Overview & Reviews
Chrysler is generally considered part of the Big Three, a title that refers to the traditional triumvirate of domestic automakers. The current accuracy of this classification is open for debate, but there's no debating the fact that Chrysler has experienced a revival of sorts over the past few years.
Chrysler Corporation was founded in 1925 by Walter P. Chrysler, a noted machinist; he'd purchased the Maxwell Motor Corporation of Detroit and used it as the foundation for his new company. The automaker quickly earned a reputation for advanced engineering. In 1928, Chrysler Corporation expanded with the purchase of Dodge and the creation of the DeSoto and Plymouth divisions.
The 1930s saw Chrysler boldly looking toward the future with the introduction of its revolutionary Airflow. Powered by a front-mounted inline-8, the car was one of the first to be designed with aerodynamics in mind, and featured swooping lines and a prominent grille. Perhaps a bit too ahead of its time, the Airflow was a flop with the public. Chrysler was able to survive the lean years of the Depression thanks to strong sales of its entry-level Dodge and Plymouth brands, whose vehicles boasted more traditional designs and much lower price tags.
Chrysler shined postwar. For a period in the late 1940s, it even surpassed Ford as the No. 2 U.S. automaker. The company's storied "Hemi" V8 engine debuted in 1951. Offering 180 horsepower, it was a significant improvement over Chrysler's previous 135-hp V8. The Hemi engine was meant to trounce the V8 offered by Cadillac, Chrysler's rival, and it kick-started Detroit's horsepower race of the 1950s and '60s. The '50s also saw the debut of treasured Chrysler classics like the handsome Town and Country and the sleek 300C.
By 1961, Chrysler had trimmed its line of brands by dropping the DeSoto nameplate. New technologies were also afoot, such as unibody construction (Chrysler was the first of the Big Three to introduce it) and the replacement of generators with alternators for a car's charging system. In the latter half of the '60s, Chrysler was heavily involved with NASCAR and producing performance-oriented cars.
At the same time, however, dark clouds were gathering. As with other domestic automakers, the 1970s proved to be a difficult decade due to the oil crisis, new government regulations and changing consumer tastes. A costly and ineffective overseas expansion further hurt the company's bottom line. By the late '70s, the company was in such financial disarray that it petitioned the government for $1.5 billion in loan guarantees to save it from bankruptcy.
Thanks to impressive public campaigning by then-chairman Lee Iacocca, the debut of the well-received K-car platform and the creation of the modern minivan, sales had improved dramatically by the mid-'80s. The government's loan was paid off seven years early. The picture further brightened in the late 1980s with Chrysler's purchase of American Motors Corporation (which netted the company the Jeep brand) and a joint venture with Mitsubishi known as Diamond Star Motors.
Success continued through the early 1990s. In 1998, German-based Daimler-Benz merged with Chrysler to form DaimlerChrysler. At the time, this deal was presented as a merger of equals. But it quickly became apparent that it was more of a purchase, with Daimler being the dominant partner.
Less than a decade later, that merger was no longer, as Daimler sold Chrysler (and Dodge) to a private equity firm in 2007. However, that merger had borne some worthwhile fruit, most notably in the form of the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan. The latter shared some chassis components with an older Mercedes-Benz E-Class platform.
As such, the 300 was a highlight for Chrysler that had a pleasingly solid feel to its driving dynamics that was further sweetened via an available powerful V8 engine. But soon after the split, America's economy slid into recession. Due to poor sales and debt, Chrysler had to declare bankruptcy and the federal government intervened with bailout loans. Eventually Chrysler came under control of Italy's Fiat.
Today, the lineup has been pared down to a pair of sedans, a convertible and a minivan. However, after years of having lackluster entries in the very important midsize car category, Chrysler made major improvements in the performance, design and quality of its midsize sedan entry, the 200. The latest 300 also stands as a prime choice for a premium full-size sedan. Still, it remains to be seen as to whether this and future product releases will be enough to restore the company to its former glory.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 7,765.00
Excellent car.. - 2004 Chrysler Concorde
By Bobby - March 30 - 7:42 am
In 2009 i sold my 96 concorde and bought my 2004 with 42000kms.. until now i am happy with its performance.. Its almost 175000 now.. Willing to change the car as it is getting old.. But sad to leave her..
300M. One problem after another - 2004 Chrysler 300M
By Chris - December 11 - 8:02 pm
Bought the car with 50k miles on it. Kept it for 7 years. The first 4 years of ownership were spectacular. Basic maintenance issues easily resolved, tires, brakes, sensors. It always consumed a quart of oil every oil change and ate gas and tires even with an alignment. I upgraded the rotors to drilled and pads to ceramic Worked amazing. After 90k miles the fun began. One problem after another. Replaced entire front suspension, and drive axles, it ate all 6 cd’s in the changer, would not eject, the tranny cooler lines leaked, I did the timing belt job 3 times in a 20k mike period, it needed a new cam sensor every year, these cars are great when they are new and low mileage., not a good keep forever car.
