Though not best-in-class, the 2011 Chrysler 300 earns a compelling Total Car Score in the Large Sedan class.
Like other Chrysler models, the 300 received a significant and necessary refresh for 2011. A more powerful standard V6 works to improve the 300’s desirability, as do improved ride and handling characteristics, added safety items like collision warning and blind-spot monitoring and convenience features including Sirius Travel Link and an 8.4-inch touch-screen radio display.
The five-passenger, rear-drive Chrysler 300 can also be upgraded with a Hemi V8 and all-wheel-drive capability to give the big four-door a decidedly traditional American sedan feel (and all-weather confidence).
But all that retro styling compromises rear visiblity somewhat, and even the base sedan starts at a relatively high price and quickly rises from there as the horsepower, trim level and feature count increase.
But sedan shoppers seeking a combination of retro looks, confident driving dynamics and expansive interior space will find the 2011 Chrysler 300 a wise choice.
The 2011 Chrysler 300 is available as the base 300, the 300 Limited, the 300C, and the 300C AWD. A 300 SRT8 version returns to the lineup next year.
The engine line-up starts with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 making 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque coupled with a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The EPA has rated this powertrain as achieving 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway/21 mpg combined. An available 5.7-liter Hemi V8 adds lots of punch -- 363 horsepower and 394 lb-ft of torque -- but knocks EPA estimates down to 16/25/19 (for rear-wheel-drive models).
Standard features on the 300 include dual-zone climate control, the UConnect touch-screen sound system with an iPod interface, a power driver’s seat and seven airbags. The 300 Limited adds a remote-start system, Alpine audio, Bluetooth connectivity and a rearview camera.
A move up to the 300C avails buyers to the Hemi V8 as well as heated and cooled cupholders and front seats, a Garmin navigation unit and Sirius Travel Link. Among the noteworthy options are HID headlights, intelligent cruise control, rear cross path detection and a Performance Brake Package for the 300C.
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