Chrysler 300C Hemi
Review: Even in the era of crossovers, SUVs and minivans, there's
something to be said for the good ol' American family car. The market
for big, full-size four-door cars has all but disappeared as drivers
have turned to bigger, boxier, heavier vehicles to replace them. The
barge-like sedans that floated down America's highways in the 1960s and
'70s are replaced today by nimble, Japanese-style sedans and taller,
One of the few
exceptions is the big Chrysler 300. It's a heavy car, a bombastic car,
one that brings to mind a time when Detroit ruled the world and the
American auto industry was unstoppable.
It's not just a
nostalgic throwback. It does have loud, bold styling like in the good ol'
days, but it's not exactly retro either. Its flanks mimic the look of
modern Bentleys, and its chopped roofline seems like it was custom built
for gangstas, like a family car for Lil Wayne or, in a more old-school
sense, Al Capone.
Even though the 300 is
an aging design, it's still compelling for people who like their cars
fast and large. And really, what other choices are there? A Toyota
Avalon might be more sensible, but driving it creates the exact same
sensation you feel when watching concrete dry. The new Ford Taurus is a
much better car, but seriously, does it feel right to grunt and say,
"That thing got an EcoBoost?"
The 300 is available
with a proper engine for a big American car, a Hemi V8. It's an engine
that makes so much power it can feel overwhelming in a giant truck, it's
what Dodge uses in the big Ram after all, so sliding it into a four-door
family car is sheer sweetness.
This isn't a car you
buy for refinement. For that, you'd be better off with the Eco-whatever
Ford, the somniferous Toyota, or practically any other car in the
world. No, you buy a Hemi 300 because at any time, at any place, you
can turn off the traction control and liquify your rear tires. It's
The biggest downside of
the 300, at least the version I was driving, is a sloppy suspension that
doesn't seem nearly good enough to handle all the power and speed a Hemi
creates. On an ordinary 300, without the Hemi, the suspension is fine
for comfortably cruising around town.
But on the 300C, with
its jurassic Hemi V8, that soft suspension just doesn't cut it. It
squats and wallows and flops you down the road. Anyone who is
considering a Hemi-powered 300 ought to opt for the SRT package, which
actually comes with a decent suspension.
My test vehicle, a non-SRT
300C, was outfitted like a luxury car with a navigation system, lots of
buttons on the dash, and adaptive cruise control, which is useful for
not smashing into other cars on the highway, and extra gobs of chrome on
Somehow, though, the
luxury treatment didn't seem fitting. This isn't a luxury car, and no
matter how many extra doodads Chrysler adds to it, the 300 has such a
strong blue-collar personality that it just can't pull it off. It's like
putting Larry the Cable Guy in a tuxedo. No, the 300 is a pure and
powerful American muscle sedan, and that's a beautiful thing.
What was tested?
The 2010 Chrysler 300C Hemi with a base price of $38,010. Options on the
test car: The Luxury Group II for $2,190, a power sunroof for $950,
engine block heater for $40, adaptive cruise control for $595 and the
media center navigation system for $900. The total MSRP price as tested
including the $750 destination charge: $43,435.
Why avoid it?
It's not as refined as newer designs such as the Ford Taurus, and the
added weight and power of the Hemi V8 makes the SRT performance package
Why buy it? If
you want a full-size American car with a powerful V8 engine, this is
your only choice. Its bold styling still makes a statement, and its
roomy cabin is great for long trips.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
Chrysler's 300 sedan has become a big, bold American statement, a
design icon, one of the few full-size American sedans still being sold,
and certainly the boldest looking. The 300's age means its interior
isn't as refined as its competitors, but it's still a very roomy,
comfortable place to be. Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony
Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Chrysler Home Page
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
Chrysler 300 one of few remaining full-size sedans
Topic: The 2010
Chrysler 300C Hemi
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The 2010 Chrysler 300C Hemi
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2010 Chrysler 300
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