Chrysler 300 is for those who want plenty of metal for their money. Its American muscle car image plays a big role in its appeal.
In Australia, the 300 has been around since late 2005. It had a minor facelift in early 2008 before a new model arrived in 2012, with a further facelift in mid-2015. Originally it was the 300C but the ‘C’ was dropped for some variants in 2012.
The majority of the Chrysler 300s on the used-car market are four-door sedans. There was a wagon but it was dropped in 2010. Four engine variants – three petrols and a diesel – provide a good range of strong performance options. The image is best portrayed by the awesome performance and sound of the SRT8 model with its 6.1L and later 6.4L V8 engines. This can also be said, to a slightly lesser extent, about the 5.7L Hemi V8. They are a little old-tech in design but have Chrysler’s Multi-Displacement System, which seamlessly shuts down cylinders under light throttle, effectively dropping it from a V8 to a four cylinder for lower fuel consumption when cruising, not that it makes the 300C Hemi V8 a fuel miser.
There’s also a V6 petrol engine that sported a five-speed automatic until 2012, when it was upgraded to an eight-speed unit. The 3.0L diesel models and all the petrol V8s are five speed.
The rear-wheel-drive 300 is a comfortable cruiser. Its ride and handling package is in keeping with this image, but when reviewed we found the car’s size and weight became evident at times, such as if pushed a little hard through corners or on second-grade country roads. There is noticeable body movement, the ride gets choppy and the steering isn’t all that sharp. After a while this becomes a bit tiring.
The limousine-style interior is all chrome and wood-grain. The large, soft seats are inviting but don’t support you enough for long-term comfort. For such a big car, cabin space isn’t abundant, particularly in the rear. A high waist, narrow glass area and thick pillars create an enclosed feel. Parking is not always easy so the reversing sensors do help.
Plenty of owners love the 300, and a few have nightmares about theirs. When buying a used Chrysler 300, give the car a thorough mechanical inspection and road test, get up-to-date service records and if possible talk to the previous owner about its history. Use of the correct oil at servicing is critical.
Reasonable service costs
It’s a fairly straightforward and in some respects ageing mechanical set-up, so servicing and repair costs are reasonable. Check for wear in the steering and suspension, and for uneven tyre wear; replacement tyres are not cheap. Inspect the brake pads and disc rotors.
Electrical glitches aren’t uncommon, so test all accessories, air-conditioning etc. We’ve heard of alternator failures.
Some models carry a space-saver spare wheel, while others have only a repair kit.
CHRYSLER 300 PRICE RANGE
C petrol (2012-15) $25,300-$42,800
C diesel (2012-15) $28,000-$40,100
C Luxury-p (2012-15) $27,700-$46,700
C Luxury-d (2012-15) $30,400-$43,600
S petrol (2013-15) $28,500-$37,000
SRT8 (2012-15) $38,900-$61,900
SRT8 Core (2013-15) $33,600-$50,600
Approximate Glass’s Guide prices.
FUEL CONSUMPTION. Hemi V8: 12.0-14.0L/100km. SRT V8: 15.0-18.0L/100km. V6: 10.0-12.5L/100km. Diesel: 8.0-10.0L/100km.
SAFETY. The 300s have the usual safety gear relative to their age but have not been ANCAP-tested.
TOWING. Depends on model and engine.
THE COMPETITION. Holden Statesman or Caprice; Ford Fairlane, XR8 or G6E Turbo.