Nice looking but... - 2006 Chrysler Crossfire
By Andreas Herd - November 3 - 2:56 am
So my Crossfire was 9 years old when I got it and I owned it for 2 years. In those years the car ruined any fun I had for driving cars. It all started that the engine would randomly not go on at all, broken PCM module. Then the alarm system started going off by itself, trunk lock was not closing right. The whole car started to make weird squeaking sounds in various places and the rear felt like something is coming loose. Not even changing tires was an easy deed, because the wheels are of different sizes and somehow depending who was mounting them, the bolts made sometimes weird knocking sounds. Lately the car would just go electrically dead when trying to crank the engine. Problem was never really found, but after cleaning fuses and replacing almost all sensors, the problem disappeared. Cost me a fortune and Ive spent pretty much every 2 month in the repairs with this car, broken wheel bearing, leaky oil caps, constant moisture coming from the air vents, defect fuel pump, faulty codes from esp sensor and so on. However the engine itself seemed rock solid and had never any issues in itself. So yes, I loved the looks of it and it was sort of fun to drive, but also very far away from being a sports-car. It feels very soft and soapy on the road, the 1st to 2nd gear switch was never smooth (comes like that from the factory). In winter you better put some heavy concrete tiles into the trunk to get at least some weight on the rear axle, because even with studded winter tyres it was hard to get any snowy hill up. Last week I finally sold it because I couldnt handle the bad feeling I had every morning going to my car, expecting something to break.
"BLESSED" 5 Years strong - 2007 Chrysler Aspen
By JBranch - August 7 - 6:41 am
Ive finally paid off this great SUV, 159,000 miles, traveled across country..... Keep the oil change and keep good tires, and this baby floats. Air conditioner just went out, minor problem.
Great Car - 2012 Chrysler 200
By Terrence M Healy - January 22 - 10:33 am
This has a Hyundai 2.4 Liter 4 cylinder Really good motor and a Hyundai 6 speed transmission. Run synthetic, do the maintenance and this car will go 400k
Good valued car, eye catcher/sleeper - 2013 Chrysler 300
By DJ - January 19 - 4:35 pm
The 6.4 SRT-8 is a great car if you are into the tech age, modern looks with an attitude. cant beat the car for overall function and style.Can be upgraded electronically at the dealership for performance and/or driving experiences/ conveniences. Better gas mileage than a 6 cylinder Caravan and a lot of other "ECO" branded vehicles. The car will have the power to pass just about anything in normal or heavy traffic especially on the tight distances on two lane roads. The downfall: not much leg room in the rear if your driver is more than 6 and Watch for hydroplaning with stock tires. Launch Control is touchy and aborts unless on a perfect and flat surface, otherwise get ready for a wonderful rear tire smokey show while impressive it cuts the 1/4 mile and 0-60 time to about 12.5 quarter mile and 4.3 for a 0-60 with junky stock tires, get good tires and this car will be with the big leagues at the time trap. For older people this car may be too much to hang on to in Track Mode while on the normal road. 170 MPH seems like a cruising 80 MPH in this fine ride.And this is where you leave your neighbor (who had to go get a raise at work to own a Buick), you can pass him up and leave him far behind, and probably pump the same amount of gas as he does. You just get there first with a lot more flash ! This car never gets compared to a Buick unless you have the 3.6L then by chance... and even then just MAYBE.
Love my Jazz Blue 300C - 2014 Chrysler 300
By Craig Smith - January 13 - 5:50 am
I purchased this car new for 30k, and it is one of the best vehicles I ever owned and I have owned many.
Never will own again!! - 2012 Chrysler 200
By Nikki - January 12 - 6:34 pm
This car is junk!!! I will NEVER own another Chrysler vehicle AGAIN!!! I cannot believe I wasted my money on this piece of garbage!! I would rather drive a GM car any day!! This car is WAY behind in technology compared to GM and its a very ugly car. And the trunk is teeny tiny. It looks like the back end was smashed in. Im so glad I got rid of it and went back to GM cars.
2015 300s SuperCar - 2015 Chrysler 300
By Douglas Graves - January 8 - 12:49 am
Just to find the best deal they can and run for the dealer. Have been looking for a quality vehicle with solid exterior styling and the high end finishes found in the 300S. I have been a long time Dodge/Chrysler driver and can say for sure that through the whole driving lineup this one is by far the best I have owned and could not be happier.
Good car, but....... - 2015 Chrysler 300
By Tim C. - January 4 - 9:57 pm
Bought my 2015 Platinum AWD new and have mixed feelings. Ride, handling, and features are very good. Love the styling, both inside and out controls are very logical and easily understood. Handling and performance are good for what this car is. My biggest disappointments with this vehicle are as follows. 1) Backup camera guidelines are off about a foot to the left side when backing straight up. Took it back to the dealer twice, once after getting Chrysler Customer Service involved. I was told that this is normal, and due to the lens being mounted off centered on the real center mounted light. Ive owned cars costing half as much and never had an issue like this with the rear guidelines. My previous 300 had the same setup with the rear camera (although I was told it was mounted directly in the center of the vehicle!) and I did not have this issue. 2) The navigation system seems to be rather mundane, especially the display in the center drivers information area that shows the turn coming up-it is always the same graphic, regardless of the actual intersection you are approaching. For the price of the nav system, it really should be much better. 3) There is an annoying rattle somewhere in the backseat area that no one seems to be able to eliminate.
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