The new-for-2015 Chrysler 300 returns the sedan to its roots, which include breakthrough 1955 and 2005 models, while taking the nameplate's appealing "Baby Bentley" style to heightened levels of sophistication and technology.
The 2015 Chrysler 300 series is not a radical departure from its predecessors, but rather an enhanced and tastefully modernistic representation of an already accepted and highly popular design form. The new Chrysler, in essence, is a more sophisticated vehicle in a highly appealing execution.
Up front, the redesigned Chrysler 300 fascia displays an expressive, more sculptured surface and a taller, more prominent grille with a unique dimensional texture and chrome grille surround.
Highlighting Chrysler's use of lighting technology are bi-functional projector beam headlamps, offering adaptive forward lighting for improved illumination. Below, new LED fog lamps are available, providing a crisp, clean technical look and consistent white illumination.
In profile, the Chrysler 300 exhibits strong, subtly executed shoulder lines that pay homage to the Chrysler 300 series design heritage, while defining the correlation between front and rear wheel arches. Dual polished horizontal exhaust tips, placed in the corners, add to the Chrysler 300's upscale and athletic appearance.
There are obvious styling and design differences between the trim levels. The 300S, for instance, features black chrome trim elements and a black top compared to the other model's bright chrome trim.
Moving to the inside, the Chrysler 300's all-new interior design elements include a standard 7-inch full-color driver information display and a class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter. Drivers will enjoy handling the Chrysler brand's new three-spoke steering wheel, which features larger vehicle controls and available die-cast paddle shifters.
The 2015 Chrysler 300 is available in four levels of trim: the base model is the 300 Limited, which starts at $31,395; next up is the 300S, starting at $34,895; followed by the 300C, beginning at $37,895. Finally is the flagship 300C Platinum at $42,395. Add a $995 destination charge to each model.
Two engines are available to power the Chrysler 300 lineup. The first choice is a 3.6-liter Pentastar 24-valve V-6 that produces 292 horsepower at 6,350 rpm along with 260 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,800 rpm. The V-6 is standard for all trim levels, in both RWD and AWD versions, and with an upgraded 300-horse version available for the 300S.
A 5.7-liter, OHV, 16-valve HEMI(r) V-8 with four-cylinder fuel saver technology that delivers 363 horsepower at 5,200 rpm while developing 394 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm is optionally available for RWD 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum vehicles.
Two transmissions are on tap to gear the engine's motive force to the driving wheels: an eight-speed 845RE TorqueFlite automatic and the 8HP70 eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic with Autostick.
The volume sales leader is expected to be the 300C Limited, with the V-6 anticipated to account for an 85 percent take rate.
My 2015 tester was the 300C with a Jazz Blue exterior coat and an Indigo and Linen toned interior. Powered by the 3.6-liter V-6, it featured a dual-pane sunroof. The base sticker read $37,895 with the final total amounting to $38,890. I also tested a 300S powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 finished outside in a Bright White clearcoat and inside in black. Its base was set at $34,895 while adding the V-8 and other options elevated the final total to $48,570.
The V-6 engine delivers more than an adequate level of acceleration for virtually any driving scenario. The V-8 obviously delivers higher performance attributes and handling with the Sport mode. The handling characteristics lean to the sporty side, thanks in part to the smooth electric power steering system and ride comfort that ranks right up there with many luxury sedans. Seats are on the firm side, but are still comfortable with good support.
Safety features and equipment are plentiful and impressive, as is the Uconnect infotainment system, which is one of the better systems available today.
In terms of its visual attraction, the Chrysler 300C is most pleasing to the eye, and if you liked the old offering, you'll love this one. The 300S will be especially appealing to those who are more performance-oriented, particularly with the sinister black trim treatment, deck lid spoiler, and Hyper Black alloy wheels, and most especially with the HEMI V-8.
Copyright © 2015 Motor Matters
|Base price||$37,895 (as tested: $38,890)|
|Curb weight||4,029 lbs.|
|Engine type||24-valve Pentastar V-6 w/SMPFI|
|Epa mileage rating||19 mpg city, 31 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||18.5 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||292 at 6350 rpm|
|Overall length||198.6 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||260 at 4800 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger full-size RWD sedan|
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