Central Valley Chrysler is proud to present the All New Chrysler 300. It's been the most satisfying Chrysler vehicle you can buy for the past half-decade, and the rash of improvements and upgrades that come to this year's model give the 300 renewed license to hunt for its share of shoppers interested in sedans like the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, the Hyundai Genesis.
A more sophisticated design is draped over the 300's broad, familiar shoulders. The roof pillars are slimmer. The cabin's are a richer, wood-trimmed shroud for passengers, even with the bright distraction of a big LCD touchscreen front and center on the dash. Drape it in black, and you'll channel Sinatra-era hip in every ride.
Chrysler's Pentastar V-6 brings new, good game to the entry levels, with 283 horsepower and a five-speed automatic that's a better fit than the company's newer beta-version six-speed automatics. The HEMI V-8 muscles its way into the top 300C as it always has, but doesn't overpower the chassis' relaxed manners or the electric-assisted steering's nuanced touch.
The base models will have a V6 pushing out 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, with better highway mileage than the 2010 V6 and gas mileage rated at 18 city, 27 highway ? 8% better than the 3.5 V6 was. Europeans will get a VM diesel, with better gas mileage, more power, quieter operation, and reportedly better durability than the Mercedes diesel used in 2010. The optional Hemi went up slightly to 363 horsepower, but gas mileage increased; 0-60 times are quoted at under 6 seconds.
An eight-speed automatic is waiting in the wings and will be available for the V6 as well as the V8s ? eventually. The existing five-speed automatic maintains the same gear ratios, but the final drive ratio has moved on rear drive cars from 2.82 to 2.65, and on AWD cars from 3.07 to 3.06 ? as predicted. (Overall top gear ratios went from 2.34 to 2.20, and from 2.55 to 2.54).
There are four models (and an SRT8 for the 2012 model year): Touring (with V6), Limited (with V6, leather, heated front seats, fog lamps, backup camera, 18-inch chrome wheels, bright door handles, and more), 300C (standard V8), and 300C AWD.
Interior upgrades on the Chrysler 300 include soft touch materials, optional heated and ventilated Nappa leather seats, and real wood appliques on the instrument panel, doors, center console and steering wheel, as well as a new sapphire blue LED-illuminated ambient interior lighting.
The Chrysler 300 Limited model adds leather, heated front seats, voice control with cell phone capability, rear backup camera, alarm, Alpine six-speaker, 276-watt audio, LED illuminated rear cupholders, 18 inch chrome clad wheels with P225/60 tires, chromed exterior mirrors and door handles, power folding and heated mirrors, and front fog lights.
A luxury group adds 300C luxury features with the V6, bringing ash burl trim, heated steering wheel, bigger alternator,
driver?s side auto-dimming mirror with memory and reverse auto-tilt, chrome
lower door sills, LED-illuminated footwells and door handles, front and rear map
pockets, heated and cooled cup holders, 12 way driver and front passenger seats
with heated and ventilated perforated leather inserts, heated rear seats, power
adjusting pedals with memory, a power backlight sunshade, trunk mat, and power
tilt/telescope steering column.
Beginning with the 2011 model year, Chrysler increased testing miles by 50%; the 300 series sedans were tested for more than 7 million miles in the company?s scientific labs, at the proving grounds, and on public roads in environmental extremes.
Testing included regimented durability testing at Chrysler's extensive proving grounds where speed, road surface and times are closely controlled and monitored; public road testing with consistent routes and variable traffic and road conditions; and randomized testing where Chrysler employees evaluate pilot vehicles during every day driving conditions at home and work. The goal is to find and fix any potential issue before the customer does.
Switching to electro-hydraulic power steering increased efficiency; in addition, the 300 has premium wheel hubs with low-resistance, high roll-back brake calipers with spreader springs, low-resistance tires and extensive use of LEDs for illumination.
Redesigned front- and rear-suspension geometries improve handling, while new suspension hardware delivers higher refinement. At the heart of Chrysler 300?s new suspension are isolated, lightweight front- and rear-suspension cradles that deliver an ultra-rigid assembly needed for precision and performance.
New monotube front-shock absorbers, springs, and a repositioned lower-front shock-to-suspension-link bushing improve control, ride, and comfort; these components increase durability, while reducing harshness. New front-suspension hydrobushings reduce ride harshness and prolong smooth braking characteristics.