Saturday Road Test – 300C Gets An “A”

If you are seeing this for the first time please tell your car buff friends about this Saturday Road Test feature, and  my five week day capsule summaries of the day’s top auto news.

             

                          Chrysler 300C Platinum

                                 Tank – Updated

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – Long after it was gone from the family driveway, my father often talked about his ’41 Chrysler saying it was “built like a tank.” Those memories were brought back when a 2017 “Velvet Red” Chrysler 300C appeared here at road test headquarters.  

  “America’s big and bold sedan” is how Fiat Chrysler describes its largest auto offering at nearly 199 inches long, and 75 inches wide or roughly five inches shorter than the Pacifica van and only two inches narrower. No one riding in the 300 will be pinched for room.   

 Running on unleaded regular and delivering better than expected gas mileage, the 300C test car was powered by a 292 horsepower V6 with 260 lb-ft of torque. With a smooth and fast acting 8-speed automatic transmission there was more than enough power to meet all demands. A 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with 363 horsepower is an option.

 With lots of interstate operation I logged a surprising 22.8 mpg in the heavy 4,013 pound sedan. EPA estimates are 19/30/23. In keeping with tradition, the test car was rear wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is an option.

 Interested parties will be offered four trim levels, Limited, 300S, 300C and the tested Platinum. Along with upgraded leather seating, the top-of-the-line model kicks in one option that was very easy to like especially if you are a coffee drinker – heated and cooled front cup holders. A 19 speaker Harmon Kardon audio system with subwoofer was another treat during a long drive, doubly enjoyable thanks to the very quiet interior.

 A long list of safety features came with the $2,995 Customer Preferred Package such as Full Speed Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rain Sensitive Wipers, front and rear parking assist, and Blind Spot and Cross Path Detection. (Ah as a kid, if I only had a warning when someone crossed my path.)

 The fourth generation Uconnect Navigation system had a few hiccups and weather warnings too often popped up on the 8.4 inch center dash screen, in some cases for regions many miles away. It likes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

 Up front, heated and ventilated leather seats were wide enough to accommodate all body builds, but I would have preferred less lumbar support than was available.

 But here is one outstanding reason to like this full size sedan. Getting in an out was an easy matter for all. And the trunk will accommodate all your gear for an extended road trip. Interior trim materials and assembly were excellent and the ambience was that of a luxury car.

 All in all, it was just darn right wonderful to drive a traditional front engine, rear drive, full-sized sedan in the year 2017, with the crossover, SUV, truck craze dominating the market these days.

 The 300C just eats up miles and with its long list of features, luxury interior and smooth ride, it might also take some of the stress out of your daily commute.

 With the safety package and $1,995 for “Premium Leather Wrapped Interior Accents” the bottom line came to $48,855 with the 5-year, 60,000 mile powertrain warranty.

 Times, taste and trends change but it would have been nice to be able to ask Dad if he thought this Chrysler was a tank.

 

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