Chrysler 300C

Limited

Chrysler 300C
Chrysler 300C, front
Chrysler 300C, side
Chrysler 300C, rear
Chrysler 300C, interior
Chrysler 300C, rear seats
Chrysler 300C, boot

THERE was a time when if it was sporting a Chrysler badge on the bonnet - or hood as our American cousins across the Atlantic call it - then is would be the length of a bus and come weighed down with masses of chrome.

Well, how times have changed ... well almost.

Because the great American marque, now two-thirds owned by Fiat, has for the last few months been concentrating efforts on marketing their new-to-the-UK Ypsilon and Delta offerings along with the evergreen Grand Voyager seven-seater MPV.

But it's like the good old days are here again at Chrysler, for a brand new 300C executive saloon has now arrived as a replacement to the original version which was launched in the US in 2004 and which quickly became something of a cult machine, if not only for its massive dimensions but for its honest-to-goodness price tag.

I must admit that I did love the original, but this newcomer raises the bar far higher, thanks to its far superior build quality, drivability and greater economy.

There's nothing on the market that comes remotely close to what the new Chrysler 300C delivers for the kind of money printed on its price tag, and it comes with everything you could possibly expect in an executive saloon.

Only two models, Limited and Executive, make up the range, and at £39,995 the flagship model really does lack for nothing.

The interior is a joy to behold and has been designed to exude luxury by the bucketload.

The comfortable, electrically-operated and heated seats are upholstered in top-quality Nappa leather, while real wood veneers on the instrument panel, doors, centre console and heated steering wheel help add to the interior ambiance.

On-board equipment includes a whopping 8.4-inch colour screen which houses the satellite navigation and sound systems, and rear reversing camera.

Under the bonnet sits a new three-litre V6 turbo diesel engine incorporating Fiat's MultiJet 2 technology.

Pumping out 236bhp and producing a massive 540Nm of torque between 1,600 and 2,800revs, it is the same powerplant used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee which is getting rave reviews due to its class-leading compromise between effortless power and fuel-saving efficiency.

Top speed is 144mph while the standing to 62mph dash can be completed in an impressive 7.4 seconds. Yet the engine is so efficient it can return 39.8mpg on the combined cycle while CO2 emissions work out at 185g/km.

Out on major roads and motorways the 300C handles impeccably, but it does take time to get used to its size, and is not really recommended for narrow lanes and bustling villages.

Chrysler has also done its bit in the safety stakes. The Executive version comes with a blind spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control and rain brake support, which helps keep the brake pads dry for better stopping power.

That's on top of no less than 70 other electronic safety aids to ensure the Chrysler 300C keeps its occupants well protected.

FAST FACTS

Chrysler 300C Limited

Price: £35,995

Mechanical: 236bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 144mph

0-62mph: 7.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 39.8

Insurance Group: 40

C02 emissions: 185g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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