Chrysler 300

Car Review: Chrysler 300 (2005-2010)

A luxury car at a fraction of the price of others in the same class, the Chrysler 300 has been compared to the Bentley with parts derived from Mercedes-Benz under the bonnet. It makes an impression on pedestrians and other motorists alike, and has a solid reputation for being a strong and sturdy muscle car. So what’s all the fuss about? Read on to find out.

Chrysler 300

The Good

1. Great for tall people – a friend has one and he has no problems at 6ft 6inches

2. It’s a real head turner – great if you want to be seen or noticed

3. Extremely comfortable seats with lumbar support and plenty of legroom

4. Headlight washers, heated seats, electric front seats, and height adjustable driver’s seat

5. Color coded bumpers

6. Available in sedan or wagon with plenty of ‘old school’ room in the trunk

7. Available in your choice of V6, Diesel V6, and the Hemi V8 cylinder engine

8. The V8 Hemi version uses MDS (Multi-Displacement System) which means the engine can run on just four cylinders when less power is needed to reduce total fuel consumption

9. Large space under the bonnet making it easy to work on the simple layout and components

10. It has a fully adjustable steering wheel including ‘reach’

11. Quiet cabin noise and smooth cruising on the open road

12. There are plenty on the used car market under $10,000 with less than 100,000 miles for unbeatable prices compared to others in the same class

13. Awards for ‘Motor Trend Car of the Year 2005’, ‘Automobile of the Year 2005’ by Automobile Magazine, ‘North American Car of the Year’, and ‘Car & Driver’s Ten Best’ list for both 2005 and 2006. It was also included in the finalists for ‘World Car of the Year’ in 2005.

Chrysler 300

The Bad

1. It is a large car, so you have to get used to driving and parking such a beast

2. The narrow rear window restricts the view out the back

3. Some people complain about the quality of the interior trim

4. Wagon version dropped from range in the second generation 2011 onwards

5. Although relatively safe, side impacts don’t fair so well (even with the optional side air bags)  

The Essentials

Watch for uneven tire wear (especially on the rear tires) as this can be a sign of hard driving, burnouts and ‘donuts’. Check the interior and trunk for harsh treatment and wear, as these models have been used as hire cars and can be a sign of it being a hire car in the past. This also means many people have driven it and in their own unique ways which can take its toll on the true running of the car. Check the bonnet struts are working well, the rubber around the door frames is in good condition, and the door hinges are smooth but firm. During a search online for low mileage models under $10k, I found quite a few – however you will need to ensure they don’t have previous damage or ‘Branded’ status as I did come across some that did.   

The Alternatives

Mercedes Benz E-Class (2002-2009), Audi A6 (2004-2011), BMW 7 Series (2001-2009), Lexus LS (2006-2012), Cadillac CTS (2003-2013)

The Verdict

7 out of 10

While not the ‘greenest’ of cars, the 300 will last a lot longer and go further than a lot of cars on the road, meaning less are ending up in scrap yards. You will get well over 300,000 miles out of a well-looked after example, so finding one under 100,000 miles for under $10k is a real bargain. All the people I’ve spoken to who own one say they won’t part with theirs, and if it came to getting rid of it, they would buy another one without hesitation.

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