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Chrysler 300 2014 review

They boned a bit of kit from the SRT8 Chrysler 300 to produce the Core model, and brought the price back to a seriously tempting $56,000. And you hardly miss the extra goodies from the full strength SRT8. The most obvious deletion is leather upholstery and some of the driver assist features have disappeared but — as the name suggests — this car cuts to the core of what the Chrysler 300 SRT8 is all about.

The key factors remain: the 6.4-litre, V8 engine, 20-inch wheels, sports suspension, Brembo four-pot brakes and burbling dual exhaust. You can't tell the difference on the road. Neither can you tell when viewing the docked tail beast apart from Core badging. What you do get for a lot less than an HSV or FPV is a superb cruising sedan with a whole lot of attitude and still, the class leading output for a naturally aspirated V8 this side of $100,000.

They have smartened up the interior look compared to the 300 — there's less hard plastic and varied fascia material. It's well equipped with various touch screen operated infotainment features and even a data logging system along with excellent audio with Bluetooth and phone connectivity called Uconnect.

Engine and transmission

The 6.4-litre V8 engine with 347kW/631Nm output is an oldie but a goodie with overhead valves no less. They've somehow attached variable valve timing to the antiquated operation system as well as cylinder deactivation in an attempt to save fuel. In operation, the cylinder deactivation is noisy to the point of being distracting. It shuts down four pots on cruise but the big beast still sucks it down at around 14.0-litres/100km best case scenario.

It can easily crack into the 20s if you plant the right foot. Weighed against that is the super strong performance available at will and accompanied by a gorgeous throaty V8 burble when you give it some. It only has a five speed auto which is possibly one cog short of optimum but it does the job and has mini-paddle shift on the steering wheel.

Driving

It's truly amazing what Chrysler's SRT (Sport Race Technology) outfit has done with this two tonne performance sedan. It simply shouldn't feel as responsive and tactile as it does. The steering is excellent — direct, well weighted accurate and the Brembos are just awesome.

The car is slammed a tad from other Chrysler 300s and has firmer suspension but not too firm. It sits fairly flat on the road and hooks around corners like a nimble sports car. That's partly due to the beefy rubber but also to the carefully calibrated suspension  and rear wheel drive that gives the right feel to any performance car.

In performance terms the Core would clock a low 5.0 second 0-100kmh sprint without too much trouble. Standard kit includes aircon with a particle filter, cruise control a multi-function sports wheel, bixenon headlights vehicle info display, press button start, park assist and plenty more.

Though the chassis has its roots way back in an earlier generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it still does the job well under the Core. Five stars for safety, no creaks or groans over driveways and a solid feel when working the car hard. We like the look too — especially in the Core with those big wheels and low ride height making it almost like a mafia car.

Verdict

Hard to go past for the money. One for the V8 lovers or those who enjoy a relaxes high speed cruiser with impressive rear seat room and a big boot.

Pricing Guides

$27,490
Based on 68 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$18,588
Highest Price
$38,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
C 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $19,900 – 26,977 2014 Chrysler 300 2014 C Pricing and Specs
C Luxury 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $18,588 – 24,990 2014 Chrysler 300 2014 C Luxury Pricing and Specs
Limited 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $18,999 – 25,990 2014 Chrysler 300 2014 Limited Pricing and Specs
S 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $23,990 – 26,990 2014 Chrysler 300 2014 S Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$13,990

Lowest price, based on 68 car listings in the last 6 months

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