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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
Top Safety Pick
The old car offered AWD with the 3.5-liter V-6. Luckily, Chrysler will likely reintroduce AWD and a V-6 for the 300 this fall, probably in conjunction with the eight-speed automatic and just in time for the winter 2012 buying season.
Every change contributed to improved outward visibility.
Visibility (or lack thereof) won’t be a deal breaker, but Chrysler hasn’t exactly turned it into a strength.
The 2011 Chrysler 300 has already earned one top safety honor, and its generous list of standard safety equipment gives it a leg up on good crash-test scores from the federal government.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says the Chrysler 300 has earned "good" ratings on both its front- and side-impact tests--and since it also passes a roof-crush standard and has standard stability control, it's earned the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hasn't yet rated the new sedan.Every Chrysler 300 comes standard with dual front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control; and tire pressure monitors. For the 2011 model year, Chrysler's added a SafetyTec package as an option on the Limited and 300C models, and it has all the latest safety aids including lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, a forward-collision warning system, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control.
Chrysler says it's paid extra attention to visibility from inside the 300, and it's evident. The 300 has slimmer roof pillars than it did last year, and the larger glass areas mean the view to the rear corners in particular is much wider than before.
It's aced its IIHS crash test; now all that stands between the 2011 Chrysler 300 and safety's top honors is a date with NHTSA's crash sled.