The Chrysler 300 isn’t exactly a new car.
It’s been around since the middle of the last decade, but the enduring appeal of its exterior design plus the almost constant attention from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles engineers and product planners has turned the 300 into full-sized sedan that can hold its own against more expensive rivals.
For one thing, the inside of the 300, initially a wasteland of gray or tan plastic, has been completely rebuilt so the spacious interior with soft-touch materials are presented with artfully selected accents and a variety of textures that serve to create a comfortable ambience throughout the cabin.
In addition, the new instrument panel has been re-shaped so it offers motorists an easy-to-read instrument cluster, two screens, including a 7-inch, full-color driver information display and a large full-size screen for navigation and entertainment as well as easy to reach controls. Chrysler’s Uconnect Access services are also part of the cockpit package.
The front fascia of the 300 also has been redesigned with a taller, more prominent chrome grille with a unique texture. The grille contains a new version of the Chrysler wing badge, which appears to float within the dramatic grille texture. Below the upper grille is a chrome Mobius strip, which outlines the lower grille opening and extends outward, surrounding the new optional LED fog lamps.
Bi-functional projector beam headlamps are available with adaptive forward lighting to better illuminate curves in the road ahead, while integrated LED-illuminated daytime running lamps form a “C” shape New LED fog lamps are available and provide a consistent white illumination at the front.
The 300’s rear-wheel-drive chassis, which was mid-wifed with help from Chrysler’s old German partner Mercedes-Benz, has been completely re-worked so the suspension as well as a new lightweight axle and steering have been upgraded to deliver smooth ride and handling.
The steering now has electric-powered assistance, as well as ample stopping power from its brake system. The new standard EPS system also provides added efficiency and ease in low-speed situations and while parking. It’s also tuned for added responsiveness on roads of varied character.
The latest edition of Chrysler 300 also has been equipped with a “Sport” button, which enables sport-tuned steering calibration and temporary paddle-shift mode as well as a sport engine and transmission calibration, and increased responsiveness of the accelerator pedal calibration. On the Chrysler 300S AWD and 300C Platinum AWD, the Sport mode turns AWD “on,” if it’s off, and enables rear-biased torque for improved dynamics.
The base engine in the 2015 Chrysler 300 rear-wheel drive and all-wheel-drive models with the 292 horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine continue, which is matched up with an eight-speed transmission that gets 19 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for combined fuel economy of 23 mpg.
The 2015 Chrysler 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum models are available with a 5.7-liter V-8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission producing 363 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque. That combination does 0-60 miles per hour in less than six seconds and gets 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
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Chrysler also has made a heavy dose of technology available to enhance the safety of the driver and any passengers.
In addition to building on its “Top Safety Pick” credentials the Chrysler also comes with optional driver assistance features, including full-speed forward collision warning-plus, which provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent.
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The driver assistance package also includes adaptive cruise control-plus, which maintains distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions as a new lane departure warning with lane keep assist with steering input to alert the driver of inadvertent lane departures.
Added for 2015, 9-1-1 call/Assist Call connects Chrysler 300 occupants directly with emergency-service providers via built-in data connection with a push of a button, a feature exclusive to Chrysler Group’s Uconnect Access service.
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The vehicle’s standard Keyless Enter ’n Go activates interior lighting while entry to the car and trunk is accessed using the driver’s personalized key fob. The new Chrysler 300 also includes a standard ultrasonic security system with an anti-tilt feature, which sounds an alarm if the vehicle is towed or raised on a jack.
For the money, prices start at $31,395 plus Chrysler’s $995 destination charge, the 300 remains one of the most affordable and well-equipped full-size sedans available in the U.S. In addition, Chrysler keeps finding ways to continue re-inventing the 300. The silhouette remains the same, but the car’s personality continues to evolve and change.