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Chrysler 300C (2004 - 2011)

The independent definitive Chrysler 300C (2004-2011) video review

This is a sample, showing 30 seconds of each section.

    300 NOT OUT (some text hidden)


    Introductionword count: 119

    There are some cars that as soon as they are revealed just become instantly popular. It doesn't matter how lousy they may prove to be - the styling sells them. The Chrysler 300C is one such vehicle, helped by a very low asking price and tried and tested underpinnings. Of course, it helped that the 300C wasn't actually all that bad a steer but that really was secondary. What most people wanted was that 'bad to the bone' shape, with its junior Bentley silhouette and rear view mirror presence that had outside lane dawdlers running for cover up the embankment. Used examples are now beginning to filter onto the market but the 300 is holding its value surprisingly well.

    Modelsword count: 14

    Models Covered: (4 dr saloon/5dr estate 3.5, 5.7, 6.1 petrol 3.0 diesel [base, SRT-8])

    Historyword count: 289

    Designed by Ralph Gilles, the 300C was first shown at the 2003 New York auto show to almost universal acclaim. Few thought that Chrysler would go much further with this apparently radical shape but the company was deadly series about productionising the show car and in just over a year, it was on dealer floors. Three versions were initially offered. The first was a rather underwhelming 3.5-litre V6 petrol model, while of far more interest was a lusty 5.7-litre 'Hemi' model, so named because of its hemispherical combustion chambers. The most relevant engine, however, was a 3.0-litre CRD common rail diesel that Chrysler had purloined from Mercedes. All too often, the relationship between Chrysler and Mercedes had been a little one sided, a good example being the way that the Germans foisted their old SLK engine and chassis onto Chrysler to market as the Crossfire. In this case, it was different. While there were some aspects of the old Mercedes E Class to the 300C's underpinnings, it was impossible to grouse about the diesel engine, which was at the time the pride of Mercedes' C and E Class models. In Spring 2006, further developments were made to the 300C line up. In came the 425bhp 6.1-litre SRT-8 muscle car and at much the same time, a Touring estate version was added which, amazingly, looked almost as good as the stub-tailed saloon. In February 2008, the 3.5-litre petrol V6 was dropped and at the same time, an SRT-Design diesel variant added to the range which brought a little of the flagship SRT-8 model's 'street racer' appeal to CRD customers. There were also a number of tweaks inside to give the cabin a more up-market feel, plus revised rear light clusters.

    What You Getword count: 286

    There's just something about the 300C that gives it a 'bad to the bone' image. Settle behind the wheel, fire up the engine and thunk the shifter into 'Drive' and you'll start checking your rear view for blue lights, no matter how virtuous your driving. Fit one with a set of chromed spinners, hydraulic suspension and a thumping sub-woofer and it would be the perfect San Fernando Valley low rider. Whether it acquits itself quite so well in the Thames valley is open to debate. The basic design of the fascia is clean and rather Spartan, but the execution leaves a little to be desired. The 300C is nevertheless enormously likeable, has character oozing from every pore and is a welcome breath of fresh air in a market dominated by soulless German efficiency. An Audi A6 3.2FSI or a BMW 530i may not make you feel like an extra from a Tarantino flick but they'll doubtless be worth a good deal more three years down the road and will cost less to run in that period. Having said that, they'll have cost you a lot more to buy in the first place and will probably prove less fun to own. These, however, are cars with an options list as long as your arm. The V8 300C gets a whole lot of standard equipment thrown in. Stretch out in that generously proportioned cabin and crank up the excellent Boston Acoustics stereo while ticking off the standard satellite navigation, heated seats, full leather trim, adjustable pedal set and so on. You'd need to tack a good £5,000 onto the cost of its German rivals to get anywhere near this. Suddenly the deal looks a whole lot more tempting.

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    Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

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