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2019 Chrysler 300 Review

If it’s a certain retro appeal you’re after in a four-door sedan, few vehicles can compete with the moderately priced 2019 Chrysler 300.
It’s still here. The 2019 Chrysler 300 has made more comebacks than some time-honored Broadway plays, though it too relies on some cheap seats to fill the audience.

Chrysler still sells muscular V-8 models, and they’re our favorites, but the V-6-powered 300 sedan pays the bills and we have nice things to say about it, too.


In its 15th model year (!), the Chrysler 300 still carries itself like the silent, strong sedan it’s been since it was new in 2005. If anything, it’s only become a stronger survivor as the years have passed. The longer it sticks around, the better it looks in relief to hybridized hatchbacks with all the sex appeal of a spatula.

We give the 2019 Chrysler 300 a 5.7 out of 10, a little generous in some ways, brutally realistic in others. 

Chrysler sells the 2019 300 in Touring, Touring L, Limited, 300S and 300C trims. In all, its visual power lies entirely in its old-school proportions and assertive, well-edited details. It’s laid-back, in an upright way, and throws off cool vibes without a hint of angst.

The cabin gets somber in base trim, but buy a 300C wrapped in high-grade leather and open-pore wood, and the implied status gains of $60,000 luxury sedans seem overblown.

The 300 can muddle through life as a sort of inferior family hauler with a V-6 and rear-wheel drive; that’s half right by our account. Opt into the ripping soundtrack supplied by its 363-horsepower V-8, and the Chrysler 300 makes sense again as a muscle car with a dollop of functionality. Ride and handling have the confident lean and swagger a big car should have, in the absence of overly intrusive electronics. Age is a plus here, though we’re all in on the available all-wheel-drive system that gives the 300 all-season traction.

Rear-seat room isn’t its strong suit, but the 300 sedan fits five adults when it needs to, and treats the front passengers with utmost respect. On the opulent models, the front seats cool and heat and wear quilted leather and grip like a firm handshake. The trunk can swing a few sets of golf clubs. A smartphone can charge wirelessly in its own bin. It’s the little things that count, but it’s also the big things.

Crash-test scores are from another era, too, unfortunately. And while the Chrysler 300 has the usual fitments and some nice new add-ons such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Chrysler charges extra for automatic emergency braking and for an interior to put all its other interiors on point. A $40,000 300C does all it needs to do well—and does things a perfectly rational $35,000 Accord never can do.

Styling
The 2019 Chrysler 300 wears its Sunday best every day.
We’ve become jaded when we call out cars for bad styling, when they’ve only grown older.

That’s why the Chrysler 300 still scores well in our styling category. No, it hasn’t changed much since its 2005 launch or since a light reskin several years ago. But it’s still powerful in its presence, and elegant in its best Sunday clothes.

At its advanced age, the critical questions converge: is it still good looking, and will it stand the test of time? The former’s a yes; the latter’s already been proven.

We give it a 7 for styling, a point above average, inside and out. 

The 2019 300 doesn’t pluck a single thread from its expertly tailored suit. The Brat Pack appeal of the original 300 sedan shone through in 2005, and if anything, its most recent re-skin only made it fit better. It’s natty, crisp, and holds up remarkably well across a range of colors. It’s the Chanel suit of the Proper Cloth era.

Here’s how it breaks down: At the front, the 300’s rounded corners offset some neat angles that play across its classic long-hood, short-deck shape. The elegance comes from the smooth, faired-in grille and wends its way to the back, where its proportions still look contemporary. It might be easy to mess up the basic shape’s appeal, and indeed on some trim levels, Chrysler tries to tack on too much aerodynamic trim. But the 300 generally resists those add-ons. Even with menacing 20-inch wheels and a bluff front end, it pulls off a masculine look without a sneer or weird aggression.

The cabin’s still an organically pleasing place to work, with smoothly rendered curves across the dash that cap a neatly organized work space. Base cars have hard plastic trim, but in the higher price echelon, the 300’s analog clock, quilted leather seats, and natural-toned wood trim work together so well, the moderate price tag puts some luxury-tagged cars to shame.

