Quick Summary Chrysler's large, brassy 300 four-door sedan has been updated for 2015, but it's still fundamentally the same car underneath the skin. The changes that have been made (new grille, new lighting, new exhaust tips, retuned steering and suspension, and a rethought interior) though, are significant enough to keep the rear-drive 300 relevant and attractive in the segment as it enters its second decade as Chrysler's flagship.
What Is It?
The 2015 Chrysler 300 is a full-size four-door sedan with a wide range of features and options. On the low end it's a full-featured family sedan, while high-end versions are luxury-level vehicles. At 198.6 inches long over a 120.2-inch wheelbase, the 2015 version of the 300 is essentially the same size as last year's model. To put the size in historical perspective, it's about a half-foot longer than any of the large sedans the company was making in the '90s. In everyday use, the 300's size feels tidy but generous: big enough to have plenty of room inside, small enough to slide into parking slots easily.
Along with its close, mechanically almost identical cousin the Dodge Charger, it's the last American sedan to offer a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive that isn't explicitly marketed as strictly a performance car. Most 300s will continue to be sold with the easygoing 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 under their hoods, but opting for the 363-hp, 5.7-liter "Hemi" V8 amplifies the car's personality.
What Body Styles and Trims Are Available? There's only one four-door body style, and the sheet metal (except for that one panel where the taillights attach) carries over from the 2011 redesign of the 300. Chrysler wasn't about to screw up the fundamental character of the 300, and really, it doesn't have any reason to.
The base 300 Limited starts with a price of $32,390. Like all 300s it gets a new, larger front grille and updated LED headlights with clear elements at the far edge (the amber side reflectors have moved to the bumper cover). The grille looks great with the Chrysler winged logo floating in the black mesh. And even with the standard 17-inch wheels and tires, this is still a muscular-looking machine.
Limited models come with the standard 292-hp, 3.6-liter V6 backed up by an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is a $1,500 option, which is a bargain, since all-wheel drive commands a $2,500 premium on the other trim levels.
The 300S is the exuberant and sportiest model with a base price of $35,890. Black chrome trim replaces the straight-up shiny bits on the Limited, and that gives the car a sinister countenance that it wears well. The S wheels are 20 inches in diameter, and painted "Hyper Black." The result is a 300 that looks ripped.
Despite the 300S's aggressive looks, the Pentastar V6 is still the standard power plant. Buyers can, for an additional $3,000, opt for the lusty 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which is more fun.
While the 300C ($38,990 base price) was at one time available only with the Hemi, this more luxurious machine can now be had with either the V6 or V8. And frankly, since the V6 is such a well-behaved and powerful engine, and the eight-speed so good, the Hemi isn't necessary to make the 300C compelling.
Externally, the most distinguishing feature of the C-model is its chromed side mirrors. But inside it gets things like standard LED ambient lighting that make for a spectacular night show.
Above the other 300s is the 300C Platinum ($43,390 at base), which gets everything from an instrument panel wrapped in premium leather with "French seamed accent stitching" to a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and dozens of "satin chrome" accents throughout the cockpit. If you like diamond tufted leather, this is the diamond tuftiest of them all.
What Changes Have Been Made to the Interior? All the 300 models have a revised interior built around a new chronograph-style instrument cluster that glows a cool blue. There's also a 7-inch LCD information screen between the tachometer and speedometer, and a second, chunky 8.4-inch touchscreen at the top of the dash center. Chrysler's UConnect software has been steadily improving and has now reached the point where it's preferable to plain knobs and dials.
Even the Limited gets standard leather — at least "leather-trimmed" — upholstery. Heated eight-way power seats with four-way lumbar adjustment are also included.
There's also a new rotary control knob for the transmission, but Chrysler hasn't leveraged its compact design aggressively. On the Ram pickups, for instance, a similar knob is up on the dash so that room is freed up in the center console. In the 300, the knob fills up about the same space as the previous conventional shifter. So no big advantage there.
