NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2013 Chrysler 300 Preview

4/8/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Full-size car
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive
  • IIHS "Top Safety Pick"
  • V-6 engine becomes standard across the lineup; V-8 is optional
  • 8-speed automatic transmission now standard on all models
  • Simplified model lineup
  • Base model has more equipment and is available with all-wheel drive
  • Uconnect navigation system upgraded for 2013
  • 300S model with V-6 gains 8 horsepower for a total of 300
  • New 300 Glacier package
  • New 300C John Varvatos Limited Edition package

Introduction
Chrysler division's flagship car, the Chrysler 300 is a full-size, 4-door sedan that straddles the line between the mainstream and luxury markets. It has seating for five, rear- or all-wheel drive, and V-6 or V-8 power.

The Chrysler 300 sedan competes against mainstream rivals such as the Chevrolet Impala, Ford Taurus, and Toyota Avalon, as well as entry luxury cars like the Lexus ES, Buick LaCrosse, and Hyundai Genesis sedan.

Exterior Features
The Chrysler 300 traces its roots back to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class architecture of a few generations ago, but it has been adapted for Chrysler and updated at least once for the 2012 model year. The same platform underpins the Dodge Charger. The base model Chrysler 300 comes standard with automatic-off headlights, and 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. Alloy wheels are available in 18-, 19- and 20-inch sizes.

Interior Features
The 2013 Chrysler 300 comes standard with leather upholstery and offers seating for five. The standard split-folding rear seat increases the carrying capacity of the 16.3 cubic foot trunk. Other standard interior equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, interior air filter, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, heated front seats, 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment, heated power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, keyless access and starting, Uconnect 8.4-inch touch screen with voice recognition, AM/FM/CD stereo, satellite radio, auxiliary input jack, USB port, Bluetooth connectivity, auto-dimming rearview mirror, compass, outside-temperature display, and a theft-deterrent system.

Optional Features
In addition to the base model's features, the 300S adds remote engine starting, power-adjustable front passenger seat, rearview camera, 552-watt Beats by Dr. Dre sound system, universal garage door opener, and 20-inch alloy wheels. The all-wheel-drive version has 19-inch wheels. The 300C comes with Chrysler's Uconnect navigation system with real-time traffic information, 276-watt Alpine sound system, power tilt/telescoping wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, memory system (for the driver's seat, mirrors, and pedals), heated/cooled cupholder, heated rear seats, tilt-down back-up aid mirrors with driver's side auto dimming, power rear sunshade, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The AWD version has 19-inch alloy wheels. The 300C Luxury Series model comes with Nappa leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport suspension, and 20-inch wheels (the AWD version has 18-inch wheels).

Other notable options include a Light package with rear fog lights and self-dimming and steering-linked adaptive bi-xenon headlights, a sunroof, and a 900-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. Chrysler also offers the Glacier and the John Varvatos Limited Edition packages. The Glacier comes with gloss black mirrors, unique 19-inch 8-spoke satin carbon painted alloy wheels, 12-way power-adjustable driver and front passenger seats, heated front sport seats with cloth and leather bolsters, black floor mats with black velour binding and "Glacier" logo embroidery, and an optional gloss black painted roof. The John Varvatos package, which is limited to 2,000 examples, has numerous interior and exterior changes. On the outside, it features a titanium-finish grille surround, titanium chrome Chrysler "wing" badge, black chrome grille blades, unique front fascia with larger air inlets, 20-inch wheels, titanium-finish window trim and mirror caps, LED taillamps with tinted black detailing, and John Varvatos and Chrysler wing deck-lid badges. Inside, it gets pewter metallic leather seats with John Varvatos logos, a unique gauge cluster and clock, Poltrona Frau black leather trim with diesel gray accent stitching, hand-stitched heated steering wheel, and titanium, charcoal hydrographic wood and gloss black interior accents.

Under the Hood
The 2013 Chrysler 300 is offered with a flex-fuel-capable 3.6-liter V-6 or a 5.7-liter V-8 engine. The 3.6 delivers 292 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque in the base model, and in the S it generates 300 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque thanks to a cold-air induction and sport-tuned exhaust. The V-8 features cylinder deactivation that shuts down four cylinders during cruising to save fuel. It produces 363 horsepower and 394 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines are mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Chrysler 300 are:

  • 300 with 3.6-liter V-6: 19/31/23 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • 300 with 3.6-liter V-6 and all-wheel drive: 18/27/21 mpg
  • 300 with 5.7-liter V-8: 16/25/19 mpg
  • 300 with 5.7-liter V-8 and all-wheel drive: 15/23/18 mpg

Safety
The 2013 Chrysler 300 has all the usual standard safety features, plus a driver's knee air bag, active front head restraints, brake assist, and electronic brake-force distribution. Optional safety features include a rearview camera and a SafetyTec package that includes a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-path detection, and forward-collision warning, among other non-safety features.

In tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), both rear- and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2013 Chrysler 300 received 5 stars (out of 5) in the front and side crash tests, 4 stars in the rollover test, and a 5-star overall rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the 2013 Chrysler 300 "Good" (its highest rating) in the moderate front overlap, side impact, roof strength, and rear crash protection tests, qualifying it as a "Top Safety Pick." It wasn't subjected to the new small front overlap test, so it could not be named a "Top Safety Pick Plus," the Institute's highest honor.

Technology
The Chrysler 300 is offered with two versions of Chrysler Group's Uconnect infotainment system, one with a navigation system and one without. Both versions respond to voice commands or inputs through the 8.4-inch touch screen. Both also come with an auxiliary input jack, USB port with iPod control, and an SD card reader, as well as Bluetooth connectivity for cell phones and streaming audio. The version with a navigation system includes NavTraffic real-time traffic information and SiriusXM Travel Link that provides fuel prices, sports scores, movie times, and stock quotes. Its Garmin navigation system is updated for 2013, with new colors and more detailed graphics, and it now offers a 3D view of buildings and terrain. It also has hands-free texting, with text-to-speech technology for incoming texts and a list of popular responses for replies.

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