Large car; Built in Canada
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $12,700 – $41,100*


2011 Chrysler 300 Front


2011 Chrysler 300 Rear


2011 Chrysler 300 Interior


2011 Chrysler 300 Profile


2011 Chrysler 300 Front-2


2011 Chrysler 300 Interior-2

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V8)
  • Fuel economy
  • Quietness
  • Ride
Cons:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Handling
  • Rear-seat room

Chrysler’s latest, freshened 300 retains its unique style but in a package that’s more refined than the prior-generation car. It makes up for merely average handling and rear-seat room with a quiet ride and classy interior appointments, while an SRT8 ratchets handling capability up a couple of notches. Though it feels a bit underpowered, the standard V6 engine should prove to be more than enough for most buyers. At the same time, we appreciate that Chrysler is continuing to offer the 300 with a brawny, yet smooth, 5.7-liter V8. Keep in mind that initially, picking the V8 was the only way to get all-wheel drive. That changed for 2012. Shoppers who desire a comfortable, distinctly American sedan would do very well to put the Best Buy 920120 300 on their list. Enthusiasts should welcome the return of the SRT8, an executive-class road rocket. Availability for 2012 of an AWD/V6 combination also is a welcome addition.

Overview

A model with a long and varied history, the Chrysler 300 underwent a major freshening for 2011, with revised styling and a new V6 engine. This large car shared its basic design with the Dodge Charger. Available trim levels included 300, 300 Limited, and high-performance 300C. All had rear-wheel drive, but the 300C was available with all-wheel drive as an alternative. Standard on the base 300 and the Limited was a new 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine that could run on gasoline and/or E85 ethanol-blended fuel. 300C models contained a 5.7-liter V8 that developed 363 horsepower, with Chrysler’s Multi-Displacement System cylinder deactivation system. The sole transmission for all models was a five-speed automatic.

Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, front side airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, and curtain side airbags. Leather upholstery and heated front seats were standard in the Limited and 300C. A navigation system, ventilated front seats, and a heated power tilt and telescopic steering wheel were standard in the 300C and optional for the Limited. Blind-spot alert, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and rear cross-path detection were optional in Limited and 300C models. Rear cross-path detection activates when the transmission is in reverse in order to detect other vehicles approaching from the sides. Limited and rear-drive 300C models were available with a sport suspension and 20-inch wheels. Regular Chrysler 300 sedans competed against the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Avalon, as well as Charger from Chrysler’s Dodge division.

Yearly Updates

2012 300
New trim levels for 2012 included a 300S series and a high-performance 300C SRT8. A new Luxury edition debuted as the company’s “flagship.” Chrysler’s 292-horsepower V6 was standard in 300, Limited, Luxury, and S models, with the Hemi 5.7-liter V8 optional for the S edition. Beneath the SRT8’s hood lurked a 6.4-liter V8, ready to unleash 470 horsepower. Except for the base 300, an eight-speed automatic transmission replaced the five-speed unit on V6 models. (The eight-speed was optional for the base 300.) All V8s retained the five-speed automatic.
2013 300
Chrysler shuffled and simplified the 300’s roster, drivetrain, and feature availability for 2013. All models except the SRT8 had standard V6 power. The Limited trim level went away and the entry-level Base model absorbed some of its amenities.
2014 300
There were few changes to the 300 for 2014.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

Regular Chrysler 300 and Limited models contained a 3.6-liter V6 flex-fuel engine that developed 292 horsepower and could run on gasoline and/or E85 ethanol-blended fuel. Chrysler 300C sedans had a 5.7-liter V8 with Multi-Displacement cylinder deactivation, which generated 363 horsepower. Both engines mated with a five-speed automatic transmission. For 2012, Chrysler added an SRT8 model with a 470-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8. Also new for 2012 was an eight-speed automatic transmission, replacing the five-speed on most V6 models.

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/220
Engine HP 292
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

18/27

dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.6/220
Engine HP 292
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 260
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
8-speed automatic

19/31

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 5.7/345
Engine HP 363
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 394
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

16/25

22.2

ohv V8
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 6.4/392
Engine HP 470
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 470
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic

14/23

Road Test

Acceleration varies widely, according to engine. A V6-powered 300 doesn’t jump off the line. Once it gets going, it’s merely adequate in moving this 4,000-pound large sedan. That’s a bit disappointing given the otherwise healthy 292-horsepower rating. The 300C’s 5.7-liter V8 is much stronger in all situations. The initial five-speed transmission provides smooth, timely shifts. Eight-speed automatics, introduced for 2012, also shift smoothly and quickly through the gears, and work well with the V6 engine. An SRT8 accelerates ferociously, with quick downshifts contributing to impressive highway passing response.

In Consumer Guide testing, a 300C averaged 22.2 mpg, which is an excellent result for a large, V8-powered car. The V6 uses regular grade gas and can also run on E85 ethanol. Chrysler recommends mid-grade 89-octane gas for the 5.7-liter V8, and premium-grade 91-octane for the SRT8’s 6.4-liter V8.

