Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects the Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value for all trim levels, but not necessarily all available options.
The Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail value represents the amount an auto dealer might ask for a specific vehicle; the actual sale price will vary. A vehicle's popularity, condition, warranty, color and local market conditions are factors involved in determining a final price. The retail value is not a trade-in or private party value.
The Suggested Retail value assumes that the vehicle has been fully reconditioned and has a clean title history. The Suggested Retail value also allows for advertising, sales commissions, insurance and other costs of doing business as a dealer. Most vehicles offered at this price have passed an inspection, and some may carry a warranty. Vehicle mileage is assumed to be normal or below normal.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
By Jim Flammang
July 19, 2005
Vehicle Overview Chrysler sporadically marketed automobiles under the "300" designation for half a century. In its 1999 to 2004 iteration, the Chrysler 300M was a front-wheel-drive sedan with V-6 power.
A completely different 300 sedan joined Chrysler's lineup for 2005, with rear-wheel drive. To counteract concerns that the rear-drive 300 won't handle properly on snow and ice, Chrysler offers an Electronic Stability Program in upper-end models. It's an option for the base sedan.
Base and Touring editions are offered for 2006, along with a Limited option package. A new BeltAlert system has been installed, and a tire-pressure monitor is standard on Touring and Limited editions. A newly available backseat DVD entertainment system uses a 7-inch flip-up screen in the center console.
Dodge introduced a closely related Magnum series for 2005, but the Magnum is a wagon rather than a four-door sedan. All-wheel-drive versions of the 300 and Magnum also are available. Chrysler also offers a Hemi-powered 300C, which is listed separately in the Research section.
Exterior The 300 looks bold and imposing, flaunting a distinctive shape and riding a 120-inch wheelbase. Aluminum is used for the hood and deck lid. Sizable wheel openings encircle either 17- or 18-inch tires.
Interior Though the 300 is shorter overall than the old 300M, it's larger inside. The seating position is 2.5 inches higher, and a four-gauge instrument cluster with light silver faces and chrome trim rings has watch-face styling. Trunk volume totals 15.6 cubic feet.
In addition to chrome-clad aluminum wheels, the 2006 Limited package includes automatic headlamps and dual-zone automatic climate control with infrared sensing.
Under the Hood A 2.7-liter V-6 produces 190 horsepower in the base sedan. Other models get a 250-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. Both engines team with a four-speed-automatic transmission in rear-wheel-drive 300s, but the all-wheel-drive 300's 3.5-liter V-6 drives a five-speed automatic.
Safety Antilock brakes, traction control and an Electronic Stability Program are optional on the base sedan and standard on other models. Side curtain-type airbags are optional.
Driving Impressions From the first moments behind the wheel, the 300 feels especially solid and substantial. The 3.5-liter V-6 delivers adequate power for mountainous terrain, but no true surplus. Except for a slight snarl when pushing hard while climbing, the V-6 is very quiet. Performance is almost as appealing with the 2.7-liter V-6, which is a little noisier.
The 300 steers easily and demands just enough effort to impart a semi-sporty sensation. You can expect a confident feel through winding roads.
Performance in snow and ice is amazing because of the Electronic Stability Program. Even if you tromp the gas on a snow-packed curve, the system kicks in immediately — albeit assertively — to keep the car on course.
The seats are reasonably supportive and comfortable, but a bit hard. Abundant glass area and large mirrors help visibility. Backseat space is abundant.
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