Redesigned for the first time since late 2004, the full-size Chrysler 300 sedan retains its iconic silhouette but gets bigger front fenders, a new interior and new design cues all around. One of the few non-luxury sedans to employ rear-wheel drive, the 300 also boasts a new V-6 engine. Competitors include the Toyota Avalon and the Ford Taurus.
The V-6 300 comes in two trim levels: the 300 and the 300 Limited. The V-8 version, the 300C, is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
Slightly wider and longer than the car it replaces, the 300's chief visual change is its tall grille. Gone is the old 300's iconic wire-mesh insert, replaced by a seven-blade design that looks to be Chrysler's new corporate grille. (Those who prefer the mesh grille can get one installed through Chrysler's aftermarket Mopar division, according to the automaker.) In back, the rear bumper angles forward, meeting the taillights without the conventional ledge where the two elements join.
The 300 and 300 Limited both have standard LED daytime running lights, which sit in a broad C-shape inboard of the headlights. Chrome trim adorns the car's lower bumpers, tailpipes and grille, and the 300's standard alloy wheels measure 17 inches. The Limited adds 18-inch wheels, fog lights and chrome side mirrors. Xenon headlights, which are separate of the LEDs, are optional; so are 20-inch rims.
With rounded shapes and metallic trim, the 300's new interior signals a major departure from the outgoing car's more angular cabin. Light blue gauges sit behind a broader steering wheel, and a standard 8.4-inch center display houses various touch-screen controls, along with the optional navigation system for those cars that have it. Addressing a frequent complaint regarding the old 300, Chrysler says it raked the windshield back an extra 3 inches, which aids forward visibility. Thinner window pillars and new door frames increase outward visibility 15 percent, the automaker says.
Dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver's seat and a USB/iPod-compatible stereo are standard. Options can be lavish: Among them are genuine wood trim, a power passenger seat, an Alpine stereo, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a panoramic moonroof.
Trunk volume measures 16.3 cubic feet, up from last year's 15.6 cubic feet. That puts the 300 over the Avalon (14.4 cubic feet), though it doesn't come close to the Taurus' mammoth 20.1-cubic-foot trunk.
Under the Hood
Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is standard; it makes 292 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard. If you want more power — or need all-wheel drive — consider the 300C with its 363-hp 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. It's covered separately on Cars.com.
Front, side-impact, two-row side curtain airbags and a driver's knee airbag are standard. Antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are also standard. An options package on the 300 Limited adds adaptive front headlights that can swivel a few degrees in the direction of a turn as well as a blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning.
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