Big US limo

CHRYSLER'S big 300C saloon and estate are very hard to beat if you're looking for a large executive car with all the trimmings.

It comes with 3.5 V6 and 5.7 V8 petrol engines, but the one to go for is the 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel.

Like the petrol engines, this comes with a standard five-speed automatic gearbox, it comes packed with kit and yet it undercuts the opposition by thousands of pounds.

It's big and brash and, because of its rarity, attracts more attention than any Mercedes.

Performance is excellent from the smooth and powerful diesel yet it's also reasonably economical and should achieve 34 miles per gallon in varied driving.

On the road it is smooth and refined, with very subdued road and wind noise, and hardly any sound at all from the engine.

Comfort is excellent thanks to well-shaped seats with all the electric adjustment needed and a good ride only upset slightly at low speeds in town.

It comes with one-touch starting, interior illumination everywhere, leather, heated and air conditioned electric seats, sat nav, sunroof and a very impressive sound system.

It has about as much space as the living room, and the hard wearing plastics that often come with US cars are soft and forgiving here.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £9,000 for an '07 07-reg CRD, or £15,400 for a '10 10-reg SE

Mechanical: 215bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 5-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 143mph

0-62mph: 8 seconds

Combined MPG: 34.9

Insurance Group: 38

C02 emissions: 215g/km

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