By on November 10, 2006

ch007_002th.jpgBuzzwords like “breakthrough”, “paradigm” and “integration” are management Viagra. They give ignorant execs and clueless PR folk the power to appear talented. But no word sets the flack-talker’s soul afire like “synergy.” And no other word was deployed more often to justify the merger of Daimler-Benz with Chrysler. But what happens when you synergize top-dollar Mercedes underpinnings with Chrysler engineering and sell it for the price of a Camry? I’ll give you 300 guesses.

Judging by its looks, the Chrysler 300 is still a winner. The chopped roof, crisp overhangs, Audi TT-esque fender flares and jeweler’s grade front fascia are still the stuff of urban legend. The SUV-like stance (generated by a sky-high beltline) and K-car influenced rear deck further distinguish the big Chrysler from the Boyz in the bland. Personally, I find this flying brick (with a drag coefficient to match) a far cry from Bentley sedans and vintage 300’s. Put another way, who stole a Checker Marathon and ran it through a wind tunnel? 

Too bad that chunky profile only looks solid. Rest your butt on the front end, lean back and give your best “mean mug” for the camera and the front clip flexes and twists in disapproval. Ditto the back bumper: rest a box before loading the trunk and the 300’s posterior sags like the rack of a middle-aged supermodel. 

c2006_017highuse.jpgThe Chrysler 300’s interior continues the cheap and not-so-cheerful theme. Aside from tight panel gaps and soft polymers above the dashboard equator, the cabin is awash in the kind of flash cast plastics “enjoyed” by owners of Hyundai’s Excel. The 300’s cabin serves-up a farrago of bargain basement materials: from hard, nasty armrests to a vinyl-wrapped steering wheel. The 300’s thrones were designed by the folks at Slip n’ Slide, complete with leather inserts that are virtually indistinguishable from their vinyl surroundings. The optional Boston Acoustics’ boombox is as clear as it is loud– provided you remain in front.

Hop in the back and the sound quality flies out the window, right after the delightful gong resonance made by closing the rear portals. The 300’s backseat is best reserved for short trips with short people; everyone else leaves the 300’s lean rear cushions tired and stressed after a lengthy interstate odyssey. The trunk’s shallow, oddly-shaped cargo hole and the overly aggressive assist-struts on a zero-leverage deck lid do nothing to help the family car basics. There’s but one shining [three pointed] star in the 300’s cabin: a cruise control stalk with all the precise, perfectly weighted feel of a Mercedes’ part– donated to an otherwise lost cause.

photo_performance_susp.jpgThrow the 300 into some switchbacks and you can tell where the car’s manufacturer spent their money. The 300’s independent (front) and five-link (rear) suspension is a distant cousin to the old E-class. Tweaked by the Dark Lords of DCX and bolted onto to a stiff chassis, the greasy bits provide plenty of poise for one so portly (3800 pounds). Boot the package in a corner and 250lb-ft of torque sends the 300’s rear tires dancing in delight– moments before the ESP flashes a warning that this isn’t an E63 AMG and you aren’t Michael Schumacher (or Jay Shoemaker).

Even with the handling Nanny in attendance, the 300 is a wonderful mix of raucous handling and reassuring ride. The 300’s Chris-Craftian tiller has way too much rim for spirited maneuvers, but the power-assisted rack and pinion steering provides reasonable feel for a passenger sedan aimed squarely at the over-40 set. With 55-series tires on hand (ironically enough), the Chrysler’s ride is 401K-compliant, splitting the distance between BMW’s teeth chattering firmness and the roll and pitch of a Toyota Camry. 

Even without the hemispherical hot tamale under the bonnet, the 300's no slouch. The sedan’s 3.5-liter high-output SOHC V6 may not stand a chance against the latest hi-po six-pots, but 250hp hooked-up to a reasonably responsive five-speed autobox ensures that the 300 gets out of its own way without unnecessary delay, thirst (19/27) or embarrassment. (Which is more than you can say for the base by name base by nature 2.7-liter V6.)

ch007_004th.jpgTaken as a whole, the 300 is proto-synergy. When first mooted, the Daimler Chrysler combo was touted as a ”merger of equals,” blending German engineering with American style. Instead of blowing away the competition with anal retentive engineering and unassailable build quality, the Chrysler 300 is a half-baked half-breed: a car with excellent bones, a flash exterior, a dreadful interior and dubious build quality.

Props to the 300 for reinvigorating American car design, finding tremendous popularity and more than paying its way. But it’s time for DCX to update this bad boy or build something that fulfills the merger’s original premise. Otherwise, the 300 is destined to become a textbook case of a synergistic failure to turn hype into reality.

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100 Comments on “Chrysler 300 Review...”


  • avatar
    jerry weber

    Mr. Metha, I own one of these things and yes there are no perfect cars. All rear wheel drive cars lose 20% of their space to front drive configuration. Look at the tight insides of BMW or mercedes compared to the space in say avalon, or buick. To get the size you ask for in the rear seat, chrysler is stretching the car 6 inches for livery ues. There is no other way to engineer the thing. Or you trade in the handling for space in the FWD. As for the interior at $33,500 the 300C lists for less than the best avalon (with a nicer interior). They would need an upscale model of the 300 at about 38K to do the proper interior. As for build quality, a new bentley (circ $190K) has a plastic front fascia as do countelss other cars. The day of building any of these things out of all steel is over. How any of the modern cars will look after say ten years is debateable. I remember when the old “iron jobs” cancered out before the payment book expired. So chrysler has only done what the rest have to stay current in build quality. I do know this I am 6’4″ and I fit in the front of the 300 and the back with the seats rearward, it is far tighter in my relative’s new E class Benz (circa 55K). Given the Benz rides and handles better than virtually any other car, I can’t buy it. I need the S class to approach the interior of the 300 (and thats circa85K). So yes the Chrysler has worts but what better driving thing to have at 33K.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    they are all over the place in philly – usually all blinged out with 20 ” chrome wheels, blacked out windows, bad lookin grills, they are cool lookin.

    I would never buy one. The beltline is so high, it is claustrophobic inside. And it does not drive so well. And I don’t need a family sedan.

    This is one of the cars that I like to look at from the outside, but are less enjoyable from the inside. Like the new Mustang, for instance.

  • avatar
    Glenn A.

    The thing is ugly. They should have just made it a fastback and named it the Hudson Hornet. The greenhouse (glass area) is way too small, just as the Hudson was in it’s day.

    Actually, they would have done far better to have taken a look AT the 1948-1954 Hudsons. Tons of room, yet rear wheel drive.

