2012 Chrysler 300
Athletic V8 engines; roomy interior; comfortable ride; luxury-style interior touches; available all-wheel drive
The Chrysler 300 family comes in Touring, Limited, 300C, 300S and 300 SRT8 trim. The Touring and Limited trims receive a 3.6L V6, while the 300C comes with a 5.7L Hemi V8 and either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drivetrain. The SRT8 comes equipped with a tire-melting 470-hp 6.4L V8.
With the different powertrains available, the Chrysler 300 spans a wide range from an affordable, spacious and powerful sedan to a serious luxury and performance tourer. The base powertrain on the Chrysler 300 Touring is a 3.6L V6 that makes 250 horsepower. The 300C offers a 360 hp 5.7L Hemi V8 engine, which is also flex-fuel compatible. New on V6 models this year is an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 5-speed automatic transmission returns for all V8-equipped versions, all with AutoStick manual control. The available all-wheel drive system combines an active transfer case for seamless response when traction is needed and front-axle disconnect to help improve fuel economy when grip is sure.
In any of its variants, the 300 is a spacious sedan with a comfortable ride, supportive seating and a back seat with enough headroom and legroom for adults. Trunk space is cavernous, and the interior is very well isolated from road and wind noise.
The base 300 Touring model is the definition of affordable luxury. It comes well-equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, heated power mirrors, a UConnect stereo with an 8.4-inch touch-screen display, power front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and locks, dual-zone air conditioning and Keyless Go. The 300's strong safety feature list includes traction control, stability control, brake assist with Ready Alert and Rainy day brake support. Front, side and a driver's knee airbags are also standard.
The 300 Limited ups the wheels to an 18-inch variety, adds fog lamps, chrome exterior mirrors, an upgraded audio system, heated front seats and leather seating.
The 300C gets Chrysler's powerful 5.7L "Hemi" V8 engine that makes 360 horsepower and 389 lb-feet of torque. The engine's flex-fuel capable and features a multi-displacement system, which turns off cylinders while cruising to save fuel. The 300C also gets SmartBeam headlights, rain-sensitive wipers, exterior chrome trim, standard Garmin navigation, heated rear seats, heated and cooled cupholders, wood trim and power adjustable pedals and a ParkView rear back-up camera.
The Limited offers the Luxury Group, which includes many of the luxury items found on the 300C such as heated and cooled cup holders, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals and interior wood trim.
The SRT8 and 300S models both have aggressive trim as well as refined interiors. The SRT8 returns with a track-tuned suspension and gobs of power.
The SafetyTec Group, available on the Limited and the 300C, adds high-tech safety equipment, including adaptive speed control, HID headlamps, blind-spot and cross-path detection, ParkSense front and rear park assist system, rear fog lamps and rain-sensitive wipers.
On the 300C also offers 20-inch bright aluminum wheels, a 500-watt amplifier and a subwoofer as well as a power sunroof.
Following a complete redesign in 2011, the 300 returns with minor changes for 2012. The V6-equipped versions now come with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is said to boost highway mileage past 30 mpg. All-wheel-drive is also now available on V6-equipped versions.
A new model joins the lineup for 2012: the 300S. In addition, the 300 SRT8 has been reintroduced after a year-long hiatus. Both feature specific trim and performance enhancements, with the SRT8 powered by a 470-horsepower 6.4L V8.
The 300 presents a luxury big-car design and style at an affordable price. The 2011 redesign gave the 300 an Audi-like appearance and presence, but prices still start around $30,000. The lineup of powerful engines and available all-wheel drive mean the 300 also has performance credibility. Inside, a comprehensive list of standard equipment as well as safety technology means the 300 competes above its class in both features and price.
* EPA mileage estimates and EPA fuel economy methods based on models beginning with
the indicated model year. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models
before the indicated model year. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how
you drive and maintain your vehicle.