NEW FOR 2008:

– New cruise control stalk
– New 17-inch wheel cover and 17-inch aluminum wheel designs
– Enhanced floor console and instrument cluster
– Refreshed deck lid, taillamps, and body side moulding
– Standard tire pressure monitoring warning lamp
– Available side-mounted seat airbags
– Available enhanced audio systems
– iPod interface added to UConnect modules

For 2008, the Chrysler 300 undergoes modest styling changes and enhancements. A sibling to the Dodge Magnum and Charger, it covers six trim lines and has three engine choices: a 3.5-litre V6 in the 300 Touring and 300 Limited; a 5.7-litre Hemi V8 with multi-displacement system, which deactivates half the cylinders under light load, in the 300C, 300C Heritage Edition and 300C SRT Design; and a 6.1-litre Hemi V8 in the 300C SRT8.

The V6 mates to a four-speed automatic, the V8 engines to a five-speed with Auto/Stick manual mode. All models but the SRT8 can be optioned to all-wheel drive; V6 models with AWD are upgraded to the five-speed transmission.

Features on the 300 Touring include 17-inch aluminum wheels, manual air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, fog lamps, heated mirrors, CD/MP3 stereo with four speakers, eight-way power driver’s seat, 60/40 folding rear seat, engine immobilizer, cruise control, tilt and telescoping wheel, and variable intermittent wipers.

The 300 Limited adds 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, vehicle information centre, garage door opener, automatic headlamps, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power-adjustable pedals, heated leather seats, eight-way power passenger seat, security alarm, CD/MP3 stereo with SIRIUS satellite radio and six speakers, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, and temperature display with compass. The Limited also includes a sunroof, the only model to offer it as standard rather than optional equipment.

The 300C adds performance brakes with rear vented discs, bright exhaust tips, Xenon headlamps, driver’s side memory, power-folding mirrors with driver’s side auto-dimming and reverse tip-down, power-adjustable pedals with memory, six-CD/MP3 stereo with seven Boston Acoustics speakers, door sill scuff pads, power tilt/telescopic column, leather-wrapped wheel with tortoise-shell trim, tire pressure monitor display, and rain-sensitive wipers.

The 300C Heritage Edition adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, bright grille and door handles, power-folding heated mirrors with auto-dimming on both sides, auto tip-down, puddle lamps and integrated turn signals, chrome bodyside moulding, heated second-row seats, adaptive cruise control, and performance steering.

The SRT Design builds on the 300C with 20-inch ultra-bright aluminum SRT wheels, power-folding mirrors with auto tip-down, leather-faced seats with suede microfibre inserts, leather-wrapped wheel, and performance suspension. The package also increases the 5.7-litre engine’s horsepower from 340 to 350 hp.

Features on the 6.1-litre SRT8 include those found on the 300C, plus 20-inch aluminum SRT wheels with performance tires, Brembo four-piston calipers, rear parking assist, sport-bolstered leather seats with SRT logo and suede microfibre inserts, leather-wrapped wheel, and high-performance suspension.

Available options include side and curtain airbags, MyGIG hard-drive-base “infotainment” stereo, rear parking assist, sunroof, navigation system and UConnect hands-free telephone system.

The 300 remains popular with buyers who want a roomy sedan with rear-wheel drive; it’s pleasant to drive even in base form, with its wide stance, tight handling and quiet interior. The V6 is powerful enough for everyday use; the 5.7-litre should be enough horsepower for most; and for those who want heavy-duty performance, the SRT8 delivers, even in comparison to much pricier performance sedans.

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