Used Car Review

2011 Chrysler 300: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo June 2015

The 2011 Chrysler 300 saw the first major overhaul for the big sedan since the popular 300 name was revived in 2005. The 2011 car retains the same distinctive upright shape, long hood and narrow side windows as the original, but with a more elegant feel. A wide model range means there is a 300 for just about any taste, be it the V6-powered base, the luxurious Limited or the HEMI V8-powered 300C. Chrysler paid special attention to the 300's cabin, upgrading it from the hard plastics and dull gray color of the previous generation to a stunning design covered in soft-touch materials and brilliant backlit instruments and displays.

Beyond its distinctive looks, what separates the 300 from lesser family sedans is its performance abilities. The rear-wheel-drive 300 is as much a driver's car as it is a luxury sedan, with a tight suspension and excellent steering and braking. If you find a loaded model, you'll also get Chrysler's excellent UConnect infotainment and navigation system, heated leather seats, Alpine audio, adaptive cruise control and a host of high-tech driver assists. The 300's downside is its rather weak resale figures, which is bad news for someone who dropped over $40,000 on a new model but great news for used buyers looking to pick up a nicely equipped 300 in the mid-$20,000 range.

What We Like

Good fuel economy with V6; good performance with the V8; available all-wheel drive (AWD); impressive list of luxury, safety and technology features

What We Don't

V8 fuel economy; overly firm ride with larger wheel/tire package; no all-wheel-drive option for the V6 models; limited color choices

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2011 Chrysler 300 offers two engine choices. Base and Limited models are powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that's good for 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. 300C and 300C AWD models employ a potent 5.7-liter HEMI V8 serving up 363 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the V6 300 is a respectable 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. The V8-powered 300C drops those figures to 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy, while the 300C AWD earns a rating of 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The 300 is offered in four trims: base, Limited, 300C and 300C AWD.

The base 300 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, an AM/FM/CD stereo with a USB/iPod interface, an 8.4-in touchscreen monitor with climate and music control, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, heated side mirrors, 1-touch power windows, an 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and keyless entry with push-button starting.

The 300 Limited adds Bluetooth, 18-in wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, front fog lights, remote starting, a rear backup camera, 276-watt Alpine audio, a 6-way power passenger seat, and additional trim and chrome embellishments.

The 300C adds the HEMI V8 engine, auto high-beam dimming, rain-sensing wipers, navigation, power adjustable foot pedals, a driver's-side auto-dimming side mirror, a power adjustable steering wheel, leather seating, a power rear sunshade, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and heated and cooling front cupholders.

The 300C AWD is equipped with the same features as the 300C, but it offers all-wheel drive and 19-in alloy wheels.

Most of the best options are offered on the Limited and 300C models, including adaptive cruise control, upgraded 9-speaker 506-watt Alpine audio, auto-leveling xenon headlights, forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic detection, a blind spot monitoring system, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a power sunroof and 20-in wheels and tires.

Pricing

When new, the 2011 300 costs more than its rivals from GM, Toyota and Ford. Unfortunately, even the top 300C model holds only average resale values after just 2 years, meaning used-car shoppers can anticipate getting a good deal on nicely equipped models, even with low mileage. To get a good idea of the 300's price range, we suggest using the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2011 300 and 300C:

A recall was issued for cars with the V6 engine due to a possible problem with the alternator failing.

A recall was issued for a possible problem with the wiring harness controlling the seat-mounted side airbags. A poor connection could result in the airbags failing to deploy.

A recall was issued for a possible failure in the ABS/ESC braking system due to overheating in one of the power distribution centers.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

In tests, NHTSA rated the Chrysler 300 five out of five stars in the frontal and side-impact crash tests but gave it four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Chrysler 300 its highest rating in all tests performed and ranked it as an IIHS-designated Top Safety Pick.

When new, the Chrysler 300 carried a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty with roadside assistance and a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Chrysler's certified pre-owned cars must be less than 5 years old with no more than 75,000 miles on the odometer. The vehicles come with a 3-month/3,000-mile Maximum Care all-inclusive warranty, plus an extended powertrain warranty of 7 years/100,000 miles from the date the vehicle entered service.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Toyota Avalon -- The Avalon offers all the room, luxury and technology of the 300 but with a softer ride and better resale value. It doesn't, however, offer advanced safety features such as collision avoidance or adaptive cruise control.

2011 Ford Taurus -- The Taurus offers the same bulky styling as the 300, and the SHO version is a good match for the HEMI V8. Front-drive versions don't handle as well as rear-drive 300s, but the all-wheel-drive trims are evenly matched.

2011 Audi A6 -- A used Audi A6 will cost more than a Chrysler 300, but it provides similar power from its V6 and V8 engines with even higher levels of luxury and performance.

Autotrader's Advice

If you don't need all-wheel drive, the 300 Limited is the model that offers the best combination of features, fuel economy and price, especially when ordered with numerous options such as adaptive cruise control and upgraded audio and navigation. The V8 is cool, and its powerful off-the-line launches are intoxicating, but the 15 mpg is just unacceptable, especially if fuel prices ever start moving back to $4 a gallon.

Find a Chrysler 300 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Chrysler 300: Used Car Review - Autotrader