Ride quality is appealing. Limited and rear-drive 300C models have standard 18-inch wheels. So equipped, these big cars are composed and comfortable, at least on generally smooth roads. Note that AWD Limited and 300C models had standard 19-inch wheels. The 300C has a ride more tuned toward luxury than sporty firmness. Even with the available 20-inch wheels, the 300C rides very smoothly. You notice a bit more wheel patter versus the standard 18s, but overall feel remains sophisticated. An SRT8 rides surprisingly well for such a performance-focused car, being firm but never harsh over bumps.

Despite their merits otherwise, these are large, heavy cars that won’t win any handling contests. Still, the 300 is competent and secure in most every situation. Body lean in fast turns is moderate, but the steering lacks feel. Expect sharper moves with the 300S model’s optional sport suspension, but no models so equipped have been made available for testing. The SRT8 benefits from a stiffer suspension and wider tires that result in little body lean and good cornering grip, but it’s still too big to feel sports-car agile.

Quietness is a highlight. The 300 is satisfyingly quiet around town and ranks as a very serene highway cruiser. Non-SRT8 engines are virtually silent on the highway. The V6 sounds only a touch raspy during full-throttle acceleration, but it’s not at all annoying. The 5.7-liter V8 blends European refinement with a distinctly American sound. In the SRT8, the 6.4-liter V8 includes a two-stage muffler system that keeps the engine quiet under cruising condition, but unleashes a powerful-sounding roar under full throttle.

All 300 models have a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen that incorporates audio and some climate functions. The display is large, with easy-to-find virtual buttons. Using Garmin-brand software, the navigation system is far simpler to negotiate than Chrysler’s previous offerings, but a few functions require drilling deep into menus. This can be time-consuming and confusing. The SRT8 includes a number of driver-selectable “virtual gauges” and the ability to display performance data such as 0-60 mph acceleration time and g-forces onto the touchscreen.

The 300 is Chrysler’s flagship car, and it now truly feels that way. Materials quality is generally very good, though a few plastic bits look a bit low-buck. One test vehicle suffered from a couple of misaligned interior panels, but other examples showed no such defects.

Plush seats and ample room make 300 a pleasant place to conduct the business of driving. The sunroof housing cuts into headroom, so taller drivers will need to adjust their seating positions accordingly. We’re glad Chrysler makes it a standalone option. A power tilt/telescopic steering column has been optional on the Limited and standard on the 300C. We recommend this comfort-enhancing feature, if an example so-equipped can be found–though at some angles the wheel can obscure the tops of the speedometer and tachometer dials. SRT8 sedans contain comfortable, heavily bolstered sport seats upholstered in grippy fabric.

Chrysler’s 300 suffers a bit from the same issue as the rival Ford Taurus in that its rear seat is not quite as roomy as its large exterior dimensions would suggest. Headroom is tight for tall passengers. Long front-seat tracks benefit lanky front-seat occupants, but rear legroom shrinks pretty dramatically when they’re set far back. The comfortable bench seat is ideal for two, but a center rider will have to straddle a bulky driveline hump.

The usefully-shaped trunk has plenty of space for most needs, aided by standard split-folding rear seatbacks. The sickle-style lid hinges are disappointing, but they are fully covered to prevent cargo damage. Interior storage is fine for the class, with a decently-sized glovebox, center console, and door pockets.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2011 Chrysler 300 Limited with navigation

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 - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 5
50%
Quietness - 8
80%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 8
80%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 63

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
120.2 198.6 75 58.4
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
15.4 19.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.6 37.9 41.8 40.1
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Chrysler 300 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

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

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Oil leak
Description: Oil filter housing could leak oil. (2014)
Audio system
Description: Some audio devices (iPod, iPhone, MP3 players, etc.) may not work or may skip or drop out requiring a software update of the vehicle’s hands free module. (2011)
Audio system
Description: The audio may quit working because the amplifier stops communicating on the controller area (CAN) network require a software update. (2011-12)
Timing belt
Description: Timing chain could break resulting in severe engine damage. (2011-12)

Recall History

2011 Chrysler 300
Description: Vehicle may lose ABS/ESC system function due to overheated power distribution center, which could lead to loss of vehicle control.
2011-12 Chrysler 300
Description: Side airbags may not deploy in a cash.
2011-14 Chrysler 300 with 3.6-liter engine
Description: Alternator may fail causing the engine to stall.
2011-2012 Chrysler 300
Description: Improperly sized terminal crimps on the seat side-airbag wiring harness may cause a malfunction and illuminate the airbag warning light. Airbag may not operate as intended during a crash.
2012 Chrysler 300 with 3.6-liter engine
Description: Due to debris inside engine block, engine may experience connecting rod bearing failure, which may lead to engine seizure and could increase risk of a crash.
2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8
Description: Tire pressure monitoring system may not warn driver until pressure reaches 22 psi, rather than the required 24 psi.
2013 Chrysler 300 AWD
Description: Transmission output shaft could fail resulting in a loss of power and the vehicle could after the transmission selector was placed inn Park.

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.