Luxury Coach & Transportation

April 2015

Magazine for the professional limousine, charter and tour industry.

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30 LIMOUSINE, CHARTER & TOUR APRIL 2015 WWW.LCTMAG.COM VEHICLE REVIEW Restyled Chrysler 300 Takes It Up A Notch Cleaner lines and a sophisticated interior make the 300 a more pleasing limo sedan option than previous versions. By Tom Halligan, LCT East Coast Editor I t was apparent that other drivers were eyeballing my 2015 Chrys- ler 300 sedan during a recent test drive. The newly redesigned and maxed-out 300C Platinum model with its Phantom black tri-coat paint, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, chrome LED tail lights, and LED-illuminated daytime running lights and polished chrome exhaust tips no doubt got attention — especially from the high-end lux motorists. But why? It's a Chrysler, not a Mercedes-Benz or BMW. I fnally fgured it out after passing a Bentley. I realized that the 300's new, bolder, sculpted style and expressive grill resembles a Silver Spur. In fact, both automakers even share a winged emblem that I think causes other drivers to rubberneck. Not bad company to keep for the $46,000 top-end Chrysler often mistaken for a $200,000 Bentley. Of course, operators who add the 300 to their feets are opting for the more affordable 300 Limited and 300S models that have an MSRP range from $31,400 to $35,900. Still, the new styling does add a notch of panache to the 300 compared to previous mod- els. The 300 has had mixed reviews — some operators think the nameplate does not carry enough status for their corporate clients, while others consider the 300 an acceptable addition to their feet line-ups. Initial reviews from media motorheads have been positive about the new up- scale design of the 300. They are im- pressed with its new level of "understated sophistication and tasteful and functional interior," as one reviewer noted. I agree. The 300 has cleaner lines than its predecessor but still re- tains the bulk and roominess of a large sedan. As I mentioned, the 300's new exterior has the "look" of a livery vehicle. As gas prices are ratcheting up again, the standard Pentastar V-6 en- gine delivers a combined city/ highway 23 mpg, according to the U.S. Dept. of Energy ratings. The 300C Platinum I drove — with a powerful 8-speed, 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI — averages a combined city/highway 19 mpg, ac- cording to government stats. Yes, the V-8 fies, but for chauffeured transpor- tation, the V-6 cranks 300 horse- power, more than adequate to handle highway maneuver- ing. Improved suspension takes care of bumps, and the S model chassis features a new sport-tuned suspension with increased damping com- pared to the previous year. Interior The interior's ft and fnish is subdued and refned with ample room for two rear-seat passengers. A center armrest console has two cupholders. An adjust- able climate control panel contains two USB charging ports. The 300C and Plati- num models come equipped with rear- heated seats and other amenities such as front console hot/cold cupholders. Head, leg and shoulder room are adequate. Plush, comfortable leather- trimmed seats swaddle the passengers. Chauffeurs can adjust eight-way power seats to provide more rear legroom. In fact, the Platinum C is equipped with a power tilt/telescopic steering column and power adjustable pedals to provide even more driver maneuverability, if say, an NBA player is seated behind the driver. The standard seven-inch full color touchscreen is intuitive and easy to maneuver. A new rotary shifter, which Chrysler says is better than the previous shift lever, now clearly indicates the gear I REALIZED THAT THE 300'S NEW, BOLDER, SCULPTED STYLE AND EXPRESSIVE GRILL RESEMBLES A SILVER SPUR. IN FACT, BOTH AUTOMAKERS EVEN SHARE A WINGED EMBLEM THAT I THINK CAUSES OTHER DRIVERS TO RUBBERNECK.

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