Smooth Riding. Affordable Luxury. Lots of Safety Features.
Available Hemi V8
Handing At Times
In a world dominated by SUVs, there is the rare 2019 Chrysler 300 rear-wheel drive sedan. Although all-wheel drive is available, it’s still a rare breed, especially here in Colorado, where 90 percent of the vehicles on the road are crossovers and SUVs. For the driving enthusiast, it can be optioned as a rear-wheel drive with V8 muscle, and that sets the 300 apart from almost all others on the road. Although we didn’t road test the Hemi version, we still have plenty to say about the 300 with a V6.
This week, we’ve been driving the 2019 Chrysler 300S with the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 and all-wheel drive.
What’s New For 2019
A new “Black Noise” finish is now applied to the optional 20-inch wheels for the 300S. The finish is also included with the Sport Appearance Package on Touring models. Aside from that, there are no significant changes for the 2019 model year. Available trim levels include Touring, Touring L, S, Limited, and C. Each one, with the exception of the 300C, can be optioned with all-wheel drive. The 300C is rear-wheel drive only.
Features & Options: Tech & Safety (Plus A Few Extras)
2019 Chrysler 300S AWD ($38,895) comes standard with heated mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rearview camera, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Tech features include an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a six-speaker sound system with two USB ports and satellite radio.
The 300S is the sporty trim and comes standard with 19-inch wheels with performance tires (AWD), heated and power-adjustable front seats, leather upholstery, and transmission paddle shifters. Furthermore, this 300S tester came loaded with options like a panoramic sunroof, navigation, LED fog lights, and remote start. We enjoyed having the light filter in through the big panoramic roof on our drive.
Safety features are numerous and include front and rear parking sensors; automatic high beams, automatic wipers, and lane keeping assist; adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert; and finally, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic emergency braking.
Other goodies included heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated second row seats, a nine-speaker Alpine premium sound system, and a power rear window sunshade. Total MSRP including destination: $50,265. By comparison, the 2019 Chrysler 300 starts at $29,220.
Interior Highlights: Quiet & Spacious
The first thing you notice are the 300’s big doors. They swing wide open, making for easy entry and exit but you have to be careful in the parking lot. The 300 is big, and while it translates to a roomy interior both front and back, it can be a bit challenging to park. However, once underway, it’s easy to find the perfect driving position with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel and power seat adjustments. Chrysler’s Uconnect 4C system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is easy to use, and the touchscreen’s resolution is one of the nicest on the market.
The quality is first class with soft-touch materials and the attention to detail you would expect in a luxury car. The fit and finish is top notch and the cabin is quiet, something our guests commented on as they rode with us. The back seat is roomy for carrying passengers, which is one reason to buy this big sedan. If you need to transport clients around town, the 300S is an ideal choice, especially with the rear heated seats and power sunshade.
If you need to carry cargo, the 300S has a big, roomy trunk that will swallow two sets of golf clubs easily. The 2019 Chrysler 300 offers 16.3 cubic feet of cargo space, with the ability to fold down the rear seats for longer items.
[bctt tweet=”If you need to carry cargo, the @Chrysler 300S has a big, roomy trunk that will swallow two sets of golf clubs easily.” username=”Automoblog”]
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The 300S is standard with a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, creating 300 horsepower and 264 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed Torqueflite automatic that sent power to all four wheels on our tester. EPA fuel mileage estimates on the Pentastar V6 come in at 18/27 city/highway and 21 combined. Chrysler’s Pentastar V6 is highly regarded, having been selected in the past as one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines.
On the rear-wheel drive 300S, you can opt for the available 5.7-liter Hemi V8 (it’s standard on the 300C). It delivers 363 horsepower and 394 lb-ft. of torque. EPA estimates come in at 16/25 city/highway and 19 combined.
Driving Dynamics: Solid Power But Hard To Turn
Even though this is the S model, it’s not really a sports sedan. The Pentastar V6 makes plenty of power for most driving situations, but the Hemi V8 is the engine to have for performance enthusiasts. We took the 300S up I-70 west of Denver, into the mountains and over Loveland Pass through the Eisenhower Tunnel. The big sedan pulled the high mountain pass at 11,500 feet elevation without issue, and we had plenty of power to spare. Although the Hemi would have been more fun, it also would have burned more fuel.
While running on the open road, the 2019 Chrysler 300S is smooth, making it an ideal machine for long trips. You can take it several hundred miles and not feel tired after arriving. On tighter road, like the mountain corners we drove through, the 300S is not exactly light and nimble, even with all-wheel drive. The independent front and rear suspension is stable overall, but we found the 2019 Chrysler 300 is hard to maneuver when the road gets tight.
The Torqueflite eight-speed automatic always found the right gear, and despite more cogs in the box, we didn’t feel it shift. The paddle shifters give you the choice to do it yourself; but either way, the shift responses are swift and smooth. Regardless of the road condition, overall, the 2019 Chrysler 300 is a supremely-quiet car with comfortable seats.
Conclusion: Modern & High-Tech
One of the Chrysler 300S’s best qualities is how well it shuts out the noise, and smooths out bumpy roads along the daily commute. It comes with modern high-tech features and the infotainment system ranks high in its ease of use. With plenty of room for passengers and golf clubs, it’s the perfect executive-level car that doesn’t break the bank.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
2019 Chrysler 300 Gallery
Photos: FCA US LLC. (additional trim levels shown).