Road Test: 2011 Chrysler 300

Road Test: 2011 Chrysler 300

Motorweek is made possible by rock auto full-size cars were once the bread and butter of american car makers but now it’s mid-sized cars and utilities that perform the bulk of family chores but chrysler sparked a bit of a big car revival when it introduced a big on style rear and all-wheel drive 300 sedan for 2005. it was such an instant hit that it showed up everywhere

From rap videos to retirement communities now a reinvigorated chrysler is importing an all-new 300 sedan from detroit and it promises even more style and refinement so let’s see if it still delivers full size the 2011 chrysler 300 certainly delivers full-size style much like the 300 it replaces the bentley-esque chic is hard to deny the basic proportions remain

The same as does the profile silhouette but all of the design elements have received significant tweaking much like the previous 300 the grill is far and away the centerpiece trading an egg crate treatment for thin chrome ribs it is now more upscale and elegant plus there are now adaptive projector beam headlights and led running lights that flank it the back

End is smoother with thinner c-pillars and a rear deck that now includes an integrated spoiler jewel like led tail lamps a large revamped chrysler winged badge chrome trim and dual exhaust are other highlights there are a few more lines down the side as well as fenders bulge just a little bit more but it’s inside where a flagship must truly wave the brand’s flag

Overall quality is vastly improved there are more soft materials controls work with precision and even the sparkle of an analog clock but there is still too much grainy plastic and some details and switch gear while well done are still shared with other updated chryslers more exclusivity would go a long way into making the 300 a true flagship our car center stack

Was dominated by a huge touch screen with garmin navigation radio and displays for just about every car function it’s so big that it is a bit distracting but we like the way that you can make the nav screen smaller and still have audio and other information surrounding it most functions are carried out on that 8.4 inch screen but redundant controls for climate

And radio are also present as is an sd card slot for importing music files gauges are gorgeous and feature subtle blue background lighting total interior volume is up but just barely as more room was not really needed front seats are big and comfortable with our 300 seas 12 way power adjustments rear seats are full sized car rooming with plenty of head and leg

Room and enough width for three across though a raised center section makes comfy room for two more realistic folding seat backs increase practicality the trunk has a big opening a low liftover height and holds 16.3 cubic feet of cargo while large that’s still almost four cubic feet shy of the front-wheel drive ford taurus a new feature to the 300 this year is a

Ford style capless fuel filler a 292 horsepower 3.6 liter pentastar v6 is standard on the 300 but our all-wheel drive 300c upgrades to a mostly carryover 5.7 liter hemi v8 rated at 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque with the help of fuel saver cylinder cutoff it achieves government fuel economy ratings of 15 city and 23 highway miles per gallon we averaged

A good for a v8 21.5 miles per gallon in mixed driving on regular gas but that still makes for a pretty high energy impact score of 19 barrels of oil consumed per year and a carbon footprint of 10.4 annual tons of co2 we put our footprint all over the gas pedal as our awd 300c leap from zero to 60 in 6.1 seconds on its way to a quarter mile time of 14.6 seconds

At 97 miles per hour not bad for such a big car and we know the forthcoming 300 srt8 with its 6.4 liter 470 horsepower mev8 will be well into triple digits smoove describes shifts from our car’s 5-speed manual mode automatic transmission with just enough punch to give a hint of performance it’s hard to call a car this big nimble but it moves right along through

Corners big and small and there’s plenty of power from the hemi to keep things entertaining but it’s out on the highway where the 300 truly feels at home the ride is luxurious but still solid thanks to the chassis mercedes-benz roots and a true mileage eater though better than before blind spots do still exist but blind spot monitoring is available and a backup

Camera is standard on all but the base car an all-wheel drive 2011 chrysler 300c has a starting price of 41 145 while base rear drive v6 300s start at a very reasonable 27 995 it’s hard not to be impressed by the new 300 it may not be perfect but it’s a big leap up for the chrysler brand and easily their nicest car to date and they’ve proved once again that here

In the land of the big gulp there’s still a market for big bold and beautiful sedans you

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Road Test: 2011 Chrysler 300 By MotorWeek