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2001 Chrysler 300M Sedan

4dr Sdn

Starting at | Starting at 18 MPG City - 26 MPG Highway

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  • $29,640 original MSRP
Printable Version

2001 Chrysler 300M Sedan

Printable Version

2001 Chrysler 300M Sedan

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2001 Chrysler 300M

Source: New Car Test Drive

Draws on 1950s heritage for global appeal.

by Mitch McCullough

Base Price (MSRP) $29,640
As Tested (MSRP) $30,295

Designed as an American sports sedan, the 300M is a contemporary interpretation of Chrysler's historic letter cars sold from 1955 to 1965. Its suspension is tuned on the firm side to deliver the handling and performance benefits associated with European sedans. It isn't a BMW 5 Series, but its handling is exceptional for a full-size front-wheel-drive sedan and that makes the 300M a joy to drive.

Safety has been improved for 2001 with optional front side airbags. Also, a three-point shoulder belt has been added to the rear center seat as standard equipment.

Model Lineup

Retailing for $29,640, the 300M comes with a 3.5-liter V6 and AutoStick transmission. One model is available.

An optional performance handling package ($560) includes a high-performance suspension, steering, brakes and tires. Otherwise, options are limited to a few items: power moonroof ($895), chrome wheels ($750), premium stereo system ($515).

Walkaround

300M sports European design cues: short overhangs, a high rear deck, big tail lamps. An aggressive front end adds to its sports appeal. Chrysler exports the 300M to Japan and Europe.

New tail lamps with a clear lens design distinguish the 2001 model. New 17-inch silver wheels, chrome exhaust tips and bright side window moldings freshen the appearance further.

Interior Features

300M's interior was designed to be functional, yet inviting, with the purposeful look of a performance sedan. Simple flowing shapes grace the interior. The dash is sleeker, more organic, and less cluttered than a Cadillac Catera. The 300M interior shares much in common with the Chrysler LHS, but some of the details, such as the shifter surround, are more elegant in the 300M. Surfaces are soft to the touch for a luxurious feel. No seams are visible where the passenger airbag resides. Elegant white-faced analog gauges, surrounded by a thin chrome bezel, use electroluminescent lighting. Stylish typefaces give them a classic look and an attractive analog clock in the center of the dash carries the theme through. Major controls use large twist dials.

Leather-trimmed seating and heated front seats with personalized memory controls on the driver's side are standard. 300M offers a bit more rear headroom than the LHS, but the LHS has the edge in legroom. The trunk hinges were designed to not intrude into the cargo space when the trunk lid is closed. Details like that make life seem just a bit more luxurious.

In addition to its five seat belts and optional front side airbags, safety features on the 300M include next-generation front air bags, child-protection rear door locks, upper interior trim impact protection and an inside emergency trunk release. It comes standard with ABS and traction control. The doors lock automatically once underway (though they can be programmed not to do this). Child seat-top tether anchors have been added to the rear shelf panel. An anti-theft system comes standard. Steering wheel audio controls manage a nine-speaker Infinity stereo. A four-disc CD changer mounted in the instrument panel is optional.

Driving Impressions

Designed to compete with the Cadillac Catera, Lexus ES 300, Infiniti I30, and Lincoln LS, Chrysler's 300M is a full-size sports sedan. It feels stable at high speeds. The steering is direct and precise. The ride quality is smooth, yet the car feels connected to the road-it doesn't isolate the driver from what's going on. We felt confident on a wet, winding road through Georgia's Chattahoochee National Forest in spite of vertical drops on the outsides of the turns.

A 3.5-liter high-output aluminum V6 delivers 253 horsepower and 255 foot-pounds of torque to the front wheels of the 300M. Designed to deliver strong torque like a V8, this V6 features 24 valves and single overhead cams. Mid-grade 89-octane gasoline delivers the best performance, but it will run fine on 87 octane. The 2001 300M meets Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) standards.

300M comes standard with DaimlerChrysler's AutoStick transmission, which gives the driver a choice of conventional automatic operation or manual control.

Plenty of power is on tap for accelerating off the line, climbing mountain roads and passing other cars. The engine is smooth and quiet, but growls when provoked. A broad torque curve means it's ready to provide instant throttle response at any speed. Chrysler's AutoStick is entertaining on the daily commute and gives the driver better control on winding roads. Usually, though, we found normal automatic operation the best way to go. It's an efficient transmission that selects the appropriate gears and does not hunt excessively.

The suspension is shared with Chrysler's LHS, but the 300M is tuned more aggressively. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard. Electronic traction control is also standard for improved control when accelerating on slippery surfaces. All-season Michelin touring tires are standard and provide good handling characteristics on wet or dry roads with low tread noise and good snow traction. All tires are size P225/55R17.

An optional $560 handling package (standard on European-market 300M models) includes firmer strut damping, taller rear jounce bumpers, a firmer feeling steering gear, Michelin HX all-season performance tires, high-performance brake linings, stiffer front brake calipers and externally vented brake rotors. The suspension tuning is designed for a more controlled ride, sharper steering response, improved stability in transient maneuvers and increased cornering grip. The Michelins should provide better cornering traction on dry and wet roads, but may not perform quite as well on snow and ice. The brakes are designed to increase stopping ability, enhance pedal feel and resist brake fade in hard use.

The standard suspension works extremely well and provides the driver with a bit more control than the LHS. Steering response is also slightly quicker than the LHS. 300M noise and vibration are not quite at Lexus levels; a small amount of wind noise can be heard and a bit of road vibration comes through. But, overall, the 300M feels like a refined luxury sports touring sedan.

Final Word

Chrysler has produced a full-size car for people who like to drive. The 300M is a sports sedan with performance and handling that belies its size. An exciting exterior design and an elegant interior with all the creature comforts add to its appeal. Best of all, it's available for a price that makes it even more attractive.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2001 Chrysler 300M Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Rear n/a

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Opt
Traction/Stability Control Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Fog Lamps Std
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2001 Chrysler 300M Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 MilesDrivetrain: 7 Years/100,000 MilesCorrosion: 5 Years/100,000 MilesRoadside Assistance: 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Chrysler Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125 point
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2001 Chrysler 300M Sedan

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