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Chrysler 300 2013 review

The new Chrysler 300 SRT8 won’t be winning any beauty awards but that’s not what it’s aiming for – the SRT8 is more interested in showing off what’s hiding beneath the surface.

Value

Here's the choice for around $66 grand in the heavy-hitter sedan department; HSV's 6.2-litre, V8 ClubSport at $66,900, Falcon F6 (blown six banger) at $64,390 or the new 6.4-litre, V8 Chrysler 300 SRT8 at a neat $66,000.

Technology

The Falcon is a livewire that sounds like a vacuum cleaner, the HSV has good credentials and handling like a buckin' bronco while the Chrysler (reviewed here) is a Barry Crocker (shocker) to look at but outguns them all in terms of engine capacity and output. The bulky Chrysler tips the scales around 2.0 tonnes but that doesn't matter a hoot when you have 347kW and 631Nm rumbling up front.

It's enough to push the SRT8 from 0-100kmh in the sub 5.0 second bracket. Drive goes to the huge 20-inch rear wheels through a five-speed auto with paddle shift and multiple modes. Variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation help efficiency but the donk remains an overhead valve unit. It likes a drink of premium too with a combined claimed average of 13.0-litres/100km.

The cylinder deactivation system operates all the time and isn't the smoothest mechanical system ever invented. Its operation is accompanied by a noticeable graunching noise. But the SRT8 gets up when you select the sports mode and deactivate the over intrusive stability control.

Sport mode sharpens up a range of functions converting the big Chry from barge to ballistic. It a remarkable transformation apart from that deactivation system constantly intervening when you get off the throttle. They need to install a dual mode exhaust too because the existing system is neutered. We would like to find out if the sports mode can be permanently selected instead of the car defaulting to nanny mode every time you switch off.

Design

The big, ugly Chrysler is a newbie in this company but what have they done to its looks? The previous model had real presence on the road - a large, American car look with overtones of Bentley. This new model has horrible piggy squint headlights, horrible black plastic honeycomb grille and a horrible chamfered rear end that looks like it's been chopped off at an angle by a giant's cheese slicer.

And it isn’t much better inside if you like a premium soft-feel environment. Chrysler has perfected a method of skinning hard surfaces with a form of stitched leather for a "classy look." And that's what it is - a look only because the touch is hard-as-the-hobs-of-hell - cheap, nasty.

Still, other aspects of the interior are pretty good with a Harman Kardon premium audio system, very large touch screen with satnav and reverse camera, electronic vehicle info' centre, sporty wheel, stunning light blue instrument back lighting, multiple media connection options. We like the numerous Benz-style safety systems too.

Pity about the annoying rattle in the vicinity of the right rear door and the lack of a spare. There's plenty of room for five inside and the boot is huge.

Driving

In normal driving, the SRT8 is a big, comfy limo that pampers passengers to a high luxury level. Let it loose on a tight section of road or racetrack and it's like Jeckyll and Hyde. Lucky it has four piston Brembos all round.

Verdict

Is it better than an HSV or FPV? In some ways yes, engine performance can be remarkable and the handling isn’t too shabby. But the looks, the looks......

Pricing Guides

$27,880
Based on 67 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$16,995
Highest Price
$36,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
C 3.0L, Diesel, 5 SP AUTO $21,990 – 26,012 2013 Chrysler 300 2013 C Pricing and Specs
C Luxury 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $16,995 – 27,800 2013 Chrysler 300 2013 C Luxury Pricing and Specs
Limited 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $12,980 – 17,380 2013 Chrysler 300 2013 Limited Pricing and Specs
S 3.6L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $20,998 – 29,990 2013 Chrysler 300 2013 S Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$24,990

Lowest price, based on 16 car listings in the last 6 months

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