Web Spin: Chrylser 300C CRD

Head Turner from the ‘hood.

What the grotesque Chrysler 300C lacks in subtlety, it more than makes up for in automotive refinement.

Test Vehicle:

Chrysler 300C CRD
3.0 DOHC V6 Turbo Diesel
5 Speed Automatic Transmission
3 Year/100,000km Warranty
$57,990 as tested

The first time I laid eyes on this automotive gargoyle, I liked it. I’m still not sure what part of me it appealed to, but I knew straight away the bessa brick styling and pill pox side windows reminded me of something from my 1970s Hot Wheels collection. In keeping with the unapologetic Dodge/Chrysler range, it is as bold and brassy as all get out.

So, apart from hoodlum hotrod styling, wild wheels and expansive mega-chrome grille, what does the 300C offer the consumer?

Built in Austria of all places, the steroidal 300C comes in four engine configurations; a modest 3.5 DOHC V6, bull-dozing 5.7 or 6.1 Hemi V8s and our test car, the newest in the lineup, a 3.0 turbocharged, intercooled DOHC V6 diesel. Pricewise, the three compare roughly to Fairmont and Calais in locally built offerings and sales figures indicate the 300C is more than holding its own. Touring (Station Wagon) versions also exist for each.

Sharing some of the refined componentry from Mercedes-Benz, like the excellent 5 Speed auto and diesel technology, the new oil-fired 300C encourages buyers to reappraise the role of diesel engine in their next car purchase. Once the domain of clunky 4WDs and smoky delivery vans, diesel engines are now reaching a level of refinement that attracts luxury car buyers in a market that traditionally shunned these cars. The 300C CRD delivers its hefty torque from way down at 1600rpm, so you can lope along with just the lightest touch of the throttle and get going in a hurry without throwing your foot to the floor in a tantrum

The 300C joined our family for a week, taking on the regular duties of school and shopping runs, short freeway diversions and even some city snarls. It performed capably and surprisingly easily for a car that initially appeared big and awkward. What’s more, we clicked up nearly 400kms and still had half a tank of fuel left, which would indicate we matched the claimed economy figure of 8.2l/100kms.

Excellent equipment levels include dual front and full-length, side-curtain airbags, stability control, anti-lock brakes, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, six-speaker sound system, cruise control, trip computer and auto-dimming rear-vision mirror.

The 300C has taken hold in the Australian market despite the in-your-face styling and bulky, bully-boy road demeanour and has made serious inroads into the segment previously dominated by local vehicles like Statesman and Fairlane.

We Liked:

• Limo-like ride
• High equipment levels for price
• Effortless power delivery
• Kick-butt sound system
• Surprisingly economical

Not so keen on:

• Slightly lazy handling
• Rear visibility
• heavy

Report by Rod Eime.

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buy a used or new hyundai terracan from a fctory dealer in great condition. It's a four wheel drive or 4wd for use off road or in the outback.