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“When it drives down the road you’re going to see this thing,” said Al Gardner during his opening remarks at the media drive of the new 2015 300. The Chrysler brand’s president and CEO isn’t kidding; this sedan’s grille is roughly a third larger than the outgoing version’s.

Insipid styling has never been an issue for this nameplate, whether it was the original 1955 model or the modern version that debuted for 2005, though things may be getting out of hand at this point. Bolder isn’t always better, even if the the new 300 really is attractive.

The Pentastar brand’s popular large car has been warmed over this year and like tasty leftovers it promises to be even more delicious this time around. For 2015 the focus was on technology and customer choice not foundation-shattering changes. With the exception of its tail-light buckets all of the sheet-metal stampings are identical, but in spite of this familiarity there’s a fair bit that engineers and designers have done to spice things up.

A Little of This, a Little of That


Outside the headlights have been redesigned as has the car’s rear fascia and exhaust tips. Full-LED tail-lights are standard and help give it a slightly wider appearance than its predecessor. Fog-lamps featuring the same illumination technology are available at extra cost.

Inside there’s newly available driver-assistance technology, an optional leather-wrapped instrument panel and four different cabin themes that were inspired by different cities in the U. S.

Still, these changes are all pretty iterative but that’s OK because the 300, which was most recently redesigned in 2011, is quite competitive. What other large sedans offer a burly V8 engine and rear-wheel drive? The Chevrolet SS, budget-busters from Germany and … crickets.

Arguably lower-trim versions of this car compete with models like the Toyota Avalon, Chevy Impala and dreaded Ford Taurus. They all offer V6 power and relatively spacious cabins, with the exception of the Blue Oval’s bull, which is laughably cramped inside given its distended external dimensions.

All the Trimmings

The 2015 Chrysler 300 is offered in four different trims spanning a broad price spectrum. Serving entry-level duty is the Limited model; stepping up from there is the 300S followed by the 300C and finally, at the top of the hierarchy, the 300C Platinum, which is a new luxury trim for this car.

Base price for the limited is $32,390, including $995 for shipping and handling. That’s identical to the outgoing 2014 model. The range-topping Platinum version kicks off at $43,390, again including delivery.

All-wheel drive is optional on every model and bumps the sticker price by an additional $2,500. If you want the husky Hemi V8 it’ll set you back $3,000, though it’s not available in Limited-trim cars. That’s a lot of cash for two extra cylinders though the low-RPM torque and muscle-car soundtrack could be worth the extra outlay.

The Platinum model I evaluated clocked out at a not-unreasonable $46,890, including delivery fees. Options included Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl paint, which inflated the base price by $500 as well as the Hemi engine.

Precious Metal

This model is new for 2015 and it makes a pretty convincing luxury statement. The car I sampled featured the La Jolla-inspired cabin, which is exclusive to Platinum models. It matches dark indigo elements with crisp linen hues. Supposedly it’s reminiscent of this California town’s sandy beaches and inky-blue ocean. Unfortunately the indigo leather looked almost black and the linen elements already showed some griminess. It is an attractive combination but if you opt for it you’d better be fastidious about keeping those creamy cowhides clean.

The other cities Chrysler designers drew inspiration from include Manhattan, Detroit and Sausalito, another Golden State town. That’s all well and good, but what about Cleveland, Ohio or Gary, Indiana? Rust-colored elements and expanded-steel trim might be neat design elements so long as you didn’t get tetanus from them.

Back to the Platinum car, hand-sanded, open-pore wood trim, a Polenta Frau leather-wrapped steering wheel and satin-chrome accents are a few of the other elements that dress them up. Twenty-inch wheels give the exterior some visual pizzazz.

Like other Chrysler products the 2015 300 comes with a rotary shifter. This gear-changing dial is mounted on the center console where the old lever used to be, a choice that’s somewhat odd because it eats up a bit space that might have been better used for an additional storage cubby.

Drivers are treated to a swanky new instrument cluster with a useful digital display nestled between the tach and speedo. Additionally the company’s Uconnect infotainment system is as responsive and straightforward as ever, while audiophiles will appreciate the two available premium sound systems, one from Beats, the other by Harman Kardon.

Of course more significant technologies are offered, though they don’t come free. Some of these features include lane-departure warning, 911 assist, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop in bumper-to-bumper traffic. All of these features and more are offered in the SafetyTec 2 package, which adds $1,695 to the window sticker.

