By Mike Torpey on 2013-03-09 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Chrysler 300C CRD
IF crime boss Enoch ‘Nucky' Thompson from hit TV series Boardwalk Empire was around today he'd probably be driving a Chrysler 300C - in black.
You can imagine him cruising round Atlantic City in this luxurious but menacing hunk of heavy metal that commands such presence on the road that it looks both bomb and bullet-proof.
The new generation 300C is the executive flagship of a resurgent Chrysler line-up that also features models like the compact Ypsilon and Delta family hatchback plus full-blown MPV the Grand Voyager.
If the previous 300C was a serious block of a car then expect more of the same, with the difference that the latest model has more style, class and upmarket appeal.
But then Chrysler believes that the quality, space and standard equipment - some of it a first in the class - of the 300C is enabling them to take on the might of the established German executive models.
Buyers are faced with a simple choice of either Limited or Executive trim and a single 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel engine, the unit already featured in the same stable's Jeep Grand Cherokee, mated to a five-speed automatic transmission.
The key numbers are 235bhp of punch, a 0-62mph time of 7.4 seconds and top speed of 144mph along with the potential for 39.2 miles per gallon, though CO2 emissions are high at 191g/km.
There's no doubt, this is a substantial piece of kit and one you take a little time to become accustomed to. But it drives smoothly and surprisingly for its size was able to return within five miles per gallon of its official average fuel consumption figure.
Inside, the ventilated leather seats are of high quality, there's excellent passenger space - though you wouldn't want to travel in the perched centre rear position - and a huge boot.
On the down rear side, the wood inserts on the instrument panel, centre console and other areas looks like fake wood while some of the plastics feel brittle and a bit cheap for a luxury car.
At the same time though, parts of the dash, fascia and door panel coverings feel classy, as does the 8.4-inch touch screen display, auto darkening mirrors and fetching Chrysler analogue clock.
The 20-inch alloy wheels really look the part too and for practicality, the rear seats fold down with a load-through to the boot.
A raft of safety features - like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, a reversing alert and Rain Brake Support to help keep the pads dry - add to the appeal.
Chrysler says that because the new 300C is superior in every way to its predecessor, as well as being kitted up to the hilt, it also costs appreciably more, so the Limited version has a £35,995 tab while the tested Executive is £39,995.
For the money, you get the usual executive gizmos plus stuff like a Uconnect info system with Bluetooth, cooled and heated cup holders, keyless entry, 18 or 20-inch alloys and stylish looking LED daytime running lights on the front that form the letter C.
Chrysler 300C CRD Executive
Mechanical: 236bhp, 2,987cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via five-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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