Mopar slush floor mats: A good fit for winter
Not so long ago, in the age of carburetors, cars came with thin vinyl floor mats. They were often thin and flimsy, and they tended to slide around, but they protected the carpet from the worst of the dirt. Automakers eventually switched to plush, carpeted floor mats, and then started to anchor them to the floor so they would not creep forward and bunch up under the gas or brake pedal. The anchors were a serious innovation in convenience and safety, since, left to their own, floor mats tend to creep forward over time.
Carpeted floor mats are usually more attractive, but they get dirty easily and are harder to clean than vinyl mats (in the “before” photos, you are looking at carpeted mats that are less than 300 miles — four weeks — old). That's especially true in winter, when much of the United States and Canada end up with snow, slush, and mud.
Many customers simply use generic floor mats, purchased cheaply at J.C. Whitney or a local chain; but it occurred to us that perhaps Mopar had a better, if somewhat more expensive, solution. Still, compared with aftermarket wheels, stereos, and other add-ons, not to mention the company's own options, a hundred dollars for a good set of mats does not seem crazy — and it turned out we did not even have to spend that much.
Mainly because John Spatz works there, we called (don't bother with their web site or e-mail) Pomoco, a dealership in Virginia, and got their discount mail-order price: a full set of color-matched mats for our new 300C was just $66, with a list price of $84. If your dealer charges no more than list, it might make just as much sense to get them locally. Sadly, we found “MoparOverstock” listed them for a mere $2 off list, while Eastchester C-J-D listed them at a shameful $92.62. Caveat emptor, and see our parts sources page.
It only took a few days for the mats to arrive. They showed up in a thin cardboard box, just the right size, a good sign. One bag contained the front mats, the other contained the rear mats.
The front mats were clearly different from each other; the driver's side had a cutout for the dead pedal, the passenger side did not. Both fit perfectly — absolutely perfectly. They had the appropriate holes for the “nonskid” hooks, something often missing from aftermarket mats, and the “300” logo in raised white letters. The color was a pleasant surprise, since they were advertised as “Dark Frost Beige.”
The contours and ridges both increase traction by providing a place for mud to go without completely eliminating dry surfaces, while making the mats more attractive when clean. They are a major improvement over the old floppy mats of the 1970s. While not quite as impressive as Volvo's deep mats, apparently designed for farmers and off-road cross-country ventures, they also stay in place thanks to the hook-holes, and do seem to be designed to catch and hold snow and mud. We don't think they're suitable for really heavy-duty use, especially since the anchor hole seems like an obvious spot for water to leak onto the carpet, but they're likely to be better at trapping than the stock carpets, and certainly they should be easier to clean.
In back, where even some original-manufacturer mats are skimpy or not-quite-right, the Mopar set was also absolutely perfect — surprisingly so. They fit right into the contours of the car, just like the carpeted mats, and have the same contours and look as the front mats, minus the “300” lettering and the unnecessary-in-back anti-slip holes.
Overall, I would argue that not only are these Mopar mats a good idea for winter use, they are also a fine replacement for the carpet, period. They are easier to clean than the carpets, harder to stain, and better at trapping and holding dirt, water, mud, and snow — to the point where we bagged the original mats, and will be keeping them for ceremonial occasions only. Mopar gave us a pleasant surprise and value for the money with these.
These slush mats are recommended by Mopar for all Chrysler 300 cars from 2005 onwards. We did not try them in first-generation 300s.