I remember back in 2003 when Chrysler introduced the 300C at the New York Auto Show and what a head turner it was. Since that time, there have been many variants on the original with a base model all the way up to the SRT8 performance sedan. This week, I have the 2014 Chrysler 300S that falls somewhere in the middle, but clearly this is the Sport model without going all the way to the SRT8.
This is a large, rear-wheel drive sedan that has a ton of interior room and a luxurious interior. One change we’ve seen over the last few years is the use of stitching on the seats, dash, and other areas to give you a rich look. The 300S interior is terrific to look at, and super comfortable. One cool feature of the 300S is the sound system. This model comes with the Beats by Dr. Dre system with 10-speakers and 552-watts of power for a great sound.
The exterior of the 300S is very sharp with 20” wheels and a unique grill and lights. This car looks fast and the bi-Xenon headlights and LED halo lights grab a lot of attention. It is a great looking car inside and outside.
Under the hood, you can choose from a 6-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic, but my Billet Silver test has the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi with a 5-speed automatic. This combo produces 363-horses, and gives you that old school muscle car feeling, which I love by the way. If you hit the Sport Mode button, it changes the transmission and shoots more power to the engine for better performance.
As we have grown accustomed to with Chrysler products, they have a very affordable base price, but escalate rapidly. This car jumps $11,500 as you load it up.
One package I really like is the Safety Tec which gets you blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, park assist, and forward collision warning. The Luxury Group gives you a heated steering wheel, rear power shade, heated rear seats, heated and cooled cup holders, adjustable pedals, and more.
The Hemi engine adds $2200, and a really cool dual-pane panoramic moonroof will set you back $1595. For $995 you get the Uconnect system which gives you the Garmin navigation system, Bluetooth, MP3 and DVD, all run from a colorful 8.4” touchscreen. For the record, I think the Chrysler Uconnect screen is the easiest and most intuitive of any vehicle I’ve ever been in. Everything is right where you can see it. With many of these type systems, you have to go through numerous pages just to change the radio.
The 300S rides great and handles even better, especially for a 4000-pound large car. Unfortunately, there is a problem I cannot get past…the antiquated 5-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler has 8-speed and even 9-speed automatics, which so far are doing great. I can only theorize they have a bunch of these 5-speeds leftover and are using them in the 300 with the Hemi. The city fuel economy is low at 15, on the highway the car does 25 due to the Chrysler fuel saver system that knocks you down to 4-cylinders and that helps.
I like this car a lot but if I were purchasing it, it would be with the 6-cylinder and the 8 speed automatic. Last one of those I had I got almost 35-miles per gallon on the highway.
What I liked most: The interior and exterior looks.
What I would change: I’d offer at LEAST a 7-speed, if not an 8-speed.
MSRP: Base price $33,645, as equipped $$45,170
Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 15 in town/25 on the highway.
Weight: 4029 pounds.
2014 Chrysler 300 S in a few words: Great car overall, with hot looks!
Warranty: 3 year/36,000 bumper-to-bumper, 5 year/100,000 mile powertrain coverage with roadside assistance.
Car Pro Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars.
Manufacturer’s website: http://www.chrysler.com/en/300/
Dealers: If you are interested in a Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge or Ram, we have excellent dealer affiliates in DFW, Houston, Austin, Cleveland, Lubbock, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Los Angeles.