    They could have taken the interior dimensions, fitted a version of the current Mercedes S-class chassis (why not take advantage of reducing the costs by increasing production of the same parts?) and given it a little more class, and a lot more glass….. and a quality interior.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Another competent, honest review from TTAC. I guess what depresses me reading it is that it would take DCX so little to put this car to the head of the class. Improve the quality of interior materials and consistency of their build. That’s it. The resources that were spent on developing the Aspen would have been sufficient.

  • avatar
    ash78

    I still think DCX really hit the mark with this one. While it may not be best-in-class, I think the combo of bold styling (to get you in the door) and reasonably good handling (to seal the deal) are enough for most people to consider it, especially since it can stroke certain buyers’ “Buy Amerikaner, Build Amerika” sensibilities at the same time.

    But IMHO the styling has not aged well over the past few years. Maybe it’s just the effect of mass acceptance, but they just don’t turn my head anymore. Not even the ones–as about 50% of them are here in Birmingham, land of donks, bubble, and boxes–black on black on black on 20″ chrome (stock suspension, mind you).

    One last note about rear suspension sag: This is very common these day. It appear that manufacturers are attempting to make the car sit level with only the driver inside (10 years ago, butt-in-the-air was more common). In turn, load up the rear and watch the sidewalls tuck under the rear fender lip. With no steering in the rear, suspension travel can be relatively unlimited, so with a full load, butt-drag is common (worst offenders: Altima and Maxima)

  • avatar
    Zarba

    A couple of years ago I got to test drive the 300C at Amelia Island Concours (Missed the chance to hammer the Maybach), and your review is right on.

    The interior has that “cheap stuff that tries to look expensive” all over. The “tortoise shell” on the steering wheel and armrests is horrific. They would have done better with plastic “wood” over this crap.

    The steering wheel controls look OK, but they’re also plastic, not the brushed metal they are imitating. And it shows in the feel. Junk.

    But, oh man, that Hemi is Sweeet. Drop the hammer and it does a passable imitation of a 440 Super Commando. I’ll forgive lots of faults for that motor.

  • avatar
    Luther

    Agreed SherbornSean, The 300 is about a 90% effort.
    Good news is that the next makeover should fix some of the cost-cutting bits since it actually made some money for DCX.

  • avatar
    WaaaaHoooo

    Sajeev, please remember in what league the 300 plays. They start at 23k list with okay equipment – knock 2k off that for negotiation. They go into the 30s but that is loaded out, again drop 2 to 3k. So basically we are playing in Camry/Accord/Altima territory for comparison purposes. Not 3 series or Lexus, but basic transportation. So lets see … the Camry and Accord are what?…… boring as all hell! My refrigerator looks good in comparison to these.

    I went down to check out the new 07 Altima. It was fairly decked out. Hard plastics, inferior radio, dysfunctional nonintuitive tilt/telescope lever, hit & miss exterior (rear hits, front misses), not comfortable, crude leather workmanship, boring dash. Unimpressed.

    There was a Toyota dealer next door, so I popped into an 07 Camry SE V6 and found hard rental car grade plastics, misfitting dash parts, better leather than the Altima but not as nice as my brother’s 300, another boring as hell dash, soccer-mamma styling, it pulled right when I punched it. Again, unimpressed.

    Current Accord? Ugly and vanilla as sin, boring as hell, again nothing special inside (although better than the Camry), but unimpressive. I think it was the Accord, Whirlpool edition.

    I have sat in, rode in, and driven the 300M. Against the CamCords out there, it is a hoot to drive. The dash is tight and makes a great impression compared to others in its class, and the car is roomy enough for most. The seats are great.

    Outside, at least you’ll get noticed and I dare you to lay across and jump on the hood of a Camry or Accord and see if the hood is umblemished. Heck, for that matter go jump on the hood of a 7 series or Bentley and take a sledgehammer to it and see if the owner laughs at how undentable the rattrap is.

    Holding cars up to such standards is not The Truth About Cars, it is simply listing anything and everything there possibly is to complain about cars. My ex-wife was like that, too.

  • avatar
    rodster205

    ash78, are you AL or MI? If it’s AL most of those pimped 300s probably left the dealer that way. Stop by Drennan sometime and check out their selection of 300s with the “Bentley” and “Rolls” grilles and 20′s or 22′s. And of course the chrome door handles, and the additional $5K sticker attached. I think they had more pimped than unpimped there. But I wasn’t really counting since I was looking at the Jeeps. Don’t get me started on the pimped Jeeps.

  • avatar
    jaje

    I was looking closely at a Dodge Magnum (a more bread and butter version of the 300) when I was on the market for a utility focused vehicle. I drove all 3 models, the R/T with the v8, the middle version with the 3.5 liter v6, and the 2.7 liter v6. Driving impressions was it handled better than I expected but the 2.7 and even the 3.5 could not really motivate such a heavy car. The R/T was a blast to drive with a nice little rumble reminding you that a nice powerplant sits ahead of you.

    Then I tried to change lanes and couldn’t see worth a damn. In fact it was so hard to wretch my head around to see anything I would switch the side view mirrors to give me the blind spot but of course that stopped me from seeing properly from the side rear so I’d have to switch back and forth. In fact on busy roads with me changing lanes I was let down by the fact that driving this thing remotely aggressively without any good vision was too difficult and that pretty much sealed my consideration for this car / platform. I’ve been a function > form follower for years. If only the car was more driver friendly (seems they spend most of their time making it look cool). After returning I did note that they had these stickers on the cars with red ones noting which cars have sat there for over 4 months (only the R/T models sell on average of 3 months). Not too good of a turnaround for a supposed hot model. (This was 2 years ago when these were fairly new).

  • avatar
    whitenose

    Oh, praise da lord! I thought I was the only one in the universe who thought the 300C was ugly.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Load the trunk with some heavy boxes and the 300’s posterior sags like the rack of a middle-aged supermodel.

    I agree that this is not a fair comment. Isn’t this because it has springs?

  • avatar
    kaisen

    What other full-size rear-drive V6 American cars are there again?

  • avatar
    Pahaska

    Every time I see a 300, I think “Gawd, that is ugly”. I realize that there are some redeeming qualities, but I absolutely refuse to drive something even I think is ugly.

  • avatar
    ash78

    rodster205
    Right here in your area code! I had no idea Drennan was pimping out the 300 right off the lot. Different strokes…but I think we can all agree that dealer-installed pimpage is the lowest form of modification. Altimas with billeted grilles, I’m also looking at you. I work downtown, so part of my commute is my duty as an amateur donk-watcher with my trusty cameraphone.

