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By Cars.com Staff
September 1, 2009
Vehicle Overview The 300C is essentially the Chrysler 300 with a Hemi V-8 engine, among some other upgrades. The V-6-powered 300 is listed separately in the Cars.com Research section. Like the 300, the 300C is available in regular- and extended-length versions, as well as with rear- or all-wheel drive. Competitors include the Cadillac CTS, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala.
A high-performance SRT8 edition comes equipped with a 425-horsepower Hemi V-8; it's offered only in regular-length, rear-wheel-drive form.
New for 2010 There are no significant changes for 2010.
Exterior Looking bold and imposing, the 300C packs more luxury and power than other 300 models. The stretched version's extra length comes just behind the B-pillar, resulting in longer back doors.
Standard chrome door handles
Standard 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels
Chrome grille and 20-inch aluminum wheels on Heritage edition
Standard rain-sensing windshield wipers
Interior The instruments have a watch-face style, and 300C drivers get a steering wheel with leather accents. The standard Fuel Saver Mode, which is part of the information display, tells drivers when the engine is operating in four-cylinder mode. Standard features include a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel with a memory feature, dual-zone automatic climate control, premium leather seat trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, steering-wheel audio controls and a Homelink universal remote.
Chrome accents throughout interior
Boston Acoustics six-speaker sound system with 276-watt amplifier
Sirius Satellite Radio and Sirius Backseat TV optional
Illuminated cupholders in front
Standard remote start
Standard keyless start
Trunk includes cargo net, grocery-bag hooks, trunk scuff plate and trunk deck-lid liner
Optional navigation and/or audio system, including touch-screen, 30GB hard drive
Under the Hood The 300C is powered by a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. It features variable valve timing and Chrysler's Multiple-Displacement System, which shuts down half the cylinders when the car is cruising to improve fuel economy. The optional all-wheel-drive system features an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect to automatically disengage the front axle from the drivetrain when all-wheel drive is not needed, also in an effort to improve fuel economy.
360-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 with 389 pounds-feet of torque
Five-speed automatic with manual shift mode
Safety Performance four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are all standard on the 300C.
Optional adaptive cruise control regulates speed based on the distance to the vehicle ahead
Standard SmartBeam headlamps automatically dim when traffic approaches
Standard side curtain and side-impact airbags
Standard park assistance system
SRT8 The SRT8 takes performance a big step further. Engineers enlarged the Hemi V-8 engine to 6.1 liters; it produces 425 hp and 420 pounds-feet of torque. The power-adjustable front sport seats are highly bolstered. Full instrumentation, a power sunroof and power-adjustable pedals are standard. There are no significant changes for the 2010 300C SRT8.
On the road, the SRT8 comes across almost as a brute, but a truly refined one. Few sedans are flatter in curves, but rolling over pavement expansion joints produces some loud sounds. Overall, though, you get an appealing ride with tight, precise control. The throaty exhaust seems a bit out of character for a modern-day Chrysler, but it fits right in with the SRT8's performance capabilities.
Standard five-speed automatic transmission
Standard 20-inch wheels
Standard computer that records zero-to-60 times and other performance data