2013 Chrysler 300 Review

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Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
August 31, 2012

The image-building 2013 Chrysler 300 is handsome and classy, as well as a proper luxury car or a scorching muscle sedan.

The 300 and 300C are the flagship models of the Chrysler lineup, and they're more than just the largest sedans from the automaker. With suave sheetmetal, well-rounded performance even with the base engine, and an impressive level of technology and luxury features, these rear-wheel-drive sedans are arguably better than the sum of their parts and feel more like high-end luxury models.

Visually, the 300 sedans are have always hit a sweet spot between modern, ornate, and traditional. In any case, the 2013 Chrysler 300 remains a swaggering hulk of a sedan. Last year's redesign brought a somewhat smoother, less broad-shouldered look, with the cartoonish grille and brash details toned down, too. Inside, the look became smoother and richer, with regrouped controls and an LCD touchscreen filling the middle of the dash; there's also a bit more metallic trim to provide framing, while a carbon-fiber look or naturally finished wood for trims sets a modern, elegant tone.

Base V-6 versions of the Chrysler 300 perform well enough to satisfy anyone who mainly looks to the 300 for its styling and luxury. The 292-horsepower version of the company's Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 is smooth, strong, and responsive with the eight-speed automatic that's included in most versions. Times to 60 mmph land at around eight seconds, while highway fuel economy is up to 31 miles per gallon--extraordinary for a large sedan in this class. Also for 2013 on the step-up 300S, the V-6 gets a cold-air intake and performance exhaust making it good for 300 hp.

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For some, the real appeal for the 300 will be in the brash V-8 powertrains in the 300S and 300C, as well as the top-performance SRT8. The 300S and 300C are offered with a 363-hp, 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and a five-speed automatic. While the V-6 is smooth and luxury-car-like, the Hemi is more aggressive and muscle-car-like in sound and responsiveness. These models can get to 60 mph in less than six seconds, but the SR8 can get there in less than five seconds with its 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8. A NASCAR-like throb completes the sensory experience in the SR8.

The 300 doesn't drive or feel small at all, but it has a big-car charm without the usual body roll and mushy, pitchy body motions. As you might guess, 300 models move up the ladder from more comfort-oriented to firm and sport-sedan-like as you step up in engine performance. All models have an absorbent ride and responsive electrohydraulic steering, but as you move up to the 20-inch wheels in some of the models there's a bit more ride harshness. SRT8 models get an adaptive damping system with normal and sport modes, which helps.

You'll find the 300 to be one of the more spacious sedans in its class, even though it doesn't quite have the sprawl-out space of a Toyota Avalon. In front, the seats are well bolstered, and there's plenty of headroom even if you get the sunroof. Back seats tend to be a little tight on legroom, although they're comfortable enough for two adults. Trunk space is quite good, too. These current versions of the 300 don't feel quite as claustrophobic as the previous version, due to thinner pillars and a little more side glass, so visibility is a bit better, too.

Safety-wise, the 300 includes all the usual electronic controls and airbags; Hill Start Assist, Rain Brake Support, and Ready Alert Braking are also included. On higher trims, you can get a SafetyTec option package that includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, a forward-collision warning system, rear fog lamps, and power-folding exterior mirrors.

Even the base 300 includes power windows, locks and mirrors; LED daytime running lights; pushbutton start and keyless entry; a power driver seat; cloth upholstery; dual-zone climate control; satellite radio; a USB port; and an 8.4-inch LCD touchscreen display. Step up to the 300S and you get leather front seats; shift paddles; piano black trim; and performance tires. Premium leather, natural wood trim, power-adjustable pedals, and a heated steering wheel all contribute to the top-lux feel of the 300C, which also includes navigation--and the Garmin-based touch-screen nav system includes real-time traffic info and has been enhanced for 2013. On top of all their performance upgrades, SRT8s get carbon-fiber trim; heated and ventilated front seats; and a layer of instrumentation in its navigation system that displays performance stats like acceleration times and lateral grip.

New for 2013 is a Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio system, offering a 12-channel amp, proprietary equalization, and trunk-mounted subwoofer. Also, a special Chrysler 300 Glacier model brings Gloss Black mirrors, Black Chrome grille blades, special eight-spoke Satin Carbon-finish aluminum wheels and special paint hues, along with Piano black interior finishes, special upholstery with leather-wrapped bolsters and French seams, and steering-wheel paddles with a Sport mode.

8

2013 Chrysler 300

Styling

You won't find a sedan that's as svelte, swaggering, and uniquely American as the 2013 Chrysler 300.

Visually, the 300 sedans are have always hit a sweet spot between modern, ornate, and traditional. In any case, the 2013 Chrysler 300 remains a swaggering hulk of a sedan.

