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Consumer Reports praises new Chrysler 300

by Bill Cawthon on

In the November 2011 issue, Consumer Reports tests upscale sedans. The cars tested include the Hyundai Genesis, Toyota Avalon, Acura TL and Chrysler 300C. The particular cars were selected because all of them had gotten recent refreshes and all, as CR noted, “rank among the best upscale sedans.”

It’s unusual to see Consumer Reports use the words “Chrysler” and “best” in relation to one another but the work Chrysler put into renewing the 300C has apparently paid off. The 300C impressed the editors with its ride, handling and power, though they did mark it down for fuel economy (the CR car comes with the 5.7-liter Hemi engine and a five-speed transmission). They also liked the improved comfort and fit and finish, though they said some pieces, which weren’t specified, didn’t fit well.

In their summary, CR’s editors wrote: “Revamped for 2011, the 300 is the best Chrysler car we’ve seen in decades, jumping to an overall test score of 80 from a mediocre 64 of the previous model. The 300C’s quick, muscular 5.7-liter V8 engine is now complemented by responsive handling and a more comfortable ride. And thanks to a major upgrade, its roomy interior is now quieter and more luxurious. The main drawback of our V8-powered 300 is its 18-mpg fuel economy, which is the lowest in a category dominated by smaller V6 engines. The 300’s corporate sister, the Dodge Charger, got 21 mpg when we tested it with a V6.”

The 300 didn’t make the “recommended” list because CR didn’t have reliability data.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for just-auto.com, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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