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2012 Chrysler 300

Overview
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2012 Chrysler 300 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.8

The 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan is one of the few remaining big, powerful, rear-wheel-drive American luxury sedans, a layout that was once the hallmark of Detroit's Big Three. But, unlike those early giants, this full-size 4-door can handle like a German sport sedan, accelerate like a hyped-up muscle machine, and impress the neighbors as if it cost twice the price. Whereas the last-generation Chrysler 300 had a decidedly gangster feel to it, the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan has moved uptown, showing softer edges and more tasteful use of chrome trim. The tall doors and narrow windows are still in place, although there is more glass in the rear for improved visibility. However, when riding on 20-inch wheels and clad in gloss black paint, the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan still lets its tough persona shine through. The new standard Pentastar V6 engine is brilliant, as are the two Hemi V8 engines offered with the 300C and the all-new high-performance 300 SRT8.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you demand your car's interior be as hushed as a library at midnight, the 2012 Chrysler 300 should be at the top of your car shopping list. Among its competitors, including the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon and Buick LaCrosse, only the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan offers the superior handling that comes from a rear-drive platform.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While front-wheel drive is better in the snow than rear drive, the 2012 Chrysler 300 does offer all-wheel drive (AWD) on both the V6 and V8 models. Unfortunately, you'll end up paying a lot more than a comparable front-drive competitor and you'll see your gas mileage drop a bit.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Chrysler 300 receives a new 8-speed ZF automatic transmission as well as new S letter series and Luxury Series trim levels. The new transmission is available on the V6 Limited, 300S and AWD models, with the S trim getting a "Sport" shift manual mode. Versions of the Chrysler 300 with the V8 get a new mesh grille, while the "Beats by Dr. Dre" audio system is offered on more models. Model-year 2012 also marks the return of the 300 SRT8, featuring a 6.4-liter Hemi V8, 2-mode adaptive damping suspension and 19-speaker harman/kardon audio system.

Driving the 300

Driving Impressions With its powerful V6 and V8 engines, rear-wheel drive (RWD) platform and performance-tuned suspension, the 2012 Chrysler 300 is arguably the best-handling sedan in the segment (along with its Chrysler...

sibling, the Dodge Charger). But, while we are in love with the car's acceleration and handling, we've also observed that the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan doesn't return the road feel and steering feedback associated with high-performance sedans. We don't think this will bother most owners, as a car like the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan is built more for cruising 'cross country than carving up twisting back roads. If performance is your intention, however, the powerful new 300 SRT8 is the sedan you'll want. Its 470-horsepower Hemi V8 can rocket it to 60 mph in under 5 seconds and achieve a top speed of 175 mph. You'll sacrifice some ride comfort and quiet, but the trade-off for the blistering performance the SRT8 offers is something we figure most enthusiasts can accept. The S and Limited trim levels offer interiors as quiet as a Lexus LS 460, or so Chrysler claims, and seemingly as luxurious as an Audi A6. Those who seek the thrill of acceleration will likely choose the Hemi V8 but, in truth, the standard Pentastar V6 is more than adequate in this car, delivering excellent fuel economy and smooth, quiet operation.
Favorite Features

The Big Screen
The 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan's big 8.4-inch view screen features clear, easy to read and operate controls for the audio and available navigation. The UConnect Touch infotainment system allows control of an iPod via the steering-wheel remotes or voice activation and features hands-free texting. The available navigation radio also features voice activation, as well as maps by Garmin.

Quiet Highway Ride
The 2012 Chrysler 300 offers a bunch of tech-based features worth highlighting, but the most memorable first impression is the remarkably quiet cabin.
2011 Chrysler 300 Details

2012 Chrysler 300 Details
2012 Chrysler 300 photo Interior

Compared to the last-generation 300, the 2012 sedan's interior is the difference between an army surplus cot and a goose-down feather bed. Gone are the drab gray plastics and hard surfaces, replaced by warm tones, padded armrest and console, and a dazzling array of back-lit instrumentation. If you like thick-rimmed steering wheels, you'll be happy to find in the new Chrysler 300 one of the world's thickest. The flagship 300C Luxury Series models are even more luxurious, offering such items as a leather-stitched dash cap, 2-tone leather seating, and heated and cooling 12-way power seats. Passenger comfort is paramount for the Chrysler 300, which offers generous legroom for both front and rear passengers, but the trade-off is a rather small trunk.

Exterior
2012 Chrysler 300 photo

There is still widespread disagreement amongst our editors about the 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan's new grille. The flat-nose front end and horizontal grille stand in stark contrast to the previous model's protruding egg-crate grille, but the look is growing on us and Chrysler offers a number of aftermarket grilles as well. The familiar 300 silhouette is still easily recognizable, but there is a softer, more mature feel to the design. Intricate details, such as the vertical crease in the rear tail lamps, the chrome air-intake surrounds, and LED daytime running lamps speak to the Chrysler 300's luxury status. The 300 SRT8 makes no such claim, displaying a more monochrome exterior with low ground effects and 7-spoke lightweight forged aluminum wheels. But even the base 300 gets the star treatment, with attractive paint and chrome trim, 17-inch wheels and a host of available upgrades.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The entry-priced 2012 Chrysler 300 sedan is a lot of car for the money, featuring keyless entry and start, a big 8.4-inch touchscreen with climate and music controls, USB/iPod connectivity, dual-zone auto climate control, power driver's seat, one-touch up/down windows all around and a full complement of active and passive safety features. Bluetooth phone connectivity is among the few glaring omissions from the standard equipment list.

