The 2012 Chrysler 300 receives a mid-pack Total Car Score in the Large Sedan Category.
On the drivability side, the 300 has been praised for its comfortable ride, powerful engines, all-wheel-drive capability and a new eight-speed automatic transmission that enhances both performance and fuel economy. Reviewers also spoke highly of the 300’s stylish exterior, upscale cabin and abundance of tech and luxury features, including standard Uconnect infotainment and a high-end 19-speaker sound system.
On the minus side is the 300’s limited rear visibility, pricey list of options and ride-compromising 20-inch wheels. The car’s base five-speed automatic transmission also received negative feedback for being unrefined and outdated.
Completely redesigned last year, the Chrysler 300 is now in its second generation. Besides offering a new eight-speed auto, the 2012 model year expands the range by reviving three past trim levels, including the high-performance 300 SRT8 model (covered separately). In addition, V8-powered models enjoy a revised grille and front-end treatment.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 is a large, five-passenger sedan. It is offered in six trim levels: base, Limited, 300S V6, 300S V8, 300 C and 300 SRT8 (the latter covered separately).
Notable standard equipment on the base 300 includes dual-zone climate, push-button start, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 17-inch wheels and a six-speaker touchscreen stereo with USB connectivity.
The Limited model upgrades with standard leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, remote start, 18-inch wheels and Bluetooth. All-wheel-drive and a premium 19-speaker stereo are optional.
The 300S V6 and V8 models bring trim-specific design cues, steering-mounted paddle shifters, a larger display screen and a unique 10-speaker audio system. Leather seating and navigation are options.
The 300C ups the Limited trim with a back-up camera system, navigation a unique infotainment control layout and a standard V8 engine. The 300C also offers an Executive Series version with specialized exterior chrome elements and an interior leather and wood treatment.
Notable options for the 300 line, depending on trim level, include heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, power-retractable sunshade for the rear window, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, panoramic sunroof and adaptive cruise control.
Standard safety for the 2012 Chrysler 300 comes from ABS, stability control and seven airbags including one at the driver’s knee. Optional safety features include a blind-spot warning system and a forward collision warning system. The 300 achieved the highest possible safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Power for the 2012 Chrysler 300 comes from a choice of two engines. The 3.6-liter V6 makes 292 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque. Energy is sent to either the rear wheels or all four wheels by way of a standard five-speed automatic transmission. An optional eight-speed automatic gearbox ties solely to the rear-drive setup.
Next up is a 5.7-liter V8 producing 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. This engine utilizes a five-speed automatic to feed either the rear-wheels or the 300’s all-wheel-drive system.
EPA-estimated fuel economy for the V6-powered 2012 Chrysler 300 is 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with the five-speed automatic or 19/31/23 with the eight-speed auto. The 5.7-liter V8 rates 16/25/19 with rear-wheel-drive and 15/23/18 with all-wheel-drive..
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