Chrysler 300 looks like a large sedan version of the Chrysler 200 midsize sedan and Town & Country minivan, with many of the same visual cues in the grille, headlamps, air intakes and front bumper. It's much sleeker and more rounded at the nose, but carries a much lower aerodynamic drag coefficient because of the rounded elements and the very laid-back windshield angle. Neither the windshield nor the rear window carries any bright moldings at all. The profile of the Chrysler 300 shows pronounced wheel lips front and rear, and they are connected by a sharp body line that starts at the trailing edge of the front wheel well and rises continuously to finish at the side of the tail lamps. At the rear, there's a chrome bar running across the bottom edge of the decklid between the new vertical LED taillamps and a tall, flat rear bumper between the exhaust outlets that widens the look of the car at the rear. The execution of the LED daytime running lights at the front and the LED rear lamps is excellent. The S and SRT have deeper panels and a lip spoiler for stability.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 comes standard with a 292-hp 3.6-liter V6, 5-speed automatic, cloth upholstery, dual-zone climate control, multi-function tilt/telescoping steering wheel, driver information center, keyless entry, power windows/locks/heated mirrors, cruise control, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA Sirius audio with SD card and USB inputs, 12-way power driver seat, LED cabin lighting, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, and 17-inch wheels.
Options include an 8-speed automatic transmission and Uconnect voice control with Bluetooth. Available for any 300 are Ivory pearl paint and an engine-block heater.
Chrysler 300 Limited upgrades to leather upholstery, 8-speed automatic, remote start, fog lamps, 18-inch wheels, 276-watt Alpine audio system, power passenger seat, and heated front seats. Chrysler 300 Limited AWD features all-wheel drive, bigger brakes and 19-inch wheels. The Luxury Group includes fancier leather, Olive wood trim, heated/cooled front seats and cupholders, heated rear seats, wood and leather wrapped heated power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power adjustable pedals, driver memory system, power rear sunshade and auto-dimming exterior mirrors. A SafetyTec package adds adaptive cruise control with collision warning, adaptive bi-Xenon SmartBeam headlamps, blind-spot and cross-path detection, rain-sensing wipers, front and rear park sensors, and rear fog lamps.
Chrysler 300C and 300C AWD come with a 363-hp 5.7-liter V8, 5-speed automatic and bigger brakes. Standard equipment mirrors the 300 Limited with Luxury Group and navigation, but with Olive wood optional. Also available: premium audio systems, SafetyTec package, moonroof, 19 and 20-inch wheels.
Chrysler 300S comes with a choice of V6 8-speed automatic with AWD; V8 5-speed automatic with AWD. S denotes body-color trim with gloss-black grille and headlight trim, matte carbon and piano-black cabin trim, 300S logo on cloth (V6) or leather (V8) seats, and the Beats By Dr. Dre sound system. The S V8 also gets rear sunshade, rain-sensing wipers, and performance-tuned steering. 300S options include UConnect with 8.4-inch touch screen, Garmin navigation, Sirius Travel Link with Real Time Traffic and Sirius satellite radio.
Chrysler 300 SRT8 comes with a 470-hp 6.4-liter V8, five-speed automatic, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, Bilstein adaptive damping, and unique suspension and stability control calibration, brakes and tires. It also includes new nose and tail sections, sport seats with suede inserts, SRT-specific instrumentation and driver information, and a one-day driving experience on track with professional driver instruction. Most 300-line features are standard on the SRT8 though there are some options: three-season performance tires, moonroof, SafetyTec package, Harman/Kardon audio, black chrome package and premium leather package.
The Chrysler 300 is a big American car with room, comfort, power, presence. It comes in a wide range of models and offers a good value. Don't forget to take a look at the 2012 Chrysler 300 if you are searching for a new car.
Some of the information used in this review is from newcartestdrive.com
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