Optional Equipment

In addition to the 363-horsepower V8 engine, all-wheel drive, a navigation system and leather seats, a Chrysler 300C AWD loaded with all the options will include an impressive list of high-tech luxuries: Radar-based adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning systems up front, rear cross-path sensors out back, and blind-spot monitoring to help out on the side. In-cabin highlights include heated/cooled cup holders and a 900-watt, 19-speaker harman/kardon audio system.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Chrysler 300's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 is the most powerful base engine in the category. The Hemi V8 has just slightly less horsepower than the Ford Taurus' twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, but a substantially larger amount of torque. The SRT8's 6.4-liter monster pumps out 470 horsepower, more than anything in this class. On Limited, S and AWD V6 trims a new 8-speed ZF transmission helps boost fuel economy figures to best in class. All other models employ a 5-speed automatic.

3.6-liter V6
292 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (RWD, 5-speed automatic), 19/31 (RWD, 8-speed automatic), 18/27 (AWD)

5.7-liter V8
363 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
394 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 (RWD), 15/23 (AWD)

6.4-liter V8
465 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
465 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2012 Chrysler 300 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 68 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

excellent city car ever to drive on the streets

By on Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,775

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "quiet, lights, navigation, acceleration, seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"bought my 2014 300c ''AWD'' couldn't be anymore happier on this luxury sedan. The car has excellent handling there are tons of features are best. Ride is smooth and look very styling as a more top of the line vehicle. All controls pluses with UCONNECT everything its touch screen including ventilated seats much more. Traded my last vehicle a 2011 Chrysler 200 for a much upgraded model as buying another Chrysler product because since enjoying American luxury decided buy another new vehicle with lots of more standard features in class. The 300c is quieter, comfortable in great seat support and rear sunshade all the best of the best. Love panoramic roof, LED lights, Parkview Assist camera, Bi Xenon headlights, Adaptive cruise control and other more options. Its the best vehicle ever bought also equipped with Navigation, Bluetooth, Alpine sound system so much whistles and bells for a car liked the Chrysler 300."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

not only beautiful but a great automobile

By on Monday, March 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "wekk worth the dollars"

Cons: "coould use power passenger seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I cannot say enough about this auto. very dependable. a pleasure to drive. other than a few adjustments that the dealer took care of when new has been trouble free. the backup camera and acclimated cruise control are a god send for safety . all the other toys ( so to speak) although superficial are great and trouble free"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Better from Toyota Avalon

By on Monday, March 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 835

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling, quiet, controllable seats, controls,"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I knew Chrysler reliability start falling few years back but I think this new large flagship sedan has been improved so much since 2011. This 300 is best in a resale value, rides better from most imports, its comfortable with 4 buckets being really cushion soft in materials. Interior doesn't look cheap nor any shortcomings. Uconnect 8'' color touch screen very outstanding being fully equipped with Garmin Navigation DVD system, audio system, ventilated seats, climate controlling, Sirius satellite radio, rear sunshade, rear Parkview assist camera, blind spot warning, push button start engine with a remote start button starting up car before approaching. Car ride is crisp, its overall superb on everything, panoramic roof is best giving interior cabin full of sunlight while opening. Quiet, fantastic, smooth drive, great gas mileage, nice stereo sound: Dr. Dre beats audio group, cooled and heated cup holders, adaptive cruise control and much more. It handles excellent, very powerful with an Pentastar V6 engine giving faster performance with an 8 speed auto transmission under effortlessly acceleration. This luxury automobile will beat the Avalon or BMW tires off road just that powerful. 300 is a beautiful vehicle, very advanced in everything has all whistles and bells that is worth every nickel and dime putting into this car options and features in a more resale value."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

excellent road car-great gas mlg-sharp style

By on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "best price for a luxury car with great gas mlg"

Cons: "trans shifter is difficult to manage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I tested the new 2012 Chrysler 300 lim against new Cadillac CTS & Lincoln MKZ & MKS. I found the price new was much less than all with similar packages. The Chrysler's ride was as good as the CTS and better than the Lincoln MKZ & MKS. The engine was quiter than the caddy and much quieter than the Lincolns, which I found to be actually noisy while shifting speeds. The overall handling and ride was better than all. the 8 speed trans of the Chrysler allows the zippy 295HP v-6 to be an excellent road car and stingy on gas. I get the rated 31 mpg on the highway which is outstanding for a large 4-door sedan. The overall quality of finish and interior is excellent with sharp styling. I love this car and its fun to drive!"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love to drive this vehicle on long trips

By on Saturday, January 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,056

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Can find no faults"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Had problems with airbag system warning after the first month, Dealer followed the procedures for repairs, first attempt failed, Second corrected the problem, wire connection that was not visible. no other problems. Have discovered that door opening trim does not fit properly. This is a problem with this model. Gas milage is about 17.5 city and 23 highway averaging 75 - 80 MPH Love the styling."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great Value

By on Sunday, January 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent ride, beautiful look - very comfortable"

Cons: "Would prefer gas cap on passenger side"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"An excellent value - powerful with a lot of room - and great looking. On value, compare to Cadillac CTS (I have owned one) - a CTS comparably equipped - 3.6L engine, panoramic sunroof, could be 15- 20 K more. Both excellent vehicles but no comparison on value."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?