Review: Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010)

Rating:

Mean looks. A lot of car for the money. 3.0 CRD popular and offers strong performance.

Soggy handling of 5.7 V8. Quick SRT-8 is thirsty.

Recently Added To This Review

18 September 2019 R/2019/198:

Front passenger airbag inflator may explode on deployment. Fix: replace the passenger air bag inflator. VINS: *********EH194623 to *********EH337414. Dates: 29-04-2009 to 01-12-2016. Read more

30 June 2017 R/2017/174:

FRONT PASSENGER AIRBAG MAY RUPTURE DURING A DEPLOYMENT EVENT. In the event that the airbag is activated, excessive internal pressure may cause the inflator body to rupture and metal fragments may pass... Read more

6 January 2016

2009 Chrysler 300C CRD SRT recalled for airbag and ignition module, but Chrysler dealer has had the car for 4 weeks and is claiming not to be able to get the parts. Read more

Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010): At A Glance

A lot of drivers bemoan the demise of big rear drive automatics. They're not trying to make the statement that a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes E-Class says of them. Nor into spending the money that making such statements entails. They simply miss the performance, luxury and ambiance of a big rear-drive car like a Scorpio, an Omega or a Volvo 960.

The Omega is probably the most missed of all. So, quite smartly, GM stepped into its breach and filled it with the right-hand-drive Cadillac CTS, at prices between £25k to £30k. Meanwhile, Daimler Chrysler's other half was looking at the same niche. And, though they were a long time coming, Brits were able to buy the 300C in the UK from October 2005.

To launch it Chrysler sprung two surprises. The first was the option of Mercedes very latest 218bhp 3.0 chain cam V6 diesel engine. The second is the price: just £25,750 on the road.

For that you got a large 5-seater saloon sitting on big 18" wheels with huge, unfashionably high profile but very good looking 225/60 tyres. And film star looks. See: "A History of Violence", and "The Island".

Prices in the UK started at £25,750 (OTR) for 3.0-litre V6 CRD diesel or 3.5-litre V6 and £32,995 (OTR) for the 5.7-litre V-8 HEMI. All very well equipped with leather, CD, dual zone climate control, cruise, even tyre pressure monitoring system. Huge 225/60 R18 tyres give plenty of cushion effect. 

300C 3.0 CRD V6 (2,987cc) V6 diesel: 160kW (218bhp) at 3,800rpm; 510Nm (376 lb ft) torque at 1,600 – 2,800 rpm. 0-60 7.3 seconds; top speed 143mph; 34.9mpg combined; CO2 215g/km. EU4.

300C 3.5i V6 (3,498cc) V6 petrol: 183kW (249bhp) at 6,400rpm; 339Nm (250 lb ft) torque at 3,800 rpm. 0-60 8.9 seconds; top speed 136mph; 25.7mpg combined; CO2 262g/km. EU4.

300C 5.7 V8 Hemi (5,684cc) V6 petrol: 254kW (340bhp) at 5,000rpm; 525Nm (387 lb ft) torque at 4,000 rpm. 0-60 6.2 seconds; top speed 155mph; 23.3mpg combined; CO2 287g/km.

Dimensions: 4,999mm long by 1,881mm wide by 1,581mm high. 

Road Test Chrysler 300C CRD 2005

What does a Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010) cost?

Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 5015 mm
Width 1880 mm
Height 1462–1475 mm
Wheelbase 3050 mm

Full specifications

The seats are big, soft and comfortable with a good range of lumbar adjustment. Ride isn't perfect because they've stiffened the suspension a bit for the UK, but those 225/60 tyres shrug off speed humps and kerbs with distain. In fact, the track is so wide you can straddle metre wide ‘speed cushions' without damaging the tyres. And while the handling isn't as good as it would be following the BMW route of even bigger wheels with ultra low-profile tyres, it's good enough, especially at high speeds.

Any downsides? Well there is the flawed console. The fascia is simply designed and well put together with an expensive looking brushed aluminium insert. Yet the console is low-rent with a nasty hard plastic flap over a pair of cupholders that get in the way of the gearlever.

Child seats that fit a Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010) like to drive?

You get leather upholstery, 8-way heated electric memory seats, dual zone climate control, tyre pressure monitoring system, Xenon headlights, headlight washers, electronic vehicle information system, pre-programmable electric dipping/folding side mirrors, suspension self-levelling, 60/40 split folding rear seatbacks, 6-speaker CD radio, express lift and drop anti-pinch electric windows, multi function leather steering wheel with mock tortoiseshell top, automatic wipers, electrochromatic dimming interior rear view mirror, 5-speed Mercedes style Geartronic automatic transmission, Mercedes style cruise control, ESP, TCS, EBA, front and rear side curtain airbag, rear park assist, even metallic paint.

