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September 2020 Newsletter

Test Drive: Chrysler 300 gets bolder, more fun

It’s easy to forget in this age of econo-box small cars that the big, American-style rear-drive car is immensely satisfying.

For one thing, there aren’t many, so you might go a long time without ever driving one.

We rediscovered that satisfaction of bigness last year in the latest Dodge Charger, and now we get the privilege of revisiting the configuration in the Chrysler 300, similar to Charger underneath but quite different outside.

The 300 has a stubby, feisty look that test Drive has admired from the first of the modern 300s, which went on sale in 2004 as a 2005 model. The front and rear portions of the body don’t hang past the wheels very far — the same short overhang that make many BMWs look good.

The 300 and Charger are based on a chassis similar to the Mercedes-Benz 300 of the time, when M-B parent Daimler owned Chrysler. For the 2011 300, Chrysler made a number of boring-sounding but significant changes in the suspension, engine mounting, body construction. But the simultaneous styling changes made it softer-looking. The automaker thinks, in hindsight, that didn’t prompt the second-take reaction from folks as the earlier one did.

So now, the 2015, with a grille nearly one-third bigger and a number of other bits of styling drama to recapture the “wow” factor of the 2005.

Source: usatoday.com


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