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Chrysler 300C

Chrysler 300C Published: 3rd Aug 2015 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

Chrysler 300C
Chrysler 300C
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Chrysler 300C

IN BRIEF

Chrysler revived their performance name badge from the 1950s for this large executive saloon that employed Mercedes- Benz technology and refinement with American styling. Outside of the UK it’s badged as the Lancia Thema but here you often seen them passed off as Bentley Mulsannes. Choice of petrol or diesel engines although heavy weight means 40mpg is about the best you can expect.

TIMELINES

2003 Debuts at the New York motor show.

2004 Sales begin in America.

2005 Goes in sale in the UK in diesel or petrol V6 and petrol V8 variants.

2006 Touring (estate) model introduced

2008 Exterior and interior get a facelift including new bootlid with spoiler.

2011 Second generation 300C launched, Touring model discontinued.

DRIVING

Put aside prejudices about American cars and poor road holding, the 300C was designed with European roads in mind – it’s even available in right hand drive. It feels softer sprung than a BMW or Mercedes but its extra weight and suspension stiffened for the UK market translates into grip and a smooth ride. If you’ve driven a 1999-2003 Mercedes E-Class you’ll feel right at home.

There’s plenty of space inside although early cars attracted criticism over cabin fit and a plasticy finish but then these cars dramatically undercut their nearest rivals on purchase price when new.

BEST MODELS

The V6 models (3.0-litre and 3.5-litre) have proved popular in the UK although the estate version, known as the 300C Touring, was only sold here until 2011. Diesels are felt to be just as good as petrol with very little to choose between them

The SRT8 with the 6.1-litre (6.4-litre from 2011) Hemi V8 is generally not felt to be desirable in the UK, handling is said to be compromised by the bigger engine (increased understeer) and naturally so is fuel economy and they didn’t really sell here.

VALUES

Now for the good news, you can pick up a ten-year-old 300C 3.5-litre automatic with 73,000 miles for £5000. We spied a pair of 2006 Hemis were on sale at £6000 and £9000 while a ’09 V6 example sells from £6-£10,000. Add about £1000 for an equivalent Touring model. These are dealer prices; private sales will be even cheaper. For comparison purposes, a 2013 3.0-litre V6 saloon with 18,000 miles was on sale at £19,000 – and that’s still within its three years/60,000 miles Chrysler warranty.

BUYING ADVICE

Being large, comfortable, well built and comparatively cheap in the UK meant a lot of second hand and even new 300Cs got used as taxis. If high miles don’t bother you at least ensure the car has a full – and recent – service history. There are lots of toys – heated and cooling cup holders anyone? – so check they all still work. Built-in satnavs can be prone to faults.

Lacquer can peel off wheels even when the car is still new, electric mirrors can become sticky and there are reports of rear seat belts locking in place. A service history is vital because while the Mercedes hardware is durable, their repair costs and low values can result in skipped servicing.



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