The Chrysler 300 is a popular large sedan with sleek, classic styling. Its popularity, however, doesn’t stem from an enormous amount of upgrades, though. Still, without vast amounts of changes, like other sedans in its class, Chrysler built a solid vehicle in the 300 after being in production for about 15 years. Car and Driver reviewed their test vehicle and gave their thoughts on the 2020 Chrysler 300.
The brief history of the Chrysler 300
According to AutoNXT, the Chrysler 300 started its original production in 1955 and ended the first run in 1965. Known as the first muscle car to some enthusiasts, this older version of the 300 was a high-performance vehicle.
Production of this line didn’t start back up again until 1999, where it appeared as the Chrysler 300M. This generation ran until 2004, which paved the way for the 300 series we’re familiar with today.
The first Chrysler 300 of this new generation began production for the 2005 model year. Since then, there have been few changes along the way. But they still made some improvements here and there to keep the car looking fresh and modern.
What’s so good about the Chrysler 300 sedan?
There are two models and three trims offered for the Chrysler 300. The 300S is the V6 version that runs on a 3.6-liter engine, producing 292 hp. Then there’s the V8 model that runs on a 5.7-liter HEMI motor, which produces 363 hp. The starting price for the 300S is around $38,000 and $43,000 for the 300C.
The V6 model, the 300S, has an EPA estimate of 22 mpg. It also has responsive handling and contains more than enough storage space for any extra items you carry around. It also comes with the option to get the AWD drivetrain.
The V8 version, the 300C, however, only comes with rear-wheel drive. Acceleration times aren’t terribly fast, but they’re quick enough for a large sedan like this one.
The Touring is the base package, and it runs for an affordable price of $31,000. However, it doesn’t come with too many features that are really useful. The Touring L trim gives you a little more for $35,000. With more advanced features, the Limited trim starts at $40,000.
The 300 is well known for its luxurious interior, at least for the upper trim levels. The 2020 version has padded leather in spots, faux-wood trim that’s hard to distinguish from the real thing, and comfortable heated seats. Even the cloth materials, used in the base trim, are comfortable to sit in.
Where does it fail to impress?
The Chrysler 300 fails to impress with its 20-inch wheels. The 18-inch wheels that come with the 300C provide the ultimate ride and grip the road well. The 300S, however, has 20-inch wheels that don’t balance the car out very well. The ride isn’t as smooth as what you get with the smaller-sized tires.
The V8 engine may be a powerhouse and a dream to own, but it comes at an enormous cost. The EPA rating for the powerful motor is only about 16 mpg overall. Not very good for such a powerful motor. If you need a better fuel economy sedan, the 300S offers a much better rating.
Reliability is a little concerning when you look at its history, as shown in the Consumer Reports review. Since production in 2005, the Chrysler 300 has had some problems with the climate system, brakes, and body integrity. There have also been some minor issues with the engines and transmissions, causing a bit of a concern on how reliable the sedan really is.
Overall, the Chrysler 300 has remained stable over the years. With minor updates and upgrades to the sedan, the 300 is still a solid vehicle that will remain near the top for many more years to come.