How to refine an icon? Porsche has struggled with this for more than 50 years of 911’s at this point – and Chrysler is learning the fine art with its bold and butch 300 sedan.
As a real touchstone vehicle for Chrysler since its reveal in 2005, the rear-drive, 120-inch-wheelbase of the Chrysler 300 has languished a bit in recent years while the auto world has rapidly progressed around it.
This changes for 2015 – with updates to the cabin and powertrain that bring the 300C and 300S bang up-to-date with the latest from Cadillac in the CTS, Hyundai in the Genesis and Chevrolet in the Impala.
Outside, the core layout and design proportions continue for 2015, but the nose and tail are actually all-new. New LED lighting in front includes the inner-eye C-shape of white light next to the projectors, a new LED accent in the outer lamp element that switchbacks to an amber blinker (we think), and new LED fogs down below. In back, an elegant stripe of solid red light rings the newly-wide lamps with new inner LED brake light elements.
The 300 takes two design directions: the 300C with its lavush brightwork and chrome mirror caps, window surrounds, grille, and lower bumper inserts making clear that this is the traditional Bentley-esque bling-mobile. The new grille inside the 300C’s maw is far, far better-executed than before and truly feels like a three-dimensional element of a super-lux sedan. This helps versus the previous 300C, whose grille sometimes looked a bit cheap up close.
The big news is the M Sport-style 300S — with a full monochrome and blacked-out exterior. The 300S has a power bump to 300-horsepower in its 3.6-liter V6, plus a sport button for extra driver engagement, gorgeous Hyper Black Viper wheels and even a ducktail spoiler in back atop the trunk. It looks amazing — with pricing from $34,000 — this 300S looks as cool as a CTS Vsport, but for half the price. Literally half the price of the $70,000 Cadillac, and even with the Toyota Camry XSE V6.
The 300S is stunning in its new black grille and nose detailing, where the stacked rectagular elements in the grille are fresh and recall those onyx blocks in a high-class hotel fountain. Very, very nice.
The core elements of the 300’s appeal are all better inside the 2015 300 as well — with a huge new uConnect system, rotary-knob shifter and superpremium leathers and materials. As before, space for NBA players is on offer in all seating positions.
The 2015 300C bases from about $38,000 — and makes a compelling case for itself versus cars like the Lincoln MKZ, Mercedes-Benz CLA250 and Infiniti Q50 that are all at least two sizes smaller in the back seat than this all-American hero. Arriving to dealers about February 2015 – the 300 is still base priced from about $32,000.
How American is the 300?
In the Middle East, WSJ recently wrote about how locals call it “The Obama.”
Icon status for the best in American rear-drive value, indeed.
2015 Chrysler 300S
2015 Chrysler 300C
2015 Chrysler 300
New 2015 Chrysler 300: Return of the Big, Bold American Sedan with World-class Levels of Sophistication, Craftsmanship and Technology, Once Again Putting Boulevards and Interstates On Notice
The new 2015 Chrysler 300 highlights six decades of ambitious American ingenuity through iconic design proportions inspired by historic 1955 and 2005 models – world-class quality, materials and refinement, best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy, plus segment-exclusive innovations – all at the same $31,395 starting price as its predecessor
- New Chrysler 300 sedan’s iconic and unmistakable exterior proportions are now crafted with even more sculptural and expressive style for 2015, with a bolder “face of Chrysler” front grille, signature LED lighting, unique finishes and new wheel designs
- New Chrysler 300C Platinum model features quilted Nappa leather, hand-sanded wood, ultra-premium Poltrona Frau leather-wrapped instrument panel and console, plus platinum-chrome exterior details and 20-inch wheels – all at an attainable value
- All-new interior design elements include a standard 7-inch full-color driver information display (DID) and class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter, plus Chrysler brand’s new three-spoke steering wheel with larger vehicle controls and available die-cast paddle shifters
- Class-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission, now standard on every model, balances V-8 performance with segment-leading 31 mpg highway fuel efficiency
- Best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy with 3.6-liter Pentastar engine
- Best-in-class V-6 and V-8 driving range
- Unsurpassed V-6 combined fuel economy
- Up to 6 percent fuel economy improvement, plus improved acceleration and refinement, with 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 engine with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology
