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The New 2015 Chrysler 300: New-found Luxury with Classic Performance

The New 2015 Chrysler 300: New-found Luxury with Classic Performance

For years, Chrysler was known for its luxurious cars paired with powerful engines. But when the 1980s hit and gas prices skyrocketed, luxury became secondary to excellent gas mileage. Now, Chrysler has put the luxury back into its new 300 sedan, combined with stellar performance numbers as well.

The 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan comes in four different models this year: the base model Limited, the sporty 300S, the 300C, and the loaded-to-the-rafters 300C Platinum. All models come standard with the company's 3.6-liter 292-horsepower powerplant. It's combined with an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission, now controlled by a rotary shift knob on the center console.

Luxury trappings at reasonable prices, says Chrysler president

Even the late Ricardo Montalban, who famously voiced Chrysler commercials in the late 1970s and early 1980s, would be impressed with the new 300. "Spectacular, beautiful, great luxury interior materials and refinement and you get a price at the heart of the market. You can get the luxury; you just don't have to pay for it," Al Gardner, president and CEO of Chrysler, told KABC 7.

With Chrysler being owned by Italian company Fiat, other divisions of the company are targeting the luxury market, such as Alfa Romeo and Maserati leaving Chrysler to target its own niche group. Fiat knows that Chrysler's market for the 300 are people who want sedans but also want lots of comfort and cutting-edge gear. Gardner believes that Chrysler can do that with the product it's putting out now and still keep prices reasonable.

Slide in, buckle up, plug in and hang on

The critics agree with Gardner. praised the new 300, saying, "For a top mix of style, technology and comfort, it's going to be hard to beat the Chrysler 300." Even the base model comes packed with standard equipment including a WiFi hotspot, six-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB connectivity and satellite radio. It also has Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and voice command technology, all controlled from the Uconnect Access 8.4-inch touchscreen interface in the center stack.

If you need more, it's there; it also comes with keyless ignition and entry as well as an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats with leather upholstery and eight-way power adjustment. It even has four-way power lumbar adjustment and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Check the outside and you'll find LED taillights, heated mirrors, automatic headlights and 17-inch alloy wheels.

The 300S gives you eight more horsepower with the standard V-6, but it also gives you another engine option: a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that unleashes 363 horses. Regardless of which one you pick, the 300S has all the Limited's equipment plus 20-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, performance-tuned suspension, dual exhausts, shift paddles for the transmission, sport bucket front seats, rearview camera, remote start and a 10-speaker Beats Audio system so you can still hear yourself over the growl of the motor.

If you're looking for something in the middle, the 300C may be your answer. It also has the Hemi available as an option, but has more emphasis on comfort with 18-inch alloy wheels, heated front and rear seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping heated steering wheel, a power rear sunshade, and LED cabin lighting. Its big brother, the 300C Platinum, adds on leather upholstery just about everywhere, quilted door panels, hand-sanded oil-rubbed wood, heated and cooling cup holders, and power-adjustable pedals.

Here's the kicker: with most manufacturers, you have to buy an option as part of a package. But Chrysler has made many of the features available on the higher-end 300 models available as stand-alone options for their lower-priced models. You can get options like xenon headlights and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system on its own, as well as the SafetyTec 1 package that includes blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, and front and rear parking sensors. For a car that took home top ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash tests, it's yet another added bonus.

Great performance at an excellent price

With a price that starts at $31,695 for the Limited and tops out at less than $50,000 for the fully equipped Platinum, it's no wonder the reviewers like the interior, engine choices, and even the exterior with The Car Connection saying its styling gives it swagger and presence.

But it isn't just auto critics who are happy; Chrysler 300 owners who wrote into gave it stellar reviews as well, with one owner saying that it drove better than any luxury car he'd driven, and there were many. Another owner told readers to do their research and they would find the 300 was the best value luxury car around.

Perhaps Autoweek said it best when its reviewer wrote, "The Chrysler 300 is unique…`Unique' is one of the highest compliments we can pay. Long live the 300."


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