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Chrsyler 300 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
8
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the 2015 Chrsyler 300 SRT with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.

Chrysler's V8, a box with attitude, adds an interior nearing luxury standards

Fast forward a year or two and Chrysler's 300 SRT will be the only affordable V8-powered car available in Australia. Sure, there will be the (expensive) European models but no Falcon or Commodore.

If the Chyrsler is to be the only choice for V8 fans then it's not a bad place to be. Even the police will be in the big Mopar job when they can't buy turbo Falcon or SS Commodore chaser cars.

So, look out all you miscreants who persist in speeding, because the SRT is coming to get you. And get you it will, based on our long drive in both the de-specced Core and luxury SRT models this week.

Value

The Core and SRT sell for $59,000 and $69,000 respectively, right up the nose of HSV competitors. And both absolutely rip, as you would expect from something with 350kW of 6.4-litre V8 burbling under the bonnet.

This is the third iteration of the SRT, formerly called the SRT8, and is far and away the best with proprietary parts from superior suppliers all working their magic on how the car drives, stops, feels and handles.

Bilstein shocks (adaptive on the SRT), Brembo brakes, Getrag diff, ZF eight-speed auto replacing the previous five-speeder ... it's all good.

And get this, Australia is one of the few countries that will get the hi-po sedan because it won't be available in the US, where the focus is on the more mundane models.

That said, the 300 is an "old" car, though much revised from the original — which gained its underpinnings from a Mercedes E-Class a few models back. Not a bad starting point.

The engine also has been around for yonks. It's a pushrod overhead valve example with two (big) valves per cylinder. However the single, low- mounted camshaft has variable phasing to optimise output and cylinder deactivation on four of the eight to save fuel when all aren't needed.

The switch between four and eight pots is quite conspicuous when you're driving along.

The Chrysler can return 13.0L/100km in combined driving but a quite shocking 20.0L around town, or even more unless you drive as if on eggshells. If thirst is an issue, don't buy an SRT.

There's extensive use of aluminium in the suspension components and plenty of lightweight, high-strength steel in the body but the 300 SRT still tips the scales at a hefty 1950kg.

Drive is to the rear wheels through a mechanical limited- slip differential. The slick-changing eight-speed auto has multiple drive modes and paddle shifters. A relevant point: the paddles are aluminium while most similar setups are cheapo plastic. Speaks volumes.

Chrysler installed electric power steering, which means selectable response for the driver. The steering, as well as throttle and transmission, can be set for Sport, Track, Default and Custom. The Track setting is truly engaging as it delivers a full muscle car exhaust note to accompany maximum available performance and firm driving dynamics.

The $10K cheaper Core doesn't get the SRT's leather trim, forged 20-inch wheels, driver assist technology, satnav and adaptive dampers and has lower-spec audio. But they look much the same from the outside and have the same powertrain.

The interior is a vast improvement on previous efforts and is approaching luxury standard in terms of look, feel and function. The 8.4-inch infotainment screen is excellent, as are all the functions it controls.

The exterior is unmistakeably SRT with that Bentley-esque look to the nose, square set profile and tall tail. It's a box with attitude and that's really appealing for plenty of punters out there.

Driving

This is where it gets interesting because we prefer the Core — it has a raw drive feel more in keeping with the whole sports sedan idea. The SRT in comparison is a softer option, more luxurious, more like a GT car that can soak up vast distances with ease and a high level of comfort.

0-100km/h sprint covered in about 4.5­ seconds thanks in part to the 637Nm mountain of torque

Both models really get up and boogie with the 0-100km/h sprint covered in about 4.5­ seconds thanks in part to the 637Nm mountain of torque.

The gearbox is sweet and there's a profound difference between all available modes. We like the high level of active and passive safety features, especially on the SRT.

As for using it as a track car ... well, it's not really suited because its 2.0 tonnes would fry the brakes rapidly and slow it through the turns.

Verdict

It's a statement car — looks awesome on the road, sounds awesome, goes quickly and has plenty of kit. A third of the price of a Benz C63AMG with similar performance and (slightly) more room. But a sports sedan — not really. We'd have one in a blink as long as someone else was paying for the fuel.

Pricing Guides

$36,941
Based on 26 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$19,990
Highest Price
$47,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
C 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $19,990 – 36,990 2015 Chrysler 300 2015 C Pricing and Specs
C Luxury 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $19,690 – 24,860 2015 Chrysler 300 2015 C Luxury Pricing and Specs
Limited 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $16,390 – 21,010 2015 Chrysler 300 2015 Limited Pricing and Specs
S 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $18,370 – 23,210 2015 Chrysler 300 2015 S Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
8
Pricing Guide

$36,900

Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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