Go

2012 Chrysler 300

Overview
Share this page
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 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.

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
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 115 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Love the look, feel, and interior room.

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks good, drives and handles well, roomy"

Cons: "Headlights are deficient. Faulty alternator."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I love the interior, room, and dash. Love the chrome grill, wheels, and tailpipe. Do not like that the alternator went out at 51,000 with no warning on the interstate. Including towing and a new battery because it fried my existing battery, it cost me nearly $1000 to fix. My VIN is not included in the recall for faulty alternators. Not happy about that. Rated reliability and quality lower because of that. Brakes are good, 68,500 miles and no pads replaced yet. Biggest fault besides alternator issue is the headlights. They look good, but they are awful. They do not project light to the right or left when trying to make a turn at night and headlights have a straight line of demarcation where they just quit shining when looking straight ahead. Also, the seat belts in the back seat do not stick up far enough to click into easily. I use carseats with grandchildren and have trouble clicking the belts because the click end is too close to the seat. Other than headlights, rear seat belts, and alternator, I love the look, feel, ammenities, and size of this car. Handles well. This RWD does not travel well on slick roads, but I knew that when I bought it."

Well worth every cent we paid for this car.

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

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: "Durable, Driving ease, Beauty, Comfort."

Cons: "Can think of any."

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

"This car is so durable even the paint. All pings and door jams on my car do not show, or strip my paint off. No dents, dings, or ugly marks on a 2011. I find that amazing. We have it serviced as due and have had no problems what so ever. The ride is so smooth and so easy to drive. I went into a skid and my car took over and it when straight it corrected itself. Awesome car, I will own this until it no longer exist. Thank you Chrysler for making this car."

Amazing, Economical, Sleek, Black with Camel/Beige

By on Monday, August 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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: "American Made & Made to Last. Effortless to Drive"

Cons: "No installed GPS, but I have a Portable & ATLAS."

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

"Recently was offered 110% of KBB + Down Payment on Automobile of my choice + incentives. Evidently someone else feels the Daisy Car is Special too. She drives smoothly in town or the open road. Her fuel consumption can be changed to ECO with press of ONE button. She has Bluetooth compatibility. Answer Cell Phone by steering button or voice. Cell Phone chargers x 2+. Concealed AC adapter. Plays DVD's when not in Motion. Many cup holders. Many compartments with easy access--but NO Smoking in the Daisy Car unless you want put out to walk. She sells herself."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Very Nice Big Car But Not A Sport Sedan

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Powerful engine, luxury options, quality ride"

Cons: "not a sport sedan"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have a 2011 300C with Pano Roof and every other option offered except the upgraded interior. For the money it is hard to beat a 300C. The hemi is sweet and smooth for a pushrod V8. I like the blindspot audible warnings and side mirror lights. The Alpine sound is descent. Fact: this car has more luxury features than my wife's 2012 Jag XJ! I bought the car used with 18k miles. In the shop a few times for minor things, but the front-end was a mess. In all fairness the prior owner ran it up on a curb or something similar. Brought it in to dealer for the sloppiness in the front end and he told me someone installed a new Mopar subframe (k-frame)- a major piece of the front suspension. But it also needed a new spindle and both tension strut arms replaced which the dealer did under warranty. Those got damaged apparently in the "accident" - car had clean carfax so there goes my faith in carfax. There is no indication that any body panels were changed, repaired or repainted, so I'm guessing it bounced a curb. I installed Mopar strut tower brace and Mopar Cold Air Intake. The strut tower brace added a lot of rigidity to the front of the car and greatly aids in high speed cornering, BUT this is no sport sedan. It's still a last-generation M/Benz E-series chassis. For my purposes it's not a long term solution b/c I like to drive very fast and throw my car into turns at high speeds. Can't do that with this car. As a former Pont G8 GT owner I'm lusting after the Chevy SS. I will probably trade this in next year for an SS when my son stops spending all of my money on college tuition. On Monday it goes back to Chrysler to figure out why ac only blows 65 degree air and won't go into recirc mode. Thank God I bought the extended warranty."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Among the very best cars on the road today

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive....great performance...great economy"

Cons: "This is a good one ...Cons ?"

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

"I've had a new Lincoln Continental, new Fleetwood Cadillac, and next to those this Chrysler 300C is the best...Reading down the rating system....thinking of a reason to rate this car less than a solid "10" is impossible....The only question I have is why the KBB says the value is what they state...Well, no problem actually ...as we are so satisfied with the car we have no trade or sale in mind in the next few years at least. Yes we tried out the new Cadillacs....and were really surprised at the value for the money...The 300C is just a better car than the new Cadillac even for the same money....and that's a bit funny I have to say"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Coolest car i have ever owned!!!

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, very comfotable, great options."

Cons: "none"

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

"I love my 300c. drives like a dream. has options I didn't even know existed. the hemi engine is silky smooth and powerful. I would recommend this car for anyone wanting to drive a comfortable, loaded with options, head turning auto."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement