Buying a new car can be more confusing than you imagine.
Far from simply deciding to buy a particular brand and model, there are myriad extras and limited edition versions to choose from.
Unlike many rivals which offer a baffling array of options, the new Chrysler 300C, released on June 14 is available here in just two versions. Whether in Limited or Executive guise, the Chrysler 300C is a very well equipped car. Many of the things that you’re used to costing extra are included as standard on the Limited model, including Rain Brake Support which helps keep the brake pads dry for better stopping power in poor conditions. Ventilated front seats and heated rears, the Uconnect infotainment system with Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, an 8.4-inch touch screen display, mirrors that darken automatically to limit headlight glare, cruise control, and 18-inch wheels are all standard on the Limited model.
The Executive version has a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system, radar Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and a two-panel panoramic sunroof as well as the forward collision monitoring system and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The overall level of quality is everything we have come to expect from Chrysler. The luxurious interior boasts soft-touch materials accented by chrome and real wood while the seats offer improved comfort and support, meaning that even long drives won’t leave the driver with aches and pains.
One of the most impressive elements of the new Chrysler 300C is the Uconnent infotainment system. Along with a solid audio system, all information desired by the driver and passengers is displayed on an 8.4inch touch screen – the largest in this car’s class. As well as multimedia and portable mobile device connectivity, the Uconnect can be controlled by voice, providing safer track-skipping. This impressive attention to detail continues with small touches like a USB in the armrest with a iPod controls. The touchscreen even displays DVDs!
If it sounds like all this gear inside means Chrysler scrimped on the rest of the machine, then think again. The 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel engine delivers a ton of power but produces reduced emissions – it’s an engine that manages to be refined and efficient while packing a huge punch.
With a monster under the bonnet, safety needs to be good, and the Chrysler 300C doesn’t let us down on this front. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) on the Executive employs radar sensors located in the front to check the 300C’s approach speed to vehicles. If it is travelling too quickly the car will alert drivers so they can take the necessary steps to avoid an accident.
Meanwhile Rear Cross Path Detection (RCP) is enabled when reverse gear is engaged. This informs drivers via icons in the mirror and an acoustic signal if traffic is approaching as they reverse out of parking spaces. For further peace of mind the 300C is equipped with the ParkView reversing camera. This offers a wind-angle view of the area immediately behind the vehicle on the navigation screen.
Some of the same characteristics that make the Chrysler 300C safe and comfortable also go towards making it an excellent driver’s car. The near 50-50 weight distribution gives the car balance, and the Revised Electro-Hydraulic Power Steering (EHPS) gives the driver precise feedback from the road, improves steering alignment and reduces steering noise and fuel consumption. The EHPS system analyses steering angle, vehicle speed, engine speed and the chassis control systems 13 times a second to decide how much steering effort is required. When stationary or at low speed, the hydraulic pump increases the power steering to reduce effort. At higher speed, assistance is reduced to give the 300C’s driver more feel. The result of this is lower consumption than a belt pump and a reduction in fuel consumption by 1.5 per cent.
Since it was first launched internationally in 2003, the Chrysler 300C has looked stunning and the new model is no different. Boasting generous dimensions, the 2012 model builds on the unmistakeable proportions of its predecessor with a more refined and tailored design. The characteristic silhouette is crisp, clean and refined with a more aerodynamic appearance. Marked wing lines front and rear that are higher than the bonnet and boot emphasise the spaciousness of the passenger compartment. Along with 20-inch aluminium wheels on the Executive, the car has a sporty low-to-the-ground appearance.
Quieter, safer and better than ever, the Chrysler 300C offers American styling with European standards.