Somehow, some way, the Chrysler 300 full-size sedan manages to soldier forward with its classic silhouette and three-box styling. This is the car’s third generation (well, the new 300’s third generation, as the 300 nameplate itself goes all the way back to the 1950s and ‘60s), yet you’d be hard-pressed to really see what’s different from years previous.
It’s an interesting trend, because we thought the second generation of the car looked little different from the 1st, and this latest is even closer to the previous model.
Indeed, you have to look very closely to spot the slightly rounder rear taillamps, blacked-out grille first seen on the 200 mid-sizer, new wheels and standard dual exhaust. Even during the launch program in Austin, Texas, we’d see other 300s on the road and really have to look closely to determine if they were 2015 examples being driven by our media colleagues, or older models just trying to make their way home.
The 300 doesn’t need to look that different, because the silhouette is so classic that Chrysler would be loathe to change it too much.All of this, however, is no bad thing. That’s because the 300 doesn’t need to look that different, because the silhouette is so classic that Chrysler would be loathe to change it too much; after all, it did outsell its domestic rivals from Ford (the Taurus) and Chevrolet (the Impala) in Canada last year, so people are still digging it.
The biggest exterior difference has to be the almost-SRT treatment that’s been given to the mid-level (and likely most popular) 300S; the smoked LED headlamps, 20-inch “Hyper Black” wheels, ducktail spoiler (if you select a V8 model – the 300S can be had with either a V6 with AWD or RWD or a V8, which is RWD-only) and lower ride height mean that 2015 marks the year of the most badass, non-SRT 300 yet.
Inside, the differences are a little more marked, especially if you select a Platinum trim that gets you fine leather with a quilted stitching befitting an Audi A8’s cockpit. There’s also open-pore wood and a fine leather dash upper at this level, which are welcome additions considering this is as close to a luxury line as you’ll see from Chrysler. Chrysler even goes so far as to list the Cadillac CTS as the 300C Platinum’s main competition.
Also new is a set of predetermined interior colour combinations with names inspired by American cities; pictured here is the “Detroit” Black/Ambassador (yes, like the bridge) blue combo, as well as the “Manhattan” black interior, the latter being available on all 300 models, the former on S models only. It seems Chrysler really wants to remind folks that the 300 is an American car, even though North American models are built in Brampton, Ontario…
Having said that, the Ambassador blue seats – first seen on the Jeep Grand Cherokee – are actually quite a sight to behold. They’re a nice, slightly risqué addition that even the Chrysler folks on hand at launch admitted made them a little nervous when the proposal to add the colour was tabled. Base Touring models, meanwhile, come with cloth seats as standard.