- New 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited provides customers the most standard appointments in the nameplate’s 60-year history, including the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission, heated leather seating, Uconnect with voice commands and the segment’s largest 8.4-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM Radio, full-color DID cluster, five-year/100,000 mile warranty coverage with roadside assistance and more – starting at $31,395
- New 2015 Chrysler 300S model features unique blacked-out accents, large 20-inch Hyper Black finish wheels, more athletically sculpted side sills, unique deck-lid spoiler and a higher output Pentastar V-6 engine with 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque, plus Sport mode and paddle-shifting capabilities now as quick as 250 milliseconds
- New for 2015, the “Sport” button enables sport-tuned steering; pedal, engine and transmission calibration; plus rear-biased torque on AWD models for more dynamic handling
- New suite of Uconnect features, including the award-winning Uconnect Access system, Uconnect Access services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, the latest 3-D navigation on the segment’s largest 8.4-inch touchscreen and the ability to turn the Chrysler 300 into a Wi-Fi hotspot
- New advanced technological solutions include electric power steering and cast-aluminum axles and housing to reduce energy demand, weight and parasitic friction
- More than 80 available safety and security features, including new for 2015 Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist and 9-1-1 call/Assist Call
- Production for the new 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan begins in the fourth quarter of 2014 at the Brampton (Ontario) Assembly Plant in Canada
Building on its 48 percent sales increase over the last four years, the new 2015 Chrysler 300 sedan arrives to the market with unmistakable styling and world-class engineering, quality and technology that is designed to exceed expectations and rival luxury import competitors in premium segments priced thousands higher.With the Chrysler development team’s determination to set the 300 apart from the competition, the brand’s new sedan proudly makes the following segment claims (upper large car segmentation):
- Best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy
- Best-in-class V-6 driving range
- Best-in-class V-8 driving range
- Best-in-class V-8 horsepower
- Best-in-class V-8 torque
- Best-in-class interior volume
- Best-in-class rear seat volume
- Unsurpassed V-6 combined fuel economy
- Most technologically advanced vehicle in its class
- Most technologically advanced (AWD) system in its class
- Class-exclusive front axle disconnect with active transfer case
- Most luxurious vehicle in its class (Chrysler 300C)
- Segment’s largest touchscreen display
- Segment’s largest dual-pane sunroof available
- Class-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission
- Chrysler 300 is the only vehicle in segment to offer V-6 or V-8 engine with
a standard TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission
- Chrysler 300 is the only vehicle in segment to offer V-6 or V-8 engine with
- Class-exclusive available illuminated dual heated and cooled cup holders
- Class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter
Lifestyle driven models highlight the Chrysler 300 sedan’s broad appeal
Building on the success of the Chrysler 300 sedan’s lifestyle driven models, the lineup has been revamped for 2015 with four highly equipped models:
- 300 Limited — U.S. MSRP $31,395 (plus $995 destination)
- 300S — U.S. MSRP $34,895 (plus $995 destination)
- 300C — U.S. MSRP $37,895 (plus $995 destination)
- 300C Platinum — U.S. MSRP $42,395 (plus $995 destination)
Bold American design that has broken the segment model for six decades
Confident looks, expressive materials and world-class execution make the new 2015 Chrysler 300 stand apart from the competition.
At the front of the new 2015 Chrysler 300, a redesigned fascia features a more sculptured surface, taller more prominent grille with a unique dimensional texture and chrome grille surround. The grille contains the Chrysler wing badge, which appears to float within the dramatic grille texture and highlights the new “face of Chrysler.” Nestled below the upper grille is an elegantly drawn chrome Mobius strip, which outlines the lower grille opening and extends outward, surrounding the new optional LED fog lamps. This new detail reinforces the Chrysler brand’s new design direction and provides the Chrysler 300 with even more visual presence. Bi-functional projector beam headlamps are available with adaptive forward lighting (AFL) to better illuminate road curves ahead, while integrated LED-illuminated daytime running lamps (DRL) form a “C” shape for unmistakable brand identity. New LED fog lamps are available and provide a consistent white illumination at the front.
