The Chrysler 300S and I met on a cold, rainy Melbourne evening to head out for a quiet dinner in Armadale. This meant a mixture of stop-start city traffic and a relaxed commute through the inner suburbs.
The 300S is comfortable and quite striking, so heading out of town for lunch at a winery would be a perfect environment to get to know the Chrysler better. There’s plenty of room too, so a double-date could also be on the cards.
There is no denying the 300S is a good looking car, the low roofline and big wheels present a cool, almost comic book style, and the LED running lamps on the 2014 300S give it plenty of modern appeal. The gloss black wheels and rear lip spoiler on our test car also enhance the ‘sporty’ look.
Americans have their own way of doing things, and somehow manage to pull it off. Inside the 300S is like a Las Vegas nightclub – sumptuous red couches and blue neon lights are everywhere, and yet it works.
The red (and boy they are red) seats are fabulously comfortable and there is plenty of room in the back. While not up to the quality standard of the Europeans, the 300S is a nice place to be.
The heated steering wheel is a welcome touch for our unpredictable climate and the Alpine stereo has a great sound.
The new transmission lever is horrible. All movements are very subtle so selecting Park or Neutral instead of Reverse when manoeuvring is all too common. It’s a very frustrating function – although the gearbox, when in motion, is very smooth.
Yes and no. There are plenty of gadgets, lots of room and a big boot… but it’s more suited to adults than toddlers. It would be a shame to get crayon and biscuits all over those lovely seats.
The 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 isn’t the thirstiest option in the Chrysler family, but it's no fuel-sipping hero either, returning 10.9 litres per 100 kilometres for our date. Based on Chrysler's service intervals we estimate the 300S would cost about $700 per year to run, and for an average of 15,000km per year travel, cost approximately $2600 in fuel.
Sporty looks. Sporty name. Red seats. Mediocre performance. This is a car that LOOKS like it should go, stop and sound like its SRT8 sibling… but it doesn’t. The 210kW V6 just doesn’t cut it with the premise of the rest of the car.
Sadly the big Chrysler and I just aren’t going to get along. We’ll stay friends – there’s plenty to like… but these looks need some performance to match, and the 300S just doesn’t deliver.
Uber drivers, Breaking Bad fans on a budget, people after comfort and cool but aren’t fussed about being the loudest kid on the block.