300C 3.0 V6 CRD SRT Automatic
new ownership but still with
the big, bold 2010 Chrysler
300C executive saloon remains a
quirky but realistic alternative to
premium brand executive saloons...
RANGES HAVE BEEN REVISED AND MODELS DELETED as Fiat's ownership
of the Chrysler Group of brands (Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep) gets under way. The
2010 Chrysler model range now consists of the bold and brash 300C Saloon and
Touring and the large Grand Voyager MPV.
To coincide with the marriage of Fiat and Chrysler, I took a journey down memory
lane and tried the 300C Saloon in its very latest 2010 guise. The 300C isn't
a new product and much of its floorpan, drivetrain and other technical components
come from Mercedes-Benz and, in particular, the past Mercedes E-Class executive
The 300C Saloon was first launched in 2005 and the Touring in 2006 followed
by the launch, in August 2006, of the 168mph SRT-8 Saloon and then, in January
2007, the SRT-8 Touring. In March 2008, the 300C interior received a full makeover
while the exterior had minor improvements across the range.
The current 2010 300C model range continues with both the Saloon and Touring
versions powered by a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine mated to an automatic gearbox.
The high-performance 6.1-litre petrol-engined SRT-8, available on the Saloon,
tops the range. The SRT-8 Touring sold out in 2009 and will not be replaced.
The Chrysler 300C Saloon has been, and still is, one of the most striking executive
vehicles; well equipped but costing from less than £24,000. When first launched
its bold and brash looks and imposing road presence attracted professional footballers,
business execs and the business chauffeur operators. At that time it was an
interesting alternative to similar models from premium German brands Audi, BMW
and Mercedes. Today it is an idiosyncratic alternative that beats all of them
for its attractive pricing. The 300C also makes a very good choice as a roomy,
well equipped and durable used car.
The new 2010 300C Saloon range is now offered with four derivatives: the 300C
SE, SR and SRT come with an automatic gearbox and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine,
while the SRT-8 is coupled with a mighty 6.1-litre V8 HEMI petrol engine. The
2010 300C Touring range offers three trim levels: Base, LUX, and SRT-Design
and prices start from £29,495.
new entry-level diesel Saloon model, 300C SE, is available from just £23,995
on-the-road, and offers a very high level of standard equipment including leather
trimmed seats, ESP stability programme, ABS braking, front, rear and side-curtain
airbags, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, LED ambient lighting,
front fog lamps and front and rear parking sensors, Xenon headlamps, rain-sensing
windscreen wipers and 18-inch aluminium wheels. The in-car entertainment system
features an AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 capability and a six-speaker
Boston Acoustics sound system.
exceptionally roomy and
big on style and image
you will be noticed...
The fuel-efficient 3.0-litre V6, common-rail diesel CRD engine offers 215bhp
at 4,000rpm and a hefty 376lb ft of torque at 1,600rpm. Top speed is 143mph
and the 300C can reach 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds.
Moving up the range, the SR version costs £24,995 and in addition to the SE
specification SR models feature an auto-dimming rear view mirror, upgraded sound
system including subwoofer and Uconnect satellite navigation system, Uconnect
phone with voice recognition a hands-free communication system using
Bluetooth technology. Optional extras on the SR are a power sunroof costing
£750 and heated rear seats at £250.
The 300C SRT is priced at £27,995 and a real bargain in its executive sector.
It offers, in addition to the SR model specification, a Bentley-style mesh grille
with chrome surround, body-coloured door mirrors and door handles, wheel arch
extensions, 20-inch aluminium wheels, leather-and-suede-trimmed sports seats
and carbon-fibre interior detailing.
The top-of-the range performance model, the SRT-8, costs £41,795. Its legendary
6.1-litre, V8 HEMI petrol engine generates 425bhp with 420lb ft of torque. And
the rear-wheel drive Chrysler 300C SRT-8 is capable of impressive performance
times: 0 to 62mph in just 5.0 seconds with a top of speed of 165mph. No wonder
it was the footballers' favourite.
Extra SRT-8 specification includes high-performance Brembo brake callipers,
power sunroof and performance tuned steering and suspension making the SRT-8
the ultimate Chrysler 300C and the most affordable Executive performance car
in the market place today.
footballers and tax-penalised company execs have moved on to other offerings,
with an entry-level price of under £24,000 the 300C should also attract customers
from the Ford and Vauxhall brands (Mondeo and Insignia) who are looking for
a comprehensively equipped car that stands out from the crowd. For such relatively
little money it still offers a great deal.
An idiosyncratic alternative that beats all
of the premium German
executives for its
It might not be the sharpest handling car on our roads but it is very comfortable
and exceptionally roomy. And it' big on style and image drive one and
you will be noticed.
Fuel economy is good as well, with my automatic 3.0-litre diesel version returning
a very decent 34.3mpg. However, with CO2 emissions of 215g/km the First Year
road tax is £550 before dropping back to £245 annually. Benefit-in-Kind company
car tax is relatively high at 35 per cent but the retained value for the diesel
SRT version, my test car, is quoted by What Car? as 52% for 3-years/36,000
Going for it is the 300C's attractive pricing, high on-road presence, equipment
levels, comfort and roominess and the fact that it offers a quirky but realistic
alternative to premium brand executive saloons. Not so good is that it's big
and bulky to park, the interior quality is 'old-school', it's not agile to drive
and has a foot-operated parking brake.
Now Fiat owns Chrysler It is unlikely that the 300C will be replaced with a
like-for-like but more modern version. Motoring times have changed but for now
for some bold people who need a bit of 'bling' in their life the
300C Saloon should be looked on as a long-term investment to enjoy today and
for it to be 'collectable' in the future. David Miles
Chrysler 300C 3.0 V6 CRD SRT Automatic | £28,995
Maximum speed: 143mph | 0-62mph: 8.7 seconds | Overall test MPG: 34.3mpg
Power: 215bhp | Torque: 376lb ft | CO2 215g/km