Read Part 1 of this review here.
Try as we might, it is difficult to step out of our long term 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition and walk away from it without glancing back at its handsome countenance, The Chrysler has a becoming brutishness tempered with a sleek stylishness, the combination of which is readily eye arresting.
Its Phantom Black tri-coat paint is at once opaque and luminous. The brilliantly reflective black metallic coating sparkles in the sunlight and yet takes on a dark and menacing glow at night. Working hand in hand with the Satin Titanium finished trim bits, the combination gives a tastefully custom appearance to the lines of the 2013 Chrysler 300C.
The look is so powerful you feel like it should come with a cadre of bodyguards.
Such is the strength and presence of the Varvatos Chrysler 300C.
Finishing up our second month with the car, we’re starting to get to know it a bit better and discovering some interesting quirks about it. Equipped with Chrysler’s capless fuel filler system, we discovered quite by accident trying to fill the tank with a regular gas can does not work.
Yeah, see, I ran the Chrysler’s tank dry while trying to see how many miles we could squeeze out of a tank. OK, I’ll ‘fess up…it wasn’t quite that scientific. Borrowing the handsome Chrysler for the day from the lovely and ever so conscientious Mrs. L.I.R. Bell, we did our day’s errands, parked the car, and spent the late afternoon and evening riding about with a friend. When I returned to the Chrysler, I forgot it was precipitously low on fuel and ran out.
When the AAA driver arrived and pulled out the traditional gas can to replenish the fuel supply, the 300C would not allow the fuel to flow into the tank directly from the can. Perplexed, we took a closer look at the fuel filler neck on the 300C and noted a label next to it indicating we should look in the trunk. After thoroughly searching the cavernous cargo compartment (and realizing just how big it really is), we discovered the specific funnel the capless system requires. So, if you ever run out of gas with a capless fuel filler system, look for the funnel—you’ll save yourself considerable anxiety.
Or conversely, you could just keep a watchful eye on the gauge and uh, you know, don’t run out. Which, by the way, is a much better solution.
And trust us, with that 363-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 out there egging you on, you’re going to go through quite a bit of fuel if you’re desirous of the visceral experience the 2013 Chrysler 300C is so readily capable of providing. Acceleration is strong, and the Chrysler has so much grip, you’ll swear you’re driving a car half the size. Further, on the highway, regardless of your velocity (not that we’re advocating exceeding speed limits) stability is outstanding.
The Chrysler has what the lovely and ever so sensitive Mrs. L.I.R. Bell describes as a “heavy” feel to it. By this, she means the car feels solidly planted with considerable heft. It feels locked into a groove, until you ask it to change directions, which it then proceeds to do with out hesitation. It might well be Chrysler’s flagship luxury sedan, but there is more than enough sport in there to appeal to the driving enthusiast as well.
Fortunately, its face telegraphs this to other drivers on the highway. We’ve noticed they readily clear a path when they see the big black gangster-looking Varvatos Chrysler 300C bearing down upon them. Having had the lovely and ever so genteel Mrs. L.I.R. Bell follow me in the Varvatos 300C, I’ve seen firsthand what other motorists experience in their rearview mirrors.
It almost feels as if a predator is stalking you.
Which, when you’re driving it—rather than being intimidated by it—is a very good thing. The Chrysler 300C loves to go, and masks its speed so well, you always feel like you’re moving more slowly than you actually are. When you come up on a truly slow moving car, it feels as if the asphalt suddenly turns to molasses. The good news is they don’t like the way the Chrysler glowers at them, so they get out of its way.
However, up above I did say quirks—plural.
One of the design features translated from the John Varvatos collection of fashions might have been better left on the rack and out of the Chrysler. The Pewter Metallic leather upholstering the seats is slippery and permits a considerable amount of sliding about for passengers when the car is engaged in the feats of acrobatic enthusiasm it is so readily capable of.
Alcantara inserts in the seat cushions and backs would have gone a long way toward eliminating this situation. The seats are comfortable, supportive, handsome in appearance, and they really do a nice job of contributing to the deliciously attractive appearance of the passenger compartment. But there’s no other way to say it, they also let you slide about.
On the other hand, on a long drive with another couple to dinner, the Varvatos 300C devoured some fifty miles of highway with no occupant complaints whatsoever regarding comfort. In fact, quite the opposite, our guests marveled at all the tech contained within.
Heading to an unfamiliar destination, I let the nav system do the guiding. While the active cruise control kept the Chrysler in rhythm with the pace of the highway, we all enjoyed mellifluous sounds streaming from Pandora over the Bluetooth connection through the "Beats by Dr. Dre" audio system. Which, by the way, delivers considerably more sonic satisfaction than deep bass— despite the name. The system caresses the entire audio spectrum, delivering beautifully accurate audio reproduction—regardless of the genre of the source material. In other words, it’s good at more than just Hip-Hop; the audio system plays everything with crystal clarity and enormous power.
When we arrived at our elegant dinner destination, the valets rushed to the 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition to pull its doors. Eyeing it covetously, one of them said; “Don’t worry sir, we’ll keep this one right up front for you.”
And yes, I glanced back at it as we walked away.