What's New for 2007
The Chrysler 300 luxury sedan receives some significant changes year. The biggest, literally, is the introduction of a new long-wheelbase model. The W.P. Chrysler Executive Series Package (available on Touring and 300C rear-wheel-drive models) adds 6 inches to the 300's wheelbase. The extra length is used to provide substantially more rear legroom. New features this year include adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, restyled 18-inch chrome-clad wheels, heated rear seats, a maintenance reminder and supplemental turn signals mounted in the exterior mirror housings.
Full-size sedans have gotten a bad rap. They're typically seen as having the sort of style and performance only your grandmother could love. Spend a few minutes with the 2007 Chrysler 300, however, and you'll see that this stereotype doesn't always hold true. The car offers angular, edgy lines and a couple of V8s powerful enough to sate any speed demon.
With broad shoulders, a low stance and vaguely Art Deco lines, the 300 boasts an eye-catching look that's masculine, a little bit retro and undeniably luxurious. Slide behind the wheel and the good times continue. Chrysler 300 buyers have a choice of four trims, each with its own engine. Base models get a 2.7-liter V6 good for 190 horsepower. The Touring trim gets a 250-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Chrysler 300C models get a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 capable of 340 hp, and the high-performance SRT8 offers a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 good for a bracing 425 hp. But it's not all about power, as the 2007 Chrysler 300 also provides excellent ride and handling dynamics.
If you're searching for a large domestic sedan that doesn't instantly look like it came out of an AARP commercial, the 300 is the only game in town. Its overall combination of style, performance and room make it one of our top choices, and we've named it an honorable mention in our 2007 Edmunds Editors Most Wanted Sedan Under $30,000 category. However, if you test the 300 and find it not to your liking, sedans such as the Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon are excellent choices as well.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The rear-drive 2007 Chrysler 300 is a large sedan available in four trim levels. The base 300 comes with air-conditioning, a power driver seat, a CD player, cruise control, remote keyless entry and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The Touring adds a bigger V6, alloy wheels, foglights, leather upholstery and heated mirrors. The 300C adds a Hemi V8, an upgraded 276-watt Boston Acoustics sound system, foldaway mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, rain-sensing wipers, premium leather trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column and a driver memory system. This trim also offers SmartBeam headlights, which automatically activate or dip the high-beam headlights based on road conditions. The high-performance SRT8 model features a more powerful V8; a rear spoiler; sport-tuned suspension; a stability control system that allows more aggressive driving; 20-inch alloy wheels; and Brembo performance disc brakes with four-piston calipers.
Options, depending on trim, include xenon headlights, Bluetooth connectivity, a sunroof and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. A navigation system is available on Touring and 300C models, as is all-wheel drive. Those looking for more room can opt for the W.P. Chrysler Executive Series Package (available on Touring and 300C rear-wheel-drive models), which adds 6 inches to the car's wheelbase and a lot more space for rear-seat passengers.
Powertrains and Performance
The base Chrysler 300 comes with a 2.7-liter V6 good for 190 hp and 190 pound-feet of torque. Touring models upgrade to a 3.5-liter V6 capable of 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Step up to the 300C and you get a muscular 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that kicks out 340 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. The V8 uses a multi-displacement system, which selectively deactivates four of the engine's cylinders to save fuel in undemanding driving situations. The performance-oriented SRT8 is powered by a beefy 6.1-liter Hemi V8 that delivers a whiplash-inducing 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque.
Base models come with a four-speed automatic transmission; all others have a five-speed automatic with automanual functionality.
Features like ABS, traction control and stability control are optional on the base 300 but standard on all other trims. Full-length side curtain airbags are optional on all models. In NHTSA crash testing, the 2007 Chrysler 300 earned a perfect five stars for frontal-impact protection. In side-impact tests, it earned four stars for front-occupant safety and five stars for the rear. It earned a "Good" rating -- the highest possible -- in IIHS frontal-offset crash testing.
Interior Design and Special Features
The interior features a simple but elegant layout. The dash may not be as fancy as some other cars in this segment, but its combination of sporty, semi-retro and luxury motifs is effective. Worth special note are the white-faced gauges and the slick tortoise-shell trim in the 300C. Cabin dimensions are generous in all directions, and the 300 offers more rear legroom than any of its primary competitors when ordered with the long wheelbase. Trunk capacity measures 15.6 cubic feet.
A rear-wheel-drive V8 family sedan is exactly what American automakers have needed for years to inspire renewed interest in their products. And with plenty of Mercedes-Benz technology in this one, the 2007 Chrysler 300 offers a great deal more refinement than its 1960s ancestors. V6 models are only adequately powered but are still fine choices for those seeking a feature-laden large sedan that handles as well as it rides. Saddled with the smaller V6, the base model feels sluggish, and we wouldn't recommend it to most buyers. Best of all is the SRT8, which offers outstanding performance thanks to sharp steering response, grippy 20-inch tires and a ferocious engine.