|Premium large car; Built in Canada|
|Good condition price range: $2,100 – $5,300*|
2000 Chrysler 300M
2000 Chrysler LHS
1999 Chrysler 300M interior
2001 Chrysler LHS
2001 Chrysler 300M
Although these two give up a measure of refinement to their top competitors, and cabin decor is less sophisticated, they deliver more interior space and comparable performance at hard-to-match prices. Neither has established a track record for reliability and customer service. Still, Chrysler’s flagships show promise.
Chrysler launched two offshoots of its Concorde sedan as early 1999 models: the LHS, which had been available in the prior generation, and the completely new, sport-oriented 300M. Both the LHS and 300M used the same front-drive chassis as the Concorde/Intrepid, but had distinct styling and shorter bodies. They shared a 253-horsepower V6 engine and 4-speed automatic transmission, though the 300M was fitted with Chrysler’s AutoStick automatic, which permits manually-selected gear changes using a separate shift gate. Antilock all-disc brakes and traction control were standard. Side airbags were not available. Running changes during their first season included removal of the 118-mph speed limiter. Both models also gained a trunk cargo net, plus Chrysler’s Sentry Key theft-deterrent system, which disabled the ignition unless the proper key was used. The 300M had a sportier suspension and steering settings, but the same 17-inch tires as the LHS. The Performance Handling option gave the 300M more aggressive 16-inch rubber. The LHS and 300M were strictly 5-passenger sedans. Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard, and the 300M added a 60/40 split-folding rear seatback.
Both models got minor trim and option changes for 2000, including an available 4-disc in-dash CD changer and revised instrument lighting, designed to improve readability. The Performance Handling option now was available with chrome wheels.
Side airbags for front seats became optional this year. A new Luxury Group option featured genuine walnut wood interior trim, along with automatic tilt-down outside mirrors for improved visibility when backing up. New standard features included steering-wheel audio controls and 3-point safety belt for the center rear position. Both models got newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels, which were available with chrome finish on the 300M. Extra-cost bright wheels on the LHS retained the previous style. The Performance Handling option for the 300M switched from 16-inch to 17-inch wheels and tires.
Chrysler dropped the LHS trim and added an even-sportier edition called the 300M Special. The new version bowed midyear with unique trim, lowered and stiffer suspension, 18-inch wheels vs. 17s, and brighter Xenon headlights.
A satellite-radio receiver was added midyear.
New changes for ’04 include an available satellite radio and a new navigation system. Also new this year are standard 17-inch wheels on both the base and Special models. The Special’s previously standard 18-inch wheels are now part of an option package.