The Chrysler 300 family comes in two nomenclatures, 300 and 300C. Models with either of the V6 engines are termed Chrysler 300, while models with either of the V8s are termed Chrysler 300C.
With two different powertrains each, the Chrysler 300 and 300C spans a wide range from an affordable, spacious and somewhat fuel-efficient sedan to a serious 4-door muscle-car or even a track-ready package. The base powertrain on the Chrysler 300 Touring is a 2.7-liter V6, making 178 horsepower. The Touring Signature and Executive models, along with the 300 Limited, add a 250-hp, 3.5-liter V6. Then the 300C steps up to a 360-hp, 5.7-liter 'Hemi' V8; and at the top of the range the performance-oriented 200C SRT8 gets a 425-hp, 6.1-liter V8. V6 engines are mated with a 4-speed automatic, while the V8s get a 5-speed automatic; in both cases they have AutoStick manual control.
Available on 300 Touring, Touring Signature, Limited, and 300C models is an all-wheel drive system that combines an active transfer case for seamless response when traction is needed and front-axle disconnect to help improve fuel economy when grip is sure.
In any of its variants, the 300 is a spacious sedan with a comfortable ride, supportive seating and a back seat with enough headroom and legroom for adults. Trunk space is cavernous, and the interior is very well isolated from road and wind noise. An available Executive model adds about six inches of wheelbase, with most of it going straight to back-seat space.
Aside from the SRT8, the 300C Heritage Edition is at the top of the lineup, bringing a host of luxury features such as leather seating with suede inserts, Poplar Burl wood trim, 20-inch chromed wheels, a Boston Acoustics surround-sound audio system, and performance upgrades for the steering and suspension.
In addition to traditional luxury features, the 300C offers several high-tech entertainment and communications options that make the sedan's cabin a more pleasant or more entertaining place. Highlights include the UConnect Phone (Bluetooth-based) system that allows hands-free calling; UConnect Multimedia, which includes a 30-gigabyte hard-drive for music storage; and UConnect Navigation, which includes real-time traffic updates. There's also an available rear-seat video entertainment system.
With a distinct, edgier character than the rest of the 300 lineup, the 300C SRT8 brings race-inspired styling cues and track-worthy performance hardware, including a specially tuned lowered suspension, big Brembo brakes and aerodynamic improvements. All said, with the big 425-hp engine, the SRT8 can accelerate to 60 mph in about five seconds and get from a standstill to 100 mph and back to zero in less than 17 seconds.
Safety equipment is now well represented throughout the 300 and 300C lineup, with electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes and brake assist, plus front side airbags and side-curtain bags, standard across all trims.