Other helpful options are included in the SafetyTec 1 group, which carries an identical price tag. Items like blind-spot monitoring, Rear Cross Path detection and forward collision warning help reduce driver fatigue. Overall more than 80 new safety and security features have been added to the 2015 Chrysler 300 ...
For more on this article, 2015 Chrysler 300C Platinum Review please visit AutoGuide.com.
 

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One thing I've always disliked about the 300, at least in the last 10 or so years, is it's main styling cues have been borrowed from competitors they're trying to aspire too. Besides that, nice ride. Much nicer than the Charger.
 

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Although the interior is a bit improved, I'm still not in love with it. Still not getting a luxury vibe any more than Lincoln.
 

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Still say the Caprice could have been an excellent competitor in this segment.
Since a business case apparently was made for a $26K V8 powered cop car (with a volume of only a few thousand) then a V8 civilian base model could have been sold for <$30k as well.
Caprice Brougham with all the trimmings in the mid $40s would be a direct competitor to the 300C.

Oh well, GMs budget people know better than those at FCA I guess.
 

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I continue to prefer the more aggressive look of the 05-10 300. That'll probably be a classic going forward. Nothing much on the exterior of the 2015s really improves the looks much and mostly achieves "different to say it's new". And the interior, along with features, should still IMO have been more greatly differentiated from the Charger if Chrysler really wants to ask more money for it. For example, smaller items like four door keyless enter buttons, a power trunk lid, for example. Also more significant things like a totally unique interior. Beyond the dash top, the rest of the 300 is far too similar to the Charger IMO. While there are unique features on the 300 like the lighting, panoramic roof, etc, I'd just get a Charger.

Good changes, just not enough IMO.
 

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For almost $50k, I'd expect a bit more out of the car I guess was my point. At that price you're in XTS territory, which has a much nicer interior.
 

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you Never was Supposed to. Chrysler was Never a Luxury Brand. they was always a Mainstream brand that offered Luxury amenities in higher trims.
That is just false. The brand was created as a direct competitor to Lincoln and Cadillac. "Never" is a word that is overused and misappropriated.

Direct from Chrysler's website and timeline:

Chrysler was founded on the philosophy of design with purpose. To build revolutionary new cars - affordable luxury vehicles known for their innovative, forward-thinking engineering. And it is our purpose today and for tomorrow.
http://www.chrysler.com/en/this-is-chrysler/history/
 

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you Never was Supposed to. Chrysler was Never a Luxury Brand. they was always a Mainstream brand that offered Luxury amenities in higher trims.
No, but I expect to get $16k more in accommodations and improvements over said $32k base model. This is about value, not brand identification.
 

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That is just false. The brand was created as a direct competitor to Lincoln and Cadillac. "Never" is a word that is overused and misappropriated.

Direct from Chrysler's website and timeline:



http://www.chrysler.com/en/this-is-chrysler/history/


Luxury Vehicles doesnt mean Luxury Brand. Chryslers Luxury Brand was Imperial

Quote Originally Posted by donmateo View Post
For almost $50k, I'd expect a bit more out of the car I guess was my point. At that price you're in XTS territory, which has a much nicer interior.
But your forgetting that this Car STARTS at 32K.. its like buying a Avalon and thinking since your paying for a 47K Avalon you think you should be getting Lexus ES Luxury.
 

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Chrysler didn't split off Imperial as a separate brand for 30 years after inception, so please keep the timeline straight.

The Avalon starts at around $32k and the ES at $37k. At $47k I would expect the accommodations to more similarly mirror an ES than a base model Avalon, that's correct. Again, VALUE
 

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That is just false. The brand was created as a direct competitor to Lincoln and Cadillac. "Never" is a word that is overused and misappropriated.

Direct from Chrysler's website and timeline:
http://www.chrysler.com/en/this-is-chrysler/history/
Maybe it's fair to say that Chrysler was a tweener brand, but the decision-makers at Chrysler today no longer see it as a pseudo-lux brand and now aims directly at the mainstream brands (but more like VW).

Chrysler pegs the Impala, Taurus, Avalon, etc. as competition for the 300.
 

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Maybe it's fair to say that Chrysler was a tweener brand, but the decision-makers at Chrysler today no longer see it as a pseudo-lux brand and now aims directly at the mainstream brands (but more like VW).

Chrysler pegs the Impala, Taurus, Avalon, etc. as competition for the 300.
If that's true, what does Dodge compete with? Dodge was their mainstream brand and still is, with a performance element. Chrysler wasn't Cadillac luxury, but absolutely a Buick competitor.
 
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