How Does It Drive Around Town? With the eight-speed automatic exploiting the V6's ample 260 pound-feet of peak torque production, none of the 300 models feels like a stripped-down compromise around town. In fact, the transmission's behavior is so poised that most buyers will never feel as if they've compromised with the smaller engine. All this despite that even the lightest 300 weighs in at a thick 4,029 pounds, according to Chrysler.
There's not much feel through the newly revised electric power steering, but the driver is always fully informed of what's going on with the front tires. Parking maneuvers are easy to accomplish thanks to a back-up camera that compensates for the 300's limited rearward visibility. Throw in the optional equipment like electronic lane keeping, adaptive cruise control with a full-stop element, collision warning and cross-traffic detection and the 300 gives you few excuses for running into anything.
The suspension sucks up bumps without ever losing its composure, the brakes haul the big beast down from speed easily and the whole car feels under-stressed in an urban environment. There's not a lot of excitement here, but plenty of reassurance.
The Hemi V8 frankly, beyond its exhaust rumble, just doesn't make much difference around town. That changes out on the open road. Point any of the 300s at a long, straight highway and it will swallow up distance the way a feeding shark goes through a school of sardines. Hit the curvy parts of the roads, however, and the modest limits of the comfort-tuned suspension become apparent and the sheer challenge of pushing so much weight becomes obvious. The 300 isn't a sport sedan.
Still, there's fun to be had on the curves, particularly if the Hemi is up front to pull the car through with some verve and eagerness. There's rarely any reason to turn off the traction and stability controls, but even with them on, the driver can feel the nose pushing in toward a curve's apex. And it's a thrill to use the paddle shifters available in the 300S and 300C to drop down a couple gears, hear the V8 roar and feel the tail tuck in and the car rush forward.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Does It Return? For such a big car, the 300 can return exceptional fuel mileage. The EPA rates a 300 with the V6 and rear drive at 19 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. That's 31 mpg from a big car that looks like it was carved from granite. Besides the expense of the all-wheel-drive option, the best argument against it is that it drops those EPA numbers for the V6 down to 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
The Hemi V8 includes Chrysler's fuel-saver technology that allows it to cruise while firing only four cylinders under light loads, but it's still relatively thirsty. The EPA rates it at 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with rear drive.
What Are Its Closest Competitors? Chevrolet Impala: Based on a front-drive platform but more or less the same size as the 300, the handsome Impala has a contemporary look that contrasts starkly with the Chrysler. And its interior feels just as roomy, too.
Ford Taurus: The aging Taurus is rightly criticized for being a big car with a less than generously proportioned interior. But it's still a fine driving machine.
Toyota Avalon: Now less dowdy than it has ever been before, the Avalon is not only sleek and good-looking, but available as a gas-electric hybrid. The Avalon's elegant, contemporary interior makes an interesting juxtaposition to the big Chrysler's cabin.
Why Should You Consider This Car? For people who still want a traditional, rear-drive American sedan, this is as close as it gets. If you're a dazzling, sophisticated urbanite without unlimited resources, the 300 offers more styling panache than practically any car near its price point. And anyone who appreciates a comfortable ride for five should at least consider this car before moving on to more expensive, higher-prestige German machines like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class.
Why Should You Think Twice About This Car? The timid need not apply for this bold sedan's in-your-face styling. Anyone seeking ultimate economy would do better to shop among the Honda Accords and Hyundai Sonatas instead of reaching up to this brawny bruiser.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.
2015 Chrysler 300 Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2015 Chrysler 300 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2015 300 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2015 Chrysler 300 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2015 300 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2015 300.
Vehicle Limited 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 8A)
Review Purchased a 2015 300 Limited in April. Although this is supposed to be a base model I also compared Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, BMW, Infinity, and Acura base models and the 300 beat them by far with things like heated leather (not leatherette)seats, larger infotainment 8.4 screen, 3.6L 292hp 6-cylinder power, good mpg's (I average 25 combined)and I added several options such as Nav., safety blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, remote start, front and rear parking sensors, back-up camera, LED fog lamps, Beats speakers with a sub-woofer in the trunk, and more and still came in at under $31K. Do your research folks and you'll discover like I did this is the best value luxury car around.
