My grand uncle had a couch that he had commissioned to be built after the great floods brought mighty teak trunks floating his way – trunks on which families of squirrels, skunks, and humans, sat and survived the deluge. Elegantly carved and made to look stately with cushions and leather, it carried the weight of my uncle’s signature taste. As grand as a grand piano, leaning back on it, it made you sort of grand too!

If my grand uncle was an engineer I’m sure he would have fixed four wheels to it and taken it wherever he went or again, if he were alive now and as much a fan of all things big and bulky and comfortable, he would have simply traded his couch for the new Chrysler 300C. Given the absolutely fantastic price, he would have perhaps landed two in the bargain!

The Chrysler 300C is available in three specs – 3.6L Standard and 3.6 L Plus both featuring the new fuel-efficient Pentastar engine mated with an eight-speed gearbox while the 5.7L HEMI V8 engine comes with a 5-speed auto transmission.

The Drive

The one thing faultless in this car is its engine. The 5.7 L HEMI V8 monster has a 363hp output and the distribution of power is as meticulous as it is stupendous. Figures show that so is the 3.6L Pentastar engine. When you invest all your brainwaves into a couple of engines, designed to drive several cars and many a brand, I guess one got to be that much more careful and correct.

Prod the V8 HEMI to full swing and the gentle giant suddenly shakes its hair and gets up with a growl that can send chills up your spine. The drive is pretty responsive and reliable even on hill drives, [hill assist comes as standard] but the manual drive isn’t half as fun as you would expect it to be. It’s there all right, just in case!

Blind spot and Cross-path detection, Adaptive speed control, Forward collision warning, Parkview™ backup camera with front and rear sensors

The steering is as smooth as it is non-communicative as most American muscle cars. Of course, the body roll at high speeds don’t surprise you for you don’t really expect to throw about this leviathan of a car in and out of bends with even a hint of recklessness – but you feel as safe in it as in a vault in a Chrysler 300C. It might take minor steering adjustments to keep it steady on a curve, but ask a mahout how it is to keep a mammoth on track.

The 3.6L engine makes 292 hp and 353 Nm torque while the 5.7 L monster rakes up 362 hp driven by 534 Nm of torque. 0-100 came easily in 7.38 sec in the version I drove.

The blind spot blip on the mirrors are a great help, especially as the B pillar is as solid and thick as you expect of a mammoth transporter. When you take a ramp, mind the hood and the flanks and the trunk, there is no bit that isn’t big and not sticking its neck out there!

The Design

The big fat American steering is a classic and quite a something to hold on to – like old-school values. The sparkle of chrome in front – in the Bentley like grille unto the doorknobs, mirrors, wheel spokes, and the thick lining that wraps the trunk between the tail lamps – makes the 300C a statement. The vertical tail lamps are classics in a Cadillac sort of way.

Prices: 3.6L Standard V6 AED 147,900, 3.6 L Plus V6 AED 151,900 and 5.7L V8 AED 172,900

Sure, the exteriors are designed to impress your peers but I have a feeling the imposing 300 C might only bring a scowl to your Boss’s face rather than any appreciation for the good use of your bonus. Yet, the Chrysler 300C of the menacing muscles has now traded half its aggressive looks for a more elegant one – right from the chrome grille to the wide, and narrow-eyed headlamps and much of the interior décor. Which kind of makes it even more appealing as the comfortable family carriage it has been.

The Cabin and Controls

The best thing about the Chrysler 300C cabin is its exceptionally browsing-friendly 8.4” touch screen monitor of the upgraded U-connect system that now affords voice control in navigation. You can choose from the plethora of options in vehicle comfort, air-conditioning, audio system and more with the lightest touch of your finger. And oh, it keeps the dash clutter-free.

Uconnect Touch system has been upgraded for 2012, adding voice commands for Garmin® navigation and more iPod® control features

The driver info screen is pretty comprehensive and organized in short, systematic chapters like trip meters, speed, tyre pressure monitor and vehicle info. But the problem is, this makes a quick on-drive update quite cumbersome, as one has to go back and forth instead of the one touch vertical scrolling most new cars offer. The 6-speaker music system is reasonably good for a luxury car at such an awesome price. It is not often that one talks about a luxury car and harp on its price, but pardon me, the Chrysler 300C insists that you do.

The Napa leather seats and the leather-wood steering wheel of the 300C look and feel luxurious but some of the trims, like the deck or the console panel only look thus. But then, something’s got to give when you get such a nice deal on a car of its stature.

Standard Safety: ESC, full-length side-curtain airbags, seat-mounted side thorax air bags, driver’s knee bag, front row reactive head restraints, Hill-start Assist, Rain Brake Support and Ready Alert Braking. The new 2012 Chrysler 300 has been named a “Top Safety Pick” by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Family Drive

On a day when the temperature display up there is a blazing 43º C, the most important and thoughtful feature in a car with many thoughtful features would still be the remote start. At the press of a button on the remote, the engine comes to life, and more importantly, the AC.

The seats in front are comfortable and adjustable in 12 ways but I found the lower back support lacking in the driver’s seat, which by the way, is ventilated! Ironically, the rear seats, despite being perforated, showed a tendency to turn into a “hot seat” for some odd reason. The boot is deep and wide and can let in your biggest travel package, despite the sloping glass.

UPSIDE: Powerful engine, Fuel efficient for its size, Imposing presence, Loaded with great value FLIPSIDE: Too bulky for certain tastes, Seat comfort could be better, Occasional cheap trims

The essential Chrysler 300C

The new 300C still retains its imposing presence, albeit with more elegance. If you are a sucker for German driving precision and all that fussy stuff, the Chrysler 300C wouldn’t be the car to look for. Instead if abundant power, comfort and a formidable presence are your kind of things, this American is as big as it gets.

Drive Courtesy: Al Futtaim Motors
Picture courtesy: Sudeep Koshy

2012 Chrysler 300C Review: Grand Value was last modified: December 27th, 2016 by Sudeep Koshy

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