We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?
What is it?
The diesel version of Chrysler's big in your face sedan, although you wouldn't know it. There is nothing to distinguish the diesel from petrol models which equals no cringe value.
At a starting price of $48,000 the diesel will set you back $5000 more than the entry level petrol V6, but it's worth it because you can have your cake and eat it too.
What are competitors?
Nothing really, not with the same road presence. Perhaps the Caprice, or maybe the Falcon or Commodore but none of them are available with a diesel engine.
What’s under the bonnet?
The 3.0-litre VM Motori turbo diesel delivers an unparalleled combination of outstanding performance and economy. It produces an outstanding 176kW of power and 550Nm of torque from a low 1800 revs. Featuring a common-rail, direct injection fuel system, variable geometry turbocharger and integrated diesel particulate filter to help reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, the engine is engineered to meet stringent EURO 5 emission standards.
How does it go?
Impressive. It's hard to believe you can drive a big car like this with this kind of performance that still returns these amazing fuel figures, especially at this price. A German bahnstormer would cost you twice the price.
Is it economical?
Combined fuel consumption figures are 7.1 litres/100km with 18-inch wheels, and 7.2 litres/100km with 20-inch wheels. We were getting 7.4 after almost 600km which shows it's eminently gettable.
Is it green?
Middle of the road. Gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from the Govt's Green Vehicle Guide (in comparison the Prius gets 5). Produces 185 or 191g/km of CO2 depending on whether it's running 18 or 20 inch wheels.
Is it safe?
Doesn't get a rating from ANCAP. But rebadged as a Lancia it scored full points in Euro tests, with seven airbags including a driver's knee bag and features like electronic stability control and electronic pedestrian protection, plus front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.
Is it comfortable?
Big and reasonably quiet. The entry level models features cloth upholstery, leather wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power front driver and passenger seats with fourway lumbar adjustment, and power front windows, with one-touch up and down.
What’s it like to drive?
Shame it doesn't get the 8 speed auto like the V6. But then again with this much torque the five-speed is more than adequate. 0-100km/h takes 7.8 secs, with strong low to mid range response as you might expect.
Is it value for money?
Big chunk of car for the money. In addition, adaptive forward lighting and Bi-Xenon HID Headlamps with auto levelling and daytime running lights ensure premium visibility day or night.
Would we buy one?
We'd be tempted. Not sure about the styling, but if you like to be different this is the one for you.
Chrysler 300 CRD Diesel
Price: from $48,000
Warranty: 3 years/100,000km
Safety rating: n/a
Engine: 3.0-litre 6-cyl diesel, 176kW/550Nm
Transmission: 5-speed auto; RWD
Body: 5066m (L); 1905m (w); 1488m (h)
Thirst: 7.1L/100km, 185g/km