Since the second-generation Chrysler 300 was introduced in 2011, I've been wanting to get my hands on one. I had many chances to take one out for a spin and every time, I missed it. When Chrysler did the launch of the SRT Tour back in 2011, they had a 300 SRT8 available for drives. I unfortunately missed out on driving it. Then at the 2012 MAMA Spring Rally, the new 300 Luxury Series was there and missed that too. Fast forward to this week and a 2013 Chrysler 300S arrived at my house. I knew couldn't squander this chance as I had done time and time again.
The 300S is the step up from the standard 300 and starts at $33,145. My test car is equipped with the 3.6L Pentastar V6, eight-speed automatic, and three option packages (SafetyTec, Light Group, and UConnect) bringing the as-tested price to $37,925* (includes a $995 destination charge).
The Chrysler 300 is one of those vehicles that have presence and the S model only amplifies that. A dark silver color and the twenty-inch aluminum wheels takes the 300S to another level. Also taking the 300Z to another level is the 3.6L V6. While most 300s equipped with the 3.6 come with 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet, S models get eight extra horses and four more pound-feet to torque. This is due to a sports tuned exhaust and cold-air induction system. During my first 15 minutes, I was shocked by how much power the 3.6 had available on tap and how smooth the eight-speed automatic is. The ride was surprisingly comfortable during my short drive, although I'll see how it fares on the freeway in the coming week.
Also impressing me is Chrysler's UConnect system. A large 8.4-inch touchscreen houses the system and its a breeze to use. The touch points to move around are large and the system is very snappy. The Beats audio system seems to producing very good system, but I will need to spend some more time with it before make any conclusions.
Complaints? I have a couple. The 300 has possibly the worst rear visibility in a vehicle I have tested. I'm very thankful my tester has blind-spot monitoring and a backup camera. The other lies with interior as its too black. Black leather, black dashboard, and a black headliner. Needs some contrasting colors on the double.
For now, I'm going to revel in the fact that I have driven a 300. Stay tuned for the review.