In today’s market, Chrysler isn’t ranked up there with the best luxury automakers. How could it be, when it still produces vehicles like the 200, which are aimed at the mainstream market? Especially considering that car is a heavy mid-cycle enhancement of what was a grossly uncompetitive previous model, the Sebring.
Chrysler’s market position is somewhere above brands like Chevrolet, occupying the middle ground. If we could think of the most fitting competitor, it would probably be Buick and Lincoln. The Chrysler 300 stands out in the Chrysler lineup as a star product. It is big, rear-wheel drive and has a commanding presence, even if it lacks luxury cachet. Chrysler is hoping to change that though by taking it a bit further upmarket with a new package called Luxury Series.
If you’ve been paying a lot of attention, you’ll know this is the Executive Series that Chrysler showed off at the previous Detroit auto show; it just has a new name now. It still is as nice as ever though, thankfully. A lot of the changes on the car offered by this package are thanks to the upgrades put into the 300-based Lancia Thema for the European market.
For starters is the leather: its everywhere, on the instrument panel, cluster brow, center console side panels, upper-front and rear door panels – yeah we think you get the idea. The kind of leather used it most startling though. It is from Italy, offered in your choice of Black or Mochachino Poltrona Frau® “Foligno” leather. This is a very expensive leather used on exotic Italian cars. The Mochachino is the most striking combination. Wood used is a matte-finish (that is the new thing) hand-sanded Natural Pore Mocha. The whole interior seems to have a retro elegance and flair to it.
The exterior is differentiated by a different grille, satin accents in place of traditional chrome, and 20-inch (on the RWD model, AWD gets 19s) polished wheels. The 300 is offers what Chrysler says is segment-exclusive features like all-wheel drive availability, a heated-steering wheel and an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Most impressive is the price: $40,125. For what you get, that is an incredible value – it just doesn’t have a coveted badge on the grille.