Chrysler's 300 range of sedans is the brand's flagship--and in SRT8 flavor, it's one of the most underrated sleepers on the road.
Even the base 300 is no feeble people-mover, however. With a 292-horsepower Pentastar V-6 under the hood, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, it's pretty peppy, and still good for 31 mpg. Opt for the 300S and you'll pick up 8 horsepower for 300 total.
The 300C gets a HEMI 5.7-liter V-8 engine rated at 363 horsepower (also available as an option in the 300S). This engine trims the 0-60 mph time to under six seconds, and gives the car a much more aggressive and imposing feel on the road. All non-SRT8 models are available with all-wheel drive.
It's the Chrysler 300 SRT8, however, that really holds our interest: A 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 sends 470 horsepower to the rear wheels for sub-five-second 0-60 mph runs and in-gear acceleration that's impressive even in these days of abundant 500-plus horsepower sedans. With adaptive damping and an upgraded suspension, the 300 SRT8 also handles the best of any of the 300s, though its size and weight will still remind you it's no sports car.
The SRT8 also adds a touch more visual punch to the 300's already well-balanced mix of tradition and modernity. Though more aggressive, the individual changes to aerodynamics and exterior trim are subtle enough to keep the 300 SRT8 in the sleeper class.
Inside, the 300C is spacious and comfortable, as well as handsome in its way. It lacks the outright luxury of the premium brands like BMW, Audi, or Cadillac, but it still manages to feel more upscale than the mainstream alternatives, thanks in part to its high level of standard equipment.
Included in every 300 are: pushbutton start and keyless entry; LED daytime running lights; power doors, locks, and windows; USB connectivity; dual-zone climate control; satellite radio; and an 8.4-inch touchscreen display. Upgrades to the higher trims bring conveniences and features such as navigation with real-time traffic, heated and ventilated seats, premium leather upholstery and wood trim, and several different kinds of interior trim.
New for 2013 is a Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio system offering, which includes a 12-channel amp, trunk-mounted subwoofer, and proprietary equalization.
Read The Car Connection's review for the full details on the 2013 Chrysler 300.