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2012 Chrysler 300

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2012 Chrysler 300 Review

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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 123 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

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

coolest car ever!!

By on Saturday, February 06, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500

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: "looks great, runs smooth, loaded with options!!!!!"

Cons: "i wish it were a little faster!"

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

"i love my pearl red hemi 2012 300c. my wife loves it too for all the same reasons. we bought it used with only 21,000 miles. rides like a dream and love all the options. all we did was tint the windows and convert to synthetic oil. AWESOME machine. it has been 100% trouble free. excellent quality of workmanship."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Awesome

By on Monday, January 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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: "Comfort level are off the charts, V8 Power!,"

Cons: "N/A"

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

"This vehicle was the best purchase I ever made. I get into the car and its like being in the most comfortable chair you have at home. What the questions above didn't ask me was, Does your car have heating and cooling cup holders? Yes! Does you car have a button that will raise a shade in the rear window for blinding headlights at night? Yes! Does your car have every bell and whistle you can think of? Yes! I love this car and have not had one second thought from the moment of purchase. Garage kept, one owner before myself. Beautiful vehicle, just beautiful."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

My 30,000 mile review

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, handling, style and MPG"

Cons: "offer GPS in all models"

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

"So... I have owned this car now for 15 months. It has and is a pleasure to drive. We have a limousine company and use this car for errands, wedding pick up, long distance runner. All my customers can not believe it is a Chrysler 300. I get many compliments on it. The ride is incredible, thanks Mercedes E Class. The 8 speed transmission is awesome. The Pentastar 3.6 Engine is flawless. Thanks Mercedes! Fit and finish it is still looking great. I highly recommend this car for anyone not wanting to spend $50K more than you need too. I just bought one in a Limousine, and people flock all over it. Same drive train. Do yourself a favor and test drive one before you spend all your money on a materialistic one. BTW... 36 mpg at 80 mph is great!!"

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

This is THE Best car we have ever owned to date.

By on Friday, December 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,141

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great luxurious car for under $30k !!"

Cons: "Actually.....none that I can think of?"

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

She is a well cared for young lady.

"We promptly named her Sabrina since she is black and chrome. The quality, ride, comfort, easily used controls, and quietness all exceed the others. If the car has a problem it is too quiet.....you have to watch the speedometer constantly as there is absolutely no wind noise to gauge speed. The mileage on the car is actually high for the around-town driving since we have taken it on 3 trips. The mileage would only be about 12k if we hadn't. If you're considering a luxury car at least give this one a test drive. I have found only one thing that needs correction and that is the gauges are kind of difficult to read (if you are a tall guy like me)through the steering wheel without bending your head. I would have loved to have chrome rims, not brushed aluminum, since the rest of the trim is bright chrome, so that does not make sense to me."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

She is a well cared for young lady.

World class, but stiff riding, rigid suspension

By on Monday, October 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Runs and corners and accelerates really great!"

Cons: "Stiff suspension and stiff electric steering!"

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

"Powerful, excellent cornering and roadability, great heating and defrosting, average in town and short trips 25 mpg and superb highway mileage from 31 to 35 mpg. Great brakes, headlights, and top information center with largest touch screen. Steering on the stiff side, but aren't they all. It is a pleasure to drive my '71 T-Bird with hydraulic steering and oh so smooth riding qualities. Trunk is -perfectly adequate for a single person. Great panoramic roof, but I hardly ever use it. Seat warmer excellent. The one big downside is the often difficult shifter. Often difficult to get the correct gear without hangups. The quietest car yet. When broken in at around ten thousand miles, the acceleration pushes 0-60 mph in an average of 6.2 seconds. A truly great 6 cylinder engine. I have had no problems with it in my ten thousand miles, but am quite leery of the terrible reliability rates of such as Consumer Guide."

13 people out of 26 found this review helpful

very comfortable, but lacks in the relaibility

By on Monday, October 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "comfortable ride. heated seats. leather. mileage"

Cons: "trans shifting issues. clunky backshift"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I bought this for my wife last year as she wanted a luxury car for a change. she traded out of a Durango. this car is nice and has many good points. the main complaint is the transmission. it is the 8 speed auto, and it has been int he shop for shifting issues twice, and is in need of another trip. it shifts and backshifts erratically. there is a noticeable bump after the car has come to a complete stop. mechanics say it is normal, but it didn't do this when I bought it."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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