New Car Review

2015 Chrysler 300: First Drive Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$17,945
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 C
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$19,999
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited AWD
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$19,988
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 S AWD
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$21,988
RELATED READING
See all Chrysler 300 articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader January 2015

Ever since Oldsmobile shoved the high-horsepower Rocket V8 under the hood of the 1949 Futuramic 88, the prototypical American sedan has been a large car with rear-wheel drive and lots of power. Chrysler joined the fray in 1951 with its first HEMI V8 and added style to the formula in 1955 with the C300. While Chrysler began tinkering with front-wheel drive in the 1980s, the company returned to the proven formula in 2005 with a reborn 300 that featured a new HEMI V8 and was, somewhat ironically, based on a German platform from Mercedes-Benz. The refreshed 2015 Chrysler 300 carries on that proud tradition.

Same as It Ever Was... But a Bit Better

The 2015 changes amount to a midcycle update, not a full-on redesign. The 300 still uses a modified version of the Mercedes-Benz-sourced platform, the engines carry over, the car gets no notable structural changes and exterior updates are only cosmetic. Unfortunately, the 470-hp SRT8 model is gone, and so is the all-wheel-drive system for V8 models.

Other changes include a new line-topping 300C Platinum model, a new transmission for the V8 engine and the addition of advanced safety features such as forward-collision warning with emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.

Comfortable and Connected Cabin

The new interior features a new 7-inch information display in the instrument cluster and a rotary shift knob in place of a T-handle gear shift. The look is very similar to the outgoing model, and that's fine because the 300 has had a high-quality interior since its 2011 redesign. The dash, door panels and armrests are all soft to the touch, and the new Platinum model adds a leather-wrapped instrument hood, wood trim and stylish quilted Nappa leather seats. Any 300 has about as much room in the front seat as any car on the market, making it ideal for big guys but less than supportive during aggressive cornering. The rear seat is big, too, with plenty of room to accommodate three adults.

Another strength of the 300 is its Uconnect infotainment system. It features an 8.4-in touchscreen with large icons and voice control. The system provides access to apps on owners' smartphones, voice-to-text capability and the ability to turn the car into a Wi-Fi hot spot. We find Uconnect to be one of the most intuitive infotainment systems on the market.

Controlled Cruiser

When you hit the road in the Chrysler 300, the first thing you'll notice is its size. It's wide and long, and its high beltline and large rear pillars will make you feel like you're driving a tank. The 300, however, is much more composed than that. It commands the road, with nicely weighted steering and just a bit of lean in turns. With its sport suspension, the S model tightens up responses without harming the 300's smooth ride quality. The combination of a comfortable ride and controlled dynamics makes the 300 one of the best cars for long-distance cruising.

Power and Economy

The 300 is offered with two capable engines. The 3.6-liter V6 makes 292 hp, except in the S model where it is pushed to 300. The V6 gets the car moving quickly and delivers extra thrust when needed for passing. Going 0-to-60 mph takes about 7 seconds, and engine noises are subdued until you hit full throttle. Then it becomes a little coarse. The V6 balances its power with fine fuel economy, too. It is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive. The available all-wheel-drive system lowers the ratings considerably to 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. Nonetheless, if you live in a northern climate, we recommend all-wheel drive.

The vast majority of V6 buyers will be happy with their choice, unless they try the even more powerful 5.7-liter V8. The V8's 363 hp provides muscle-car-like thrust, lowering the 0-to-60 mph time to 5.8 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds quicker than last year when it was paired with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The V8 makes a great, throaty sound when pushed, but is otherwise hardly noticed. While Chrysler says the new transmission increases the V8's fuel economy by 6 percent, it has the same 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy rating as last year. That's a disappointment. We're also disappointed that Chrysler no longer offers all-wheel-drive with the V8.

Bottom Line

Pricing for the 2015 Chrysler 300 starts at $31,395, which is the same as last year, and ranges up to $42,395 for a 300C Platinum. We would opt for the 300S, which costs about $35,000 and offers the most engaging driving experience of the group. No matter what version you choose, the 300 is stylish, roomy, powerful and a pleasure to drive. The American sedan is alive and well.

Find a Chrysler 300 for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$17,945
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 C
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$19,999
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited AWD
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$19,988
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Chrysler 300 S AWD
Used 2015 Chrysler 300
$21,988
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.
2015 Chrysler 300: First Drive Review - Autotrader