WASHINGTON — Big sedans were once the staple for American carmakers, but it seems that most have turned toward luxury or sporty — trying to chase after the Europeans. There is still one company, Chrysler, which will sell you a large, premium sedan with RWD. Is it still competitive with its old approach?
The short answer is yes, especially if you can spend the extra money on the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level. With an as-tested price of $48,855 and all the options, this is really a luxury car at a discount. Of course, leather seats are standard, heated and ventilated. They sit more like living room furniture with soft comfort rather than the firm, sport seats that some sedans have. The look and feel is enhanced with the premium leather-wrapped interior accents; more places you touch have leather than plastic.
There’s ample space for everyone inside. However, the back middle seat has a large hump on the floor that hampers foot placement. No complaints from me about the easy to use 8.4-inch Uconnect NAV system. The voice recognition works well, too. There are several USB hookups, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The touch screen works easily just about every time.
The look is pretty bold for a large sedan that tends to be more conservative in appearance. The Chrysler 300C Platinum differs with a more muscle-car attitude and style. A large blacked-out grill up front sets the tone for this standout look. There are large, 20-inch wheels that set this 300C apart from other lower trim models. The body is more squared than the competition, and I really dig it. It might be the best looking 300C with this bold, but also well-sculpted look.
There is a lot of chrome trim on the Platinum trim level. The chrome is around the grill, side view mirrors and door handles and it fits the character of an upscale ride. This is a rather large car, but from a distance it really doesn’t look as large as it is. When you get close you get a better appreciation of what a large car it is.
If you’ve enjoyed driving large sedans in the past, the 300C will not disappoint. This is a bit of a throwback when compared to larger cars today. There is more cushion on the road; it may even be considered a bit floaty over some bumps. Relaxed driving is rewarded with a nearly silent ride that does a good job of coddling the driver and passengers. It’s a joy on longer trips when the luxury car comes out. If you push the 300C, it responds nicely but expect some lean in tighter, faster corners.
This 300C drives like a larger car, so getting used to parking in smaller spaces takes a few minutes. The rear visibility isn’t the best because the back window is rather small. Fortunately, the rear view camera and front and rear park assist pretty much park the car for you. The fuel economy for this large car is on par for this class. I managed 23.4 mpg in my 340 miles of mixed driving, a tiny bit better than the 23 mpg on the sticker. This tester has the V-6 engine which does a decent job of moving the big Chrysler. There is an optional V-8 I recommend you look at if you plan to have a full car on most of your trips.
If you’re in the market for a large sedan, the time to buy is now. With the market trending to crossovers, the premium sedan can be a smart buy with prices much lower than what the sticker reads. The Chrysler 300C Platinum is an intriguing car in the large sedan class with bold styling and a luxury interior. It’s what a large premium sedan should be.
Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by STI, FMI or Event Solutions for the purpose of this review.
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