Premium large car; Built in Canada
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,100 – $5,300*


2000 Chrysler 300M


2000 Chrysler LHS


1999 Chrysler 300M interior


2001 Chrysler LHS


2001 Chrysler 300M

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Ride/handling
Cons:
  • Trunk liftover
  • Rear visibility

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.

Overview

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.

Yearly Updates

2000 300M/LHS
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.
2001 300M/LHS
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.
2002 300M
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.
2003 300M
A satellite-radio receiver was added midyear.
2004 300M
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.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/front-wheel drive

Only one powertrain was available: a 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 253 horsepower, driving a four-speed automatic transmission. The 300M Special, introduced in 2002, used the same standard V6 engine but had 255 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/215
Engine HP 250-255
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 255-258
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

18/27

17.7

Road Test

Because LHS and 300M sedans have more horsepower than any 6-cylinder near-luxury rivals, acceleration and throttle response are a match for any direct competitor–and a clear step ahead of a Concorde or Intrepid. In overall refinement, however, both fall short of such import-brand models as the Lexus GS 300 and Acura TL.

Chrysler’s engine isn’t quite as smooth. Road and wind noise, while not objectionable, aren’t as well-isolated. Fuel economy is no bargain, either. A test LHS averaged 17.7 mpg when new and 21.6 mpg in long-term testing, whereas a 300M averaged 18.6 mpg in mostly highway driving. Road manners are impressive. The LHS offers competent handling and a well-controlled ride. A 300M steers and turns with genuine assertiveness, yet the base suspension absorbs bumps well. Brakes on both are strong, with fine pedal feel. On rough pavement, the ride can get jarring in a 300M with the Performance Handling Group. The 300M Special’s stiffer suspension and 18-inch tires make for an unforgiving ride on flawed pavement.

No near-luxury rival equals their generous interior volume, though the 300M’s slight rear leg-room deficiency, compared to the LHS, is apparent. Rear-seat entry on both is hampered by elongated doors. Instruments are tastefully designed and imaginatively illuminated, but nighttime readability could be better. Controls are well-positioned and have good tactile feel. The driving position is easily tailored. Models with light-colored dashboard tops suffer annoying reflections in the windshield, and narrow back windows mean poor rearward visibility. The trunk is large on the LHS, with a wide opening. Cargo volume and opening are both smaller on the 300M.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Chrysler 300M

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 5
50%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 57

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.0 197.8 74.4 56.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
16.8 17.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.2 42.2 39.1
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
113.0 207.7 74.4 56.0
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
18.7 17.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.1 42.2 42.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 300M 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 109
Injury 67
Theft 232

Trouble Spots

Keyless entry
Description: The range of the optional automatic garage door opener is poor. A replacement antenna is available. (2000)
Steering noise
Description: Pinhole leaks in the rubber bellows of the steering gear may cause a rattle from the front end. (1999-2000)
Steering problems
Description: Loose or sloppy steering feel may be due to bad inner tie-rod bushings. (1999-2001)
Vehicle noise
Description: Front end makes a squeaking noise when going over speed bumps, etc. due to problem with MacPherson struts’ striker caps.
Electrical problem
Description: The interior lights may not work (or may stay on) and/or the overhead courtesy lights may flicker due to damaged wiring near the trunk light or bad terminal in the courtesy-light connector. (1999)

Recall History

1998-02 300M/LHS
Description: Some vehicles may have faulty seat recliner bolts, allowing the seat to unexpectedly recline. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.
1999 LHS
Description: Front seatbelt retractor on certain vehicles does not work properly.
1999-00
Description: Inadequately manufactured seatbelt shoulder height-adjustable turning loop top mounting bolt may not withstand sufficient force to function properly in certain impacts.
2000 300M
Description: Passenger-airbag inflator assembly in small number of cars contains incorrect inflator charge amount, which could increase risk of passenger injury under certain crash conditions.
2000
Description: Manufacturing molding error can prevent operation of G-lock and tilt lock functions on some driver-side seatbelt retractors.
2000-01
Description: Some owner’s manuals are missing full instructions for properly attaching a child-restraint system’s tether strap.
2000-01
Description: In the event of a crash, there is a potential for injury if the occupant’s head were to contact the B-pillar. Owners will be sent a storage-bin accessory unit that can be attached to the B-pillar along with installation instructions.
2003
Description: An inadequately manufactured hood latch component may cause hood to open without warning. Dealer will inspect and replace affected parts.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.