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2016 Chrysler 300 Road Test & Review

Lyndon Bell
by Lyndon Bell
November 28, 2015
5 min. Reading Time
Chrysler 300 hot cold cup holders ・  Photo by Chrysler

Chrysler 300 hot cold cup holders ・ Photo by Chrysler

After a significant refresh for the 2015 model year, the 2016 Chrysler 300 Sedan goes relatively unchanged. While the big Chrysler has definitely seen better days sales-wise, the model is still a very compelling full-size sedan offering.

Heralded as a styling triumph at its introduction back in 2004 (as a 2005 model), the Chrysler 300’s distinctive silhouette has remained unchanged for going on 12 years. However, subtle enhancements have kept it reasonably fresh. That said, one of the things you’ll be glad hasn’t changed is the solidly confident manner in which the big Chrysler goes over the road.

All in all, the 2016 Chrysler 300 sedan is a very persuasive package. While thoroughly American in style, comfort, and features, the Chrysler flagship covers pavement with the alacrity of a European sports sedan.

Models & Pricing

For the 2016 model year, Chrysler is offering its flagship model in four different trim levels. These are Chrysler 300 Limited, Chrysler 300S, Chrysler 300C, and Chrysler 300C Platinum.

The 300 Limited starts at $31,695 and features a V6 engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors, automatic headlights with LED daytime running lights and taillights, a rearview camera, keyless entry and pushbutton start, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather, heated front seats, an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth, Siri EyesFree, voice activation, and WiFi.

The $35,070 Chrysler 300S adds a more powerful version of the V6 engine, 20-inch alloy wheels, a more aggressively tuned suspension system and steering calibration, a sporting oriented dual exhaust system, remote start, LED foglights, and a 10-speaker Beats audio system. There is also an optional performance tuned suspension system.

The 2016 Chrysler 300C starts at $38,070. In addition to the features of the 300 Limited, the 300C gets a comfort-oriented suspension system, remote start, LED foglights, auto dimming rear-view mirrors, a dual-pane sunroof, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a rear sunshade, navigation, and an Alpine audio system.

At the pinnacle of the 300 lineup is the $42,395 Chrysler 300C Platinum. Features include adaptive xenon headlights; power adjustable pedals, heated and cooled cupholders for the front seats, and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

All-wheel drive is offered with each trim level, while a V8 engine can be had with all except the Limited.


Exterior Design

While we’re all pretty used to looking at it today, the Chrysler 300 made quite a splash when it hit car pools back in 2005. The “Baby Bentley” look attracted a lot of attention and made the big Chrysler a huge sales success.

While the basic lines are still here in 2016, they have been softened considerably, so the 300 isn’t quite the standout it used to be. The one element seeing the most change over the lifetime of the car has been the grille. For the 2016 models, the winged Chrysler badge almost looks like it’s floating within the texture of the grille as the background recedes.

Seen in profile, the 300 still has a very strong shoulder line, which serves to imply solidity, while also nicely enhancing its prominent wheel arches. The tall beltline and comparatively short window treatment keeps the Chrysler looking distinctly custom, as well as a bit sinister. For the 2016 model year, Chrysler is offering the 300 with seven different wheel designs.

At the rear, the sculpted LED taillights enhance the planted stance of the car, while the black lower valance keeps the car from looking too massive. An air of sportiness is added to the elegance of the appearance by twin exhaust outlets.


Interior Design

The 2016 Chrysler 300 interior treatments have been coordinated to reflect the personalities of La Jolla, Calif., Manhattan, Detroit, and Sausalito, Calif.

La Jolla is reflected in a two-tone Indigo and Linen color scheme. This is intended to project the coastal city’s ocean views, sandy beaches, and hidden coves. The quilted and perforated leather upholstery, two-tone steering wheel, and natural pore wood trim are offered exclusively with 300C Platinum.

Manhattan is symbolized with black leather, satin chrome, and bright chrome. Black Olive Ash Burl wood trim with bronze trim contrasts nicely with the black leather. The Manhattan treatment is offered across the board.

Detroit pairs black with Ambassador Blue Nappa leather and silver accent stitching. Piano black trim adds gloss, while the center console and armrests are color matched to the seats. This treatment is exclusive to 300S.

