The 2015 Chrysler 300C returns to its roots, which include breakthrough 1955 and 2005 models, while taking the nameplate’s appealing “Baby Bentley” style to heightened levels of sophistication and technology.
Up front, the redesigned Chrysler 300C fascia displays an expressive, more sculptured surface, a taller more prominent grille with a unique dimensional texture and chrome grille surround. The grille contains a floating Chrysler wing badge, which within the bold mesh grille, while highlighting Chrysler’s new face. Positioned beneath the upper grille is a tasteful chrome Mobius strip, that outlines the lower grille opening, extending outward, surrounding optional new LED fog lamps, providing a sense of width, and lending the vehicle an athletic appearance.
Highlighting Chrysler’s use of lighting technology are bi-functional projector beam headlamps, offering adaptive forward lighting for improved illumination, while below, new LED fog lamps are available, providing a crisp, clean technical look and consistent white illumination.
In profile, the Chrysler 300C exhibits strong, subtly executed shoulder lines that pay homage to the Chrysler 300 series design heritage, while defining the correlation between front and rear wheel arches. A high-beltline pays homage to the Chrysler 300 sedan’s signature proportion, while its elegantly tailored chrome side window surrounds and available chrome mirrors hint at the luxurious interior.
Wrapping up the new Chrysler 300C sedan’s powerful rear stance is a sculpted LED tail lamp, featuring an illuminated halo. The rear fascia showcases an enhanced fluid surface, featuring a tailored chrome fascia trim accent. Below, a lower valance in black provides visual width and lightens the appearance of the sedan. Lastly, dual polished horizontal exhaust tips, placed in the corners, adds to the Chrysler 300’s upscale and athletic appearance.
There are obvious styling and design differences between the trim levels. The 300S for instance features Black chrome trim elements and a black top compared to the other model’s bright chrome trim.
Moving to the interior, the Chrysler 300C interior design elements include a standard 7-inch full-color driver information display and a class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter, along with Chrysler brand’s three-spoke steering wheel featuring larger vehicle controls and available die-cast paddle shifters.
The 2015 Chrysler 300 will be available in four levels of trim, in an order that initially seems in reverse. The base model is the 300 Limited, which starts at $31,395 (normally a Limited designation indicates the top-of-the-line). Next up is the 300S starting at $34,895, followed by the Chrysler 300C beginning at $37,895. Finally is the flagship 300C Platinum. Add a $995 Destination charge to each model.
Two engines are available to power the Chrysler 300 lineup: a 3.6-liter PentaStar, DOHC, 24-valve V6 with VVT and sequential, multiport, electronic returnless fuel injection that produces 292 horsepower at 6,350 rpm along with 260 pound feet of torque at 4,800 rpm. The V6 is standard for all trim levels, in both RWD and AWD versions, and with an upgraded 300-horse version available for the 300S. A 5.7-liter, OHV, 16-valve HEMI® V-8 with four-cylinder fuel saver technology is optionally available for RWD 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum vehicles and delivers 363 horsepower at 5,200 rpm while developing 394 pound feet of torque at 4,200.
Two transmissions are on tap to gear the engine’s motive force to the driving wheels: an 8-speed 845RE TorqueFlite automatic for V6 powered 300 Limited, 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum (300S and 300C Platinum models include Sport mode and die-cast paddle shifters; or an 8HP70 eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic with Autostick optionally available for 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum. The 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum powered by the 5.7-liter V8 include Sport mode and paddle shifters.
The volume sales leader is expected to be the 300C Limited, with the V6 anticipated to account for an 85 percent take rate.
My 2015 test vehicle was a Chrysler 300C with a Billet Silver metallic clear coat exterior and a Black and Linen-toned interior. It was powered by the 5.7-liter HEMI® V8 in a RWD configuration with the 8-speed automatic transmission. Its base price was set at $37,895 while the V8 and other options elevated the final total to $47,170.
SUMMARY: The 2015 Chrysler 300C is not a radical departure from its predecessors, but is rather an enhanced and tastefully modernistic representation of an already accepted and highly popular design form. The new Chrysler in essence, is a more sophisticated vehicle in a highly appealing execution.
The V6 power delivers more than an adequate level of acceleration for virtually any driving scenario, while the V8 obviously delivers higher performance attributes and handling, especially with the Sport mode activated. The handling characteristics register on the sporty side, thanks in part to the smooth electric power steering system and the ride comfort ranking right up there with many luxury sedans. Seats are on the firm side, but are still comfortable with good support.
Safety features and equipment are plentiful and impressive, as is the UConnect infotainment system, which is one of the better systems available today.
In terms of its visual attraction, the Chrysler 300C is most pleasing to the eye, and if you liked the old offering, you’re sure to love this one. The 300S will be especially appealing to those who are more performance oriented, particularly with the sinister black trim treatment, deck lid spoiler and Hyper Black alloy wheels, and most especially with the HEMI® V8.
The Chrysler 300C is a large 5-passenger E-segment sedan that is assembled at the Brampton Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Chrysler 300C
|Price as Tested:||$47,170.|
|Engine Type and Size:||5.7-liter HEMI® V8 OHV, 16-valve with VVT, MDS and sequential, multiport, electronic returnless fuel injection.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||363 @ 5,200 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||394 @ 4,200 rpm|
|Transmission:||8454E Torqueflite Eight-speed automatic.|
|Drive Train:||Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear-wheel drive or AWD.|
Comfort Tuned suspension
Front – Independent SLA with high upper “A” arm, coil spring over gas charged-monotube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar. Lateral and diagonal lower links with dual ball joint knuckles, one piece lower-control
arms — included with AWD
Rear – Five-link independent with coil springs, gas-charged monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar and isolated suspension cradle.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, BA, ESC, HAS, and Rain Brake Support.|
|Tires:||Firestone Firehawk GT 245/45 R20 99V M&S mounted on 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels.|
|Length Overall:||198.6 inches|
|Curb Weight:||4,326 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||18.5 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||16-mpg city / 25-mpg hwy|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.