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Chrysler 300C 2006 Review

Enter the imposing 300C saloon.

Even since its marriage to Mercedes-Benz as part of the DaimlerChrysler group, the big American struggles with the concept of anything remotely close to automotive excellence.

However, there are signs that this perception is turning around, albeit with the pace of an ocean liner doing an about face in the Brisbane River.

Enter the imposing 300C saloon.

A few flaws here and there take it a tad south of being perfect, but by gee, it's one heck of a car.

And whoever said that for anything to sell by the truckloads it has to be absolute perfection?

You only have to think about mobile phones, many of which are tired and some buggered after a few years' work.

The 300C is the beacon that Chrysler desperately needs to gain a strong sales footing locally.

For $59,990 the 5.7-litre HEMI V8, which shuts down two cylinders on either bank when it doesn't need the power, presents a compelling case in the local prestige saloon market against Holden's Statesman and the Ford Fairlane. There is much more to like about the return of Chrysler's iconic letter series nameplate from the '50s than not.

There are some fit and finish issues inside but heck, who cares when you're coasting around town in a hunk of metal this loud?

The tough, gangster-style looks which from certain angles can be mistaken for a Bentley Arnage, have an on-road presence that even the confronting PT Cruiser couldn't match.

On this test across about 400km of about 70 per cent highway work and the rest comprised of short/sharp bursts in built-up zones, fuel use came in at 11.5-litres/100km, which was under the claimed 12.1litres/100km in combined conditions.

Fully adjustable leather-clad seats with two-position memory provide a comfortable ride, and the distinctive HEMI gruff infiltrates the cabin to remind occupants of its Detroit origins.

A Statesman or Fairlane would destroy the 300C in ride and handling stakes but they are a little on the starchy side.

Where the Chrysler is overdosing on fun and thrill pills, the locals are falling asleep at the wheel.

The 300C is an enigmatic saloon. It is long and bold, brash and brazen.

There is nothing available in its market segment which stirs the senses as much as the big yankee job.

With so many positives to its credit, the heavy HEMI can get away with features such as a ride which is far too busy and damping control which tends to be out to lunch.

For $6000 less there is a 3.5-litre V6.

But that's like going for the junior meal at McDonald's instead of the jumbo deal.

In the end the big HEMI is irresistible.

A bit like a mobile phone really . . . you've gotta get one.

Pricing Guides

Based on 25 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 $8,999 – 12,499 2006 Chrysler 300C 2006 3.5 V6 Pricing and Specs
5.7 Hemi V8 5.7L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $8,888 – 19,750 2006 Chrysler 300C 2006 5.7 Hemi V8 Pricing and Specs
CRD 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $9,990 – 14,881 2006 Chrysler 300C 2006 CRD Pricing and Specs
SRT8 6.1L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $17,885 – 22,987 2006 Chrysler 300C 2006 SRT8 Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 5 car listings in the last 6 months

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