Sizing up the beast
Chrysler’s new 300 is on the clunky side, but there’s enough to persuade diehard fans
TEAM America wants to put life back into the large car segment with its burly 300 sedan.
The second generation of the rear-drive giant, which was called the 300C first time around, arrives in Australia at a time when Ford’s and Holden’s large cars are on the ropes. Chrysler reckons it will draw people back to the big sedans that once ruled our roads. The heavily revised car will be available with a strong petrol V6, an efficient diesel V6 and a monstrous SRT V8.
Chrysler has sharpened the pricing by as much as $10,000 on certain models and the base petrol V6 300 Limited now kicks off at $43,000, while the base diesel is $5000 more.
There’s a choice between a better-specified V6 petrol 300C for $46,500, a fully loaded 300C Luxury at $51,000 or diesel equivalents for $5000 extra. The red-hot V8 SRT is great value at $66,000.
The base 300 has a goodly amount of standard gear such as cruise control, an 21cm touch screen, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and 18-inch wheels, but misses out on leather seats (which used to be standard). The other models come loaded with more features than you would expect for the price.
There’s something old and something new in every 300. It sits on a base that originates from a Mercedes E-class introduced in the mid-1990s, but Chrysler has changed large sections of the body, fiddled with the suspension and replaced all engines. There is a potent 3.6-litre petrol V6 with 210kw and 340Nm linked up to a brand spanking eight-speed ZF automatic.
The diesel is a premium 3.0-litre V6 from vm Motori with 176kw and 550Nm, while the ripsnorting V8 manages 347kw and 631Nm. Both of these engines make do with
Value: The Chrysler 300 looks good and comes in a reasonable range of models with plenty of extras for the money, but don’t expect too much agility