2015 Chrysler 300S AWD Sedan

20150907_063728The Chrysler 300S, a full-size luxury offering from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, was introduced in early 2011 at the New York International Auto Show as a second-generation iteration.

The updated 2015 300 represents a nice improvement over its predecessor in terms of styling and technology.  The car is 198.6” long, weighs 4,029 lbs., and is intended to compete with popular cars like Chevrolet’s Impala, Toyota’s Avalon, and Ford’s Taurus.

I recently tested a 300S “Sport” model with Jazz Blue pearl coat paint and black leather bolstered seating.  The “S” is third from the top in the line of 300’s, and this particular model had all-wheel drive.  Power was supplied by a 3.6 liter V-6 coupled with Chrysler’s proprietary 8-speed transmission.  The car exuded a throaty exhaust note and reportedly, the acceleration is zero to sixty in under six seconds.

Relative to its technology, the 300S that I tested had the navigation and BeatsAudio sound group, including a programmable driver dash cluster and 8.4” touchscreen display in the center stack. Chrysler calls its infotainment system UConnect, and with it the driver can command by voice the navigation route request, radio settings, text message(s), telephone calls, and recorded voice memos.  Hands-free responses to incoming text messages can be pre-defined by the driver (perhaps “I’m on my way.”), and the smart system technology can be trained to better recognize the driver’s voice in three languages, if desired.  Chrysler likes to say that their UConnect system takes non-distracted driving very seriously.SAM_0769

Driving the 300S was pleasurable, with handling, ride, road noise and guidance all impressive.  A blind spot monitor, cross path detection, and backup camera system all made driving easier, as did the comfort group with its heated steering wheel and seats.  A rotary E-shift gear selector was nice, and it’s something that I have come to look forward to when I encounter it in the test cars that I analyze.

Chrysler has a hit on its hands with the 300 series sedan, have sold more than 53,000 in 2014.  I can see why it is so popular, and really enjoyed my week driving the “S” model.

2015 Chrysler 300S specs

MSRP: $39,560.00, including freight and; customer preferred package -UConnect 8.4” screen, navigation, and HD radio ($995.00).

Power: 3.6 liter (217 c.i.d.) V-6 with 300 horsepower and 264 lb. ft. of torque. 8-speed automatic transmission with E-shift plus steering wheel paddles.  All-wheel drive.

Capacities: Fuel 18.5 gallons, cargo 16.3 cu. ft., passengers 5

EPA ratings: 18 mpg-city, 27 mpg-highway, 21 mpg-combined