Overview & Reviews
Like Cher, the Chrysler 300 just keeps making comebacks. A proud and prestigious vehicle during the 1950s, the 300 fell into anonymity during the '60s and then disappeared from the automotive landscape for more than 30 years. For the mid-2000s, though, Chrysler introduced its new 300, and it represented a bold new direction for the brand.
The 300 was an immediate hit thanks to its retro-inspired styling, powerful V8 engines, rear-wheel drive and refined road manners. Consumer interest did start to wane after a few years, but Chrysler is going for another comeback this year with a redesigned 300 that features a more powerful base V6 and a higher-quality interior. Overall, we like the 300 and find it to be a solid pick for a new or used large sedan.
Current Chrysler 300
The Chrysler 300 is a large five-passenger sedan with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. It's been designed to appeal to consumers desiring something with a bit more personality than a regular family sedan or as an alternative to popular Japanese or European entry-luxury sedans. Some of the 300's underlying mechanicals are derived from Mercedes-Benz technology, and it's a platform sibling to Dodge's Challenger and Charger.
The 300's styling is unmistakably American, though with an added dash of refinement after its 2011 redesign. The large chrome grille, bejeweled headlights, high beltline, bulging fenders and big wheels give it a strong presence on the road. A long 120-inch wheelbase shortens up the front and rear overhangs and opens up plenty of occupant space on the inside. Cabin dimensions are generous in all directions, and the 300 offers more legroom than most of its competitors.
Its overall interior design has been described as simple but elegant. More importantly, that interior is now decked out in high-class materials that are pleasing to behold and touch. Even in its least expensive form, the 300 feels like a luxury car.
There are six trim levels: base, Limited, 300S V6, 300C, 300 S V8 and SRT8. The first three come with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 292 horsepower. The base model comes standard with a five-speed automatic transmission. An eight-speed automatic that's standard on all other V6 models is optional. The 300C and 300S V8 get a 5.7-liter "Hemi" V8 that produces 363 hp. The SRT8 has a 6.3-liter, 470-hp V8. Rear-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic are standard, and all-wheel drive is optional on all but the base and SRT8.
Standard equipment includes niceties like automatic headlights, keyless ignition/entry, automatic dual-zone climate control, a power driver seat and a small touchscreen interface. Moving up to the Limited or 300C nets you (among other things) a rearview camera, heated front seats, Bluetooth and an upgraded sound system. The S gets unique styling elements, an upgraded electronics interface and a special Beats by Dr. Dre sound system. Many additional features are available to make the 300 just as luxurious and well-equipped as luxury sedans that cost thousands more. This is especially true of the SRT8, which comes standard with just about everything.
On the move, the new 300 glides down the road in a way reminiscent of a big Mercedes-Benz sedan. Its suspension dampens even heavily rutted pavement with sophistication, yet it does so without being overly soft or floaty. Handling and steering are also impressive, and although the V8 engines may be the biggest draw, the V6 is quite strong. The only significant downside to the car is compromised rear visibility.
Used Chrysler 300 Models
The current Chrysler 300 dates back to 2011. Though it may look like the car it replaces and has the same general underlying architecture, the second-generation 300 differs significantly. Besides the interior overhaul, the structure has been stiffened, the steering is now electrically assisted and the suspension has been recalibrated for better ride quality and more composed handling. Chrysler also added an abundance of sound-deadening materials to create one of the quietest cabins on the road.
In its first year, only the base, Limited and 300C trims were available, and a five-speed automatic was standard across the board. The S and SRT8 trims arrived a year later along with the V6's eight-speed auto.
The previous-generation Chrysler 300 was produced from 2005-'10. It had the same general shape and design theme as the current car, and even shared the same platform, but there are countless differences used car buyers should be aware of. In general, the interior wasn't nearly as well-crafted, the driving experience wasn't as refined and the two V6 engine choices were unimpressive.
The base car (known either as LX or Touring depending on the year) came with a 2.7-liter V6 that produced only 178 hp. This was insufficient for such a large car, and its fuel economy was poor. Stepping up to a higher trim level got you a 3.5-liter V6 with a more impressive 250 hp, though acceleration was still pretty mediocre. To make matters worse, both came with a four-speed automatic.
As such, we recommend finding a used Chrysler 300C, which packs a 5.7-liter V8 and five-speed automatic. It originally produced 340 hp, but this was upgraded for '09 to 359 horses. That year also saw the introduction of a more sophisticated optional all-wheel-drive system (available on both 300C and certain V6 models) that allowed the driver to "depower" the front drive wheels for better handling and fuel economy.
Next up on the 300 ladder was the high-performance SRT8. Its 6.1-liter V8 pumped out 425 horses, but it also got a stiffer suspension setup, more powerful brakes and a larger wheel-and-tire package. Throughout this generation, there were also special trims, including the long-wheelbase Walter P. Chrysler Executive/Signature Series (2007-'10) and the 300S (2010 only), which was essentially the 300C with additional sport and luxury features.