Last year's redesign brought a somewhat smoother, less broad-shouldered look, with the cartoonish grille and brash details toned down, too.

The cartoonish grille and faux-Bentley look are gone, with brash details toned down. Smaller headlights wear LED eyeliner, while the fenders are more rectilinear, especially on the rear where they've picked up some of the intricate stamped-in details seen on the current Ford Taurus, Buick LaCrosse, even the most recent E-Class. Vertical-tube lamps in back add a more expensive look--almost Cadillac-like.

Overall, the look is a bit less showy. And for that reason we think the subdued 19-inch wheels are more fitting; 20-inch chrome wheels are still available and provide the bold note others will want.

Inside, the look became smoother and richer, with regrouped controls and an LCD touchscreen taking up prime real estate at the middle of the dash; there's also a bit more metallic trim to provide framing, while a carbon-fiber look or naturally finished wood for trims sets a modern, elegant tone.

8

2013 Chrysler 300

Performance

Hemi-powered models remain all about brawn, but Chrysler 300 models with the V-6 are surprisingly well-rounded performers.

Base V-6 versions of the Chrysler 300 perform well enough to satisfy anyone who mainly looks to the 300 for its styling and luxury. The 292-horsepower version of the company's Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 is smooth, strong, and responsive with the eight-speed automatic that's included in most versions. Times to 60 mmph land at around eight seconds, while highway fuel economy is up to 31 miles per gallon--extraordinary for a large sedan in this class. Also for 2013 on the step-up 300S, the V-6 gets a cold-air intake and performance exhaust making it good for 300 hp.

For some, the real appeal for the 300 will be in the brash V-8 powertrains in the 300S and 300C, as well as the top-performance SRT8. The 300S and 300C are offered with a 363-hp, 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 and a five-speed automatic. While the V-6 is smooth and luxury-car-like, the Hemi is more aggressive and muscle-car-like in sound and responsiveness. These models can get to 60 mph in less than six seconds, but the SR8 can get there in less than five seconds with its 470-hp, 6.4-liter V-8. A NASCAR-like throb completes the sensory experience in the SR8.

The Chrysler 300 is a rear-driver, except when it's not: the HEMI-equipped 300C can be fitted with all-wheel drive, which has an advantageous axle-disconnect system that helps fuel economy and handling when there's no need for all wheels to be engaged in power delivery. It's fitted with 19-inch wheels, which aren't much of an enemy to the 300's ride quality on rear-drive models.

The 300 doesn't drive or feel small at all, but it has a big-car charm without the usual body roll and mushy, pitchy body motions. As you might guess, 300 models move up the ladder from more comfort-oriented to firm and sport-sedan-like as you step up in engine performance. All models have an absorbent ride and responsive electrohydraulic steering, but as you move up to the 20-inch wheels in some of the models there's a bit more ride harshness. SRT8 models get an adaptive damping system with normal and sport modes, which helps. And no matter which model, this is a car that feels most at home on the highway, or on a two-lane road with long sweepers.

8

2013 Chrysler 300

Comfort & Quality

The 300 feels like a luxury car inside, with a charming, refined look and feel.

You'll find the 300 to be one of the more spacious sedans in its class, even though it doesn't quite have the sprawl-out space of a Buick LaCrosse or Toyota Avalon. It probably comes as no surprise that this sedan's rear-wheel-drive layout and chiseled, just-right roofline and contours favor design over utility.

In front, the seats are well bolstered, and there's plenty of headroom even if you get the sunroof. Back seats tend to be a little tight on legroom, although they're comfortable enough for two adults.

Trunk space is quite good, too. These current versions of the 300 don't feel quite as claustrophobic as the previous version, due to thinner pillars and a little more side glass, so visibility is a bit better, too.

You'll also find plenty of places to hide things in the 300's cabin. The cupholders hide under a roll-away tambour; the center console hides a usefully deep well, and there's a nicely sized bin in the console ahead of the shifter. All the doors have molded-in bottle holders. In the trunk, 16.3 cubic feet of space will hold plenty, even if it's not as big as the titanic 20-cube trunk in the Ford Taurus.

We have noticed that the new rubberized material on the dash has a gumminess to it that attracts lint; that's one of the few fine details that detracts a bit from the classy, somewhat retro vibe of the interior.

Otherwise, this is a model that's improved tremendously in refinement and noise, compared to its first iteration a number of years back. Thanks to thicker glass and more sound insulation, there's only now a faint thrum in V-6 models and, of course, the burble and rumble of V-8 models, while wind and road noise are sealed away.

9

2013 Chrysler 300

Safety

The 2013 Chrysler 300 and 300C have a compelling set of features, and top-notch safety ratings.

