Chrysler 300C saloon (2005-2010)
“Menacing and powerful, Chrysler's 300C is great value for money, if a little short on interior quality.”
- Powerful engines
- Comfortable ride
- Loads of standard equipment
- Expensive to run
- Cabin lacks quality
- Poor resale values
The Chrysler 300C is a huge American saloon. It has loads of power and lots of standard equipment. Over long distances, it's a seriously comfortable car to travel in. The running costs are high, but the showroom prices are low, so the big Chrysler represents better value for money than rivals like the Audi A6 and the BMW 5 Series. The interior lacks the solid build quality of the 300C's competitors, and the way the car drives feels old-fashioned - but masses of space and striking looks make up for that.
MPG, running costs & CO2
With average fuel consumption of around 35mpg, the Chrysler 300C diesel is not cheap to run. That's easier to swallow than the 19.9mpg of the V8 petrol version, though. Neither model is cheap to tax - the diesel falls into band K, which means £245 per year, while the V8 petrol is in the highest band - M - and costs £435 per year. Chrysler's standard warranty is the usual three years or 60,000 miles but insurance is expensive.
Engines, drive & performance
The Chrysler 300C's steering isn't quite as accurate as that of premium German rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but the supple suspension makes for comfortable daily transport. The 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine is the most cost effective choice in the UK, as it’s quick enough for most drivers, and won’t need filling up too often. The 6.1-litre petrol V8 engine is an altogether different proposition, with mighty power and lots of noise to back it all up. It’s fun for a short drive, but you’ll soon tire of having to fill it up with fuel.
Interior & comfort
The 300C is set-up for comfort, rather than sporty handling, so it's ideal for long motorway trips. The top of the range, performance-oriented V8 engined SRT-8 is a bit stiffer, but even it doesn’t feel too uncomfortable on our poorly surfaced roads. Inside, the cabin is quiet, even at high speeds. The diesel engine is equally hushed because it doesn't have to work hard to get the Chrysler up to speed. The V8 is a bit louder, but it’s such a pleasant noise that’s no bad thing.
Practicality & boot space
The sheer size of the 300C means that there's lots of space inside. There are also spacious cubby holes throughout the cabin and the glovebox is huge. The 504-litre boot is impressive, though it's trumped by rivals like the Audi A6, which has a 546-litre boot. The Chrysler's high boot lip can make loading large items difficult, too. The only downside is with the middle rear seat, which is large enough for children, but too narrow for adults.
Reliability & safety
There's plenty of equipment inside the Chrysler 300C's cabin, but materials aren't as classy as those used by rivals like Audi and BMW. The Chrysler did not appear in the 2010 JD Power survey, but the company's performance in previous years has not been impressive. The 300C is very safe though, as it has side, window and rear airbags as standard, as well as electronic stability control, deadlocks and an engine immobiliser.
Price, value for money & options
The 300C is cheaper than its direct rivals and has plenty of standard equipment. Alloy wheels, parking sensors, heated leather seats and dual-zone climate control are examples of the generous standard equipment. The V8 SRT-8 petrol model is significantly more expensive than the diesel, and it's best avoided if value is a top priority. Resale values are not strong for any 300C - let alone the V8 petrol model - so don't expect much of the value back when you sell on.