Text: Brent Co / Photos: Kelvin Christian Go | posted October 01, 2015 18:44
Chrysler's bad boy gets gentrified
The Chrysler 300 earned 'gangsta' appeal when rappers and gangsters took a liking to its striking appeal when it was relaunched in 2005.
The 300 nameplate is considered one of the icons of American automobile history, dating back to 1955, when it was first introduced. Although originally a V8-powered two-door hardtop coupe, which ran until 1979. After a brief hiatus, it was transitioned into a V6 front-wheel-drive sedan in 1999 with the 300M.
At the 2003 New York International, a Ralph Gilles designed new-generation Chrysler 300 marked the return of its front engine rear-wheel-drive layout with V6 and V8 power options. It would also get the new 5.7-liter Hemi V8 and a 6.1-liter SRT variant and station wagon bodies later.
In late 2014, Chrysler decided to give the second-gen 300 large sedan a makeover, which consisted of a plethora of tech and safety improvements and slight tweaks to the exterior and interior. The engine and suspension also received a bit of a rework to improve performance, handling and stability. It also gets a new 8-Speed automatic transmission. It officially made its Philippine debut in August of 2015.
In terms of styling, the update has fused the best of the first and second generations as it revived the imposing appeal of the large sedan. The more masculine front is adorned with a new black mesh grill with chrome accents, and is flanked with restyled headlamps with LED daytime-running-lights. The rear gets new trapezoidal exhaust finishers and LED tail lamps. This is all finished off by a new set of 20-inch polished aluminum wheels.
Inside, the most noticeable change is the new rotary shift knob in place of the standard gear selector lever and a new three-spoked steering wheel. The seats are big and firm, designed for large American-sized occupants. The 7-inch driver info display (DID) gives basic driving/vehicle info, mobile entertainment info or navigation directions. The 8.4-inch center-mounted touchscreen display comes with a revised Uconnect system that controls vehicle settings and mobile entertainment. Mobile device syncing is pretty straightforward and the interface is user friendly. Multimedio can also be saved into its built-in hard drive. Audio quality is pretty good as it comes with a 9-speaker Alpine premium audio system.
Under the hood is the same 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission, giving it 10 Nm more torque a the expense of 2 PS less power. It is now rated at 290 PS and 360 Nm. Performance-wise, the new engine seems to run better, with the new transmission giving improved response, optimizing the whole powerband despite being only a V6. The rotary knob-controlled transmission shifts smoothly and seems to be geared perfectly for the car.
Around town, it consumed about 5.2 km/l in moderate to heavy city traffic. Out on the open road, it logged around 10.3 km/l with an average speed of 95 km.
Receiving the most improvement would be the suspension where it gets a retune that returns better high speed stability and cornerning ability. This, however, seems to have sacrificed ride comfort at low speeds on uneven surfaces, which is where you'll be spending most of your time in the city.
While this refresh might have brought back the attitude of the Chrysler 300C when it was first launched, the pricetag of PhP 3,550,000 might be a bit of a stretch, considering it's a facelift of a model that previously sold for PhP 3,100,000. This puts it in direct competition with the more luxurious Lexus ES350; albeit a slightly smaller car.