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2015 Chrysler 300

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2015 Chrysler 300 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

Chrysler’s 300 for 2015 is a throwback to big, rear-wheel-drive sedans of yore, yet it is sophisticated enough to be relevant today. Updated for 2015 with fresh exterior styling, upgraded technology and advanced safety features, the Chrysler 300 is a tempting choice for buyers seeking a roomy and powerful sedan at a good value. The 300's standard rear-wheel-drive (RWD) layout sets it apart from full-size sedan rivals such as the Ford Taurus, Chevy Impala, Toyota Avalon and Hyundai Azera, while available all-wheel drive (AWD) and a Hemi V8 engine offer added appeal. A new Sport mode enables livelier handling, but in general the 300 puts comfort over performance. Starting just over $32,000, the 2015 Chrysler 300 brings a lot of car for the money.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a large, plush sedan that has the attitude of an old-school cruiser but is filled with modern amenities, it's hard to beat the Chrysler 300. So is the value proposition that this 5-passenger full-size sedan brings to the table.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're more about sizzling performance than marshmallow comfort, look beyond the Chrysler 300. Its cousin the Dodge Charger would be happy to scratch that itch, as would a Chevy SS.

What's New for 2015

For 2015 the Chrysler 300 receives updated interior and exterior design, new safety features that include autonomous emergency braking, and an 8-speed automatic transmission across the board. The new, top-line Platinum version is nice enough to pass for a luxury car. The performance-oriented SRT8 version is no longer offered.

Driving the 300
Driving Impressions

“Comfortable” and “powerful” are two apt descriptors for the 2015 Chrysler 300. Even with its standard 292-horsepower V6 engine, the 300 has plenty of gusto for merging onto freeways and...

... passing. The optional 363-horsepower V8 offers effortless acceleration and smooth, satisfying power delivery. While straight-line performance is very good, slicing and dicing through corners is not this big Chrysler's forte. The Sport mode that's standard on 300S and 300C Platinum models tweaks transmission, throttle and steering response for added verve, but the main reason to buy the 300 is for its plush and quiet manners. This big Chrysler excels on highways, but it doesn't feel so portly as to be a burden in parking lots. Moreover, the driver's seat is a comfortable place to operate, and though this is a big car, it's easy for people of various shapes and sizes to find a comfortable position behind the wheel.

REAR-WHEEL-DRIVE LAYOUT
These days it's hard enough to find rear-wheel drive (RWD) in any vehicle outside of a truck or sports car, let alone in a mainstream sedan. By delivering power to the rear wheels and letting the front ones focus on steering, rear-drive cars like the 300 are intrinsically satisfying to drive.

PREMIUM FEATURES, NON-PREMIUM PRICE
Beyond the 300's large proportions, it's a lot of car for the money. Even in base form at around $32,000, this big Chrysler comes with leather interior, a V6 engine, 8.4-inch touch-screen command center and heated front seats.

2015 Chrysler 300 Details
Interior

Faithful to its raison d'être, the Chrysler 300's 5-passenger interior is comfortable and roomy. Rear-seat legroom is especially commendable at over 40 inches. The driver's seat is a great place to work, and higher trims add convenient features like a power-adjustable steering wheel and heated/ventilated seats. Front-seat passengers, though, may feel crowded by the hump that houses part of the 300's powertrain. At over 16 cubic feet, the Chrysler's trunk is large, and the rear seats fold in a 60/40 split for added cargo flexibility. Don't fear if you can't initially find the gear selector. It's actually a space-saving rotary dial.

Exterior
2015 Chrysler 300 photo

Over the years the 300 has softened from the brooding toughness it exhibited a decade ago. This latest generation is not as blocky, with a front end that's more tapered than its snub-nosed predecessor. For its mid-cycle freshening in 2015, the 300's exterior design has evolved once again with a new grille showcasing a "floating" winged badge, a more sculpted front fascia, and an updated rear with LED taillights. The more sporting 300S models have blacked-out elements that aim to convey an imposing presence. One aspect that hasn't changed is the 300's high beltline, an element that maintains aggressive elegance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to the 8.4-inch touch-screen display with Chrysler's easy-to-use Uconnect information and entertainment system, all models come with a snazzy 7-inch driver-information display between the analog tachometer and speedometer. The base 300 Limited also includes dual-zone climate control, 12-way power driver's seat, keyless entry, dash-mounted analog clock and 17-inch cast aluminum wheels. Entertainment is provided by a 6-speaker AM/FM/satellite radio with USB input and Bluetooth streaming. Higher trims come with rearview camera, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, finer-grade leather interior, heated and cooled front seats and heated and cooled cupholders, navigation and power-operated rear sunshade.

Optional Equipment

A variety of packages and individual options is available for the 2015 300, some varying across the Chrysler's four trim levels. Among them are upgraded audio systems by Alpine, Beats or harman/kardon. Optional safety and driver-assist features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning. Traction-enhancing all-wheel drive is available across trims on V6 models. In addition to more aggressive interior and exterior design cues, the sportier 300S models come with paddle shifters and performance-tuned suspension. The new Platinum trim is loaded with quilted Nappa leather seats, hand-sanded wood accents and 20-inch wheels.

Under the Hood

The 2015 Chrysler 300 comes with the highly lauded 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 as standard across all four trims. In 300S models it has slightly more power – 300 horsepower vs. the usual 292. AWD is optional with this engine. Available on the three higher trim levels is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine good for 363 horsepower. Both engines are connected to a smooth 8-speed automatic transmission. The V6 is rated up to 31 mpg/highway, commendable for such a large car. The powerful V8 is markedly lower, achieving a high of 25 mpg. Cars with either engine can run on regular unleaded, though mid-grade 89 octane is recommended for the V8. With either engine the 300 is rated to tow up to 1,000 pounds.

3.6-liter V6
292 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
300 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm (300S sport model)
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
264 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm (300S sport model)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/31 mpg (RWD), 18/27 mpg (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 mpg

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