The 300’s platform has been used for the past 15 model years, so is it an aging design, or a design that has aged well? That question is less relevant with a base price that’s right around $44,000, which includes a 292-horsepower V-6. Photo: FCA

2019 Chrysler 300

Is it too soon to call Chrysler’s big and bold sedan a classic?

If you have recently been in an airport limo, you were likely occupying the rear seat of a Chrysler 300.

Since most Lincoln Town Cars — once the top pick of fleet operators — have been retired, the 300 has become one of the preferred conveyances for commercial applications as well as for others desiring a full-size North American sedan with plenty of available horsepower.

When originally launched for the 2005 model year, the 300, along with the chassis-sharing Dodge Charger and long-extinct Magnum wagon, turned the full-size-passenger-car category upside down. They shunned the shift to front-wheel-drive — at the time considered superior for four-season traction — and arrived in both rear- and all-wheel-drive choices. Concurrently, Chrysler devised a new-generation “Hemi” V-8-engine option, at a time when similar thirsty powerplants were being phased out.

It worked like gangbusters back then and apparently still does, although the ranks have thinned. The Pacifica minivan and the 300 are the only Chrysler-branded vehicles left and although the minivan is quite new, the 300 has undergone only modest updating to its looks and content over the years.

Even so, from its Bentley-esque grille to the short, squared-off rear deck that hides considerable luggage space, most observers will be hard-pressed to discern the 2019 Chrysler 300 from earlier models, which could be a plus if you’re trying to look current on a used-car budget.

The 300’s interior, which was last updated for the 2015 model year, holds tight to the luxury side of the ledger. The dashboard’s electronic gauges and sizable touchscreen appear leading edge, as does the rotary knob on the console in place of the traditional stick shifter. The dial is no more convenient to use, but it de-clutters the front-seat area and provides easier access to the cup holders and the fair-sized stowage bin.

The base 300 Touring, 300 S, and 300 Limited come with a 3.6-litre V-6 that produces 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The sportier 300 S boosts the numbers to and 300/264. Also available for the 300 S, but standard for the 300 C, is the 5.7-litre V-8 that delivers 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque.

Both engines are linked to eight-speed automatic transmissions, but the 300 C and the V-8 versions of 300 S come with paddle shifters and a Sport mode that produce quicker gear changes.

Sedan fans seeking greater thrust should scope out the closely related Dodge Charger sedan that can be had with a 485-horsepower 6.4-litre V-8, or a 707-horsepower supercharged 6.2-litre in the Hellcat model.

Back again for 2019, all V-6 Chrysler 300s can be specified with all-wheel-drive. The system decouples the front axle when extra traction is not needed, which reduces mechanical drag and therefore fuel consumption.

Starting at $44,000, including destination fees, the base 300 Touring comes with dual-zone climate control, eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, dual exhaust and 17-inch wheels. The rear-wheel-drive V-6 is rated at 12.4 l/100 km in the city and 7.8 on the highway, while the V-8’s numbers are 14.7/9.4.

The S and Limited trims receive considerably more content, but the S comes with dual exhaust, a nine-speaker Alpine-brand audio package, performance-tuned steering and suspension, and blacked-out wheels and trim.

The V-8-powered 300 C’s kit includes perforated-leather seats, wood-trimmed interior and other fancy bits.

The extensive options list includes a 900-watt 19-speaker Harmon Kardon-brand stereo, navigation system, panoramic sunroof, power rear-window sunshade, plus a full range of crash-mitigating safety technologies (such as emergency braking) that’s part of the 300’s SafetyTec Plus Group.

Piling on the extras could push your Chrysler 300 purchase close to $60,000, but you’ll get a level of coddling content and stout performance that would cost thousands more to replicate in just about any other competing domestic- or import-based luxury four-door.

What you should know: 2019 Chrysler 300

Type: Four-door, rear- /all-wheel-drive full-size sedan

Engines (h.p.): 3.6-litre DOHC V-6 (292/300); 5.7-litre OHV V-8 (363)

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Market position: The Chrysler 300 is one of the only North American sedans to offer V-8 power and rear- and all-wheel-drive systems. It also competes against certain European-based luxury models, but costs considerably less.

Points: Five-year-old styling update is holding up well. • First-rate interior appointments add a luxury feel. • Base V-6 is likely all the engine you’ll ever need, but there’s just something about the sound of a V-8. • AWD option is a lifesaver in Canadian winters. • Base price definitely in luxury-car territory, but plenty of size, power and style.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency braking (opt.); lane departure warning (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 12.4/7.8 (V-6, RWD); Base price (incl. destination) $44,000

BY COMPARISON

Cadillac XTS

Base price: $48,900

Cadillac is pulling the plug on this comfortably spacious sedan after 2019.

Genesis G80

Base price: $58,100

Hyundai’s highly regarded AWD luxury sedan is both powerful and affordable.

Lincoln Continental

Base price: $60,800

Flagship AWD sedan uses an all-V-6-turbo-engine lineup producing up to 400 h.p.

-written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

The optional two-tone quilted leather seats (and door panels) provide the look and feel of a much more expensive vehicle. Chrysler keeps the price in check, although higher-end models top out in the upper-$50,000 range. Photo: FCA

Although the 300’s platform is now quite old, the interior is up to date with plenty of luxury trimmings and technology. There are few if any competitors that can match the 300’s luxury value, especially when equipped with 5.7-litre V-8 engine. Photo: FCA

Just Posted

New water storage reservoir to be constructed in Crofton

Project will see an increase in the area’s water security

Striking Western Forest Products workers willing to ‘modify position’ if talks progress

Brian Butler, USW 1-1937 president, says union and WFP to meet Thursday, Dec. 12

The Russell clan finds a comfort zone in Chemainus

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around town

Haircuts by donation for striking WFP employees at The Wildwood Collective Monday

Food and toy drives also being conducted to lend a helping hand

WFP clears the air regarding ‘concessions’

President declares latest proposal maintains terms of previous collective agreement

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Thunberg ‘a bit surprised’ to be Time ‘Person of the Year’

‘I could never have imagined anything like that happening,’ she said in a phone interview

B.C. patients wait 41% longer than national average to see a walk-in doctor: Medimap

The longest wait time was found in Sidney, B.C., where patients waited an average of 180 minutes

Toronto Raptors, Don Cherry top the list of Canadians’ Google searches in 2019

‘Champions’ was the theme of the last year, Google said

Tavares scores twice as Maple Leafs earn 4-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver sees two-game win streak snapped

UPDATED: No survivors in Gabriola Island plane crash: RCMP

Coroner confirms multiple fatalities after small plane goes down Tuesday night near Nanaimo

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

The Grinch who Stole a Hedge: Security camera captures Chilliwack tree theft

RCMP arrives as person calmly walks away with tree in downtown area

Most Read