Chrysler 300C Executive - More bang, more buck
It’s hard to think of another car that’s made such an instant impression on the chauffeur sector. The launch of the original Chrysler 300C back in 2004 gave a combination of Bentley looks, Mercedes technology and Ford Mondeo pricing. What’s not to like?
As a result, many chauffeurs traded in the E-classes for the big American muscle car. And quite a few drivers with more lowly products traded up to the 300C, giving their business – and their fares – a lift in the process.
Now there’s an all-new 300C to spearhead the revitalised Chrysler range. It retains the looks and presence of the old car, but it’s effectively a new car, with new engines and a much more up-market feel to the interior.
The new 300C certainly retains the imposing road presence of the old model. It looks big – there’s slightly more of a ‘wedge’ profile from the side, and there’s less rear overhang. The bold chrome grille has been retained but reshaped. There’s better detailing, with lovely 20in alloys and state-of-the-art LED lighting.
But the price has risen sharply too, and the fully loaded 300C Executive we’re testing is pushing £42,000 – a far cry from the £29,995 price tag of the old model. With just two trim levels and only one engine option, the cheapest 300C Limited weighs in at £35,995. More bucks – but do you get more bang?
The biggest changes are inside the car. Gone are the bland expanse of black plastic, cheapo dials and switches of the old car, replaced by a well thought-out and distinctive dashboard. The dashboard is covered in stitched leather, with rosewood inserts and lots of polished aluminium details on the steering wheel, vents and surrounds.
The primary dials are elegant, analogue gauges, with blue ambient lighting inside deep, chrome-rimmed tunnel surrounds. The centre of the dash is dominated by a huge 8.4in non-widescreen sat-nav screen, inside a large chrome frame that echoes the grille shape. This is topped with a stylish analogue clock, itself housed in a min-version of the same grille form.
The gearshift is mounted on the centre console, and the handbrake is foot-pedal operated, US-style, rather than an electric brake.
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