A remarkable achievement for an automaker is the sustainability through the decades of any car model it produces. For Chrysler, that car is the “letters series.” Dating back to the mid 1950s to present day 2010, the 300C is as much American car heritage as it is Chrysler history.
The big, wide chrome grille is signature sustenance to the 300C, be it the 1957 model or the 2010 model. And for 2010, Chrysler tops its 300C model lineup with a Heritage Edition.
Chrysler buyers today have a wide selection of trims to choose from. The 2010 sedan models include rear- and all-wheel drive, Touring, Signature, C trims, 178-horsepower 2.7-liter, 250-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and 5.7-liter V-8 engine choices in four- and five-speed automatics.
The test vehicle was one of Chrysler’s top-of-the-line models, the 300C with all-wheel drive and the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Wearing a sophisticated exterior paint of Dark Titanium Metallic Clear Coat complemented by a Dark Slate Gray interior, the tester’s base price was $40,050, not including the destination charge of $750. The 2010 Chrysler 300 lineup is well diversified to meet the budgets of large car buyers with the base price on the 300 Touring RWD sedan starting at $27,260.
Among the long list of optional features on the 300C AWD tester were amenities and entertainment features that some buyers would consider as “must-haves” while other buyers might likely take a pass on some of them. Chrysler offered on the tester the options of Power Sunroof ($950); Adaptive Cruise Control ($595); Media Center ($900), featuring navigation, Sirius satellite radio, Uconnect voice command phone, plus iPod; and a Luxury Group ($2,190) that contained countless luxury items, including heated second row seats, wood/leather steering wheel and California Walnut interior accents.
The 300C is in the large car category, so it’s certainly not mistaken as a midsize sports sedan competitor.
But even though my tester was not in the category of the “fun-to-drive” agile sports sedan, the 300C was powerful, thanks to its 5.7-liter Hemi V-8.
And for a large car with an overall length of 198.6 inches and curb weight of 4,097 pounds, the 300C wasn’t too hard in the maneuverability department, either. Its curb-to-curb turning circle is rated at 38.9 feet, so it practically slips into parking spaces.
The vehicle’s Hemi engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual Auto Stick. The V-8 is rated at 360 horsepower and 389 lb.-ft. of torque. EPA fuel economy ratings on the Hemi are 16 miles per gallon city and 23 mpg highway.
New for 2010, Chrysler is introducing an all-new 300S model that is a real sporting, stylish statement. The 300S is promised to be in showrooms sometime this spring, but prices have not been announced as of this writing. The pictures I viewed of the 300S are pretty incredible, though. They show a vehicle re-ignited as a fierce threat to its large car competitors.
The 300S sits on 20-inch wheels, is available with the V-6 or Hemi V-8 engine, comes standard with a performance-tuned suspension, performance shocks and performance brake linings. The face of the 300S wears a blacked-out grille with a chrome surround instead of the full-chrome grille, and its sport-oriented seats are snug, deeply bolstered and track-tested. — Connie Keane, Motor Matters
Next New On Wheels: 2010 Dodge Challenger SE
Next Bonus Wheels: 2010 Mitsubishi Outlander GTS
2010 CHRYSLER 300C
VEHICLE TYPE_________________ 5-passenger AWD large sedan
BASE PRICE___________________ $40,050 (as tested: $45,475)
ENGINE TYPE__________________ 16-valve OHV Hemi V-8 w/SMPFI
HORSEPOWER (net)_____________ 360 at 5150 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_____________ 389 at 4250 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 5-speed automatic
WHEELBASE____________________ 120.0 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 198.8 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb) 38.9 ft.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 19 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 16 mpg city, 23 mpg highway
2010 DODGE VIPER ACR-X: Built for road racing enthusiasts, the 2010 Dodge Viper ACR-X combines the best performance attributes of the record-setting, street-legal Dodge Viper ACR (American Club Racer) and the safety equipment of championship-winning Viper Competition Coupe. The SRT-developed 8.4-liter V-10 engine that powers the Viper ACR-X is equipped with factory headers and a low-restriction exhaust system that produces 640 horsepower and 605 lb.-ft. of torque. The suspension on the Viper ACR-X is tuned specifically for on-track usage. (Source: Chrysler Group)
FORD FOR NATURAL: Ford is expanding Natural Gas vehicle availability with the introduction of dealer-installed conversion kits for its E-series full-size vans and its compact Transit Connect minivans. Ford expects the natural gas option will appeal to the fleet operators who buy these vans because of their centralized refueling. According to Ford, 87 percent of natural gas in the U.S. is domestically sourced, so it is insulated from currency fluctuations, trade embargoes or other factors that can cause gasoline prices to vary. “Another natural benefit for these fuels is they provide an overall lower emission of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline,” says Rob Stevens, Transit Connect chief engineer. (Source: Green Wheeling, Motor Matters)
ASK AUTO DOCTOR: I feel a vibration in the steering wheel and gas pedal between 1,800 and 2,000 rpm on my 2004 Dodge Ram. The dealer replaced the harmonic balancer, but that made no difference. What would you do? Answer: Vibrations can be irritating. Locating the source will take a stethoscope. Disconnect the serpentine belt, start the engine and see if the vibration is still present. If it is, then the next step is to use the stethoscope. I have also used a large pry bar to move the engine on either side to see if the vibration changes at all. (Source: Ask the Auto Doctor, Motor Matters)
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2010