By on 2013-01-05 -
PARKED up at a prestigious Scottish country golf club, the Chrysler 300C looked perfectly at home alongside cars from other premium marques.
But this American beast exudes such luxury, it belies the on-the-road price of £39,995 for the top Executive model.
With a muscular body sitting on 20-inch alloys, it has real road presence akin to that of far more expensive brands.
Touches of finesse include a platinum chrome finish to the door handles, grille surround and door mirrors, which auto dim and auto adjust in reverse, by the way.
Distinctive auto headlamps - featuring Smartbeam that detects traffic to put on either full or dipped lights - add to a look that says: "I am a serious, top-end, executive machine."
Inside, you'll find an abundance of soft-touch Nappa leather (gone are the harsh plastics of yesteryear) and all sorts of pleasant ambient lighting.
There are nice satin chrome and wood features, LED-backlit gauges casting a pale blue glow and plenty of storage options - including two heated/cooled cup holders in the front.
Meanwhile, the boot can take 48 litres of cargo, with 60/40 split folding rear seats should you need more space.
The plush interior, with plenty of room for four to travel in real style, features pretty much auto everything, if you want it.
Highlights include dual-zone climate control, radar adaptive cruise control, onboard trip computer with an array of readouts, and memory function for the driver's seat, steering wheel, door mirrors and radio settings.
Added to that are a multi-function steering wheel (heated, like all the seats, of course), powered rear-screen sunshade and panoramic sunroof.
In the centre console is the 8.4in colour touchscreen (the biggest in class), that controls the likes of the excellent sound system with 506 watt amplifier and nine speakers, sat-nav, voice-activated Bluetooth and heated seats etc.
Safety kit is also highly impressive. For example, there's blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning systems, electronic stability control, hill start assist, a park assist system with rear back-up camera and airbags galore.
As you would expect in a car of this quality, the drive is incredibly smooth, calm and quiet.
The 236bhp 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine, which averages 39.2mpg and emits 191g/km of CO2, is mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox and the changes up or down are almost seamless.
Although, should you wish to take control, there are paddle-shifters on the steering wheel.
And as I drove the 300C along a very bumpy lane, it was a case of "Potholes? What potholes?" as the multi-link independent suspension did a fine job of dealing with the terrain.
Despite being a heavy vehicle, with a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 144mph, the big Chrysler delivered plenty of poke when needed - so motorway cruising (and overtaking) on my round trip to the golf course was a doddle.
The steering was responsive and the braking as powerful and smooth as the acceleration.
That coupled with all the alert systems meant driving around town was easy - once I got used to the head turning ability of this car.
After all, the Chrysler 300C has limousine-style qualities inside and out. This much luxury for the price seems to me to be money well spent.
Chrysler 300C Executive
Mechanical: 236bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving frear wheels via 5-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 144mph
0-62mph: 7.4 seconds
Combined MPG: 39.2
Insurance Group: 40
C02 emissions: 191g/km
Bik rating: 32%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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