Safety-wise, the 300 includes all the usual electronic controls and airbags; Hill Start Assist, Rain Brake Support, and Ready Alert Braking are also included. And its crash-test ratings have been top-notch.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded top 'good' ratings in frontal, side, and rear impact, as well as in roof strength, and in previous model years it's earned Top Safety Pick status. It's also earned five stars overall from the federal government, including a five stars for side impact and four stars for frontal impact.

On higher trims, you can get a SafetyTec option package that includes adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, a forward-collision warning system, rear fog lamps, and power-folding exterior mirrors.

Thanks to the slimming of roof pillars and an increase in glass areas, there's better outward visibility--which should yield better safety when backing up or changing lanes.

9

2013 Chrysler 300

Features

The Chrysler 300 dials up the tech features, yet doesn't omit any high-end luxury appointments.

The 2013 Chrysler 300 ranges from a well-equipped sedan at the base level up to either a true luxury sedan or an assertive muscle machine at the top tier.

Even at the base level, the 300 includes an impressive list of standard features, like power windows, locks and mirrors; LED daytime running lights; pushbutton start and keyless entry; a power driver seat; cloth upholstery; dual-zone climate control; satellite radio; a USB port; and an 8.4-inch LCD touchscreen display.

Step up to the 300S and you get leather front seats; shift paddles; piano black trim; and performance tires. Premium leather, natural wood trim, power-adjustable pedals, and a heated steering wheel all contribute to the top-lux feel of the 300C, which also includes navigation--and the Garmin-based touch-screen nav system includes real-time traffic info and has been enhanced for 2013.

On top of all their performance upgrades--like the mammoth 6.4-liter engine, heavy-duty braking, adaptive damping, and 20-inch wheels--SRT8s get carbon-fiber trim; heated and ventilated front seats; and a layer of instrumentation in its navigation system that displays performance stats like acceleration times and lateral grip.

New for 2013 is a Beats by Dr. Dre premium audio system, offering a 12-channel amp, proprietary equalization, and trunk-mounted subwoofer.

Also, a special Chrysler 300 Glacier model brings Gloss Black mirrors, Black Chrome grille blades, special eight-spoke Satin Carbon-finish aluminum wheels and special paint hues, along with Piano black interior finishes, special upholstery with leather-wrapped bolsters and French seams, and steering-wheel paddles with a Sport mode.

6

2013 Chrysler 300

Fuel Economy

V-6 versions of the 2013 Chrysler 300 are quite efficient compared to large luxury sedans, but Hemi V-8-powered versions are guzzlers.

Thanks to the eight-speed automatic transmission and V-6 that's essentially the base powertrain for retail models of the 2013 Chrysler 300, this is a surprisingly fuel-efficient sedan, with EPA numbers of 19 mpg city, 31 highway in rear-wheel-drive form.

All-wheel drive drops ratings to 18/27 mpg, although Chrysler boasts that these are best-in-class models. 300C HEMI V-8 models earn highway numbers of up to 25 mpg. Although due to so-called Fuel Saver Technology (cylinder deactivation), you may see even better, as we have, if you can use some self control and keep your right foot light.

EPA ratings for the SRT8, with a city rating of just 14 mpg, seem right on the mark, if even a bit optimistic, based on what we've seen. This is a performance model best enjoyed by those who know exactly what they're getting--a blast-from-the-past, large-displacement V-8 engine with a potentially budget-busting thirst.

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October 8, 2016
2013 Chrysler 300 4-Door Sedan 300C RWD

Absolutely outstanding sedan in ALL respects.

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Purchased new (Factory Order) and have NO regrets whatsoever. I have now driven it over 33,000 miles without a single problem. It rides and handles beautifully, with an exceptionally low interior noise level... + More »
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June 10, 2015
2013 Chrysler 300 4-Door Sedan 300C RWD

Great car and a pleasure to driver everywhere.

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We purchased our 300 at the local dealer and got an amazing deal. We were looking for a Journey but I seen the 300 online and had to have a look. The wife and I just sat in it looked around and looked at each... + More »
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April 15, 2015
For 2013 Chrysler 300

Greatly improved . . . but still lags the imports

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Every once in a while (7 to 10 years) I open up my playbook and decide to give an American Car a try. I have been doing this for the past 40 to 50 years, and 2 years ago I did it again: this time with a... + More »
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April 13, 2015
For 2013 Chrysler 300

Love my 300

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I have had over seventy vehicles over my lifetime. This 300 is the best I have ever owned. I have had Fords, Chevs, Buicks, Mazda,lots of older Chrysler products and even a VW bug. This 300 rides, handles and... + More »
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Styling 8.0
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Comfort & Quality 8.0
Safety 9.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy 6.0
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