The fact that some critical safety features are optional instead of standard hurts the 2009 Chrysler 300 in both crash tests and overall safety scores, and TheCarConnection.com can’t help but share the disappointment in a sedan where there’s otherwise a lot to like.
In NHTSA tests, the 2009 Chrysler 300 earned quite acceptable crash scores, with five-star results in frontal impact and a mix of four- and five-star results in side impact. The IIHS confirms the 300’s good showing in frontal protection, but gives it their worst possible score, "poor," for side impacts. Even with the optional side airbags, the score improves to a still-inadequate "marginal" rating.
According to reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, standard safety equipment varies considerably across the 2009 Chrysler 300 lineup. Edmunds reports that the base model “doesn't get much in the way of standard safety equipment, but antilock brakes and stability and traction control are at least optional." ConsumerGuide states that the base model offers standard "four-wheel disc brakes" and "dual front airbags," while the Chrysler 300 Touring adds "antilock four-wheel disc brakes, brake assist, [and] antiskid system." Cars.com reviewers also point out that Chrysler 300C models come with "adaptive cruise control [that] regulates speed based on the distance to the vehicle ahead," while "optional side curtain and side-impact airbags" are available.
Visibility is another area of concern regarding the 2009 Chrysler 300, according to some professional reviewers. Cars.com reports that "visibility can be hampered at times," and ConsumerGuide says that "a tall tail and wide rear pillars reduce the driver's aft visibility." Other problem areas, according to ConsumerGuide, are the corners, since the "thick front pillars interfere with the view" to both sides.