  • avatar

    The Chrysler dealer in my area also “pimps” the cars on their lot. I’ve seen 300′s with the 2.7 V6 fitted with chrome grilles, wheels, trim around the doors and wheel wells selling for about $26,000.00. They’ve also added 20″ wheels to Asspens and added even more chrome to that already guady exterior. And Chrysler isn’t the only one doing it.

    I live in a small city but it’s intensely urban so all of the dealers are “pimping” their cars. Chevy dealers with pimped Assalanches, HHRs, Silverados and Impalas….Ford dealers with pimped F150s, Expeditions and Five Hundreds….Nissan dealers with pimped Armadas and Maximas….it just doesn’t end. I understand why they do it, but it’s a shame that they have to.

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    I declare shananigans on Sajeev on account of his failure to use “spizzarkle” on a Chrysler 300 review! How dare YOU sir?!

    This review just caused me to cringe once again over the fact that the Lucerne isnt RWD with an AWD option. Is it just me or would most of use look at that car in a whole different light with RWD?

  • avatar
    nweaver

    I rented a 300 touring a few weeks back.

    I was actually reasonably impressed. It was a DECENT CAR. The places where I expected mold flash I didn’t see (just coming out of a new PT Luzer a couple days before), and it was big and solid. My backseat passanger for short trips was comfortable.

    Yeah, its not an Audi or Mercedes interior, but I found it just as nice as the Camry’s I’ve rented, while being bigger. It served me well for 500 miles of cruising through the Illiana cornfields.

    And I can see the 300-Long totally trouncing the town-car in the car-for-hire market: better mileage, equal room, better handling, and the trunk is not that bad, its pretty big, and nice and flat, although you’d have to work to put your requisite 3 corpses in.

  • avatar
    allen5h

    I hope this “pimping out” is just a passing fad, just like the solid whitewalls and rubber on chrome bumper guards where fads that eventually (and mercifully) ran their course.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    Good review. You said what needed to be said. I hope DC listens. (Doubt it.)

  • avatar
    KixStart

    “I hope this “pimping out” is just a passing fad,…”

    Is it profitable? If so…

  • avatar
    BimmerHead

    I think the reviewer may have been a little hard on the 300. I’ll not say that the 300 is perfect, but it is one of the very few ‘American’ cars I would even consider owning.

    The interior may not be perfect, but it’s comfortable (at least from the drivers seat). The car handles very much like a german car. The styling is starting to age, but at least it’s distictive (anyone want to go back to 1995 when every car on the road looked like a jelly bean?). I think, overall, the 300 is a nice package for the money.

    Like stated above, you can get a distictivly styled, nice Handling, RWD sedan for Accord/Camry money… that’s a success in my book.

    I sincerly hope that DCX will continue to develop the 300 and not just let it rot on the vine. I think they have a real winner, but it will take continued development to keep it that way.

  • avatar
    Kevin

    The word farrago sure is used with uncommon frequency on this website. Coincidence? I think not.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I agree that this is not a fair comment. Isn’t this because it has springs?

    The meaning got lost in editing. Sorry about that. The rear end sags if you put a box on the bumper, before dumping it into the trunk. Its a thin, flimsy part just like the front clip. There isn’t a single Chrysler 300 I’ve seen on the road that doesn’t have a rear bumper that jiggles with only a little grab from the top.

    What I’m trying to say is, no other car in its class has such shoddy construction.

    And I’ve tried a lot of them.

  • avatar
    ash78

    KixStart: “I hope this “pimping out” is just a passing fad,…”

    Is it profitable? If so…

    Profitable? If a dealer can talk a customer into upgraded OEM rims, he can easily DOUBLE his net on the vehicle. The margins on dealer-installed options are insane. The dealers are admittedly a little late to the game (and way overpriced), but I suspect most of the billet-and-chrome clientele are a lot more concerned with “easy monthly payments” than total capital expense ;)

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Jerry,

    To get the size you ask for in the rear seat, chrysler is stretching the car 6 inches for livery ues.

    My beef is not with the size of rear compartment, its with the shape and materials of the seat. I took four people in this car and everyone of us found the seating far inferior to the Camry and Accord. Short, flat cushions and lousy leather coverings.

    They would need an upscale model of the 300 at about 38K to do the proper interior.

    No they don’t. If Ford can make a decent interior for $18k in a Fusion and 23k in a Five Hundred, there’s no excuse for DCX’s actions.

    As for build quality, a new bentley (circ $190K) has a plastic front fascia as do countelss other cars.

    I have yet to review a car that had bumpers of such poor construction. It is extremely noteworthy on this car. And I’ve driven a lot of them, most aren’t even tested on this site.

    How any of the modern cars will look after say ten years is debateable.

    No its not. I frequent junkyards to keep my cars running; I know what 10+ year old Tauruses, Luminas, Maximas, Camrys, etc look like…and I assure you none of them have bumpers and interior components as poor as the Chrysler 300.

    I hope you see the general trend about where I am coming from with these comments.

  • avatar
    taxman100

    If the car was not a Chrysler, I’d be more interested in replacing my Grand Marquis with one. My brother has a 300C – the Grand Marquis is bigger in the back seat, and the trunk.

    If you want bling, get the Chrysler. If you want something that will last 10-15 years with a proven track record of low cost operation and comfort, get a Grand Marquis.

    Both of my Grand Marquis I’ve owned had the rear air suspension – load it up with bricks from The Home Depot, and it evens out nicely.

    I feel like a voice in the wilderness – even Ford doesn’t advertise the car.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    The first test of whether Detroit “gets it” will be the design of the Caddy CTS for the 08 MY and the redesign of the 300 when it takes place. Both were commendable first efforts, but with the next generation of both, the bar has been raised and GM and DCX need to get it right.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    WaaaaHoooo,

    Sajeev, please remember in what league the 300 plays. They start at 23k list with okay equipment

    I never forgot, I assure you. Keep in mind I had a $24,000 Camry LE for a week before testing the Chrysler. Whether or not you agree with my conclusions is another thing, but I’ve had considerable time and access to weigh the pros and cons of this car over a Toyota Camry.

    Outside, at least you’ll get noticed and I dare you to lay across and jump on the hood of a Camry or Accord and see if the hood is umblemished.

    Press your butt against the front clip of a Camry and it won’t cave under the pressure like a Chrysler 300 did. Ditto the rear end.

    Holding cars up to such standards is not The Truth About Cars,

    Let’s put it this way: there’s a reason that, even with its new blemishes, the Toyota Camry is King of the World.