From the side, unmistakably strong, yet subtly executed shoulder lines pay homage to the Chrysler 300 series design heritage and define the correlation between front and rear wheel arches. A high beltline stays true to the Chrysler 300 sedan’s signature proportion, while its elegantly tailored chrome side window surrounds and available chrome mirrors hint at the luxurious interior within. Seven new wheel designs, ranging from 17 inches to wider and wheel-well-filling 20 inches, provide the new 2015 Chrysler 300 with a planted, road-holding look.
Finishing the new Chrysler 300 sedan’s powerful rear stance is a new sculpted LED taillamp with an illuminated halo, providing a unique signature appearance. A restyled rear fascia has a more fluid surface and features a tailored chrome fascia trim accent. Below, a new lower valance in black provides visual width and lightens the appearance of the sedan. Last, a pair of elegantly drawn, polished exhaust tips are placed in the corners to give the Chrysler 300 an upscale athletic appearance. These key design elements provide a visual tie to the all-new Chrysler 200 sedan, while keeping each models’ unique personality.
An interior wrapped in American style with world-class materials, craftsmanship and technology
Inside the new 2015 Chrysler 300 passengers will be immersed in a sophisticated blend of hand-sculpted fluid shapes, high-quality and innovative material choices inspired by American cities, precision craftsmanship, state-of-the-art technology and thoughtful, clever features. When designing the new 2015 Chrysler 300, the team incorporated unique design elements and utilized authentic materials to create an interior identity that is comfortable yet beautiful – and one that could only be born in Detroit.
La Jolla, California – Indigo / Linen
- As the pinnacle of the Chrysler brand’s lineup, the new 300C Platinum offers an all-new and exclusive two-tone Indigo/Linen interior inspired by La Jolla’s ocean views lined by sandy expanses and unexpected coves. This sedan’s interior environment features segment-exclusive use of quilted and perforated Nappa leather on front and rear seats. Highlighting this sedan’s world-class level of craftsmanship and comfort are premium Nappa leather door panels with exclusive quilted inserts. Once limited to exotic sedans priced tens of thousands more, ultra high-end Foligno leather from Italian leather expert, Poltrona Frau, wraps the instrument panel and sides of the center console and is finished with French accent stitching. A two-tone Indigo/Linen leather-wrapped steering wheel is hand-stitched together and includes die-cast paddle shifters and a unique chrome accent ring to highlight the segment-exclusive 360-degree heated rim. Completing the interior environment is specially selected and hand-sanded natural pore wood stained in a matte-Mocha finish for greater beauty
- Model: Chrysler 300C Platinum
Manhattan, New York – Black
- The high-fashion and rock-‘n’-roll edge of Fifth Avenue in New York City was the inspiration for the Black leather interiors available in every Chrysler 300 model. Bright Chrome and Satin Chrome accents highlight the Black leather environment. Model specific use of hydrographic and stitching accents include Charcoal Metallic and black stitching (300 Limited) and Matte Carbon and Silver stitching (300S), while real Black Olive Ash Burl wood with bronze stitching is standard on 300C models. For a bespoke look, specially selected and hand-sanded natural pore wood is stained in a matte-Mocha finish and paired with Black accent stitching
- Models: Chrysler 300 Limited, 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum
Detroit, Michigan – Black / Ambassador Blue
- The tenacious, “never-say-die” spirit of Detroit was the inspiration for the 300S model’s exclusive Black with Ambassador Blue Nappa leather interior with industrious Silver accent stitching. For added detail, the center console armrest and door armrests are color matched to this model’s unique sport seats and feature French seamed stitching in silver. Exclusive use of Piano Black on interior center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door panel elements provide a uniquely lacquered and highly detailed appearance. Matte Carbon hydrographic accents and die-cast paddle shifters are also included
- Model: Chrysler 300S
Sausalito, California – Black / Linen
- A city that projects “oneness” with its environment – Sausalito, California was the muse for the two-tone Linen and Black interior. Inside a peaceful Zen is represented by these color choices. Bright Chrome and Satin Chrome accents highlight the environment while Charcoal Metallic hydrographic accents with black stitching and Black Olive Ash Burl wood with bronze stitching accents provide 300 Limited and 300C models with a high level of craftsmanship
- Models: Chrysler 300 Limited and 300C
All-new interior design elements for the new 2015 Chrysler 300 include a standard 7-inch full-color DID cluster and class-exclusive electronic rotary transmission shifter, plus Chrysler brand’s new three-spoke steering wheel with larger vehicle controls and available die-cast paddle shifters. In addition, the newest Uconnect systems have been added with the segment’s largest 8.4-inch touchscreen display.
