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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
Five stars, front impact; four stars, side driver impact; five stars, side passenger impact
Good," frontal offset impact; "marginal," side impact
Poor visibility for shorter drivers
The 2010 Chrysler 300 improves its safety credentials with the addition of some new standard safety equipment. Chrysler decides to offer side airbags as standard this year on all models. Still, there are areas for improvement—for example, the base 300 models lack standard anti-lock brakes; they’re only available as a $1,025 option package that includes electronic stability control. This is unacceptable, considering that these features have even begun appearing as standard in econo-boxes.
The 2010 Chrysler 300’s safety record is puzzling, to say the least. In order to cut costs, certain essential safety features are left as optional—such as the fact that ABS brakes are only available as part of a $1,000 electronic stability package.
For 2010, however, Chrysler decides to add side-curtain airbags as standard on all models across the range—although this does little to improve the 300’s safety credentials as explained below.
In NHTSA tests, last year’s 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 last year gave it their worst possible score of "poor," for side impacts due to the lack of standard side airbags. Even with the now-standard side airbags in place, the score improves to the IIHS’ second-lowest rating of "marginal." While this isn’t exactly a glowing review of the 2010 Chrysler 300’s side-safety features, it is an improvement on last year’s model.
According to reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, standard safety equipment varies considerably across the 2010 Chrysler 300 lineup. 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." Edmunds observes 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." 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."
The other niggle TheCarConnection.com has with safety is that the high beltline doesn't afford very good visibility outside, especially for shorter drivers. Cars.com also reports that "visibility can be hampered at times," while ConsumerGuide says that "thick front pillars interfere with the view" to both sides, also pointing to the "tall tail and wide rear pillars [that] reduce the driver's aft visibility.”
The 2010 Chrysler 300 loses points for still not offering some essential safety features on the entire lineup. Crash-test ratings aren't stellar, either.