Find a car review

Make
Model

Chrysler 300C

300C range-topper now available in right-hand drive

Evo rating
Price
from £32,995
  • Gangster chic
  • Ginsters suspension

You know how sometimes you just can't help liking something, even if, deep down, you know it's actually a bit wobbly. Think most old James Bond films. Boris Johnson. Blockbuster by The Sweet. The Chrysler 300C's a bit like that. Dynamically it's a division below the big BMWs and Jags; it's not madly quick; it doesn't ride particularly well, and it'll probably lose money like a drunk on a cattle-grid. And yet everyone here who drove the new right-hand-drive version of the top-of-the-range 5.7 'Hemi' just loved it. Much of the appeal is down to the way it looks, of course: Fifties gangster with a gothic twist and a dash of Harold Wilson's prime-ministerial Rover P5B. Best in black, it has undeniable presence. It feels huge and imposing from behind the wheel too - the high, flat top of the dash is almost a continuation of the bonnet, exaggerating the feeling that you're guiding something large and powerful. Our test car came with Brabus 'Startech' Alcantara trim (an £873 option) which lifts the interior no end, and there are silver-faced instruments that glow pale-green at night, so although it feels a bit cheaper than the European equivalent, it still feels special (and it's pretty good value too). The only obvious omission from the spec-sheet are parking sensors, which would be handy when inching such an acreage of metal into our quaint little English parking bays. The 5.7-litre V8 sounds a bit tame when you fire it up ('Hemi' is purely a marketing label these days; this engine is no relation to the classic Mopar muscle-cars of the Sixties) and performance is brisk rather than genuinely quick, though it gets a second wind - and finds its voice - at around 4000rpm. You have to force the five-speed auto to kick down to get a real surge of overtaking thrust, or nudge the shifter across the gate and use the Tiptronic-style manual override. For the full supersaloon effect we'll have to wait for the 425bhp SRT-8 to arrive in the Spring, but there's enough grunt to get the rear sliding on roundabouts and out of junctions with the ESP switched off. The steering feels nicely alert, too, though the chassis never quite masks the 300C's bulk. The ride feels initially good, though much of that's down to the deep sidewalls of the 225/60 R18 Pirelli P7s; at speed over even moderately uneven surfaces it lacks the damping control and general poise of the best Europeans. Not great, then, but immensely likeable. And Boris for PM.

Specifications

EngineV8, 5654cc, 16v
Max power340bhp @ 5000rpm
Max torque387lb ft @ 4000rpm
0-606.4sec (claimed)
Top speed155mph (limited)
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/review/201600/milltek-volkswagen-up-gti-review-tuner-takes-supermini-to-145bhp
Review

Miltek Volkswagen Up GTI review

VW’s Up GTI is already a favourite of ours. Can Milltek’s upgrades improve it further?
16 Sep 2019
Visit/abarth/201755/2020-abarth-595-pista-arrives-with-162bhp
Abarth 595

2020 Abarth 595 Pista arrives with 162bhp

The supermini has been given a new Garrett turbocharger, paint options and tweaks inside
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22907/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-col-de-turini
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Col de Turini

We take the Hyundai i30 Fastback N up the Col de Turini, a 31km stage of the Monte Carlo World Rally Championship
19 Jul 2019