Commodore Z vs Chrysler 300 Ltd

12 December 2012

Commodore Z vs Chrysler 300 Ltd

Commodore Z and Chrysler 300 Ltd go head-to-head in this comparative review.

Value

Holden Commodore Z

from $42,790

The Z-Series SV6 special edition enhances the value equation. Features run to sports leather front seats, dual-zone climate control, touchscreen infotainment system with hard drive, Bluetooth and USB audio and phone connection, 19-inch alloys, fog lamps and leather-wrapped wheel.

Chrysler 300 Limited

from $43,000

The base 300 has cloth trim, powered front seats, 60-40 split-fold rear bench, 18-inch alloys, Alpine sound, power-adjustable leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual zone climate control with rear vents. It also gets auto bi-xenon headlights, LED running lights, keyless entry and ignition.

Design

Holden Commodore Z

Still a handsome brute, the Z-Series has a more overt body kit than the 300, with flared front guards and big wheels. Family-friendly cabin space and useful ergonomics in the VE still stand up. Asthmatic rear vents and expansive rear glass don't favour cool rev heads.

Chrysler 300 Limited

Squared-jawed and macho, the new 300 has plenty of brute in the body shell. Lots of chrome, dual exhausts and bling headlights give it a distinctive look, although some still miss the old look reminiscent of the big, bad Bentley Arnage. The comfy cabin is not as cavernous as is seems.

Technology

Holden Commodore Z

The V6 displaces 3.6 litres and has 24 valves, double overhead camshafts and direct injection putting out 210kW and 350Nm. A six-speed auto surrenders two ratios to the Chrysler but slighter mass helps it claim similar thirst -- 9.8L/100km in combined running.

Chrysler 300 Limited

Smooth and quiet, the new 3.6-litre V6 delivers 210kW/340Nm, with fuel-saving cylinder drop-out but no direct injection. It claims 9.4L/100km, in part due to the long-legged and clever eight-speed ZF auto and despite the extra kgs over the Holden.

Safety

Holden Commodore Z

A five-star car, the SV6 has dual front, front-side and full-length curtain airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, automatic halogen headlights. The Z-Series pack adds rear parking sensors and a camera. The Yank still has a few extra toys.

Chrysler 300 Limited

US ratings have it at the top of the scale. Light pad pressure dries the brakes when it's raining. There are ready-alert braking and hill start assist. Also on the list are front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, seven airbags and a tyre pressure monitoring display.

Driving

Holden Commodore Z

The art of hiding weight and enhancing steering worked well with the VE series. It sits securely, has more informative steering and is lighter on its feet than the near-1700kg kerb weight suggests. It has more than enough pep for drivers not set on a V8.

Chrysler 300 Limited

The Chrysler leviathan feels tauter than its forebear, with more smarts in the suspension. It is yet to top the locally made rear-drivers for steering or chassis balance but it is certainly much better -- if you don't push on beyond 6/10ths of driving capacity.

Verdict

Holden Commodore Z

Chrysler 300 Limited

The Chrysler's features and safety gear put it out in front, though the Holden is better to drive. Wait and see what VF serves up.  

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Published 12 December 2012

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We compare, head to head, two similar models of competing manufacturer cars. Which do we prefer? Why? Find out in CarsGuide's Head To Head showdowns.