Over the past couple of decades, full-sized sedans have become less popular than they were in the 60’s and 70’s, a time when compact cars were not on the menu and most American families had a large American sedan to get from one place to another. It was a time when gas prices were not one of the large driving forces behind automobile design. Oh, how things have changed with foreign autos becoming more and more popular, and smaller daily driver alternatives coming from every manufacturer.
Chrysler however, has chosen to take a road less traveled with the design of the full-sized 300 sedan. It’s large and somewhat over bearing among its peers in the category, but it’s still, by U.S. standards, an all-American vehicle and remains a leader in its class.
For a line of vehicles that have become known over the past four years as America’s import, or at least dubbed that by Chrysler, the new 200 and 300 have defiantly made their own mark in the automotive world by putting America back into the race, with what are a couple of the best sedans in the market today.
Although Chrysler only sells about 15 percent of the 300’s with a V8 motor, the option is there if wanted. The V6 performs so well, we managed around 22.5 mpg for the week and that has most folks opting to purchase the V6. With the 300 Limited Chrysler, it has been able to get 292 horsepower out of the V6 Pentastar engine, yet if more horsepower is wanted, the V8 Hemi gets 71 more. There is also a rumor that a 500 horsepower 6.4 liter V8 SRT is on the drawing board to hit the streets in the future.
We had the V6 model for the week and the 292 horsepower was able to push the 300S around with no problem, it became very apparent as to why most folks were choosing the V6. Although the Hemi would be tons of fun, justifying the extra expense at the time of purchase and at the pump would be another issue altogether.
In either version of the 300 the engine is mated to an 8-speed transmission that slips effortlessly through the gears and with that many choices, and the gearshifts are oh so smooth! The 300 does come with a twist knob or rotary style shifter that Chrysler is adding to many of their vehicles, it takes some getting used to as it is located on the center console, once again, it took both of us a couple of days to really feel comfortable with the new system. It was an adjustment, not an inconvenience. By the end of the week it came as naturally as the old lever shifter on the steering column.
The anniversary upgrade to the 300 that will be available this year only celebrating 90 years of the Chrysler brand, adds some nice features including an Anniversary splash screen when starting the 300 navigation, a remote start system, and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
With last year’s refreshed design, Chrysler listened to the masses and increased the size of the front grill by 32 percent as there were many complaints that it had become too small to go with the new design! We liked it, as it gives the 300 a more refined and a mature image.
The front and rear end also received a redesign last year that included LED lighting options that are now available.
Inside, the new design from last year carries forth with a new steering wheel and instrument cluster that feature a 7-inch color LED screen in between the tachometer and speedometer. This new screen displays all kinds of information for the driver, from speed, mileage, radio information and other vital engine options; it blends perfectly into the cluster console and adds a huge amount of sophistication in a location that seems to have caught the attention of all manufacturers as they try to make the driving experience better and better.
The 300 Limited and 300S also comes standard with the 8.4- inch screen in the center of the front console that features Chryslers Uconnect system, giving owners many downloadable applications that can be connected via smart-phones.
The leather-trimmed seats were a very nice touch with an extra blue stitching that really complimented the exterior Maximum Steel Blue color. The seats were also heated and powered for both driver and passenger. The steering wheel comes complete with a leather wrapping and all the necessary controls for the audio, cruise, and center cluster adjustments.
All of the great options that have become synonymous with the Chrysler name were also included in the 300S as standard features, automatic headlamps, heated seats, one button start, easy keyless entry, remote start, USB port for charging, and an acoustic windshield that kept exterior noise to a minimum and all that great sound inside the 300.
There is a host of new technology that can be had in the 300 including adaptive cruise control plus with a full stop capability that will bring the car to a complete stop in traffic, lane departure with lane keep assist that uses the electronic power steering to gently nudge the vehicle away from the lane lines, and bind spot monitoring and rear cross path detection are also available options; the rear backup camera was standard with the Uconnect system.
The 300 is a real American choice in the full-sized sedan market and with the newly available 90th Anniversary edition around for this year only, time is short to get one of these special cars. See one today at any Salt Lake City Chrysler dealer.
Base Price: $34,395
Price as Driven: $38,385
Craig and Deanne Conover have been test-driving vehicles for over six years and have had the opportunity to drive many makes and models. They receive a new car each week for a weeklong test drive. They both love having the unique opportunity of trying out new cars. Craig has worked in the Newspaper industry for over 22 years. Deanne has been a veterinarian’s assistant at Mountain West Animal Hospital for 10 years. They reside in Springville, Utah. Other reviews at heraldextra.com/sundaydrive.
The 2016 Chrysler 300 Limited AWD Anniversary Edition
by Craig and Deanne Conover :: posted in Reviews on March 14th, 2016