Continually citing Chrysler for not meeting a European standard of upmarket interiors seems like a rather weary criticism but, to our eyes, there remains a fair distance between the quality expounded over there and the one on view over here. Happily, the size of that gap appears to have gently eroded a little each time we come to address it.
Consequently, the latest 300C feels like a dainty step forward for the US brand. Tactility and general appearance have both taken an upswing. The cabin seems better put together, and even if swathes of faux leather aren’t going to upset BMW’s apple cart, it has a cohesive appeal. The dashboard’s metallic highlights are generally well chosen, too.
Its size, of course, is beyond question. The considerable length and boxy profile ensure that the 300C is capable of competing with (if not eclipsing) any of its competitors in a contest of knee and elbow room.
Taste is a thornier issue. A cheap imitation wood finish, a 1990s transmission gate and strip-joint-blue instrumentation are likely to leave a flat fizzy drink taste in a British mouth used to the German way of cold carbonating premium products.
Nevertheless, the centre console switchgear is conveniently sized, sensibly placed and logical, and there’s now an 8.4-inch infotainment screen front and centre to play with. ‘Play’ is the operative word, because the Garmin-sponsored system can appear as visually hectic as a pub fruit machine when glanced at for a particular function mid-roundabout.
Get to know it, though, and everything proves to be well located, especially given that the 300C is festooned with a generous bounty of toys, each of which requires a button. Heated and cooled cupholders, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, dual-pane sunroof and auxiliary connections are all thrown into the cockpit gratis.