In this day and age of automotive architecture, the argument is often made that most cars look the same – cookie cutter, if you will.
The 2016 Chrysler 300 Limited breaks that mold. As does the 300S, 300C and 300C Platinum — the other trim levels available.
The exterior is an inspired combination of sculpted curves, advanced lighting, bold wheels and an aggressive stance. Depending on the model, bright chrome, black chrome or platinum chrome accents enhance the fresh exterior. Dramatic grilles and distinctive front and rear fascias result in a proud, modern presence like nothing else on the road.
My tester came with a “Forest Green Pearl” metallic coat of paint, and in the overcast winter skies, looked black. It made me feel like a Federal government employee, for some reason, like an envoy or diplomat. It was the “Anniversary Edition,” which included special badging, splash screen and floor mats, in recognition of the Chrysler brand’s 90th year in existence.
Powered by an award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, 24-valve, variable valve timing engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, the 300 delivers 292-horsepower, 260 lb.-ft. of torque, and a best-inclass 31 miles per gallon fuel economy as rated by the EPA.
For a full-size sedan, the 300 somehow manages to provide satisfying performance AND fuel efficiency. That’s a hard daily-double to pull off. The 300 had plenty of power on the low end, with leftover power in reserve when called upon at freeway speeds.
And, for folks looking to fly, there’s the legendary 5.7-liter HEMI V8 engine that raises the bar to hair-raising levels of power — like 363 horsepower to be exact.
The all-wheel drive system is always active, requiring no driver input. It provides traction and dynamic performance by combining an axle disconnect function, electronic stability control and powertrain controls in real time to seamlessly engage all-wheel drive at any speed.
Quality craftsmanship abounds. Leather-trimmed seats are standard on all models. Detailed stitch patterns add a refined touch. Standard heated, eight-way power front seats include a four-way power lumbar adjustment for added comfort and support. Heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are available, along with a memory system for the driver seat, exterior power mirrors and radio station presets.
If you can’t get comfortable in the 300, it’s on you.
And when it comes to amenities, the 300 Limited delivers them in spades. The highlights include a GPS navigation system with rearview camera, media hub with SD, USB and auxiliary inputs, speed control, push-button start, security alarm and a dual-pane panoramic sunroof.
On the safety side of the ledger, all-speed traction control, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic roll mitigation, and LED fog lamps are worthy of note.
At the end of the week, I was left with the opinion that the 300 Limited delivers luxury performance, features and looks at a middle-of-the-road price. That creates value in my book, and makes this car worth a test drive.
2016 CHRYSLER 300 LIMITED
BASE PRICE: $32,015
AS TESTED: $36,005
Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.