Siz­ing up the beast

Chrysler’s new 300 is on the clunky side, but there’s enough to per­suade diehard fans

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive - JAMES STAN­FORD james.stan­ford@cars­guide.com.au

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.

VALUE

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.

TECH­NOL­OGY

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

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