Chrysler introduced the 300C at a New York motor show in 2003 and then entered the UK market in 2005. This model shares a few of the same mechanical components as the Mercedes W211 E-Class, which along with the rest of its features has garnered Chrysler significant success. Since then the 300C has reintroduced itself with a brand new generation that sports “Audi TT” styling. Expect a modern and updated variation that the UK still calls a Chrysler, while the rest of Europe has badged it as the Lancia Thema. But whatever its name, how does the 300C stand in competing against rivals and delivering what drivers need on the road?
On the outset, you would say the 300C was sized similarly to the BMW 7-series and shares the same position as the 5-series. But you can enjoy all these features at a more affordable price. Its size also falls close in comparison to the Jaguar XJ or 730d, but with a wheelbase within 2mm of these high class rivals. Such a little difference considering the 300C starts at £36,000, while the Audi and Jaguar aren’t sold for any lower than £60,000.
But unlike similar segment models that use aluminum to save weight and to enhance rigidity, the 300C’s underbody employs steel’s thickness and tensile strengths as well as nylon-polymer reinforcement in the appropriate portions. Structural stiffness has been reported but the body is no light matter at 2040 kg when on a full tank. Nonetheless body and wheel control has been improved through the inclusion of the front wheels’ negative camber, fluid-filled hydraulic bushes, and a new suspension system that has multi-links in both ends.
The 300C effortlessly delivers a large size through its boxy profile and significant length, competing with more elbow and knee room over any of its rivals. The cabin is also decent with its conveniently sized centre console switchgear plus an 8.4-inch infotainment screen for you to interact with. All dials and instruments are mostly conveniently and practically located, despite the 300C being crowded with more than enough toys: from a sat-van, heated steering, heated and ventilate seats, and even heated and cooled cupholders.
The 300C only has one engine, a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel that was built on the VM Motori. This unit is able to drive the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic gearbox. Expect to see this ‘box in any other new car, so don’t expect any striking new technology or performance from this unit’s drive.
Even the engine’s figures aren’t enough to convince, despite the 7.3 seconds mark of its 60mph sprint. The 236bhp tends to overboost for 90 seconds. It’s also at the short end of the 260bhp in the BMW 530d or the Benz E350D, which are both affordable below £40k. These vehicles also have the advantage of arriving at 62mph in just 6.2seconds and CO2 emissions are respectable at 139g/km. The 300C also pales in comparison in this respect, especially with its poor economy figure at 39.2mpg. The five-speed automatic gearbox doesn’t do much to improve performance either.
What do you think?(Average rating: 5 , Total rates: 2 )