What Is It?
2015 Chrysler 300
What's New About This Model?
There are significant updates on the 2015 Chrysler 300. Most prominent on the outside is the new grille, which is larger and devoid of the old-fashioned horizontal slats that adorned previous 300 sedans.
Inside, you'll see a new instrument panel and steering wheel, a rotary-style transmission shifter and new color schemes with upgraded materials. Other highlights include a new eight-speed automatic transmission for V8 models, a new power steering system and new tech features like adaptive cruise control and a forward collision warning system.
When Does It Go on Sale?
Chrysler says the 2015 300 will arrive at dealers in the first quarter of 2015.
How Much Does It Cost?
Base prices range from $32,390 (including destination) for the base Limited model to $43,390 for the top 300C Platinum model. Rear-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive will be offered as an option on V6 models.
How Many Body Styles and Trim Levels Are There?
As in the past, the Chrysler 300 is offered in a single full-size sedan body style.
For 2015, there are four trim levels. The base model has been renamed the Limited. Next up is the sport-themed 300S model, which has largely the same styling flourishes and a bump in horsepower (for the standard V6 engine). Starting in 2015, though, it can be equipped with the V8 engine.
From there, Chrysler will offer the 300C and 300C Platinum trims. Both are well equipped, but the Platinum has even nicer interior materials. The high-performance 300 SRT8 model is not available for 2015 following Fiat Chrysler's decision to fold its SRT brand into the Dodge division.
What Kind of Engines and Transmissions Does It Have?
- 3.6-liter V6 — 292 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque (300 hp, 264 lb-ft on the 300S only)
- 5.7-liter V8 — 363 hp, 394 lb-ft of torque
- Eight-speed automatic transmission standard with both engines
- Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is optional on V6 models only
What Unique Features Does It Offer?
As we noted in our 2015 Sedan Buying Guide, the Chrysler 300 is one of only a few large sedans in this price range that offers a classic combination of rear-wheel drive and V8 power. If winter-weather capability is what you're after, though, there's the optional AWD system, which is available only with the V6 engine this year.
Another differentiator in this price range is the revised Sport mode offered on most versions of the 300S and 300C. Chrysler says it has quickened manual shift times when you're using the die-cast paddle shifters (also new), plus with the switch to an electric-assist power steering system, Sport mode now calls up sportier steering effort levels as well.
Inside, the 300's large and easy-to-use 8.4-inch touchscreen gains more functionality this year, including integrated smartphone apps, a mobile WiFi hotspot and emergency roadside assistance through Uconnect Access.
What Kind of Standard and Optional Safety Equipment Is Offered?
All 2015 Chrysler 300 models will come standard with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. A rearview camera is standard on all but the base 300 (it's optional). As in the past, optional safety equipment includes front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot warning system and a rear cross-traffic warning system.
An all-speed adaptive cruise control system is new this year, and it's bundled with a forward collision warning system that's able to bring the big sedan to a full stop in some situations (potentially helping you avoid a crash altogether). Another new safety aid is a lane departure warning and lane keeping assist system. Nighttime visibility is enhanced via optional adaptive bi-xenon headlights.
What Models Will It Compete Against?
Chevrolet SS: Whereas the 300 offers a balance of comfort, luxury and performance, the rear-drive Chevy SS caters to a very specialized crowd that hungers for breathtaking performance from a large family sedan.
Kia Cadenza: If you're mainly interested in comfort and value, the Cadenza crams in a lot of features while undercutting most competitors on price.
Toyota Avalon: The best of the front-wheel-drive full-size sedans, the Avalon checks all the boxes. It's easily the most refined car in this class, it handles well and it leads the class in fuel economy.
Should You Wait for It?
If you've had your eyes on a V8-equipped 300 but held off in previous years due to the outdated five-speed automatic transmission, Chrysler has addressed that issue for 2015. All models now come with an eight-speed automatic. Don't expect a bump in fuel economy, though, as V8 models are still EPA rated at 19 mpg combined.
Beyond that, the freshened styling on the 2015 Chrysler 300 makes it look much more modern than the 2014 model, while its longer list of tech features is bound to be a draw for buyers who care about having the latest safety features and expect their car to integrate fully with their smartphones.
On the other hand, if you really want a 300 SRT8, you'd better hurry and buy one of the remaining 2014 models.