    There’s also a reason why Chrysler is in the dumps these days.

    Sometimes the Truth hurts.

  • avatar
    blautens

    I agree with your review completely…as an Enterprise customer, I’m constantly tossed this vehicle (or a Charger) when I ask for large/premium car, but I always opt for a Camry when available (or a minivan when hauling gear).

    Here’s the irony – to me, this car (and the Charger) seems to be assuming larger percentages in rental fleets lately. Yet it makes a poor rental if for only one reason (yes, there are lots) – the poor visibility for the sake of “style” really makes it a bad choice when driving it (as most rentals are) in unknown territory.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    The meaning got lost in editing. Sorry about that. The rear end sags if you put a box on the bumper, before dumping it into the trunk. Its a thin, flimsy part just like the front clip. There isn’t a single Chrysler 300 I’ve seen on the road that doesn’t have a rear bumper that jiggles with only a little grab from the top.

    Gotcha, fair enough criticism.

    Also the Camry I rented also had a gumby-like front clip… It didn’t sag, just flexed easily. New Euro crash standards coming the the US????

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    jazbo: the edit is on its way to press.

    Anywho, every car has a gumby like front clip, but that’s the nature of the beast when you deal with plastics. But man, compared to just about any car from the 1980s on up, the 300′s bumpers are downright flimsy.

    I was never a huge cheerleader for the Chrysler LH cars, but they seem better crafted than the LX chassis.

  • avatar

    My bad. Bumper copy sorted.

  • avatar
    ash78

    While I’m not a huge fan of the redesign, keep in mind you can get a pretty nice Passat 2.0T for $25k. I can’t stand the styling, but that car is very well screwed together for its price point.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    If nothing else, the Passat doesn’t look like a Checker Taxicab. :-)

  • avatar
    Brian E

    Sajeev: My mom drives a LH 300M, and the interior quality is much better than the LX. The front seats almost have real lateral support and the rear seats are comfortable across long hauls.

    I always thought the 300M was an underrated vehicle. It may not have the dynamic qualities of the LX, but it had far more style than the crude lines and high beltline of the current 300.

    ash78: I’d love to have bought that Passat (or the Jetta GLI), but I’m still waiting for VW to prove they’ve got the quality problems licked. Assertions don’t do much to sway me; they need to deliver for a few solid years before I’ll believe, especially when my other choice was an Acura.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Sajeev,

    I like the 300 but cannot abide the low quality components and assembly. DCX customer relations are another horror story.

    How much do you think it would cost DCX to improve the 300′s quality to Accord and Camry standards?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Brian E: I’m glad I’m not the only person who feels that way. I compared the two back to back in 2005 when the 300 was just coming out and the Concorde was ready to die.

    What I don’t get is that, in the near future, Chrysler insists on cutting $1000 in costs from each vehicle it produces…there’s NOTHING left to cut in the product, so I hope they aren’t out of ideas.

    Gardiner: If Honda can make an all-around nice car for the same price, I don’t see why Chrysler can’t improve the 300 and not change a thing on the window sticker.

  • avatar

    Funny as hell review.

    “The 300’s cabin serves-up a farrago of bargain basement materials”

    Sajeev, exactly what quantity is a “farrago”?

    I object to the small amount of glass. I don’t want to drive a car where I can’t see very well out of it. Also, this is another example of automotive obesity. The styling is a good start. That is, it’s better than most of what’s out there. But that’s not saying all that much. I do think they did a much better styling job on the Magnum. The Magnum is a genuinely good looking car–although I think it would have looked just as good with a reasonable amount of glass.

    Both of these are far, far better than the Caliber. The Caliber looks like it was made out of parts from an erector set.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    During the 300′s first blush of success many auto pundits were constantly saying to GM and Ford, “Why can’t you be like DCX?” The underlying message was: Catchy styling will save the day!

    Sajeev’s review illustrates why styling can only function as a quick fix — it will never save an automaker that doesn’t also get the fundamentals down.

    The cruel irony of the 300 is that Chrysler would have ended up making more money — and improving its reputation — if it had focused on quality of design rather than bling.

    Nissan has walked a similar path, but at least it has worked harder to repair quality issues and more quickly restyle its products. Duh: If you’re basing your success on being trendy, you can’t sit on your hands. Does DCX understand this?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    David: “farrago” is defined as an assortment or collection of things. Maybe Lieberman has a good definition of a Farago for you. :-)

    In the Chrysler 300′s case, a farrago is a Whitman’s Sampler of crappy polymers, vinyls, and leathers.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    One thing I should add: rear visibility when backing up is pretty bad, but the side-view mirrors are huge enough to make lane change maneuvers pretty stress-free. That surprised me.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Pretty accurate take, I’d say. I had the misfortune to buy one of the first Magnum RTs in June ’05. The Hemi was outstanding (even if it is not a hemi in the strictest sense) as was the Benz-sourced 5 speed tranny. The helm was tight, if on the light side, and the brakes and road manners were Euro-tuned impeccable. And it was undoubtedly the first unibody Mopar since 1960 with less-than-deafening road rumble, again thanks to the boffins back in Unterturkheim. That said, I sold it in 4 months. Oy! the squeaks and rattles! Shoddy, shoddy, and then some. I can’t believe the Germans let Highland Park get away with such cruddy crap.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    The sad part is that the 300 is the best example of DCX putting a half way decent car under bling styling. Other efforts have been more like the PT Cruiser

  • avatar
    phil

    i think most of the praise heaped on this car’s styling is a case of the emperors clothes. Somebody who was an “authority” said it was daring and bold and from then on no one dared say what an ugly sucker this thing is. these cars deserve to be pimped out.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I can’t believe the Germans let Highland Park get away with such cruddy crap.That said, I sold it in 4 months. Oy! the squeaks and rattles! Shoddy, shoddy, and then some. I can’t believe the Germans let Highland Park get away with such cruddy crap.

    Will: I’m sure the Germans feel the same way. I did my best to keep it out of the review, but a relative of mine had a 300C for 9 months before he sold it. You beat him.

    Somebody who was an “authority” said it was daring and bold and from then on no one dared say what an ugly sucker this thing is.

    Phil: The level of praise for this car during its initial media introduction was stunning. I never “got it” and its been 2 years and nothing changed. Hence my review.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    This review just caused me to cringe once again over the fact that the Lucerne isnt RWD with an AWD option. Is it just me or would most of use look at that car in a whole different light with RWD?

    socsndaisy: Supposedly the next Lucerne will ride on GM’s Zeta platform. If the Chrysler 300 doesn’t change its ways, its in trouble. Sorry about not adding spizzarkle to the review, but that’s a bit obvious considering the tacky stuff the aftermarket serves up for this car.

