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2016 Chrysler 300: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader February 2016

The Chrysler 300 has been on sale for more than a decade, but it's received a long list of revisions along the way. There were big changes in 2011, for instance, and more last year, which brought the sedan updated styling, a revised interior, new features and a smooth new transmission for V8 models. Virtually every change has made one of our favorite full-size sedans even better, and that brings us to the 2016 Chrysler 300.

Why do we like the Chrysler 300 so much? For the same reasons it's been a popular mainstay in the full-size sedan segment since its 2005 debut. Think reasonable pricing, surprisingly sharp handling, lots of standard and optional features, a comfortable ride and, most importantly, highly distinctive styling that helps the 300 stand out from its peers.

What's New for 2016?

After big changes last year, the 300 receives only minor updates for 2016, including upgraded suspension, the addition of Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users and a revised package for safety features. There's also a new Anniversary Edition model slotting between the Limited and the 300S.

What We Like

Huge back seat; excellent Uconnect infotainment system; bold styling; smooth ride; powerful engines

What We Don't

Challenging outward visibility; SRT8 model is gone; all-wheel drive is discontinued for V8 models

How Much?

$33,000-$43,500

Fuel Economy

The 2016 Chrysler 300 offers two engines. Most models use a 3.6-liter V6, which makes either 292 or 300 horsepower depending on the trim level. Fuel economy with the V6 stands at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with rear-wheel drive or 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with optional all-wheel drive.

For drivers interested in more muscle, the 300 is also offered with a 363-hp 5.7-liter V8. Only available with rear-wheel drive and the 8-speed automatic, that powerplant returns 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy. The high-performance SRT8 model has been discontinued, though it may return later.

Standard Features & Options

The Chrysler 300 is offered in five trim levels: base-level Limited, midlevel 300S and 300C, and upscale 300C Platinum, plus the new Anniversary Edition model that slots between the Limited and the 300S.

Despite its name, the 300 Limited ($33,000) serves as the sedan's base model. Standard features include keyless access with push-button starting, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8.4-inch touchscreen with Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system, steering wheel audio controls, SiriusXM radio, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual power front seats and a power trunk release.

The new Anniversary Edition ($36,000) adds unique badging, along with a navigation system, a remote starter and a large sunroof.

Upgrade to the 300S ($36,400) and you lose the navigation system and the sunroof, but you add a sport mode for the transmission, 20-in alloy wheels, and a 10-speaker sound system. The 300S also offers performance tires, LED fog light and sport front bucket seats.

Next up is the 300C ($39,400), which adds a heated steering wheel, automatic tilt-down mirrors, a power tilt-telescopic steering column, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and SiriusXM traffic capabilities. It also gains back the navigation system, though it swaps the 300S's 20-in alloy wheels for 19s.

Topping the 300 range is the upscale 300C Platinum ($43,100), which adds heated and cooled cup holders, 20-in alloy wheels, power adjustable pedals, adaptive xenon headlights, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon stereo system and additional luxury trim such as improved upholstery and an upgraded steering wheel finish.

Options and extras include a Harman Kardon audio system, bi-xenon headlights and a wide range of safety features including a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and automatic wipers. The sedan's V6 is standard on all trim levels, though 300S and 300C models also offer an optional V8.

Safety

All Chrysler 300 models come standard with a wide range of safety features, including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and traction control. Also available are high-tech safety options ranging from adaptive cruise control to lane-departure warning, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and more. A backup camera is standard on all 300 models except the base-level Limited.

In crash tests carried out by the federal government, the 300 earned four stars overall -- a score comprised of four stars in frontal and rollover crash tests and 5 stars in the side-impact test. The 300 earned strong scores in most crash tests carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though it earned a mediocre Marginal score in the firm's small front-overlap test.

Behind the Wheel

Both V6 and V8 models tout smooth, compliant rides, though we find that the V8 handles a little better than its V6 counterpart. Interestingly, acceleration isn't vastly improved with the V8. Yes, there's a noticeable difference between V6 and V8 models, but unless you're really excited to blast away from every stoplight, we suspect you'll probably be content with the car's smooth V6 engine.

If you're a passenger in the 300, you're in for a treat: The sedan boasts comfortable seats, a smooth ride and lots of room in virtually every direction. The 300 also offers Chrysler's excellent Uconnect infotainment system, which is standard on all models. We think it's the best in the business thanks to a huge screen and easy-to-use on-screen instructions.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Chevrolet Impala -- As full-size sedans go, the recently redesigned Chevrolet Impala is an excellent one. You'll have to move up in the trim levels to equal the 300's luxury, but the Impala offers a wide range of features and surprisingly exciting styling.

2016 Dodge Charger -- Dodge's full-size Charger sedan is mechanically identical to the 300, but it's much cheaper. Additionally, styling is different and the Charger doesn't include as many standard features. Still, it's worth a look if you're interested in a bold full-size sedan.

2016 Hyundai Genesis -- The rear-wheel-drive Genesis is probably the 300's closest competitor, offering V6 and V8 engines along with a similarly premium cabin. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the same bold styling as the 300.

Used Lexus GS -- The large and luxurious Lexus GS offers handsome styling and a similarly bold design to the 300. It also touts traditional Lexus reliability. Prices are higher, though, so you may have to consider a used model.

Autotrader's Advice

We'd avoid the high-end Platinum, which has a hard time justifying its expensive base price given its minimal additional equipment. But we highly recommend just about any other 300, especially the new Anniversary Edition, which offers highly reasonable pricing and nearly every feature we could possibly want.

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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.
2016 Chrysler 300: New Car Review - Autotrader