Chrysler 300c 2008 Review
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Its bold presence and striking looks have given it a real chance in our big car market.
Drivetrains and performance
The 300C is available as a sedan or wagon – 300C Touring – and comes with a choice of four engines: 3.5 litre V6, 3.0 litre CRD V6, 5.7 litre HEMI V8, and the stonking 6.1 litre HEMI V8 SRT we tested, with its 317kW of power and a chunky 569Nm of torque at our disposal.
With that under the bonnet you can expect to reach 265km/h, getting to the first hundred in just over five seconds.
At just under two tonnes and just over five meters long, the big SRT8 gets power to the wheels via a five speed automatic with AutoStick for manual shifting.
For a superior driving experience the 300C has a near 50/50 weight distribution, rear-wheel drive, ESP and five-link rear suspension.
As was to be expected, fuel consumption is on the high side at 14 litres/100kms.
Standing at over five meters long and nearly two meters wide, the 300C has a bold presence on the road.
But more than just its sheer size; the high belt line, huge proportion of side glass, chrome exterior mirrors and door handles and the classic, stately grille design come together to create a vehicle that commands respect.
The SRT version also has massive 20 inch wheels and an integrated spoiler with high mounted stop light.
The 300C’s cavernous interior is lined with soft touch surfaces and luxury leather-trimmed seats. The front bucket seats are heated.
Tortoise shell and California Walnut trim is available for the bigger V6 and the lesser V8 respectively, with the SRT8 dominated inside by dark leather trim and aluminium panelling.
Dual Zone Automatic Temperature Control, a five feature memory system for the driver, rain sensing wipers and a Multimedia Infotainment Systemwith Navigation are all standard on the SRT8.
Cargo capacity is flexible thanks to 60/40 split-folding rear seats and large boot. Two front and two rear cup holders make long distance driving easier.
Along with Electronic Stability Program which includes Electronic throttle control, all speed traction control and Yaw-Control sensor/Steering Control sensor, the 300C range has a Rear park assist System, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, brake assist and big Brembo brakes.
A comprehensive airbag package rounds out the 300C’s impressive safety features.
Pricing for the 300C range starts at $53,990 for the 3.5 litre V6 auto sedan.
The 6.1 litre, Hemi SRT8 auto that we tested starts at $71,990 for the sedan and $74,990 for the Touring – the most expensive car.
Our first thought after seeing the 300C in the flesh was how the hell we were going to get it in and out of our miniscule car park without scraping it on one of the many — largely unnecessary – cement pylons. At over five meters long and a coat of paint under two meters wide, its no little shopping trolley.
But seeing it in person also revealed its impressive, muscular presence. The huge grille, splashes of chrome and enormous 20” wheels gave it an attitude we reckoned would have attracted those of us who love a good gangster flick and want to bling their way round in a big mean car and count the stares.
The 300C’s interior is cavernous. There’s a fine line between the luxury of a lot of space, and feeling you could get lost just in the centre console bin — it really doesn’t need to be that big. Just a fraction smaller and you wouldn’t need a two-way to speak to your passengers. But negatives aside, the seats are comfortable and supportive and the aluminium dash and thumping stereo give a prestigious feel.
The sheer power of the big V8 doesn’t disappoint and is surprising given the car’s size. A short squirt on the throttle produces instant thrust and that 'thump in the back of your seat’ punch. Ride and handling — thanks to the 50/50 weight distribution and five-link rear suspension — is firm and smooth and it corners as well as a lot of cars half its size.
All in all, it’s probably a little on the large side for out modest needs but it definitely shook off a lot of initial criticisms after a few days behind the wheel.
Range and Specs
|3.5 V6||3.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$12,100 – 16,060||2008 Chrysler 300C 2008 3.5 V6 Pricing and Specs|
|5.7 Hemi V8||5.7L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$11,660 – 15,620||2008 Chrysler 300C 2008 5.7 Hemi V8 Pricing and Specs|
|CRD||3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO||$12,980 – 17,270||2008 Chrysler 300C 2008 CRD Pricing and Specs|
|SRT8||6.1L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO||$19,360 – 24,530||2008 Chrysler 300C 2008 SRT8 Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data