    I feel like a voice in the wilderness – even Ford doesn’t advertise the car.

    Taxman: you feel like that because you are. If the Grand Marquis had a better transmission, bigger wheels and a more widely available handling package it might actually be a contender to the 300′s throne. Which, quite frankly, is kinda shocking for something so old.

  • avatar
    rodster205

    ash78:

    Yeah most of the Altimas with the ugly grilles come from Crown Pissan next door (almost) to Drennen. They must be having a contest. I’m sure some of the others do it but Drennan and Crown seem to really flaunt it. Then there is Crest Hummer, but what would a Hummer dealer be without a yellow H2 with more crome than paint sitting out in the grass in front?!

    Unfortunately my camera phone sux because I’ve seen some great stuff around 205. My favorite is the stock 3-4 year old Chevy Metro (4d, maroon) with the personalized tag “SLOWPOS” with periods hand drawn after the P, O, and S.

    There is lots of good stuff downtown though, don’t wear out your phone.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Even tho alot of the 300′s here are pimped with the aftermarket equivilent of an entire 6 piece bedroom set for $199, I can tell u that there are everywhere. So are those dreadfull Calibers, also pimped to within inch of their miserable lives.

    But they seem to be all over the place anyway.

    A friend of mine just bought a new dark blue Mini convertable. Base car, for 23K.

    I am in love. They are NOT all over the place.

  • avatar
    GodBlessTTAC

    does anyone else think that maybe there big[ger] brother had them skimp out on the interior to crap up an other wise sweet ride. its got murrsaydays underparts with a nice unique style, imagine if the interior was at least decent. wouldn’t that notch away at some of there sales?

    …just a though

  • avatar
    willbodine

    The saddest of all is the loser here in Palm Springs driving around in a blingy chrome-mesh begrilled 300 with actual Bentley badges all over the car, and in case anyone misses the point, vanity plates that read “MIBNTLY” framed, of course, by a chrome “Bentley” license frame. The automotive equivalent of a combover.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Taxman: you feel like that because you are. If the Grand Marquis had a better transmission, bigger wheels and a more widely available handling package it might actually be a contender to the 300’s throne. Which, quite frankly, is kinda shocking for something so old.

    Sajeev,

    One word, “Marauder”.

    I liked it, it needed about 50 more hp but I thought it had that “bada**” presence that the 300 emulates.

    All black, in and out. “Is this the new Blues Brothers mobile or what?”

    CJ

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I was disappointed in the Marauder. Its a good thing TTAC wasn’t around when I got my hands on one.

    I expected waaaay more for $34,000. That car was worth $25k on a good day. Actually it still is, judging by the prices it commands on the used car market.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    The Charger (and the 300) lost my business for one reason. The IIHS had this to say about the 300 in a side collision:

    “Driver — Measures taken from the dummy indicate that rib fractures and/or internal organ injuries would be likely in a crash of this severity. A fracture of the pelvis would also be possible, and loading to the shoulder was excessive.”

    This was with the optional side curtain airbags. There are no side torso airbags available, and getting a 300 or Charger with the optional curtains means you need to get a more or less loaded car. To contrast, a Volkswagen Rabbit selling at $14,900 comes standard with 4 side airbags and has an option for $350 of 2 more (rear seat side torso).

    http://www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id=661

  • avatar
    wangvicous

    I rented one and I found nothing at all wrong with the interior. Sure it wasn’t as nice as my friends s500 or ml350 but when compared to my father’s Camry or my friend’s Yaris it was the same if not better and I had the cloth seats. The room in the backseat was more than perfect and we’re all around 6 feet tall with one of us being 6’4″ and I heard no complaints. Maybe I found nothing wrong with it because I drive a 99 Grand Am day to day but all in all it was definatly more than I was expecting. The engine didn’t have enough power though, it pitched a little too much and the steering was numb and way to light but that was to be expected.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    Sajeev,

    re: Marauder.

    Yeah, I was excited too when it was announced and hit the floor when it listed for $45K (CAD). Still, the car has presence and an understated flair.

    The ultimate expression of American RWD in the last ten year is still the mid 90′s Impala SS.

    It looked cool, went like stink and was popular (they still command a decent price for a non-thrashed used model).

    When GM relaunches the Zeta-based Impala, Grand Prix, Lucerne (the really should re-re name it LeSabre) etc, I hope to see that small block in there from launch.

    CJ

  • avatar
    Dunworth

    OK, the 300 is not particularly well built but Chryslers never have been for as long as I can remember. But they have been innovatively designed and for a while some of their designs turn heads.

    I do not hate the 300 as many on this board do. It reminds me of some of the older Rover P4/P5 models my grandad used to drive back in the day.

    It does drive well even if it is not my type of vehicle. The interior design is nice even if the materials are typical Chrysler shoddy. But it is cheap given the RWD platform and has decent driving dynamics. I like the big V6 and the hemi is serious fun.

    Sajeev, I agree with your comparison with the Camry. I have the latter, but to me the Chrysler is still more entertaining.

    I have no issues with cars like the 300 that at least try to be somthing different versus bland stuff like the last Impala or Taurus.

  • avatar
    CliffG

    These kinds of reviews, followed by a lot of excellent comments, just depress the hell out of me. We’ll skip the fact that my wife thinks these Chryslers are the ugliest automobiles on the face of the earth, and focus instead on the half-assed build quality, and more importantly, that they have not been upgraded at all since their introduction. It should not have taken a genius to understand that the rear seat needed to be tweaked.

    There is nothing more frustrating about the Big 2.5 than their continuing process of introducing an automobile and then ignoring it. At least Ford with their mutating Mustang variations is making some attempt to change the status quo.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    [i]A car with excellent bones, a flash exterior, a dreadful interior and dubious build quality[/i]

    My first car was a ’95 Intrepid, it sounds like things haven’t changed all that much.

  • avatar
    Jay Shoemaker

    Who is this Michael Schumacher guy and what has he written lately?

  • avatar
    ash78

    Jay,

    Maybe we should just call you “Schumacher” as the Teutonic-bizarro-world foil to Jalopnik’s reviewer “Loverman” (whoever THAT is!)

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    We’ll skip the fact that my wife thinks these Chryslers are the ugliest automobiles on the face of the earth, and focus instead on the half-assed build quality, and more importantly, that they have not been upgraded at all since their introduction.

