Truly a classic design. The Chrysler 300 was designed to be a modern interpretation of the Chrysler C-300 from the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Featuring a large grille, long hood and low roofline that was prominent on those cars.
First Generation (2005-2010)
The top-of-the-line 300C version uses a 5.7 L (345 cu in) Hemi V8. Using the Multidisplacement System (MDS), this engine can run on four cylinders when less power is needed in order to reduce total fuel consumption. The USEPA-rated fuel consumption of the 300C is: 15 miles per US gallon city, and 23 miles per US gallon highway. When all eight cylinders are needed, the 300C can make 340 hp and 390 lb·ft torque. It uses a five-speed automatic transmission and comes standard with 18-inch chrome-clad alloy wheels, Chrysler’s MyGIG Infotainment System in 2008 and SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Backseat Television in 2008. The HEMI engine includes a pushrod induction tube, located on the side of the engine-block. This tube makes the 300C more fuel efficient and quicker, because of the air being “pulled and pushed” into the engine’s induction area. The engine uses the HEMI, or double rocker configuration, with a cam-in-block, overhead valve pushrod design. There are two spark plugs per cylinder to promote efficient fuel/air mixture burn and thereby reduce emissions. In 2009 – 2010 power output was increased to 360HP.
The basic 300 comes standard with 17-inch wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, single disc mp3 player, aux input, power driver seat and a four-speed auto transmission and 190 hp.
The Touring model has a retuned V6 making 250 hp and 250 ft-lb of torque, with either a 4 or 5 speed transmission, depending on the year. It also implements and Electronic Stability Program (ESP), remote entry, leather, and SIRIUS satellite radio.
The Limited model uses the same 3.5L V6 and transmission as the Touring, but adds 18-inch chrome wheels and anti-roll bars.
The SRT-8 model was equipped with a 6.1L HEMI engine producing 425hp at 6,200 rpm and 420 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. 0-60 is recorded as 4.9 seconds.
Second Generation (2011-present)
A redesigned 300 was introduced in 2011. Exterior changes include an all new body, bi-xenon HID projector headlights, LED daytime running strips within the headlights, new tail lights with LEDs and a horizontally slotted front grille as standard. The car also features an updated version of the Chrysler brand’s winged emblem, which dropped the blue ribbon centre dating back to 1930s. Thinner roof pillars and a more raked windshield contribute to improved visibility. A dual-pane panoramic sunroof offers twice the outward visibility of an average sunroof. The new 300 has optional 20-inch polished-aluminum wheels. The all new interior upgrades include a new instrument panel with “soft-touch” materials throughout, 8.4 inch Uconnect Touch, new steering wheel and center console, and standard leather seating on all trim levels. Both seat-mounted and curtain side airbags were made standard.
The predecessors’ 2.7- and 3.5-liter engines were replaced with Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine producing 292 horsepower and 260 lb·ft of torque. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine remained available with 363 horsepower. Beginning with model year 2012 all V6 models were equipped with the 8-speed 8HP45 automatic transmission.
The 2011 model is offered in Touring, Limited, 300C, and 300C AWD trim levels. Touring and Limited trims come with the Pentastar V6, while the 300C line offers the 5.7 HEMI.
A 300S trim was introduced at the 2011 New York International Auto Show together with the 300C Executive series. The 300S featured black treatment for grille and headlamps, 20-inch polished-face aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, 10-speaker Beats by Dr. Dre sound system, and steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.
An SRT8 version was unveiled at the 2011 New York International Auto Show, powered by a 6.4-liter 392 HEMI V8 engine. The 6.4 392 Hemi engine is also used in other Chrysler Group SRT vehicles. With 465 hp, the new 300 SRT8 can go from zero to 60 mph in the low 4 second range.
In addition to the increase in power, the SRT8 receives specific exterior trim including a lower front fascia, large exhaust tips, body color instead of chrome trim and large 20-inch aluminum wheels. The car also gets a lowered, sportier suspension setup and a large Brembo brake package.
The 300 has a great record in regards to recalls. The only problems that they have had were with airbag modules in the 2005-2010 model years.
It is very difficult to find anyone who has been unhappy with their Chrysler 300. If you come across one that is problematic, it was likely a very rare lemon.