Edmunds Value Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
Available Chrysler 300 2015 Submodel Types: Sedan, SRT-8, SRT8
Available Trims: C, Touring, Base, Limited, S, LX, C HEMI, SRT-8, C Platinum, S V6, Alloy, Touring L, SRT8, C John Varvatos, S V8, C John Varvatos Luxury, C Luxury Series
Exterior Colors: Gloss Black, Bright White Clear Coat, Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Granite Crystal Metallic Clear Coat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat, Bright Silver Metallic Clearcoat, Cool Vanilla Clearcoat, Velvet Red Pearl Coat, Maximum Steel Metallic Clear Coat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Ivory Tri-Coat Pearl, Magnesium Pearlcoat, Ceramic Grey Clear Coat, Jazz Blue Pearl Coat, Satin Jade Pearlcoat, Silver Steel Metallic Clearcoat, Tungsten Metallic Clearcoat, Midnight Blue Pearlcoat, Phantom Black Tri-Coat Pearl, Inferno Red Crystal Pearlcoat, Bright White Clearcoat, Linen Gold Metallic Pearlcoat, Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearlcoat, Dark Titanium Metallic Clearcoat, Steel Blue Metallic Clearcoat, Glacier Blue Pearl Coat, Deep Lava Red Pearlcoat, Redline 3 Coat Pearl, Ceramic Blue Clear Coat, Marine Blue Pearlcoat, Pewter Grey Pearl Coat, Stone White Clearcoat (Fleet), Billet Metallic Clearcoat, Black Clearcoat, Light Sandstone Metallic Clearcoat, Luxury Brown Pearl Coat, Sapphire Crystal Metallic Clearcoat, Cashmere Pearlcoat, Clearwater Blue Pearlcoat, Crystal Blue Pearlcoat, Deep Water Blue Pearlcoat, Luxury Brown Pearlcoat, Stone White Clearcoat, White Gold Clearcoat
Interior Colors: Black leather, Black premium leather, Dark Slate Gray/Light Graystone premium cloth, Dark Slate Gray premium cloth, Dark Slate Gray/Light Slate Gray premium cloth, Black/Linen leather, Dark Slate Gray/Light Graystone, Black cloth, Black/Light Frost Beige leather, Dark Slate Gray/Medium Slate Gray, Dark Khaki/Light Graystone premium cloth, Dark Frost Beige/Light Frost Beige premium leather, Black/Caramel leather, Black/Linen cloth, Black premium cloth, Deep Jade/Light Graystone leather, Dark Slate Gray/Light Graystone leather, Deep Jade/Light Graystone, Dark Frost Beige/Light Frost Beige leather, Black leather/suede, Black/Light Frost Beige premium leather, Black/Smoke leather, Dark Khaki/Light Graystone leather, Mochachino premium leather, Black/Light Frost Beige premium cloth, Black/Pewter premium leather, Black/Pearl Premium Leather premium leather, Black/Pearl leather, Black/Red leather, Black/Ambassador Blue leather, Black/Radar Red leather, Black/Red leather/sueded microfiber, Black/Sepia leather, Dark Mocha/Black premium leather, Medium Pebble Beige/Cream leather
Popular Features: Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Power Driver Seat, Tire Pressure Warning, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Leather Seats, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, Heated seats, Bluetooth, Alarm, USB Inputs, Automatic Emergency Braking, Post-collision safety system, Back-up camera, Remote Start, Navigation, Trip Computer, Sunroof/Moonroof, Mobile Internet, Keyless Entry/Start, Cooled Seats, AWD/4WD, Parking sensors, Upgraded Stereo, Upgraded Headlights, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Blind Spot Monitoring, Upgraded Engine, Adaptive Cruise Control, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Lane Departure Warning, Pre-collision safety system, Rear Entertainment System