2014 Chrysler 300 Review By Larry Nutson
2014 Chrysler 300
Imported from Detroit
by Larry Nutson
Senior Editor, Chicago Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
My most recent long-term drive in Chrysler’s 300 was almost two year ago in a 2012 model. Back then the new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission had just been introduced paired with the V6 engine.
Along with the powertrain improvements, since then Chrysler has freshened the interior with very significant improvement in materials, finishes, component fit and overall appearance and layout of its 5-passenger flagship sedan.
My driver-for-a-week was a very attractive Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat 2014 300 equipped with the 292HP 3.6-liter V6 and AWD and with a base MSRP of $33,495. Options on this vehicle included a $2600 Driver Convenience Group that includes a rear back-up camera, power front seats, fog lamps, remote start and a few other items.
Also equipped was a huge dual-pane panoramic sunroof for $1595, as well as the $995 Uconnect 8.4N audio/navigation equipment. With the obligatory $995 destination charge we rang up the total at $39,680.
For 2014, model variants include the 300, 300S, 300C and 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition in RWD or AWD, and the 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition in RWD.
For customers who seek more performance, the Chrysler 300S and 300C are available with the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology and 370 horsepower, along with a firmer performance-tuned suspension and larger performance-disc brake system.
Expected fuel economy is always an important consideration in shopping for a new vehicle. The 300 achieves its highest EPA test rating of 19 city mpg and 31 highway mpg with the V6 RWD model. If you want Hemi V8 power the consequences will be lower expected fuel economy The EPA test ratings for the V8 RWD are 16 city mpg and 25 highway mpg. With AWD the ratings are lower due to the added weight and drive train friction.
On the exterior, the Chrysler 300 model features 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, P215/65R17 all-season touring tires, comfort-tuned suspension, touring brake package, liquid-chrome grille bars with chromed surround, bi-halogen projector headlamps with chromed bezels, automatic headlamps, chromed daylight opening, chromed front and rear fascia accents, LED-illuminated “C” shaped daytime-running lamps (DRL), body-color exterior mirrors and door handles, LED-illuminated taillamps with LED-illuminated light pipe, dual-chromed exhaust tips with rolled-edges, cap-less fuel-filler door with power release, 17-inch compact spare tire and chromed “300” deck-lid badge.
All-wheel-drive gets you 19-inch wheels and P235/55 tires. On the 300S and 300C John Varvatos 20-inch wheels and P245/45 performance tires are equipped. Suspension tuning and brake upgrades are also available.
The V6 paired with the eight-speed automatic provides very good acceleration, highway merging, lane changing and passing performance. Its quiet too and the engine sound and exhaust note under full throttle operation is very large-car like. The Hemi V8 will perform even better, although while drinking more gasoline.
If you would like to compare the Chrysler 300 to other large 4-door sedans, you can do that right here on www.theautochannel.com. If you would like to find any additional information or options on the entire 2014 Chrysler 300 model line you haven't found here, they may be found a mouse click away at (a href="http://www.chrysler.com"> www.chrysler.com.
The Chrysler 300 was named a “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), achieving their highest rating. And the 2014 Chrysler 300 was named a Consumer Digest Best Buy.
If I were purchasing a 300 (All 2014 Chrysler 300 Trim Levels), it probably would be the 300S model with the V6 and all-wheel-drive (AWD). I like the Chrysler system that, when AWD is not required, automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy while still providing the fun-to-drive performance and handling inherent in rear-wheel-drive vehicles.
Stay tuned for details on the new 2015 that’s coming yet this year.
© Larry Nutson