Stars and stripes struck

It’s a Benz be­neath, but its ap­peal is all-Amer­i­can

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Car - GRA­HAM SMITH gra­ham.smith@carsguide.com.au

NEW

The im­pos­ing looks of the Chrysler 300C stood out in a sea of sim­i­lar­ity.

Chrysler was al­lied with Mercedes-Benz when the 300C was launched here back in 2005, but that re­la­tion­ship was ter­mi­nated some time ago and the brand is now part of the Fiat em­pire.

There has long been a han­ker­ing for Amer­i­can cars in this coun­try and the 300Cwas warmly wel­comed when it hit our shores with its blend of bold styling and V8 power. Its mus­cu­lar looks struck a chord. It­was dif­fer­ent; it­was tough, and ap­pealed tomany Aus­tralians.

In­side, it had ev­ery­thing you could want, with leather, wood­grain and chrome, and a host of fea­tures. The seats were com­fort­able and there­was am­ple room for five adults and there­was a size­able boot as well.

The V8 has an en­dur­ing ap­peal and Chrysler of­fered two in the 300C. For those who were happy to do with­out the ex­cess there­was aV6 and a turbo-diesel. The 3.5-litre V6 pow­ered the en­try model and de­liv­ered all the zip you could want, while the com­mon-rail turbo-diesel ex­tended the dis­tance be­tween fuel stops for those seek­ing a more eco­nom­i­cal ride. But the V8s were the stars. At 5.7 and 6.1 litres, both were big ca­pac­ity en­gines and of­fered the smooth punch that is char­ac­ter­is­tic of a size­able V8, but they also de­liv­ered the fuel econ­omy of a smaller en­gine. That­was the re­sult of Chrysler’s cylin­der shut­down tech (MDS) that switched off up to four cylin­ders un­der light throt­tle cruise con­di­tions to save fuel.

All en­gines were mated to five-speed auto trans­mis­sions, and the fi­nal drive was through the rear wheels. The size and weight of the 300C be­came ev­i­dent on the road, but it­was smooth and com­fort­able and han­dled with sur­pris­ing aplomb.

NOW

The Amer­i­can car in­dus­try fell well be­hind the rest of theworld in terms of build qual­ity, its cars were of­ten shod­dily built and there were com­plaints about the 300C even af­ter Benz took con­trol of the com­pany. Fit and fin­ish were the fo­cus of most of the crit­i­cal com­ments but there was lit­tle ad­verse com­ment about re­li­a­bil­ity.

The 300C is gen­er­ally re­li­able and po­ten­tial used car buy­ers can ap­proach one with rea­son­able con­fi­dence.

Still, it’s well worth while get­ting your cho­sen car tested be­fore you do the deal.

You could test it your­self if you’re con­fi­dent of be­ing able put it through its paces and iden­tify any is­sue it might have.

If you’re not that con­fi­dent, have a me­chanic ex­pe­ri­enced in work­ing on the brand go over it for you.

SMITHY SAYS

Awor­thy pres­tige choice, pro­vid­ing you are com­fort­able with the fuel con­sump­tion.

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