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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.

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

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2012 Chrysler 300 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 106 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

300C great car

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"The 300C is extreme bad on gas mileage (approx 15 mpg combined driving) It is however excellent in every other category"

7 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle, very good gas mileage 30mpg hwy

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "excellent trip car handles very good"

Cons: "would be nice if you didn't bump the curb parking"

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

"I have owned the car for over 2 years. No problems. Handles well, comfortable and excellent gas mileage. Can not say anything bad about the vehicle except, as with all Chrysler products it is too low on the front end which requires you to be very careful parking as you will bump into the curb which causes dents in the undercarriage. Can say anything bad about the car."

18 people out of 24 found this review helpful

i love this car. (even better than my '07 300AWD)

By on Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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: "stress free driving!"

Cons: "alot of gadgets to keep track of. (oh, well)"

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

"Every time I get into this car, I'm a proud owner. Interstate driving is my favorite. I've not earned a speeding ticket, yet. Hilly terrain: no problem. Taking daughters to school: easy to navigate the heavier traffic. Heated and cooled cup holders! Confident backing out of diagonal parking next to tall vehicles; because I can see around them with the rear-view camera. Love it, Love it, Love it. (did I mention massive power?)"

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Just love this car. Everything you could ask for.

By on Tuesday, March 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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: "Gas milage, great ride , good looks"

Cons: "None so far, Have 18000 miles on it."

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

"Have wanted a Chrysler 300 for years Now I finally own one. Love the bold design. Looks like an expensive european model. Mine does not have every bell and whistle but it is well equipped and I could actually afford it. The gas mileage is incredible..33 MPG on trips and 28 in city driving. I have a 6 cylinder but it goes like a bat when I need it to. Very comfortable interior and ride. What the heck else could I want?? Just love this car. I get lots of positive comments about my car. Love it"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Just an all around great car.

By on Saturday, February 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,900

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: "ride comfort, style, beats stereo, rear camera"

Cons: "none"

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

"I got the 300s and I am very impressed with this car. I drive 120 miles per day and am averaging 29-30mpg. The ride is smooth and quite. The seats are very comfortable. The Beats stereo is excellent. This car also has character. I know that a lot of people don't like this car and equate with gangsters, mafia..etc...but knowing that there are people that are somehow upset by this car, makes me like it even more."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

The definition of a superlative driving experience

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Everything read my detailed review."

Cons: "Reliability may be horrible,time will tell"

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

"This is an extraordinary sedan from a price to feature standpoint,ride quality,exterior styling that projects a powerful presence and an interior that has a luxurious fit/finish.The ride quality has a solid,smoothness reminiscent of the large American sedans of yesteryear.Yet,its never floaty,when driven through sharp turns it has an agile response that belies its size/weight.The amenites i.e.adaptive AWD,burled walnut trim,power tilt/telescope steering wheel,voice navigation heated and cooled front/back seats and cupholders,power panoramic sunroof/rear window shade etc,etc are unbelievable at this price point.Frontand rear space/legroom is generous,the seats are power everything and very comfortable.The 8 speed automatic switches between "economy",AWD and accelerating modes flawlessly.The information system incorporates radio,comfort,climate controls,telematics,mp3,navigation etc,and is simple enough to learn literally in 10-15 minutes.Interior has numerous storage areas,3 12V power ports,and REAL burled walnut interior(light frost option) that looks like it came off a Rolls.I have gotten many compliments since I took delivery of this car.P.S. I am not a Chrysler/Fiat employee,or vendor."

3 people out of 8 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

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