By Cars.com EditorsJune 20, 2011
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2011 Chrysler 300C. It competes with the Toyota Avalon and Ford Taurus.
(Upbeat music) <v Narrator>Cars.com auto reviews. Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. Chrysler's flagship Sedan, the 300 has been completely redesigned for 2011.
We cover the car's styling and interior at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, so be sure to check that video out. Now we've had a chance to get behind the wheel. I'm going to take you through some of our driving impressions. Now the 300 comes standard with Chrysler's Pentastar V6 engine, which makes it close to 300 horsepower in this application. Unfortunately, this is a pretty heavy car, about 160 pounds heavier than the outgoing V6 300. And so despite all that power, it's not terribly quick with the V6, but it is a pretty smooth revving engine and it gets an EPA combined 21 miles per gallon with rear wheel drive. That's a mile per gallon, better than the outgoing V6, which was a smaller engine that made a lot less power. Our test car is a 300 C, which means at the next neighborhood barbecue, if the guy next door says," Hey, does that have a Hemi?", you get to chuckle and say "`why, yes, it does". Chrysler proven V8 builds up power. It gets pretty exhilarating as you get up to speed. It's got a nice baritone exhaust though, too. So if you turn off your music and really get on the gas, kind of a cool sound to listen to. What's not so great are some of the other elements of the drive train. First off is accelerator lag, which we've noticed with both the V6 and the V8 engines. It's right there when you first get on the gas, like pulling around a parked car or making a quick left turn. Just when you get on it, there's a moment of hesitation. We're not big fans of that and it's been around since the advent of electronic throttles many years ago. We don't like it here. We don't really like it in any other car we experience it. Another issue is the automatic transmission. It's a five-speed automatic in this car. Not really responsive. It up shifts smoothly, but doesn't kick down to lower gears when you need it to. Chrysler says there's an eight speed automatic on the way for the 300 so, here's hoping that improves things. Ride quality is pretty good. And if you get the optional turning suspension, the 300 doesn't feel nearly as pitchy going into corners. It also comes with a quicker steering setup. When you get that package, it gives the car sharper reflexes overall. Without either feature the 300 isn't much of a driver's car. Good in straight lines, not so great on curvy roads. Now Chrysler expects a 300 to be cross shopped against both conventional full-size sedans and entry-level luxury models. If you're considering either group, it's really worth checking out. That's all good news for a car company trying to make its way back into the American mainstream. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog KickingTires.net.