Review: 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series

Posted on 13. Aug, 2012 by in Auto News

The K-car saved Chrysler the company. The K-car almost destroyed the Chrysler brand. Lee Iaccoca and his team turned almost endless and very profitable iterations of the K-platform and components, including the company's market segment creating minivans. Beginning with the LeBaron in 1983, followed by the extended wheelbase E Class, the company also started the K-car basis for its premium brand Chrysler. Finally, almost every vehicle in the Chrysler showroom was based on the K-car. In the 1950s and 1960s, almost terminal decline at Chrysler in the late 1970s, Chrysler was indeed the premium brand. Plymouth she struggled with Ford and Chevy, the other members of the "cheap three ', and Dodge cared more middle-class offerings. The Chrysler brand was the volume. Chrysler, on the other hand, were larger and more luxurious. You can do something and components with the company more plebeian brands have shared, but they had striking plate and functions and were sold as luxury cars. Although the Chrysler K variants were not unattractive cars, and even though they sold quite well, there was no hiding their K-car heritage. For nearly a generation, "Chrysler" meant a K-car with suede padding on the inside and imitation wood on the outside.

Forget all this faux Chrysler front-drive K-car and genes. The Chrysler 300 Luxury Series is a genuine Chrysler (although some of their DNA is from Stuttgart, courtesy of the hapless Daimler-Chrysler hookup imported). It is a large, comfortable rear wheel drive car with almost all the amenities you could ask in a modern automobile packed. It has more than adequate power, the handling will never get you into trouble, it has some trick-tech features to improve the driving experience, and in general it is far truer to the Chrysler brand than most cars under this label sold the better part of the last three decades.

Let's start with the driving dynamics. The 300 was built with the latest drive Chrysler, consisting of the out 292 hp Pentastar V6 engine with new 8-speed Chrysler automatic transmission, that ZF supplies ("imported from Detroit", the 300 was assembled in Canada with an engine in Mexico and equipped), a German transmission. The combination works very well together, with more than enough power and the right gear for almost any real world driving conditions.

The Chrysler 300 Luxury Series takes this seriously later appellation. This is a car that has been tuned and body treatments, very quiet and very smooth. It is exceptionally quiet. Yes, the V6 a satisfying howl when you get over 5,000 RPM, but otherwise the car is nearly silent inside. At speed, the HVAC system is louder than what you hear from outside the vehicle. I can not say that the Jaguar XJ Portfolio, which I tested significantly quieter. The ride is very smooth, though I think I would have preferred 19 "wheels on the delivered twenties. The chassis has been tuned for comfort, not for handling, and I think 19s would have the ride smoother even without the cornering worse . This does not mean it is a lumbering behemoth that is difficult to control.

The suspension is well controlled, if not euro sports sedan company. Although the car will understeer when you really just try to get the rear end is moving, turn quickly, the steering is precise, and the car will go where you steer it, if you need more Castle. There's not a huge amount of steering feel, this is not a Lotus Elan, not even a Mazda3, the latest standard for good steering feel, but it's also far from the palm of the wheel overwhelmed steering by remote control of large sedans Chrysler was once . With independent suspension, the chassis is severely upset and I found myself looking for bad pavement to see how well the hardness was dumb. There is a section of concrete near the Northland Shopping Center, which was not leveled properly when it was poured. On the left side of the street is about a quarter mile from vibrations so bad that in some cars you might think that something is broken mechanically. The 300 does an admirable job of dealing with these vibrations. Irregularly washboarded asphalt not disturb much the 300 equanimity. Brakes are very good. The few times that I wanted to slow down or had been made quickly without any fuss. They are easily modulated although sometimes the brakes felt a little grabby just before it. To a complete stop The Rolls-Royce chauffeurs' school method of reducing the pedal pressure "six inches before you stop to" practically was.

In general, however, the car was very smooth and well composed. It is to live a very easy car.

Electronics has been working well. The 8.4-inch touchscreen with Chrysler UConnect worked very well, and I'm not on the review, as my phone couple RTFM. Remote audio controls are mounted on the back of the steering wheel, near the paddle shifters and function quite intuitive. The system is easily accessible, the music on my Android phone and phone integration works well with one exception, when the audio call on a cell phone, the phone was without telephone audio redirect to that call ever wanted. It is possible that a breakdown due to the telephone, the car is not caused. Speaking of electronic breakdowns, a time when I the car is turned on, started the HVAC system blows hot air and when on AC or ACC does not seem to do anything. Turning off the car and restarting made the problem go away. The smart key worked fine. They are convenient, but I'll be happy when the fobs be further miniaturized.

