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Chrysler 300C 2005 Review

Drive the 300C and people are going to talk to you ...

Drive the 300C and people are going to talk to you ... at the lights, in the carpark, at the service station ... and they are going to stare.

Boy, do they stare. Stare and point, that is.

But, remember: everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

You will find plenty of people like your choice in cars; others will tell you in no uncertain terms why your parents should have been far more careful with birth control.

Love the look or hate the look. That's what Chrysler wanted in designing the 300C and that is just what they have achieved.

Personally, I love it.

But I also think the big-butt look of the Renault Megane is pretty neat.

The 300C is an imposing car. It has road presence far above its $59,990 price tag for the 5.7-litre Hemi V8 model.

At just on 5m long, weighing in at 1873kg and designed to celebrate straight lines and corners, the 300C also gives the impression that it will handle almost as well as the large box it imitates.

Wrong, on so many levels. The upside of the 300C's brick-like shape is the amount of room in the cabin. It is one of the least cramped large cars in existence.

Shoulder, leg, head and knee-room front and rear, is expansive but without reaching limousine levels.

The downside of the shape, however, is serious difficulty in judging just where the extremities of the car might be when parking or manoeuvring in tight spaces.

Standard equipment in the 300C Hemi is generous, with the only options the premium paint package ($370) — for which you'll have to fork out unless your favourite colour is white — and a $2430 power sunroof.

The Boston Acoustics sound system is simply superb. It is the latest in a range of car systems from various manufacturers that would not be out of place in the lounge room.

The eight-way adjustable leather electric seats are comfortable without being particularly outstanding but again, they are well suited to the car.

Apart from the rather tacky part-wood part-leather steering wheel, the interior is quite stylish for an American car. It is reasonable to assume that, in no small part, this is down to the huge input in styling and design from Mercedes-Benz. And in the getting-down-to-business department, the 250kW 5.7-litre Hemi V8 is a bit of a brute.

None of your namby-pamby, take it gently and build up slowly to conserve fuel attitude on show here. It wants — demands — that you stomp the accelerator and get into that huge 525Nm of torque as soon as possible.

The torque peaks at 4000rpm but the majority arrives not long after 2000rpm and keeps on urging well past the optimum. Chrysler

claims a sprint from 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds, which is very acceptable for a luxo-cruiser of this size. The down side of giving in to the Hemi's demands is that you will probably have paid the car off before the fuel bills.

Economy figures range from mid-13 litre/100km on long, lazy highway drives, to 24-plus litre/100km readings punching from roundabout to roundabout in the city.

Despite this, the 300C does exactly what it was designed to do for Chrysler Jeep in Australia — it provides an obvious presence.

That it is a neat — if thirsty — drive and competitively priced is a bonus.

Pricing Guides

Based on 3 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

3.5 V6 3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $10,340 – 14,190 2005 Chrysler 300C 2005 3.5 V6 Pricing and Specs
5.7 Hemi V8 5.7L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $13,990 – 18,500 2005 Chrysler 300C 2005 5.7 Hemi V8 Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 3 car listings in the last 6 months

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