You like the sound of Beats by Dre pumping through your new ride while cruising the BLVD? How about a massive grille that collects more attention than Justin Bieber on a European tour. What about technological wonders such as Uconnect Touch with its 8.4” touchscreen, a Garmin navigation system and Forward Collision Warning? Well, welcome to the next-generation Chrysler 300 which entered the stage as a 2011 model. Known to many at the “Baby Bentley” the previous generation was both successful and popular and carries some of that same DNA that initiated its overwhelming popularity. While the sedan’s aesthetics are evolutionary, you’ll have no trouble recognizing it as the new 300.
There will be three models, the Touring, Limited and the 300C. The rear taillight housings are strikingly vertical and the rear shoulders are more defined and heavier. Silence is the sign of quality and luxury, and if a vehicle isn’t quiet in the cabin it won’t be considered a luxurious one. They’ve added foam to dampen the noise from wheel wells and under the hood. New underbody panels, which run the entire length of the vehicle also quiet things down as well as adding some aerodynamic benefits from controlling the air flow underneath. Other requirement of a luxury car is plenty of power. New powertrains and efficient technologies work to making this large 4-door more efficient and a bit happier in the power category as it inherits two power plants, a Pentastar V6 and the V8 Hemi. This 5.7-liter V8 engine generates 363 horsepower and 394 lbs.-ft. of torque. When you’re cruising, the engine can turn off half the cylinders and run as a 4-cylinder engine until more demand is needed. The 300’s base V6 see a very respectable 292 horsepower and 260 lbs.-ft. of torque.
While driving there are noticeable changes in the ride and handling. This comes from changes to the suspension, with tightened response and camber changes — resulting in a more European tauter setup. The 300 now has electro/hydraulic power steering and monotube shocks for a more precise response to road conditions. It’s really is quiet on the road and drives well. For the most part I liked the base model with its cloth interior which didn’t make it look inexpensive. Yet, the seats were a little less supportive, and naturally not as adjustable. But those are small complaints.
The three models have a wide variety of options. The Touring features 17” rims and the aforementioned cloth interior. There’s still plenty of tech to play with and is powered by the V6. Move up to the Limited and you receive more features such as a leather interior, backup camera, an Alpine audio system and the optional panorama sunroof. The 300C is the flagship, and comes powered by the V8 Hemi engine and offers all-wheel drive with the optional Safety Tech package.
All in all this was a nicely drivable American sedan. And one that will find an audience with people who want transportation that’s larger rather than smaller, but still inexpensive and more importantly, not filled with “silly” features. Looks like Detroit is back in the house.
This article has not been altered by Chrysler.