By FOCUS REPORTER
THE previous generation Chrysler 300 C was a brutish car that was favoured by the hip-hop fraternity. It had an image that one would describe as “gangsta” – courtesy of its big dimensions, block-like shape, large chrome wheels and “bling” grille.
Recently the new Chrysler 300 C was launched in South Africa. It seems to have grown up a little more, taking on a more sophisticated personality. In terms of aesthetics, the distinctive square profile is still there. But it has been blended with a greater deal of sensuality: there are subtle curves and attractive lines on this Chrysler’s body. It is a good car to look at.
Getting inside the new model you are greeted with all the luxury trimmings expected from a vehicle of this kind. The nice thing about the 300 C is that it is equipped as standard with a healthy dose of gadgets and luxury features. On most of its rivals, you would have to have systems like navigation ordered as an optional extra. The Chrysler 300 C has this, in addition to a digital interface which allows control of the audio system.
On the model it replaces, interior quality was a big criticism. But it has improved vastly in this new model. Soft touch materials are employed, in addition to wooden trim with a coarse finish and supple leather upholstery. It all adds up to a very cosseting and luxurious feel. You would certainly enjoy sitting in this lounge on the daily commute; especially in the many hours one spends in Johannesburg traffic.
We tested the petrol and diesel derivatives of the 300 C. One is powered by the 3.6-litre Pentastar engine, which also features in models like the Dodge Journey and the Jeep Wrangler. This powerplant helps the 300 C get up to swift cruising speeds easily, while producing a pleasant V6 growl. The 3-litre diesel model offers more torque at the lower ends of the rev range and also delivers better economy than its petrol counterpart.
And we also managed to spend a bit of time with the monster in the range, the SRT8 model which is powered by a 6.4-litre V8 HEMI engine. This is a car that leaves you breathless with its thunderous sound and astounding speed. It is an absolute beast; an authentic muscle car with modern niceties such as heated and ventilated seats. The interior on the SRT8 is exciting as exciting as the beefed up exterior. It has carbon fibre inlays and also a digital display which measures G-Forces.
What also counts in the Chrysler’s favour is the fact that the price is right. In this luxury sedan segment, there are few others which offer as much value for money as this. You will pay R479 990 for the 3.6-litre V6 petrol model. And the 3-litre V6 diesel derivative has a price of R539 990. The beastly range-topping SRT8 version comes in at R629 990.
Overall, we are impressed with the all-new Chrysler 300 and we think it it’s worth a look and a test drive, when you are shopping around in this segment.