For 2012, Chrysler has upped the ante in the Full Size Luxury Sedan Segment by re inventing the already good Chrysler 300. This Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 models take the brand in a new direction with American performance, European style ride and handling, aggressive exterior styling, luxurious interior design and materials along with state-of-the-art technology features.

With larger 20-inch aluminum wheels and Chrysler’s second-generation E-segment chassis architecture, the all-new Chrysler 300S V-6 and V-8 models are engineered for driving enjoyment. Handling and power were superb. When I first drove my test car, I didn’t believe it had the V6 and not the Hemi. I didn’t think that any V6 could have this much power. Well, after checking under the hood, (to make sure it was a V6) I had to admit I was wrong. This engine/ transmission combination has all the performance you could want.

If this is what driving a big vehicle with a smaller engine in the name of “fuel economy” is going to be like, sign me up!

The interior of Chrysler 300S is simply gorgeous. The driver and passenger front seats are 12-way power adjustable for the best comfort available. The use of Piano Black on the interior center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster, and door panel elements provide a uniquely lacquered and highly upscale look. Completing the enthusiast-designed interior are matte carbon hydrographic finished accents, replacing traditional burl wood.

Standard features on my test vehicle included: premium Nappa leather sport seating in black or exclusive Radar Red, heated front and rear seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering column, power-adjustable pedals, power sunshade, vehicle security alarm, driver’s side auto-dimming mirrors and auto-tilt in Reverse, heated/cooled cup holders, trunk mat, satin chrome lower door sills, rain-sensing wipers, Smartbeam headlamps, ParkView rear back-up camera, HomeLink universal transceiver, the huge 8.4-inch Uconnect display and the next-generation mobile infotainment, connectivity and multimedia features. Uconnect Touch also controls the high-performance 10-speaker Beats Audio system with 522-watt 12-channel amplifier for high-definition sound.

The addition of the new eight-speed automatic transmission and the fuel-efficient 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine provides a 17 percent fuel economy improvement compared with the previous generation six-cylinder Chrysler 300 AWD models. EPA fuel ratings for the V6 are 19/31.

The new Chrysler 300 was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), achieving their highest rating.

My test vehicle had been thrashed by journalists on the road and the racetrack for 13k miles and still had no squeaks or rattles. This is a well built car to withstand that amount of abuse.

If you haven’t looked at the NEW Chrysler 300s lately, then it is time to get to your dealer and give it a spin. -MH

 

Engine: 292HP 3.6 Liter V6

Transmission: 8 Spd AT with Paddle Shifters

Highest MPG City/MPG Highway: 19/31 for the V6

Trim Designations: 300 and 300S

Base Price: $33,170 and LOADED is $40,460

What I Liked: Power, luxury, and MPG

What I Would Change: I can’t think of many cars I would rather have

Star Rating: 5 out of 5