Monday, April 7, 2014

Used Car Review - Chrysler 300 (2005-2011)

Look good this summer by buying what Myk Belmonte is suggesting you.

2005-2011 Chrysler 300

Chrysler has a history when it comes to the number 300 in their full size sedans. The first 300 vehicle was released in 1955 that was considered as the 300A until the letter L (I was omitted since it could be mistaken for 1) in 1965. The 300 series (this time with no letters after it) had its appearance in 1962 which replaced the Chrysler Windsor which overlapped three years later until its (the no letter series) discontinuation in 1971. There is the Chrysler 300M that was launched in 1999 that preceded the Eagle Vision but technically not part of the original 300 series.

It started life as a concept car previewed at the New York Auto Show in 2003 with production commencing the following year. Basic models were marketed as a high end full-size sedan while the SRT-8 is treated as its high performance brethren. With its marriage to Daimler Benz, components are based from the W211 E Class. After 2011, the vehicle was redesigned for its second generation with the wagon version dropped.

With the distribution rights of Chrysler products given to CATS Motors, the 300 was introduced after years that the marque had not sold any sedan (the flopped Neon and Stratus were dropped sometime in 2000). It found its own market and with the success of the line, a wagon and diesel joined the fray in 2010. Sales ceased in 2011 with the second generation model launched in November of that year.

Value and Costs
What used to be a two million peso rich kid's plaything can be yours for the price of a brand new mid-size SUV from Thailand. For peace of mind (and the standard drill when it comes to premium brands), going to the pre-owned route is the order of the day.

This is no bed of roses when it comes to maintenance costs, that's if you compare this to a diesel powered SUV from a Japanese brand. As of now, there are no reported problems with this cruiser which indicates its good reliability record.

Exterior and Interior
Badass: this is one word to describe the 300's exterior design. Its appearance need not be described anymore, it begs to be stared and you'll be the life of the party. The rectangular chrome grille that is imposing and the most prominent part of the vehicle. Enough of this, let the vehicle speak for itself.

Inside, there are tons of gadgetry in which it is reserved for vehicles based in the Continental side. There is a reasonable amount of interior space but rear visibility is a boo-boo, no thanks to its smallish windows afforded by this vehicle.

Similar to your coffee, the 300 can be had in five engines. First is the basic EER 2,736cc with 190hp at 6,400rpm and 254Nm at 6,400rpm while the step up is an EGG (we are not kidding you) 3,518cc having 250hp at 6,400rpm and 340Nm at 3,800rpm - both of them are V6 powered. The cream of the crop are these two V8s equipped with the HEMI technology - the EZB 5,654cc carrying 340hp at 5,000rpm and 525Nm at 4,000rpm and the ESF 6,059cc with 420hp at 4,800rpm and 570Nm at 6,000rpm. For the eco-freak in you, there is the Mercedes Benz sourced OM642 2,987cc carrying 221hp at 3,800rpm and 510Nm with torque range between 1,600-2,800rpm. Let's give the engines a rundown: the 2.7 is decent although some might find the power lacking, the 3.5 is our which especially it gives you a balance of power and economy, both V8s are fast and quick, while the diesel is fast yet economical.

Driving Impressions
Thanks to its underpinnings supplied by Mercedes Benz, driving fun (it concerns the handling) and driver's control is there. With a smooth ride coupled with power that is built in time, this is one fun driving machine.

Fun and full size sedan combination? In the 60s, yes. In the 20th century, blurry. But thanks to Chrysler's efforts, something reserved for your grandfather is now a piece of an enjoyable automobile which demands you to stare even if you are not an enthusiast of the four wheeled invention. And with used car prices, the dream can be yours for less.

The Good:
  • Interior is roomy
  • Powerful engines
  • Powerful presentation of exterior design
The Bad:
  • Rear view visibility
  • Some cheap interior touches
  • Expensive maintenance costs
The Pick: 3.5 V6

Engines: 2,736cc EER and 3,518 EGG V6 gasoline, 5,654cc EZB HEMI (both available for sedan and wagon) and 6,059cc ESF HEMI V8 gasoline, 2,987cc OM642 V6 diesel
Power: 190hp @ 6,400rpm (2.7), 250hp @ 6,400rpm (3.5), 340hp @ 5,000rpm (5.7), 420hp @ 4,800rpm (6.1), 221hp @ 3,800rpm (diesel)
Torque: 254Nm @ 6,400rpm (2.7), 340Nm, @ 3,800rpm (3.5), 525Nm @ 4,000rpm (5.7), 570Nm @ 6,000rpm (6.1), 510Nm @ 1,600-2,800rpm (diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 4-7km/L (city), 8-12km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P2,350,000-P3,950,000
Price (Now): P1,300,000-P1,600,000
Rivals: Dodge Charger, Honda Accord, Hyundai Azera, Toyota Camry
On Sale: 2005-2011 (for sedan), 2010-2011 (for wagon)

CATS Pre-Owned - (02) 784-5004

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