Class-exclusive TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission balances V-8 performance with segment-leading 31 mpg highway fuel efficiency
Once limited to sedans costing twice as much, the new 2015 Chrysler 300 now offers the innovative TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission standard on every model.
New to the 2015 Chrysler 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum models with 5.7-liter V-8 engine is the state-of-the-art TorqueFlite eight-speed automatic transmission. By design, this gearbox provides world-class shift quality, refinement, fuel efficiency and Sport mode. Paired with this legendary engine, these Chrysler 300 models deliver 363 horsepower, 394 lb.-ft. of torque, 0-60 miles per hour (mph) in less than 6 seconds and class-leading performance with respect to:
- Best-in-class V-8 driving range (EPA estimated 16 mpg city/25 mpg highway)
- Best-in-class V-8 horsepower (363 horsepower)
- Best-in-class V-8 torque (394 ft.-lb.)
New 2015 Chrysler 300 rear-wheel drive (RWD) or AWD models with the 292 horsepower (300 horsepower on 300S model) 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine continue to use the TorqueFlite eight-speed transmission standard, offering class-leading fuel efficiency with respect to:
- Best-in-class V-6 highway fuel economy (31 mpg)
- Best-in-class V-6 driving range (EPA estimated 19 mpg city/31 mpg highway)
- Unsurpassed in class V-6 combined fuel economy (23 mpg)
New Chrysler 300S model delivers more performance, athletically styled
For 2015, the Chrysler 300S model is even more capable, athletic-styled and driver focused than ever.
Instantly transforming the new Chrysler 300S model’s performance and personality is a revised Sport mode. By engaging Sport mode, drivers can reduce shift times from approximately 400 milliseconds to 250 milliseconds, increase engine and throttle responsiveness, adjust electronic stability control (ESC) settings and firm up the steering feel of the new standard electric power steering (EPS) system. For even greater V-6 performance, the Chrysler 300S model increases the standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine’s output to 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque, plus adds a unique sport-tuned dual exhaust system with a more distinctive sound. To make sure the added power and precision connects the driver to the road, the 2015 Chrysler 300S chassis features a new sport-tuned suspension with increased damping compared to the previous year.
Outside, the new Chrysler 300S trades chrome exterior accents for unique blacked-out and body-color design details, and all-new Hyper Black finished 20-inch aluminum wheels (19-inch with AWD).
And for drivers who want even more performance and attitude, the new 2015 Chrysler 300S can be had with a 363 horsepower 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine, new eight-speed paddle-shifting transmission with Sport mode, and all-new uniquely sculpted side sills and deck-lid spoiler.
Most technologically advanced vehicle in its class thanks to an array of easy-to-use, state-of-the-art advanced technology features
From its updated award-winning Uconnect Access system, to the availability of Uconnect Access services with roadside assistance, theft-alarm notification, voice texting, the ability to turn the vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot, 3-D navigation and segment-exclusive premium BeatsAudio and Harman Kardon audio systems, the 2015 Chrysler 300 delivers a slew of high-tech features for a luxurious driving experience at a value.