Performance
The Chrysler 300’s maturity has caught up with its eager powertrains.
Somewhere between full-size luxury sedan and full-on retromobile: That’s where the 2019 Chrysler 300 lies, and with each year that passes, the pastiche tilts more toward the latter.

The 2019 300 carries on with V-6 or V-8 power, automatic shifting, and rear- or all-wheel drive in satisfying measure. Easygoing big-car handling and a comfortable ride grant it a 6 here, though it’s starting to feel quite dated compared to the likes of the Kia Stinger and Genesis G80. 

Most 300 sedans draw power from a 292-hp, 3.6-liter V-6, uprated to 300 hp in the 300S thanks to a cold-air intake and performance exhaust. (Numbers and letters, it all gets quite confusing.) The V-6 was a welcome arrival a half-dozen years ago, and it delivers fine power that suits the driving tasks most drivers will assign it. Two-lane passes come briskly and the V-6 has strong pull on the interstate, thanks to the pitch-perfect 8-speed automatic that sends power to the back or to all four wheels. Some driveline rumbles aside, it’s a well-matched powertrain for a mid-priced, premium four-door.
Still, we won’t be shocked by anyone that thinks of this bruiser with anything but a V-8 under the hood. The muscular-looking sedan offers up Chrysler’s 363-hp, 5.7-liter V-8 engine in 300S and 300C editions. Its 394 lb-ft of torque twist away behind a blatty, muscle-bound exhaust note, and rip off 0-60 mph runs of 5.8 seconds. The V-8’s a smooth, immensely powerful firehose from which the 300 sedan drinks without drowning, unlike the related Charger and Challenger Hellcats.

Opt for the V-8 and 300S sedans with the V-6, and the 8-speed automatic adopts shift paddles and a sport mode that retune shift and throttle maps for sharper response.

The 300’s all-wheel-drive system can be fitted only to V-6 models; it can disconnect its front axle to reduce rolling friction losses. Fuel economy still isn’t in the big leagues, not in a world of 39-mpg Accords.

Chrysler 300 ride and handling

Disarming and charming, the Chrysler 300’s ride and handling may technically belong to another era. But that’s like saying Sinatra still sounds good. Big, comfortable cars with body lean that tells something about cornering, and steering with plenty of feel, will always be timeless.

The 300’s a wayback machine, in those regards, especially on base models with their 17-inch wheels that feel positively retrograde at this point. Base 300s heave under acceleration and dive into braking, and for some of us, that’s a reassuring boatload of information not negated by electronic dampers or counter-leaning suspensions. Stable and confident, the Chrysler 300 never gets messy in the way it rolls predictably into and out of corners. It drives like a big domestic sedan should, in a communicative way few front-drive global-market sedans can manage.

The edgier handling of the the 300S leans more in the sport-sedan direction. It gets firmer bushings, quicker steering, stiffer springs, and bigger 20-inch summer tires; V-8s also get thicker anti-roll bars. It’s more taut and more composed, though it still leaves the hammering of the pavement to cars with lower-profile tires and less compliant suspensions. It’s a quick, fun-to-drive big car with just the right whiff of Detroit’s past.

Comfort & Quality
The 2019 Chrysler 300 dresses best when it’s dressed in open-pore wood and high-end leather.
After all these years the 2019 Chrysler 300 still offers passengers an appealingly roomy space. Cargo and storage room holds up its end of the bargain, too.

We give the 2019 300 a 7 for comfort and quality. At nearly every trim level, the front seats have all-day driving comfort, and back-seat passengers get good room, too.

On every 300 sedan, the front seats are sized for American-style builds. Wide backrests and bottom cushions have ample support and lots of range for adjustment. Pricey models get much more supportive seats with prominent bolsters that can feel a bit confining for very large drivers and front passengers. With the telescoping steering on most versions, it’s simple to find a suitable driving position.

