There was a time when the staple of American luxury cars meant a huge 4-door sedan with a big V8 engine and rear-wheel drive (RWD). The 2014 Chrysler 300 is one of the last of that breed, but it's more. It's available with a strong and efficient V6 and all-wheel drive (AWD), and there's also a super-performance choice in the SRT8. And the Chrysler 300 has road manners that are world-class, with a ride quality that matches the upper-end Lexus models and handling that competes with some of the best German sports sedans. Perhaps it's one of the last of an American breed, but the 2014 Chrysler 300 is far, far better than its ancestors ever were.
You'll Like This Car If...
Big car, big engine, big performance, rear-wheel drive, distinctive style, take-charge road manners, comfort, handling and luxury, yet without the sometimes sky-high prices associated with premium European sports sedans. Here it is: The 2014 Chrysler 300.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If fuel economy is a major priority, or you don't need something quite this big, and rear-wheel-drive handling is not important, you have all sorts of alternatives.
For 2014, the Chrysler 300 continues without any significant changes.
Driving the 300
The 2014 Chrysler 300 is a big car that has been engineered to be driven well. The four engine choices range from a "mere" 292-horsepower V6 to the rampaging 470-horsepower...
... V8 of the SRT8 model. The fully-independent suspension, precise steering and big brakes combine to give the 300 capabilities that are the match of the best from across the Atlantic or Pacific, whether in refined ride qualities or rapid-fire handling prowess. Cruising along a highway, it seems as quiet as a Lexus, while carving up a canyon, it's a competitor for the best sports sedans. Both automatic transmission choices – a 5-speed and an 8-speed – shift smoothly and with no tendency to "hunt" between gears. The V6-powered 300 models are more than quick enough and return remarkable fuel efficiency, but the Hemi V8s, in either the 363-horsepower version or the 470 horsepower of the SRT8, turn the 300 into a land-bound rocket ride.
3.6-LITER PENTASTAR V6 ENGINE Even though the Hemi V8 gets the notoriety, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 is the real star. Its two versions are rated at 292 and 300 horsepower, and it is smooth, quiet, strong and responsive. The V6 accelerates the 300 with rapidity and, with rear-wheel drive, returns over 30 mpg on the highway.
QUIET HIGHWAY RIDE Chrysler's 300 sedan for 2014 certainly offers a plethora of tech-based features worth highlighting, but the most memorable first impression is the remarkably quiet cabin and supple ride.
2014 Chrysler 300 Details
Open the door and you'll find the 2014 Chrysler 300's interior to be a place of luxury, style, elegance, comfort and technology. For the senses, there are soft surfaces, attractive back-lit instrumentation and a thick-rimmed steering wheel that's perfect for serious motoring. The seats are supportive for long trips and hold the occupants in place when the road rapidly changes direction. Add some luxury options, and enjoy a leather-stitched instrument panel cover, 2-tone leather upholstery and heated and cooled 12-way front power seats.
There are few more distinctive and purposeful-looking big 4-door sedans than the 2014 Chrysler 300. In front is a big chrome grille that practically defines the meaning of bold, in back are artful taillights, and it all fits into a familiar shape, with a robust lower form and the slightly-small windows of the slightly-lowered roofline, that is not shy about its identity. Details include chrome air-intake outlines and LED daytime running lights. And even the most "base" model looks good, with tasteful chrome trim and 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Standard equipment for the 2014 Chrysler 300 includes keyless entry and start, a big 8.4-inch touchscreen with climate and music controls, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, USB/iPod/SD card connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seating, a 12-way power driver's seat with 4-way power lumbar support, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, heated front seats, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, one-touch up/down windows all around and a full complement of active and passive safety features including side-curtain airbags, driver's-knee airbag, hill-start assist and electronic stability control.
The 2014 Chrysler 300 is offered with some interesting option packages. The 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition brings high style, the 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition loads up the luxury and the 300S with Beats by Dr. Dre is for the audiophile. All the packages are aimed at Chrysler's "Imported from Detroit" tagline. Other major options include all-wheel drive, a variety of safety-oriented electronic aids, and upgraded audio systems.
Under the Hood
For a "base" engine, it's tough to beat the 2014 Chrysler 300's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, with 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. The 300S trim level has cold-air induction and makes 300 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. Both V6 engines have an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission. The 5.7-liter Hemi V8 makes 363 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque, and the 6.4-liter Hemi in the SRT8 cranks out 470 horsepower, 470 lb-ft of torque, and a level of performance that will definitely get your attention. The Hemi engines are fitted with a 5-speed automatic with AutoStick manual-shift function.
The very well-equipped 2014 Chrysler 300 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $31,000. Add lots of options and the price can reach the region of $50,000 for a fully-loaded 300C AWD. The go-real-fast SRT8 starts around $50,000. To make your best deal, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, which shows what others in your area are paying for the 300. The 2014 Chrysler 300 is strong on price and product, but takes a hit on resale values. However, Chrysler often has a number of incentives and rebates that can significantly reduce the actual transaction price, so be sure to check what is being offered. As for resale, we expect the 2014 Chrysler 300 to hold average 5-year projected residual values, falling well below the Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Genesis, but nearly on par with the Ford Taurus and Buick LaCrosse.
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."
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?)"