Vehicle Type: Large sedan
History/Description: The second generation of Chrysler’s popular 300 sedan entered its second generation for model year 2011 packing new styling, features and equipment that advanced the blend of value-priced luxury and style that defined the original. A new V6 engine turned in more standard performance and fuel efficiency, and a new eight-speed automatic furthered that goal.
All models were four-door, five-seat units, with numerous features, packages and options available. Look for goodies like adaptive xenon lights with automatic high-beams, climate controlled seats, full multimedia and cellular connectivity, heated and chilled cupholders, a heated steering wheel, a rear window sunshade, a dual-pane panoramic sunroof and plenty more. Various wheel and paint scheme options are available for added visual exclusivity, too.
Other highlights included the available Beats by Dr. Dre stereo system, and available Poltrona Frau “Foligno” leather, Nappa leather armrests, hand-sanded wood trim and other interior trimmings typically found in expensive furniture stores. Notably, this generation 300 won a place on the coveted list of Wards 10 Best Interiors list in 2012.
Engines / Trim: World-class feature content is backed up by two world-class powerplant options in this generation of the Chrysler 300. Both the brand’s award-winning 3.6L Pentastar V6 and the award-winning 5.7L HEMI V8 were on board, delivering upwards of 360 available horsepower. All Wheel Drive could be teamed with either engine for shoppers after added year-round traction. The V6 made 292 horsepower as standard, though that figure pushed to around 300 in select models.
2013 Chrysler 300C AWD. Click image to enlarge
More basic models were called the 300 Touring, with the sportier 300S, available with six or eight-cylinder power, and the HEMI-powered 300C, filling the model range. A 300C Luxury Series variant was available, as was a high-performance 300 SRT, which packs a 6.4L V8 engine backed by track-validated chassis upgrades for the motorsports enthusiast.
What Owners Like: Most owners of this generation 300 rate the ride quality, comfort levels, interior quality and feel, and overall spaciousness of the cabin and trunk highly, with powertrain refinement and a great underlying ‘bang-for-the-buck’ equation rounding out the package. Performance and sound effects are also highly rated with the HEMI V8 engine under the hood, and the V6 eight-speed automatic powertrain team seems to turn in pleasingly low fuel bills.
2012 Chrysler 300S. Click image to enlarge
What Owners Dislike: Common complaints include limited rear seat headroom for taller passengers, doors that open so widely they’re hard to close from the seat, and a sometimes-fussy Bluetooth system. Further, rearward visibility is fairly poor, thanks to the thin windows.
Here are some owner reviews on autoTRADER.ca.
The Test Drive: Start your test-drive of a used 300 with an eye for electrical issues, as some owners have reported battery and alternator problems which can result in a car that won’t start, sketchy operation of certain systems, and even non-functioning systems. Note that modern and high-tech cars like the 300 will be sensitive to improper battery voltage, so a healthy electrical and charging system is key to minimizing frustration. If any issue presents itself, be sure to have a Chrysler mechanic check it out.