The audio system, a premium Alpine branded unit sounded great, although I was surprised that there was no louder than it did. There are enough regular knobs and switches for regularly used functions to be bothered by the touch screen. There is a power sunshade for the rear window, which is just across the touchscreen, since the controls for the heated seats and steering wheel, but if someone throws you the keys, you will not have to access to the infotainment system only car . go I suspect that if Fiat-Chrysler could money based on Fiat 500 save by deleting keyed locks on the small car passenger door and tailgate to figure people would not notice, because the "free" power locks, most Chrysler won 300 buyers also "t notice that power. sunscreen no dedicated switch.'s heated and cooled cup holders in the console by the way, do not have dedicated buttons, one for each cup holder

The other day, Steve Lang said, "What is a 'loaded' car these days?". With a reasonable measure these 300 was loaded Stickering at $ 44,855. He had the security Tec Package ($ 2,420), the Luxury Group ($ 3,250), the 300 Series Luxury Group ($ 3,500), a dual-pane panoramic sunroof ($ 1,495) and UConnect ($ 795). Leather with detail stitching on hard surfaces throughout the interior applied that touch the entire instrument panel and most of the other points that you would. A lot of what is not made of leather, real wood, including a nifty covered slatted roll-top lid for heated and cooled cup holders. I work with leather in my job, and I would say that's the equivalent of at least one cow gave the skin for this car.

Seats have perforated leather seat surfaces and are heated, the front and back side, the front seats also always ventilated. A nice touch is that in addition to the adjusted 8-way seats, the pedal cluster can also benefit. Since I have long arms and short legs, which is a nice feature. The vinyl is used on the seat backs and sides is of good quality. There are some hard plastics on the door panels used, and although it obviously hard plastic, it's a decent color and grain match with the leather.

Everything was working, there were no rattles. Other than the aforementioned disturbances, was the only glaring quality control problem on a car with 2940 miles on the odometer reads a piece of wood trim above the glove compartment, the double-sided tape failed, so that the trim was hanging a bit loose. Grell, because the rest of the interior fit and finish was very good.

I'm a bit of a multi-speed skeptics. When I bought my first nice bike, it had an 8-speed hub. Over the years, Shimano and Campagnolo nine, then have gone ten, and now. Eleven teeth on the rear, though most cyclists had to do most of their riding in only a handful of gear ratios My first car a two-speed Powerglide and I was wondering if you really need. More than six gears in a transmission I was a skeptic, now I'm a believer.

I was concerned that the ZF box, like a Car and Driver critics said would the late, unlamented Chrysler 604 gear, hunt like a Jack Russell terrier. That was not the case. It is the smooth gearbox that I have ever experienced. In quieter driving observe almost the tach to say that there is a shift-made. As with many modern cars that I programmed not with how the throttle'm ready for slow response directly to the idle excited yet I like gear for fuel economy, so that they start in as high a gear as possible, but other than that initial hesitation I find with a lot of today's slushbox cars, the drivetrain is silky smooth. I can lose car guy cred here, but at the end of the week that I had with the 300, I thought the need, with beautiful magnesium shift paddles (right in the air flow from the HVAC to play placed ventilation holes so that you know of Touch that they are real metal), and pretty much had the IF shift for themselves. I would bet that people at ZF know more about than I shift. Unlike downshift force, the paddle has to get used much. Switching back and forth manually eight steps seemed out of character with the car.

Speaking of moving, the shifter works electronically on the console and not using the conventional PRNDL sequence. PRNDL was made a standard before I got my driver's license so get used to it a little effort, but it becomes second nature, although I question the snow, like rocking the car between forward and reverse without damaging the transmission in the case. As modern as the gearbox, there was a behavior that reminds me of a vintage three-speed automatic transmission with a properly kick down control. With only three speeds, there was a lot of distance between the ratios, so if you wanted to, you put into it your foot and the transmission would downshift to consider where we would be today a much lower gear, as well as the carburetor secondaries began more fuel into the engine throw. Suppose you drove a big American land yacht with a V8, you would snap your head back as you accelerate. Big Fun on the highway. With ZF and the Pentastar, your feet into them at highway speeds the transmission will shift down by two or more figures and the car just goes.

Let the fun retro, but it's a modern benefit all those gear rations: improved fuel efficiency. This car is EPA rated at 19/31, which sounds about right from my experience. In a little over 300 miles, I