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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
A huge new 8.4-inch touch screen, beautifully integrated into the center stack, has graphics and colors that rival any of its competitors, but then you touch the navigation button and all that loveliness disappears, replaced by the garish colors and graphics of Garmin.
The optional Garmin-based nav system’s bold colors and large graphics make it easy to use, but they lend it an almost juvenile appearance. Still, we prefer basic and useful to elegant and stupefying.
Car and Driver
Skip the optional Garmin navigation system, whose slow map scrolling and clumsy icons feel at odds with the rest of the system.
The 2011 Chrysler 300 has more standard features than it did last year, and the lineup is split into three distinct models: Chrysler 300, 300 Limited, and 300C.
The $27,995 Chrysler 300 offers power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; LED daytime running lights; keyless entry and pushbutton start; dual-zone climate control; a cloth interior; 17-inch wheels; and a power driver seat. An 8.4-inch LCD display, a USB port, an SD card slot, Sirius satellite radio and DVD playback capability are also standard, along with the usual AM/FM/CD capability.
Opting up to the $31,995 Chrysler 300 Limited ladles on leather upholstery; heated front seats; an Alpine audio system, which delivers sharp sound that's somewhat overly focused along the centerline of the car; 18-inch wheels; a rearview camera; steering-wheel audio controls; and Bluetooth with voice command capability. The options list for the Limited include a panoramic sunroof; 20-inch wheels; a safety package with blind-spot detectors, forward-collision warnings, parking sensors and adaptive cruise control; a Luxury package adds on ventilated power front seats, a wood-trimmed and heated tilt/telescoping steering wheel, ash trim and heated cupholders. A navigation system also is available, as is Sirius Travel Link.
The top-line $38,995 Chrysler 300C sports the HEMI V-8 drivetrain and all the features above as standard, plus heated rear seats, ambient LED interior lighting, a Garmin navigation system and a year's free service from Sirius Travel Link with real-time traffic information, gas prices, movie listings, even weather updates. A "uConnect Web" option plugs in a 3G dongle into the car and turns it into a mobile WiFi hotspot.
The 300C also can be ordered with all-wheel drive.
Chrysler's plugged into some high-tech features for the new 300 sedan--and the standard USB port and satellite radio are welcome additions.