For Sausalito, black and linen are paired to evoke a sense of Zen. Bright chrome, satin chrome, and charcoal metallic accents blend nicely with the Black Olive Ash Burl wood trim with bronze stitching accents of 300 Limited and 300C.


Comfort & Cargo Capacity

The modern iteration of the large and luxurious American family car, the 2016 Chrysler 300 offers exceptional comfort at each of its four main seating positions. As this is a rear-wheel drive car, the driveshaft tunnel divides the rear passenger footwells into two compartments.

Still though, more than adequate legroom is offered for everyone, and even with the “chopped” look of the roofline, there is more than adequate headroom throughout the interior of the Chrysler. Further, the combination of the tilt and telescoping steering wheel with adjustable pedals means practically anyone can achieve an exceptionally comfortable driving position at the wheel of the 300.

Ingress and egress are beautifully facilitated by some of the widest opening doors we’ve ever seen on a passenger car. In fact, it’s possible to open the doors so wide, once you’re seated you have to lean out of the car to close them if you take advantage of their full range of travel.

Cargo capacity measures 16.3 cubic feet.

 Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Photo by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Safety Features & Crash Test Results

This is a top line lux model so a full range of safety kit is expected—and delivered. ABS, traction and stability control, a full set of airbags, a rearview camera, and active head restraints are all standard features. This is in addition to automatic crash notification, on demand roadside assistance, and remote door unlocking as well as stolen vehicle location and tracking.

Optional features include forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and prevention, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The IIHS rates the 300 as “Good” (its top ranking) in all but small overlap front crash testing—in which the 300 scored “Marginal” (the next to lowest rating).


Engine(s) & Fuel Economy

The 2016 Chrysler 300 sedan’s base powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6, which generates 292 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque. A sport package is offered for this engine with a revised exhaust system (among other minor tweaks), which bumps output to 300 horsepower and 264 ft-lbs of torque.

The V8 option is offered for every trim level—save the Limited. It’s a 5.7-liter V8 good for 363 horsepower and 394 ft-lbs of torque.

Rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard with both engines. The V6 can also be had with all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy with the V6 is rated at 23 miles per gallon overall with rear-drive; 21 with all-wheel drive. The V8 is rated at 19 miles per gallon overall.



About the 2016 Chrysler 300C (our V8-powered test car), one of our staffers remarked—from the passenger seat—“This car feels heavy.” Rather than a neg though, she meant it as a positive. On the roll, the Chrysler 300 feels solid, planted, and resolute—safe, even.

With its underpinnings going back to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class introduced in the latter part of the 1990s, the 300 comes by this quite naturally. In fact, the Chrysler feels decidedly Mercedes-like on the road. It’s smooth and powerful, handles exceptionally well for a car its size, and mutes exterior noise nicely.

Even if you order the 300S with its more aggressive suspension and steering calibrations, the big 300 still delivers a smooth and comfortable ride. You can wheel it around town with ease, taking advantage of its remarkable agility, or you can go storming down a two-lane back road with utter confidence.


Final Thoughts

Make no mistake about it; while the price of entry is relatively reasonable, this handsome luxury car is indeed Chrysler’s signature model. You’ll find a wealth of plush materials informing a handsome interior design, along with all-day comfort and legroom. An 8.4-inch touchscreen interface dominates the center stack.

In addition to the highly coveted over the road dynamics of the 2016 Chrysler 300 sedan, the model offers a slate of the latest active safety features as optional equipment. These include a frontal collision warning system, automatic braking for frontal collision mitigation, lane departure warnings, and lane-keeping assist.

Chrysler’s Uconnect Access telematics system includes voice activation commands for many secondary functions, automatic crash notification, and on-demand roadside assistance, as well as remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.

As a contemporary family luxury sedan, the 2016 Chrysler 300 is an outstanding value.

 Photo by Chrysler

Photo by Chrysler

Pros & Cons

Sumptuously equipped, tastefully styled and decorated, solidly planted on the road, powerful engines, reasonable fuel economy, and the availability of all-wheel drive number among the attributes of the 2016 Chrysler 300. On the other hand, the Chrysler looks somewhat dated, and yes, it is absolutely possible for a car’s doors to open too wide.



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