Nuts and Bolts: Chrysler 300
Bottom line: Know what you are buying and why, especially when shopping a multilayered car line such as the Chrysler 300. If you want a big sedan with reasonable fuel economy, be happy with the base 300. If you just want to look tough, get the 300 S, and maybe a shrink to help you with anger-management issues. If all you want is traditional Detroit big-car luxury, get the exceptionally well-equipped 300 C John Varvatos Luxury edition.
Ride, acceleration and handling in the 300S 3.6 V-6: It gets acceptable/good marks in all three.
Head-turning quotient: The car is more “get out of my way” than “hello.” Put another way: It is more Putin than Obama.
Body style/layout: The Chrysler 300 is a front-engine, full-size sedan available with rear-wheel or with four-wheel-drive. It is offered with six equipment levels — 300, 300 S, 300 C, 300 C John Varvatos Luxury Edition, 300 SRT8 Core, and the 300 SRT8.
Engine/transmission: The car comes standard with a 3.6-liter, gasoline, 24-valve V-6 with variable timing linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission that also can be shifted manually. A 5.7-liter gasoline V-8 is optional for this model.
Capacities: Seating is for five people. Long-legged types with tall hairdos report moderately comfortable rear seating. Cargo capacity with all seats in place is 16.3 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 19.1 gallons of gasoline. Regular grade is okay. E85 (85 percent ethanol) is recommended for lower tailpipe emissions.
Mileage: I averaged 27 miles per gallon in mostly highway driving.
Safety: Standard equipment includes four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated front/solid rear); four-wheel antilock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; electronic stability and traction control; high-intensity discharge headlamps; side and head air bags.
Recommended optional safety equipment: Chrysler SafetyTec and Uconnect packages.
Pricing: The 2014 Chrysler 300 S comes with a base price of $34,230 and a dealer’s invoice price of $32,756. Price as tested is $45,690 including $10,465 in options (the “S” appearance, SafetyTec and Uconnect packages) and a $995 shipping charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $43,690.
— Warren Brown