    There would be nothing to change if they had the right materials and quality control from the beginning.

    My first car was a ‘95 Intrepid, it sounds like things haven’t changed all that much.

    At least the Intrepid was aerodynamic and set new standards in packaging efficiency with the whole cab forward thing. If retro goes out of style, the 300 is in big trouble.

    Hopefully whoever is in charge of the 300′s reskin wasn’t on the Sebring project.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Honestly, where do you even take the 300 from here? I don’t think Chrysler has a clue. It has been on a boom-and-bust cycle for the last 30 years. The bailout lead to the K-cars, then they were ignored for the much-hailed cab forward cars. The 2nd gen was supposed to include an Eagle, too, before they closed up the brand. Guess which one was going to wear the Eagle Vision badge…

    Anyway, Chrysler then ignored the cab-forward cars long enough that sales plummeted, and finally rolled out the “last chance” LX platform, which like the K-cars and the cab forward cars, got a ton of accolades. What do they do next? The LY platform, which I understand to be just an evolved LX, is coming under the Challenger. Chrysler Motors still can’t build a class-leading midsize or compact car, and has 2 models (4-cylinder sebring and caliber) that get 30+ mpg. A lot of us don’t care much about mileage, but a lot of people really do.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I couldn’t explain the boom-bust nature of Chrysler’s product cycles any better. Wow.

  • avatar
    wsn

    Well, I don’t know much about Chrysler quality and I have no intention to find out. But just for the looks, I would prefer an Intrepid over a 300c.

  • avatar
    nino

    Sanjeev, I don’t get this car either!

    Everybody raves about the look and the “handling” with the RWD, all I can say is that I’ve driven 6 different versions of this platform and have yet to be impressed on any level.

    To me, the LH platform 300C and Concorde had better, more upscale lines than this cartoon car.

  • avatar
    EJ

    The Chrysler 300, also known as “The Gangster Car”. There seem to be a lot of Al Capone impersonators around, or people with otherwise sinister tendencies. Does anybody ever laugh in these cars?
    And what’s next? Driving a hearse?

  • avatar
    bodayguy

    You have to give some praise to Chrysler for the design. It’s nice to see an attempt at an “American” style that isn’t an SUV with chrome door handles and plastic fender flares.

    We didn’t need another Accord clone. If you hate the look of the 300, then go buy an import. It does Chrysler no good to try and style a sedan like a Camry.

    No doubt, the car is due for a redesign. Seems they are too lazy to keep it fresh. Hope the same doesn’t happen to the Mustang.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    Aside from the hemi-equipped models, I don’t see the attraction.

    Even with rear-wheel drive, instead of one of the V-6-powered models, I’d rather have a Toyota Avalon or a Hyundai Azera. When the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego finally get the 3.5 liter V-6 maybe they will be contenders, too.

  • avatar
    Steven T.

    Bodayguy:
    I agree that it is good to see some design originality. What surprised me was that Chrysler threw away the well-regarded cab-forward look of the previous-generation 300M. I thought that was worthy of further development, both because it was fairly sporty and possessed some valuable brand equity (in the 1990s, Chrysler = cab-forward).

    Perhaps a (RWD) update of cab-forward might not have generated so much initial attention, but I think it would have aged better. And surely a wedge-shaped, cab-forward Charger sedan and Challenger coupe would have been better looking than the awkward bricks-on-wheels that they are betting the farm on.

    Why do so many recent designs equate “attitude” with cartoonishness?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    And surely a wedge-shaped, cab-forward Charger sedan and Challenger coupe would have been better looking than the awkward bricks-on-wheels that they are betting the farm on.

    Why do so many recent designs equate “attitude” with cartoonishness?

    I couldn’t agree more. Since when does unrefined retro automatically equate to American style? It never should.

    The Chrysler LH cars set the tone for Chrysler design and their contribution of cab forwardness is more American than the LX’s clumsy SUV stance.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i would get a maurauder for one reason only: since it looks like a police car, maybe people would stop tailgaiting and acting like ——— so much. I'd get a white one with small hubcaps, and those pointable lights on the fenders. other that that what a piece of —-. Its come to this – cars as self defense. Damm

  • avatar
    vento97

    >And what’s next? Driving a hearse?

    That’s where the Dodge Magnum Wagon comes in. Especially if it is in black…

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Hmmm…a Magnum with a vinyl roof covering the rear windows with a landau bar tacked on for good measure. That is absolutely horrifying!

  • avatar
    willbodine

    Sajeev, Sounds like you’ve already seen the current popular funeral hearse conversion: black, long wheelbase Chrysler Town&Country Minivan with black vinyl over roof and rear windows, avec “Landau irons.” (I think the Magnum load space is too low to handle a super-sized casket.)
    BTW, I have noticed several Magnums running around SoCal with 300 front clips…not sure what that means.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    I look forward to the day when we look back on the Gansta’ Rap era of recent years with the bemusement now reserved for the Disco era. How did being menacing and angry looking become attractive? Looking like a drug dealing pimp is cool?????

    Oh well, give it time. The only good thing about trendiness is that the current fad always passes.

  • avatar
    jakeryan1974

    I still like the 300 (maybe because there is an overall lack of true big sedans around), but I think, like many presidents, this vehicle will not be as glorified looking back as it was at introduction. I’ve driven it, agree with the interior, quality, and space comments. I think the styling is nice, and the hemi motor (not that we here in congested suburbia could ever use that power).

    I also think anyone that intends to carry people or cargo in a sedan should ALWAYS opt for rear air… I can’t stand drag ass, and it’s a handling and safety issue as well. Even if I do have to replace a bag or two at 100k miles, it was worth it.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    The 300C is an American Icon. Half a million sold in 3 years.

    No, the Taurus is an American Icon. Check its sales figures. The 300C is a German/American Hybrid with a lousy interior, truck like style and a distinct lack of influence on Camry and Accord buyers.

    A car that has sales equal to last year when the rest of DCX is down 9%. Wake up from your Japanese dream and look at cold hard facts.

    Just because it sells great for a Chrysler doesn’t mean its a car worthy of the Patriotism angle. We’ll talk when the Camry gets de-throned.

  • avatar
    GMrefugee

    Sajeev, are you suggesting the 300 was in some way not a sales success for DCX or just that it could have been a bigger success?

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Compared to the long-in-the-tooth LH cars, it is a sales success for DCX. I question if its enough to keep DCX alive in this world of Camrys, Accords, Sonatas and Fusions, etc. Further proof is the Dodge Ram: its a decent truck, but why is it always a distant third in sales to Chevy and Ford?