And the choice of either a 249bhp 3.5 litre V6 petrol engine or the aforementioned 218bhp 3.0 litre Mercedes V6 diesel. At the risk or repetition, I'll say it again. All for £25,750.

What can Chrysler be thinking of? They're only bringing in 2,500 300Cs in total next year and every former Scorpio and Omega owner together with every private hire owner/driver in the country is going to want one.

The idea is to make sure they don't have to discount. And that, of course, protects owners' investments. There's nothing worse than paying £30,000 for a car, then finding out that Steve down the road got the same car as an end of the month bargain for £24,000, then, a year later, seeing year old examples sell for £12,000 at auction.

The astonishing thing about the 300C CRD auto is it's also the best of the range to drive. On paper, performance is pretty good. 0-60 in 7.3 seconds, top speed 143mph, and 376lb of torque in the mid-range.

The engine, transmission and gearing are very well matched. You get 35mph per 1,000rpm in 5th, so motorway cruising is quiet and unflustered. Yet bury the pedal and you're up to 120 very quickly. On main roads, the Geartronic selector means you can select and hold 3rd to overtake by simply knocking the lever left a couple of times. Then get back into D by knocking it right. Or just used the reliable kickdown.

In comparison to the diesel, the identically priced 3.5V6 petrol does everything a bit more slowly, drinking more fuel in the process. So that's a car for the very few people who just have to have a petrol engine under the bonnet.

For £32,995 you can step up to 340bhp 5.7 V8 Hemi, and a lot more kit including GPS satnav, 6 CD multiplayer, electric glass sunroof, premium sound system and walnut trim instead of tortoiseshell. While straight-line speed is obviously faster, it's not really that much quicker than the diesel and the bigger engine means more understeer.

Later next year there will be a 425bhp 6.1 litre SRT V-8, still with the 5-speed autobox and sitting on 20" wheels with lower profile tyres. While Chrysler UK's MD told me the biggest selling 300C accessory in the States is a slightly less intimidating Bentley/Jaguar style chrome mesh grille.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
3.0 V6 CRD 35 mpg 8.7 s 215 g/km
6.1 SRT-8 20 mpg 5.0 s 337 g/km

Real MPG average for a Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

91%

Real MPG

24–39 mpg

MPGs submitted

35

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Chrysler 300C (2005 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Faulty 300C Touring - what should I say to the dealer?

My son bought a Chrysler 300C Touring five months ago with 30,000 miles on the clock, one owner and full service history. It broke down last weekend with a failed swirl motor and broken turbo pipe and was recovered to the supplying dealer. The repair costs are over £900 (which is apparently reasonable). All they have offered is a 10 per cent goodwill as the car came with a three month warranty. I've penned the draft mail below for him to send to the sales manager - have I missed anything? Dear Sir On October 16 2014, I purchased a low mileage one owner Chrysler 300C Touring from you with FSH. On March 16, it broke down in Carlisle and was diagnosed as a failed swirl motor and broken turbo pipe. The following day it was recovered to yourselves on my breakdown insurance. It has only done 3000 miles in my ownership. Today, you asked me for in excess of £900 for repair (parts and labour). I am not disputing that this is a reasonable sum as I know it is a difficult job with a high labour cost, but I do find your offer of a discount of £100 as goodwill to be insulting. You appear to being saying that the three month warranty that came with the car removes all liability from yourselves, when in fact you must know under the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002, derived from EU Directive 1999/44/EU which became Clauses 48A to 48F inclusive of the Sale of Goods act in April 2003 that you retain liability for faults that were present at the time of sale for six months. Furthermore, it is the dealer's responsibility to prove that the goods were satisfactory at the time of sale. In view of the fact that the failed parts are a known problem with this engine and have been subject to a free repair notice from Chrysler in the past, then it's hard to see how you can escape the conclusion that these faults were a problem waiting to happen at the time of sale, and that it is your responsibility to effect the necessary repairs at your own cost. Please be clear, I am not claiming that this should have been replaced before sale - I understand the economics of doing that, but by selling on a car that had been in your care from new, with a known problem that could fail at any time, which you knew had not been replaced, you were taking a calculated risk that it would not fail on my car. Unfortunately, as it's failed within the first six months, it is clearly your responsibility to put me back where I should be.
Good letter. Very strong indeed. I think on the strength of it they will capitulate.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star
  • 4 star
  • 3 star 100%
  • 2 star
  • 1 star

See all owners' reviews