What is it?
Originally introduced in 2004, the Chrysler 300C was – and remains – among the most distinctive saloons on the road.
Sadly, the interior betrayed that bold vision, with its jumble of cheap plastic parts. The drive was acceptable, if uninspiring, and quality was a distinct problem.
So imagine the challenges product developers faced in redesigning the icon: they had to maintain its bravado, add a world-class interior, upgrade ride and handling, improve quality – and do it all as Chrysler was facing financial ruin.
What's it like?
For the most part, they have succeeded. The new 300C is decidedly more refined, if a little less distinctive than before, with a more rounded exterior accented by Audi-like LED running lamps.
The battleship grey interior has been replaced by more upscale materials; the instrument panel, accented by soft blue lighting, is especially appealing. However, the seats, while comfortable, don’t provide the support you’d like – although an all-new 300S model, due later in the year, promises to resolve that issue.
Chrysler and Italian partner Fiat plan to introduce the 300C in Europe as the next Lancia Thema (though it will still wear a Chrysler badge in the UK), and you can sense where their ‘best of both worlds’ mindset influenced ride and handling.