    The auto biz is looking more and more like survival of the fittest: Chrysler needs to step up and make a Home Run soon.

  • avatar
    Pat

    Chrysler invented the Minivan and they still own the segment. GM and Ford are non-players in that market segment. That’s one reason why they are in such bad shape. Hey GM, why can’t you build a decent minvan? Ditto Ford. Honda has the best product but they price it accordingly.

    DCX has a great opportunity: recycle MB designs in cheaper CX guise. Great way to amortize R&D. The 300/Magnum was a step in that direction.

    I’ve never been in a 300 so I can’t coment on it. I spent time in the back seat of a Magnum and thought it weas pretty good. Of course, I didn’t have to watch out for traffic.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    GM and Ford never got the minivan right, hence why they have to focus their efforts on crossovers like the Enclave and Edge. Probably a good idea since crossovers are likely to be the next big thing (if the marketing push works like it did for SUVs) and Minivan sales are going downhill.

    Chrysler owns about 40% of the minivan segment these days with the Caravan and T&C; Toyota and Honda combined are nipping at their heels. Nothing is safe/sacred for a manufacturer these days.

  • avatar
    KingElvis

    I ditched a 2005 Mustang GT for a 2006 Charger SE. I’m very glad I bought when I did, because for 2007 they make you buy the SXT falderal to get the 250hp engine.

    For $24G list and a very generous trade in, what is a better value for a 250hp full size car?

    I love the soft ride and it’s tomb like silence (ever ride in Mustang GT?).

    I’ll agree about the high beltline. After my wife scratched it parking for the third time, she now refuses to drive it.

    The car is ‘stylish’ especially for the price, although there are better looking cars. I find things I don’t like about the styling – hood seems unnecessarily short. In some ways I like the longer hood look of the Vic/Marquis. If they had a 250hp V8 for $24G (and standard CD and power seat which the standard model, amazingly, doesn’t have) I’d have bought the Ford, but if wishes were horses beggars would ride.

    One correction: My Charger might be lighter than the 300, but the V6 model is listed at 3700lbs – remember, the Hemi is ‘merican iron – literally, and the V6 is smaller and aluminum – plus you have less luxury equipment and smaller wheels and tires.

    One thing I hate: electronic throttle/trans. It takes about two (potentially life threatening) seconds for the trans to agree to go after you put it in gear and nail the throttle (I’m the jerk who does the three point 180 turnaround to get a space on the other side ‘o the street – consider how slowly time seems to travel as you watch angry drivers approach on both sides, your foot on the throttle and mother Mopar’s German tranny (sounds dirty!) hemming and ‘a hawing).

    Also, the ‘bump stick’ thing is totally useless – again at least a one second delay before anything happens. Also, why does the car stay in a lower gear (to the point of engine braking effect) once you let up off the throttle after a kickdown sequence?

    Verdict: LX chassis still doesn’t have real competition and “zeta” won’t be here for three years.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    You are correct, the Chrysler is 3766lbs, I’m sure its more like 3800 when fully loaded like my tester (moonroof, Nav, Boston Acoustics). I’ll make that change.

  • avatar
    dgcamero

    I agree about the cheapie interior (I can almost forgive the dash materials, but only having center leather really annoys me), but I definitely disagree with your space comments. I’m 6’5″ tall and rode in the back of my rental 300 Touring for over 2 hours and was perfectly comfortable (In other words, the only other car with a better back seat costs about 3 times as much — or was an LH). The driver’s seat is perfectly shaped and kept me comfortable for 6 hour stretches. No one sitting behind me (with the seat all the way back) complained about room or poor comfort either.

    Whoever said the Grand Marquis has a big back seat must be below 5’10″ tall as my 5’11″ friend doesn’t even fit in the back of one of those (knees hit – maybe equal headroom).

    So basically, if they spent an extra $500 on better materials, and $500 on progressive rate springs (thought the initial 1/2″ of suspension travel was stiffer than it needed to be) and a rear anti-roll bar for the non Hemi models, the Touring would be about the best $27K car one could buy.

  • avatar
    hallandhall

    I have a 2006 Touring, and love it after 26,000 miles. It is the best OVERALL new car I have ever owned. I traded a 1997 Mercedes S Class and have no regrets. It has the bells and whistles I wanted but lacked in the Mercedes (navigation, satellite stereo, heated seats) for $31K, or HALF the price of a new E class, and a THIRD the price of a new S class. I get 33 mpg on the highway with the 3.5 liter and more compliments than I ever got with the Mercedes. The paint is much better than my wife’s 2005 Infiniti. The service costs are dirt cheap. The stock interior is too plain; my “Signature Edition” has two-tone grey and black leather seats, which helps, and I added a genuine burl wood dash kit which improved things a lot. It’s not a Mercedes, but it’s a steal at the price.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    No one sitting behind me (with the seat all the way back) complained about room or poor comfort either.

    Everyone did when I tried. There’s plenty of space for tall folks, but the cushions have no support. Compared to other cars in its class, I started to feel tired in my hips after 20 mins on them. The worst was that the backseat (mostly vinyl I might add) was slippery: people complained I needed to slow down (I was going the speed limit or less) in the turns because they had to brace themselves for anything.

    The only thing good about those seats is their impact on Chrysler’s bottom line.

    So basically, if they spent an extra $500 on better materials, and $500 on progressive rate springs (thought the initial 1/2″ of suspension travel was stiffer than it needed to be) and a rear anti-roll bar for the non Hemi models, the Touring would be about the best $27K car one could buy.

    I doubt $500 would cut it. That’s enough for real leather on the wheel and the seating surfaces but not enough for Honda-grade plastics all around.

  • avatar
    Toxie2725

    This car has been a far-and-away hit that ANY car company would be proud to call theirs. I think the hype can be justified considering the sales numbers- and the 300 has certianly proven to be a "home run".

  • avatar
    NickR

    Got a base model as a rental today. A bit disappointed to see the car relegated to rental car hell, but I guess the rental car companies are trying to move upmarket. Observations: Remarkably roomy front seat, comfortable seating position (I am 6 ft 4 in). Headliner was a bit low for spotting traffic lights, but good outward vision otherwise. Reasonable perky considering it was the base six. The bads? Charter airline upholstery on the seats, but probably durable. Pretty mediocre plastics, Chrysler could do at least somewhat better. Ridiculously small trunk opening, especially considering the big trunk volume. Not a great transmission, some shifts felt like a manual with a slipping clutch, others felt like accidently picking the wrong (lower) gear.

