After seeing its unveiling at the L.A. Auto Show last month, I was eager to get behind the wheel of the new 2015 Chrysler 300. Sister to the Chrysler 200, this redesigned full-size sedan maintains a family tie but has more of an elegant and modern personality.
I had the opportunity to drive the Chrysler 300S through the streets of downtown Austin, Texas, as well as through the rolling hills outside the city. The vehicle handled well on both congested, one-way streets in downtown and while taking turns through the windy roads outside the city.
When I think of "Chrysler," sports sedan isn’t the first thing that crosses my mind. But the new 2015 300S model is sleek and athletic in both its performance and design. The black leather steering wheel and leather seats brought a hint of sophistication to the sporty sedan, along with the monochromatic black color scheme, Hyper Black 20-inch wheels, and spoiler.
As I climbed into the vehicle, the first thing I noticed was the touchscreen display. The largest in its segment at 8.4 inches, the touchscreen was easy to navigate to find features, such as navigation, weather and other mobile apps. Against the black interior, the LED lighting on the dashboard stood out, making it easier to read the speedometer.
The interior felt spacious, at least from the driver’s seat and passenger seat. And despite having a dual-pane sunroof, the head room didn’t seem limiting. While driving, it was too windy to leave the dual-pane sunroof open, but it would make for a great view — and breeze — on a nice, sunny day.
While I didn’t get to highway speeds above 55 mph, the transmission seemed to perform well. The 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine generates 300 hp and 264 lb.-ft. of torque.
Using the electric rotary shifter, it was easy to turn the shifter to switch gears from park to reverse to drive. The S version creates a sportier drive an additional driving mode. This "sport" button enables sport-tuned steering as well as pedal, engine and transmission calibration. This mode’s paddle pushers create quicker shift times (from 400 milliseconds to 250 milliseconds).
Additionally, the sport-tuned suspension and dual exhaust system add to the vehicle’s sports-like feel.
With a starting MSRP of $31,395 and 31 mpg highway fuel economy, the Chrysler 300 offers four unique trim levels (base model 300, the 300S, the 300C, and 300C Platinum).