The 300 is Chrysler’s roomy full size sedan offered in both rear wheel and all wheel drive versions. It was first introduced in the 2005 model year and underwent a major redesign in 2011. RedlineNorth recently had a chance to test drive the 300C Luxury Series AWD version. First impressions we noted were the nicely appointed interior and the bold exterior styling. By the end of the test period we had a number of other reasons to like the 300C. Read on to find out why.
In Canada, the Chrysler 300 Touring starts at $34,295 with the base price of the ‘C‘ starting at $39,295 and the Luxury Series AWD version starting at $43,495. Optional equipment in our test vehicle included an upgraded Harman Kardon audio package, dual-pane panoramic sunroof and the Uconnect 8.4N infotainment system among other extras. These options brought our test vehicle in at $50,955. The 300 comes with a 5 year or 100,000 km power train warranty, with basic warranty coverage for 3 years or 60,000 km.
The 300C offers plenty of interior room
The stated fuel efficiency of our test vehicle with all wheel drive is a respectable, 11.4L/100 km city and 7.3L/100 km highway, for a full size all wheel drive sedan. During our review we did exceed these estimates by a marginal amount with a combination of 50/50 city and highway driving.
The interior of the 300C is well refined with a leather trim throughout. The analogue clock adds a nice touch, as does the blue backlighting to the instrument panel. Additional nice to haves in our test vehicle included the heated seats and steering wheel, which warmed up quickly, along with the steering wheel mounted shifters. While not a big fan of paddle shifters in an automatic car, they performed adequately in the 300C. The addition of the dual-pane sunroof which covers 70% of the roof gave the interior a very open and airy feeling.
Leather trim permeate the interior cabin
The interior cabin offers plenty of leg room both in the front and rear seats and provides a pleasantly quiet ride even at highway speeds. In addition, a technology feature standard on all models is the humidity sensor, which continuously monitors the windshield for risk of fogging and automatically adjusts the interior climate level to prevent the windshield from fogging up. We thought this was a nice touch.
The 8.4 inch touch screen utilizes Chrysler’s Uconnect system and is one of the more intuitive menu systems on the market. We also appreciated the ability to balance the audio in the vehicle through the touch screen allowing you to target zones within the vehicle. Overall, the sound system in the 300C was above average with very nice acoustics in the interior cabin. This is thanks to the upgraded 19 speaker, 900 Watt Harman Kardon system GreenEdge speaker and amplifier technology.
Combined, these features and the interior fit and finish truly did make the 300C Luxury Series live up to its name. If we were to point to any improvement in the interior cabin it would be in regards to more usable storage space for every day items like smartphones and keys, along with larger cup holders but we’re bordering on nitpicking here.
Blue illumination compliments the instrument panel
Optional with the 300C is a number of safety systems including a forward collision warning system, a blind spot monitoring system and a rear cross-path detection system. The latter providing a warning when backing out of a parking spot as to whether vehicles are approaching. We found the systems worked very well in everyday traffic, identifying potential hazards and were a comfort knowing they were there and in use.
The exterior styling of the 300C is one of those love it or hate it type propositions for some. It has a some what stately look blended with boxy and squared off styling. Combined with the jeweled C-shaped headlamps, chrome grille and bold wheels the 300 lives up to its Made in Detroit moniker. We liked the unique styling which grew on us even more by the end of our time with the vehicle.
The 300C offers unique styling
Although the 300C is a full size sedan, sight lines in the driver’s seat were surprisingly good and parking in a downtown environment was quite easy, especially with the addition of the rear view camera. Another nice feature is the Adaptive Forward Lighting which aligns your vehicle-to-road pitch, automatically turns the headlamps in the direction you’re steering and computes your speed and steering wheel angle to determine headlamp projection. This system both improves safety, but also adds to the driving enjoyment of the vehicle.
Overall, the 300C Luxury Series AWD is a worthy competitor in the full size sedan market segment. The attention to detail in the interior with leather trim throughout really provided that sense of luxury usually found in vehicles at a higher price point. As a full size sedan it provides a roomy interior and significant trunk space, however, the performance of its 3.6L, 8 speed engine and suspension demonstrated that full size can still be fun to drive.
Key competitors to the 300C are the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Chevy Impala, Ford Taurus, as well as the Hyundai Genesis and Buick LaCrosse. We think Chrysler has a lot to offer with the 300C Luxury Series in this market segment. Next week find out how the 300C stacks up against one of its key competitors, as RedlineNorth reviews the Chevrolet Impala LTZ.