2012 Chrysler 300 Base
(3.6L V6 FFV 8-speed Automatic)
What our ratings include
Date Driven: 2/1/2011 (2011 3.6L)
The flex-fuel 3.6L V6 makes 292 hp and whisks the stately 300 sedan to 60 mph in 7 seconds on 87-octane fuel. The 5-speed automatic is a smooth operator. Expect about 20 mpg fuel economy with gas or 15 mpg with E85 from 19-gal fuel tank.
Chrysler made numerous improvements to the chassis and steering for 2011 resulting in a more responsive sedan without sacrificing comfort at all. The 300 leans a lot in corners, but also grips well. Brakes are trustworthy and resist fade.
If there's one thing the 300 does spectacularly well it is providing a comfortable ride -- especially with the base model's 17-inch tire/wheel combo with thick-sidewall tires. This is how large cars used to ride -- like a cloud.
Our testing reveals the $28,000 Chrysler 300 is as quiet as a $285,000 Bentley Mulsanne. The 2011 300 benefits from revised aerodynamics and use of acoustic-glass windshield and front windows.
Even the base 300 Sedan adopts a new center console and standard 8.4-in touchscreen that handles numerous audio/HVAC functions intuitively. Other features operate with traditional buttons/knobs. Std dual-zone auto climate.
Though numerous electronic aids (parking sensors/back-up camera, cross-path sensors, collision warning and xenon headlamps) can be ordered on other models, the Base 300 features typical sedan outward visibility.
Seat Access & Space
Generous seating and easy access as you would expect from an EPA-rated 'Large' car. Standard: Keyless entry/ignition, 12-way power driver seat. One of few cars that can truly accommodate 5 people.
Cargo & Storage
Interior storage is ample (door pockets, large glovebox, and center console), but the trunk (at just 16.3 cu-ft) is just so-so. Standard spilt-fold rear seats can allow for increased cargo.
Our car's optional metallic paint showed no signs of orange peel or uneven application. Door seals and body panel gaps were consistent, but not as tight as other luxury cars. There's room for improvement here, but it's quite good for $28,000.