Head and leg room are fine.

In back, the 300 can sit three moderately sized people across, but it’s better for two. Tall passengers might find the head room only adequate, and the 300 doesn’t have a lot of shape sewn into its rear cushions.

The 300 cabin has storage aplenty, including door pockets for bottles, a shallow tray ahead of the rotary shift knob, and big cupholders. The trunk’s 16.3 cubic feet of space can fit a few roll-aboards, but it’s no crossover SUV.

Fit and finish are fine, but the 300 shines in its top trims. The base versions have rubbery dash coverings and some hard plastic trim pieces. On the 300S and particularly on the 300C, Chrysler layers on details that would suit a much more expensive sedan: a leather-wrapped dash, analog clock, and beautiful open-pore wood.

Safety
The 2019 Chrysler 300 has slipped into crash-test purgatory.
Though no 2019 scores are available yet, we can tell you the Chrysler 300’s numbers won’t be good.

We give it a 3 on our safety scale.

We give safety credit for vehicles with above-average safety technology and crash-test ratings. The 300 hasn’t changed physically since last model year, when the NHTSA gave it four stars overall; that costs it a point from the average. The IIHS says it’s “Good” in most of its tests, but just “Marginal” for small-overlap protection. That’s another point lost.

Chrysler makes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking available on the 2019 300, but only on the top trims, where it can cost $1,695. That drops another point.

We give back a point for outward vision; the 300’s roofline doesn’t impede the view rearward.

Though it doesn’t have a surround-view camera system, the 300 can be fitted with blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control, as well as parking sensors.

We’ll update this when the safety agencies publish their data.

Features
Ritzy leather and modern infotainment keep the 2019 Chrysler 300’s features relevant.
For 2019, the Chrysler 300 comes in five trim levels: Touring, Touring L, 300S, 300 Limited, and 300C.

Each has a decent standard equipment list, though the 300’s clearly showing its age in its safety set. We give it a couple of points above average here for its infotainment system and for the features it wraps in distinct trim levels, for a 7 in this category.

At the Touring trim level, the Chrysler 300 carries standard power features, power front seats, cloth upholstery, and 17-inch wheels. It doesn’t offer standard forward-collision warnings or automatic emergency braking, but they’re available as an extra.

The base audio system sets an 8.4-inch touchscreen on the dash and embeds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and includes Bluetooth with audio streaming and USB ports. Drivers can use their smartphones as data pipes for audio streaming services and tap into the 300’s built-in wi-fi hotspot with an available mobile connectivity package and a separate subscription.

The 300 Touring L is the best value in the lineup. It includes dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, a heated tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, leather upholstery, and 18-inch wheels. On top of that, Limited sedans add cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a sunroof, navigation, a 276-watt audio system, and wood trim.

If only a V-8 will do, there’s one offered as an option on the 300S. Otherwise it adopts a 300-hp version of the standard V-6, and adds on 20-inch summer tires, a transmission Sport mode with shift paddles, remote start, a sport-tuned suspension, blacked-out trim, and a nine-speaker Beats audio system.

At the swanky end of our taste scale and budget, we’d pick the Chrysler 300C. It drips in wood trim and leather upholstery that’s quilted on the cooled front seats. It also gets 20-inch wheels, heated rear seats, and a sunroof, with options for a leather-wrapped dash and a 900-watt 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Fuel Economy
The Chrysler 300 has old-school looks, and old-school gas mileage ratings.
The Chrysler 300 soldiers into the 2019 model year without substantial improvement in its fuel economy. On our scale, it’s a 4 this year, as we begin to give more credit to vehicles that have hybrid and battery power. 

The base V-6 Chrysler 300 has the best EPA ratings of the family. It’s set at 19 mpg city, 30 highway,23 combined. With all-wheel drive, the numbers drop to 18/27/21 mpg.

Rear-drive, V-8-powered 300 sedans aren’t so concerned with gas mileage. They’re rated by the EPA at 16/25/19 mpg and are rated for mid-grade fuel.



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