    Despite the criticisms, I’d say it’s a good car for dragging ones butt to and from work Monday to Friday, which is what most people do. It could be much better though with some continuous improvement. Hopefully Chrysler won’t rest on their laurels.

    On another note, saw my first Compass on the road today. What an awful looking car. I’d take a Jeep Wrangler anyday over that.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    I think the hype can be justified considering the sales numbers- and the 300 has certianly proven to be a “home run”.

    What exactly are those sales numbers? How do they compare to the likes of the Camry, Accord, Altima and even the Impala and Taurus?

    Much like the high volume Dodge Ram, the 300 is a great success by Chrysler standards. But up against GM, Honda, Toyota, etc. it is less of a home run and more of a double.

  • avatar
    john

    Compare the sales with cars in its same class. Of course cheaper cars sell better. How does it do against the Acura TL, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, Cadilac CTS? When you compare car sales don’t forget to include the Magnum and Charger.

  • avatar
    john

    The 300 chrylser’s unibody is mercedes stiff. The suspension and transmission comes from a $50,000 mercedes. Its RWD. The engine is a 5.7 liter hemi. The styling is stunning (if a bit much for the testosterone challenged). Its the right size and price. The fit and finish is mediocre in its first revision. This car will be a classic.

  • avatar
    john

    Edmunds compared it with Avalon, 500 and a few others. Avalon one the comparison on points but all the test drivers would choose the chrysler.

  • avatar

    Compare the sales with cars in its same class. Of course cheaper cars sell better. How does it do against the Acura TL, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon, Cadilac CTS?

    All those cars are way more expensive than a $24,000 (or less) Chrysler 300. They are so not in the same class. And I bet America buys more of those premium sedans than the $32,000-ish 300C HEMI.

    Fact is, the 300 had the buzz to get people excited, but Honda and Toyota laughed all the way to the bank.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    I hope the reduced (To sane, good looking levels, IMO) greenhouses the LX cars have spread to other makes and models. Cars with huge areas of glass look bad, and while the LX cars aren’t the greatest looking cars, they at least have the greenhouse proportions right. There used to be a webpage where a bunch of late 90′s cars were photoshopped to reduce the greenhouse, and some went from “Damn, is that ugly!” , to “WOW!, If only they made it really look like that!”

  • avatar
    jdub

    I just bought a 2006 Chrysler 300 Limited with 8000 miles on the odometer. My prior cars were a 2002 Nissan Maxima SE 6-speed (bought used), 2000 Acura TL (bought new), 1998 Ford Contour SVT (new), and 1995 Ford Contour SE (new). My wife currently drives a Honda Odyssey (bought new). My biggest reason for going with the 300 was its value proposition as a used car. I did not want another front driver because they all seem to “feel” about the same and have very similar ride/drive/handling characteristics. The other cars I considered were the Altima, Maxima, and Accord.

    Overall the Chrysler is the best car I have owned. The feeling of solidity is amazing. The engine is not as refined as the Nissan or Acura, but it has sufficient power. In contrast to the Nissan and Acura, which actually make their best power in the low-mid range, the Chrysler V6 makes its best power at the mid-high range. The auto-stick is extremely useful since it does not first have to be slotted into a “sport” gate; it’s instantly available for a downshift. However, it does not force upshifts, so you have to modulate the throttle if you want an early upshift to save on gas.

    The suspension is FAR AND AWAY superior to all of those front drive cars. It is the PERFECT highway cruiser, which is where I do most of my driving. I am amazed at the serenity and stability cruising along at decent speeds. The Maxima really beat me up on long hauls. The Chrysler is the opposite: it coddles. Just to be clear, though, the overall impression is not soft but, rather, solid and quiet.

    In terms of interior fit and finish, my early reaction to this car when it came out was that the interior was somewhat cheap. This judgment was made from pictures, only. Living with the car is a different story. My perception is that the interior fit and finish is as good, or better, than any of my previous cars, including the Acura. The materials are very nice visually, and feel good to the touch. I like the fact that it is simple, and not overly contoured and swooped.

    I am very happy with this car so far. Long term reliability is still a question for me, but I’ll soon see since I put on about 30K miles per year. Part of what made me take a risk on the reliability was coming from the Acura two cars ago. My assumption when I bought that car (new) was that it was bulletproof because it was Japanese. Unfortunately, the transmission in that particular model run was not designed well and is notorious for failures. That event changed my perspective on the definition of reliability. We’ll see if the Chrysler changes that perception again!

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    Having never driven a 300, I can’t comment on its mechanical atributes. However, I once wondered where GM got the idea for the car’s bizzare appearence. Then I saw a Rolls Royce Phantom. This is typical Chrysler cynicism – creating a poser mobile for those guys who want to fool brainless gold-diggers into thinking they’re bigshots.

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    Oh. Correction: I once wondered where CHRYSLER got the idea for the car’s bizzare appearence.

  • avatar
    toxicroach

    I saw one of the “Bently” (sic) 300′s today. Whoever owned the car hadn’t bothered taking off the 300/Hemi badge!

    I doubt looking like an ridiculous asshole to everyone you know is worth impressing the random person who notices that B, knows what the B means, AND doesn’t figure out its a hoax.

  • avatar
    Archon0670

    I have worked in the after-market auto industry for about 20 years. I’ve been in a lot of cars. Thousands. Of all the cars I have driven, and worked on, and worked in, the 2006 Chrysler 300C is far and away, FAR and away… the best car of them all. The best car I’ve owned, out of about 35 cars since I turned 16. I purchased it used, 5 yrs old, 64k miles. I have not “pimped” it. I still roll with the crome clad aluminum 18′s it came with. Tinted windows and tinted plate covers. Its the ONLY car in 26 years on the road that strangers approach me in parking lots and ask me about, or compliment me on. Riddle me that. :) I used to drive my work-mates insane, as every time we passed a used car lot or worked on a new car at the dealers ship I would constantly point out cars I would love to own next. I don’t even shop cars anymore, I’m fully satisfied, and still impressed. I’m shaking with adrenaline often when I arrive at my destination, and genuinely laugh out loud whlie driving it. Visibility? Really? Im 6’2″ and I dont have any issues with knowing what cars are around me. Style, or trunk space… hmmm Style! Its distressing to see someone call these cars “cheap” or “plasticky”, I see no problems with my walnut and tortoise shell trim, its beutifull. Perhaps if I threw 50 or 60k at a car, I might possibly enjoy some other car. But to be fully honest, I’m not interested in owning another car, ever. It’s simply the most amazing car, and I love driving it every day. Ya’ll have a good one!


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