The Chrysler 300 sedan’s acclaimed Uconnect Access system leverages advanced embedded cellular technology, which enables direct, one-touch connections with emergency service providers, roadside assistance dispatchers and vehicle information specialists.
With its available mobile phone app, Chrysler 300 owners can start their vehicle, and lock or unlock doors, while away from the vehicle. Chrysler 300 owners also can access on-demand Wi-Fi, making their car a moving hotspot.
New for 2015 Chrysler 300, Uconnect Via Mobile lets customers enjoy their personal Internet radio accounts and stream audio content using their own mobile device data plans. It seamlessly brings four popular Internet radio apps into the Chrysler 300, including Aha by Harman, iHeartRadio, Pandora and Slacker. Like all Uconnect-brand features, it is designed to be easy to learn and easy to use.
The available navigation system accommodates one-step voice-controlled destination entry and enhanced 3-D navigation map graphics, making it simple for drivers to recognize where they are and where they need to go.
The Chrysler 300 also offers three premium audio systems designed to immerse passengers in the ultimate audio experience, including the segment-exclusive high-definition BeatsAudio system and premium Harman Kardon audio system with 18-speakers, 8-inch subwoofer and 900-watt amplifier.
New 2015 Chrysler 300 offers more than 80 safety and security features; leverages state-of-the-art driver-assist features
In addition to building on its “Top Safety Pick” credentials from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Chrysler 300 offers more than 80 safety and security features, including many that are new for 2015. New available features for the model year include Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, which provides autonomous braking and, under certain circumstances, slows or brings the vehicle to a full stop when frontal collision appears imminent.
Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus with Full Stop helps maintain distance from the vehicle ahead and, under certain traffic conditions, the system can bring the new 2015 Chrysler 300 to full stop without driver intervention. New Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist introduces subtle steering-wheel input to alert the driver of inadvertent lane departure and assist with corrective action.
New for 2015, 9-1-1 call/Assist Call connects Chrysler 300 occupants directly with emergency-service providers via built-in data connection with a push of a button, a feature exclusive to Chrysler Group’s Uconnect Access service.
The vehicle’s standard Keyless Enter ’n Go activates interior lighting and enables passive cabin entry and trunk access through the driver’s personalized key fob. The new Chrysler 300 also includes a standard ultrasonic security system with an anti-tilt feature, which sounds an alarm if the vehicle is towed or raised on a jack.
Enthusiast-inspired rear-wheel-drive architecture with advanced technological solutions
The chassis of the all-new 2015 Chrysler 300 is designed, engineered and fine-tuned to deliver world-class performance and efficiencies, thanks to its advanced technological solutions, which include:
- Electric power steering (EPS)
- New standard EPS system provides added efficiency, added driving ease in low-speed situations and when parking, and tuned for added responsiveness during spirited driving
- All-new, lighter weight axles for RWD and AWD
- All-new cast-aluminum axles and axle housing provide weight savings and help to reduce parasitic friction
- Sport mode (Included on 300S, 300C with V-8 and 300C Platinum models)
- Enthusiast-desired Sport mode instantly transforms the sedan’s performance and personality by:
- “S” gear selector enables sport engine and transmission calibration, more responsive accelerator pedal calibration and permanent paddle-shift mode
- “Sport” button enables sport-tuned steering calibration and temporary paddle-shift mode, in addition to sport engine and transmission calibration, and increased responsiveness of the accelerator pedal calibration. Chrysler 300S AWD and 300C Platinum AWD models benefit even more as Sport mode turns AWD “on” (if off) and enables rear-biased torque for improved dynamics
- Both “S” gear and “Sport” button provide blistering-quick gear changes, reducing shift times by 37 percent (250 milliseconds versus 400 milliseconds) and can hold the desired gear without unexpected shifts, including at the redline
- Enthusiast-desired Sport mode instantly transforms the sedan’s performance and personality by:
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.