Big American goes diesel
I feel not so much a gangster, more a fraudster. The super-size 300C is turning heads, particularly with this Touring version's extra glass emphasising the faux chop-top styling and five metre-plus length, but where there ought to be the burble of a big V8, there is instead the very un-American clatter of a diesel.
It's coming from a turbocharged 3-litre V6, a Mercedes-Benz unit which here puts out 215bhp and, more noticeably, 376lb ft of torque. Mated to a five-speed auto (there's no manual option) it does a decent job of pushing the Touring's near two-ton bulk around - 62mph arrives in 8.6sec, almost a second quicker than the 3.5 V6 petrol - while still returning an official combined-cycle consumption figure of 34.9mpg (we averaged 27).
Keep your right foot buried, though, and things start to go awry as the big Chrysler bounces from hump to bump, its tall 225/60/18 Pirelli P7s contributing to the impression that ride control is care of a space-hopper at each corner. Numb steering doesn't improve the experience.
But while you're never going to love this car for the way it handles, if all you want is looks with a US flavour and fuel consumption more palatable to UK tastes, it could easily charm you.
|Engine||V6, 2987cc, 24v, turbodiesel|
|Max power||215bhp @ 4000rpm|
|Max torque||376lb ft @ 2800rpm|
|Top speed||136mph (claimed)|