Used Car Review

2014 Chrysler 300: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo October 2015

The 2014 Chrysler 300 stands apart from most full-size sedans because it offers rear- or all-wheel drive, a set of powerful V6 or V8 engines and a high-performance SRT8 model to rival the BMW M and Mercedes-Benz AMG brands. With a powerful 3.6-liter V6 standard on all but the SRT8, the 300 offers a comfortable blend of performance and economy. For those who demand more, there's always Chrysler's HEMI V8 engine option. Even in base form, the Chrysler 300 offers features optional on most competitors, including leather seats, heated front seats and an 8.4-inch voice-activated touchscreen radio. The performance-oriented STR8 includes launch control, a 3-mode adaptive suspension and the stripped-down Core trim.

Beyond its distinctive looks and feature-rich content, the 300's performance abilities separate it from lesser family sedans. 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. Unfortunately, the 300 has average 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 $20,000-$30,000 range.

What We Like

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

What We Don't

V8 fuel economy; overly firm ride with larger wheel and tire package; subdued color choices; high trunk and narrow windows impede visibility

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2014 Chrysler 300 offers three engine choices. All but the SRT8 come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 good for 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. In the 300S, the same engine produces 300 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. Optional on the 300S and 300C is a potent 5.7-liter HEMI V8 serving up 363 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque. The 300 SRT8 has a 6.4-liter HEMI V8 with an astounding 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque.

V8 and SRT8 models employ a 5-speed automatic, while the V6 models are equipped with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the V6-powered 300 is rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive models earn a slightly lower 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy and 21 mpg combined.

The V8-powered 300C and 300S drop those figures to 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy and 19 mpg combined, while all-wheel-drive models earn a rating of 15 mpg city/23 mpg hwy and 19 mpg combined.

The SRT8 earns a rather dismal 14 mpg city/23 mpg hwy and 17 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 300 is offered in six trims: 300, 300S, 300C, 300C Luxury Series, 300C John Varvatos and SRT8. All-wheel drive is available on all but the SRT8.

The base 300 includes 17-in alloy wheels, an AM/FM/CD stereo with a USB/iPod interface, an 8.4-in voice-activated touchscreen monitor with climate and music control, Bluetooth, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control with a carbon filter and humidity sensor, two 12-volt outlets, cruise control, heated side mirrors, 1-touch power windows with a remote windows-down feature, a power trunk release, a 12-way power driver's seat with power lumbar support, LED C-shaped daytime running lights, LED taillights, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and keyless entry with push-button starting.

The 300S adds a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine, a 522-watt 10-speaker BeatsAudio system, a revised suspension, body color accents, matte-black and piano-black 300S interior trim, black cloth seats with the 300S logo, black headlight bezels, fog lights, magnesium steering-wheel paddle shifters and 20-in wheels. The Glacier package is offered on the all-wheel-drive 300S and includes a gloss-black roof and mirror caps, black chrome horizontal grille blades and 19-in 8-spoke aluminum wheels finished in satin carbon.

The 300C adds 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 Luxury Series adds unique wood and leather trim, a hand-stitched leather dash cap and door-panel trim, and 20-in wheels.

The 300C John Varvatos includes the same equipment as the Luxury Series but with unique black leather and dark upholstery trim, unique exterior elements and hand-sanded matte wood trim.

The 300 SRT8 adds much of the interior features found on the 300C, plus a more powerful V8 engine, a 3-mode adjustable sport suspension, performance tires, Brembo brakes, launch control, unique exterior and interior trim, and leather and Alcantara sport seats. The Core trim doesn't include 3-mode adaptive suspension, adaptive headlights, navigation, leather seats, heated seats and a heated steering wheel, among other luxury items deemed unnecessary for the driving enthusiast.

All-wheel-drive 300s are equipped the same as their rear-drive counterparts but with a 1-in reduction in wheel size and a slightly higher ride height due to the taller springs and revised suspension.

Most of the best options are offered on the 300, 300S and 300C models, including adaptive cruise control, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, auto-leveling adaptive xenon headlights, forward-collision warning, rear cross-traffic detection, a blind spot monitoring system, automatic headlights, heated and cooling cupholders, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, a power rear sunshade and 20-in wheels and tires.

Pricing

When new, the 2014 300 costs more than its rivals from GM, Toyota and Ford. However, the top 300C model holds only average resale values after just 2 years, so used-car shoppers can anticipate finding a good deal on nicely equipped models, even with low mileage. The SRT8 is the exception, holding extremely strong value over the long haul. For a good idea of the 300's price range, we suggest checking out 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 recall for the 2014 300:

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

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

2014 Toyota Avalon -- The Avalon offers all the room, luxury and technology of the 300 with a softer ride and better resale value. The Avalon also offers a hybrid model but not all-wheel drive or a high-performance variant.

2014 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.

2014 Audi A6 -- The A6 will cost more than a Chrysler 300, but it provides similar power from its V6 and V8 engines with higher levels of luxury and performance.

2014 Dodge Charger -- Because it shares the same platform and engines, the Charger is a sportier version of the 300 that costs considerably less.

Autotrader's Advice

Although the base car is nicely equipped, we think either a 300S or 300C with the Luxury package will offer the best combination of features, fuel economy and price. Many were ordered with numerous options, such as adaptive cruise control and upgraded audio and navigation. The 300's HEMI V8 is cool, and its powerful off-the-line launches are intoxicating, but the 15 mpg rating is unacceptable, especially if fuel prices move back to $4 a gallon.

Find a Chrysler 300 for sale

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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.
2014 Chrysler 300: Used Car Review - Autotrader