Getaway, the Chrysler way

Getaway, the Chrysler way image

Text: Jude Morte / Photos: Jude Morte | posted October 02, 2008 00:00

Freedom from work

The stress created from trying to make ends meet (due to the trying economic times) forces many to long for an opportunity to create freedom from toil. Problem is, the current downward spiral that is the local economy prevents the average motorist from going to a far flung province (or even out of the country) just to stop and smell the proverbial flowers.

From an automobile perspective, CATS Motors, Inc. (via its Chrysler brand) has two solutions for freedom from work - the 2008 Chrysler 300C and the new Chrysler Town and Country. Figuring out that the best way to create a getaway from occupational hustle and bustle is to simply drive the two aforementioned vehicles, CATS Motors took a select number of journalists to drive to Anvaya Cove (near Subic) via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) in order to experience the two said solutions.

Now one might wonder how two American vehicles can become two methods of unwinding. For starters, the Chrysler Town and Country's nature as a minivan makes it arguably the perfect choice for enjoying bliss not related to work. Retaining the six-to-seven-seater setup of the previous model, the minivan can bring people with the same need for freedom from work in relative comfort. Should you need to bring lots of cargo on your occupational runaway, the Touring version's Stow N Go and the Limited iteration's Swivel N Go seating configuration setups (along with one-touch power assisted third row folding) can swallow odd shaped items easily without blocking the driver's rear view mirror sight line. If in any case you need to carry a conversation with people in the rear area, the Limited iteration features second row seats that can swivel 180 degrees to face either the front of the vehicle or in front of third row occupants for more people-oriented fun.

Another attraction for those looking for some fun away from the daily grind is the Town and Country Limited's MyGIG multimedia entertainment system (with voice-activated Bluetooth ability, plus DVD and MP3), a front center dashboard-mounted 6.5-inch touch screen panel and a ceiling mounted 6.5-inch monitor at the back (right in front of the 180-degree swiveling second row seats) that can support 65,000 colors and provide a three-dimensional appearance to graphics and animation, along with a nine-speaker (with subwoofer) system. The head unit also has 20GB of space where one can download and organize music and pictures, a Gracenote database that labels songs (including composer, artist and title) and an auxiliary jack for those bringing external MP3 players. Those looking for a sound trip outside of work need not go home; all you have to do is turn on the minivan's in-car entertainment (ICE), link your external MP3 player to the MyGIG system or insert a DVD into the loading tray, and enjoy the view and sound. Just don't forget the popcorn, the sandwiches and softdrinks.

If you are itching to go real quick to your intended getaway, both Town and Country variants (Touring and Limited) retain a 3.8L V6 setup that now puts out 193 hp and 314 NM of torque, effortlessly reaching 160 kph. On turns the minivan is surprisingly stable, with little to moderate body roll on turns and the Yokohama Aspec 225/65R17s holding grip up to 85-90 kph.

One may ask why the Chrysler 300C (be it 2.7L or 3.5L V6 setups) is touted as a getaway vehicle. For starters, the exterior retains the distinctly Chrysler large chrome grille, chrome mirrors, chrome bezel Xenon headlights and arched wheel wells, Combine that with the 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, and the car has a menacing, attractive and low slung stance that (in US urban slang) makes the 300C so dope (cool) that it needs to be in rehab(ilitation). In fact the whole look is reminiscent of the vehicles the US-based Mafia used in the 1960s and 1970s. If one wants to get away from work by getting noticed in, say, Bonifacio High Street (particularly the avenue that separates both shopping areas of High Street) or the SM Mall of Asia's Baywalk, the 300C is perhaps the best car for that requirement.

If the outside attracts onlookers due to an ambience that hearkens memories of the Cosa Nostra (Italian for "our cause," an Italian Mafia ethos), then the interior will have potential buyers fully sold on the car. New for 2008 is the same MyGIG multimedia entertainment system found in the new Chrsyler Town and Country, a new gauge cluster. Mated with a Boston Acoustics 5.1-channel Matrix surround sound eight speaker system, the tone reproduction of the 2008 300C's MyGIG ICE is distinctly better than the Bose system of the 2006 300C, especially at the midrange and treble end. If and when the said ICE is tuned properly, the 300C's ICE can help the exterior become veritable eye candy for the right reasons.

Should you really want to impress onlookers with a burst of outright speed, the 2008 Chrysler 300C - be it 2.7L V6 or High Output 3.5L V6 flavors (both using rear wheel drive) - is definitely up to the task. Should you refuse to believe the previous sentence, do know that the former is capable of 178 hp and 258 NM of torque, while the latter can produce 250 hp and 340 NM of torque. Whether both units can go beyond 200 kph is entirely up to you and your bank account.

Whether it's a quick jaunt to a far flung out-of-town resort or an extracurricular sound trip, the Chrysler 300C and Town and Country are perfect for achieving unrestricted joys from occupational stress.