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Chrysler 300C

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Chrysler 300C
6/10

Overall
verdict

Leftfield exec car will certainly appeal to some.

Additional Info

  • Your chance to act out a Mafia fantasy. Just don’t fling any trussed victims in the boot. Unless they’re Piers Morgan
  • Top Gear wildcard

    The Citroen DS5 will certainly stand out in a crowd and, like the 300C, offers something different to the norm

  • Our choice

    300C 3.0 CRD Executive 4d

    Price £39,995

    BHP 236

    LB FT 399

    MPG 39

    CO2 191

    0-62 MPH 7.40

    Top Speed 144

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What is it?

The Chrysler 300C ‘MkII’ is now fully on sale, although it’s not quite as fresh as it seems. This ‘new’ Chrysler 300C is actually a heavily refreshed version of the old model, which dated back to 2005 (and itself had roots in the Mercedes E-Class of two generations ago). It’s thus not a brand new car — but this expediency does mean Chrysler can price it competitively, which thus means there’s more of interest here than you may first expect.

Particularly as a well-judged facelift means it successfully modernises the standout styling clout of the old one without looking twee or dated. This remains a real head-turner of an executive car, just the thing for those to whom an Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series is just too plain and dull.

Driving

Underneath, Chrysler has retained the old 300C’s chassis layout, but refreshed it with all-new components. The double wishbone front and five-arm multi-link rear set-up is very sophisticated, generating lots of grip and feeling less custard-like than the old car. New electric power steering feels positive too, even if the handling is ultimately rather leaden and afflicted by understeer when pressed harder.

The seriously plush ride and overall refinement are more impressive. Even the 3.0-litre V6 diesel is hushed, and 236bhp ensures it is swift too. It has plenty of torque for easy overtaking, but the five-speed auto can struggle to be wholly smooth. Good job an eight-speed auto is expected at some point in the near future. 

On the inside

The 300C has always been a large car, and this one serves only to remind us of its ample cabin space. The boot is good too, but again, we already knew that. Where it’s struggled in the past is quality and finish. Pleasingly, this one heralds a massive improvement. The chrome dials look fantastic and the 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, which masterminds audio, climate, communications and car functions, is great. Now, there’s only the merest splatter of budget plastics. 

While you can have some of the traditional colourschemes seen in the past, Chrysler also offers modern black and silver finishes too. With funky blue-lit dials adding further techno-style appeal, the interior marks a vast improvement. 

Owning

The 300C is very competitively priced. It costs the same as an entry-level BMW 530d but comes with loads of equipment including electric nappa leather seats (they’re ventilated too), sat nav, Bluetooth, parking camera, you name it. The spec sheet for this sub-£40k Executive is daft. Sub-40mpg isn’t as clever these days but sheer value is sure to make up for it.

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Latest road tests

7/10 Chrysler 300C driven
October 2011
7/10 Chrysler 300C V6 driven
March 2011

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