Changes other than the ones mentioned above were mild for the first-generation 300C. The most significant occurred for '08, when Chrysler updated the interior and navigation and entertainment systems. Front-seat side airbags also joined side curtain airbags on the option list that year, so make sure to check if a used 300 is equipped as such.
In Edmunds.com reviews of the previous-generation Chrysler 300, the car fared quite well. Our editors commented favorably on its masculine good looks, powerful V8 engines and value for the dollar. Negatives concerned the meager output and poor fuel economy of the V6 engines, some low-rent interior plastics and the car's poor outward visibility.
Going further back, the Chrysler 300 has a long but patchy history. It came into being in the mid-1950s as a way to showcase Chrysler's new "Hemi" V8 engine. The first 300 was introduced for 1955 and was based on the New Yorker two-door hardtop. Its 5.4-liter V8 developed 300 hp. After that, Chrysler began affixing sequential letters at the end of "300" for each year as well as offering different body styles, including a convertible. The 1957 300-C is typically considered the most beautiful and desirable of these early cars. The Hemi engines were discontinued in the 300 after 1958, but Chrysler continued to use the letter designations up until the '65 300-L. After that it was the plain 300. In total, there were seven generations of this car before it was dropped after the 1971 model year.
The 300 name was briefly resurrected in 1979 for a special version of the rather awful Cordoba. It would then take another 20 years before Chrysler decided to roll out the 300 moniker again. This was the 1999 300M. Unlike previous 300s, this was a front-drive sedan only. Based on the second generation of Chrysler's "cab forward" LH platform, the 300M used a 3.5-liter V6, making 253 hp (that's net horsepower, a far more conservative standard than the "gross" rating used prior to 1972) and mounted longitudinally in the engine bay. It was built through the 2004 model year.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 1,386.00
Could be so much better - 2018 Chrysler 300
By Kirk Vivian - November 11 - 5:28 pm
I really love the look of the newest model Chrysler 300. After owning one for 3 years now, I'm noticing a couple things that are happening without my intervention. Such as, the inside door panel molding where it meets the window is starting to lift on the drivers front and rear. The interior "creeks". The seat, the center console, the dash all creeks of cheaply built lets-just-pump-as-many-of-these-cars-out-as-possible-and-not-worry-about-quality standards. There are several more things that bother me that I feel could've easily been fixed. I know this review won't go anywhere or help my issue, I just wanted to vent a little in hopes that someone that maybe works at Chrysler sees this and maybe considers making quality vehicles instead of settling for quantity.
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.
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.
From the BMW group to the Chrysler group - 2015 Chrysler 300
By Bridget Bhim-Rao - January 3 - 2:09 am
I test drove this 300C four months ago and was so impressed after driving its competitors I bought the beauty. The car offers luxury and style. Finger tip paddle shifters, along with the avionics and convenient placing of switches and displays makes this vehicle a pleasure to motor in. Driving I find relaxing and this 2015 300C does not disappoint. Great turning radius makes for ease in maneuvering this luxury car at a great price. To place the icing on the cake, Chrysler has been exemplary in its after sales commitment and service. A very satisfied customer.
One of the best cars I have ever owned !!!!!!! - 2005 Chrysler 300
By Brother - December 29 - 11:08 am
Treat her like family !!!!!!!
Amazing Performance - 2013 Chrysler 300
By James L Peppers - December 22 - 10:25 pm
Regular maintenance, I have been using synthetic oil since December 2013, have approximately 38,000 miles on it. Fuel mileage is great on road trip have average 38.9 per gallon. Om the average it is 24.9 city, and 35 highway. Uconnect work perfectly with my HTC M9, with caller ID and updating phone book. So far the car have been perfect for me 65 years old in Tallahassee.
First and last Chrysler products for sure! - 2015 Chrysler 300
By Erik Jamin - December 10 - 11:59 pm
Bought this 5.7l V8 Chrysler 300S in June 2015. Couldnt get any happier when I first saw this vehicle on the lot, it looks incredibly good looking for its price. Then, Ive learned a very valuable lesson to not ever judge a car just from the outside as this garbage keeps letting me down. The 8-speed transmission is a freaking joke. Poor downshifting from 3-2-1, very clunky coming from the transmission. Every time I drive this vehicle, its mandatory to crank up the sound system so that I wont hear any unwanted mysterious noises thats coming from the transmission. The car only has 8000 miles at this moment and already felt like its transmission is about to fall apart when driving it. When I paid $45k for a car, I would expect it to work like a charm and satisfied me as a consumer. But this car fails so bad in that aspect to the point that I cant wait to pay off the loan and get rid of this junk forever from my life. My previous 2007 350Z that I traded in drives so much better than this crap. So if you value your money, please dont ever buy any Chrysler products.
Love Hate Relationship - 2012 Chrysler 300
By Judy Matthews - October 25 - 9:43 pm
I love my 300s comfort level and look, however, I am extremely disappointed with the electrical features. My BlueTooth is inoperable, USB ports stopped working, reverse camera blinks, and cruise control works just sometimes. Other than that, which is a great inconvenience, I love the vehicle.