Our classic cars

Chrysler 300c Daily Driver

Chrysler 300c 001

Chrysler 300c Part 1

The Chrysler 300C is based on the LX platform with many components derived from the Mercedes-Benz W211 E-Class. In Europe, unlike The United States, it was offered with a 3.0 litre diesel engine as well as V6 or V8 petrol engines. In the States, there was a variety of models available, however in the UK only the top of the range 300C trim level was offered with only the light grey interior option. An estate version called the Tourer was also available (in the USA Tourer was a trim level). This was never offered in the states as a Chrysler, but a Dodge model, the Magnum was offered instead. A high powered 6.1 litre SRT8 (Street and Racing Technology) was also available in the UK. in 2008 a facelift version of the car was offered with a slightly redesigned boot lid, new rear light clusters and a new interior with softer touch plastics and a dark grey colour. STR-Design model was introduced offering the STR8 styling, 20 inch alloy wheels, wheel arch spats, chrome mesh grill, MyGIG sat Nav, SRT8 steering wheel and seats and carbon fibre interior trim, with a 3.0litre diesel engine. The European Chrysler 300C was built in Austria by Magna Steyr.

Chrysler 300c 002The Chrysler 300c has always taken my fancy and in 2007 I decided to take the plunge and buy one. Initially I began by looking at used cars but soon found that there was a distinct lack of stock around. I spoke to a couple of local dealers, gave them the spec I was looking for: diesel, must have SatNav, my colour choices (not silver or black) and my budget. I had decided to trade in the Mazda MX-5 as it wasn’t getting much used, covering only about 300 miles between MoTs, and the fact that getting in and out of it was playing havoc with my back! One of the dealers called me with an offer I couldn’t refuse: A brand new 300c CRD, to my spec and in my colour choice all within budget. I just had to agree to purchase it and take delivery before the end of the month. I decided on Mineral Grey paint to match the grey leather interior. It couldn’t have worked out better – I collected my first ever new car on my birthday!

The 300C was prone to a few well documented problems and mine was no exception. During the three years I owned it, it had 3 sets of alloy wheels due to corrosion, a new wiper control stalk as it activated the wipers whenever I indicated left, new brake disks at 9,000 miles and eventually the gearbox refused to come out of park (a cheap plastic lug known as a ‘pink thingy’ broke). The gear change gave up the ghost just as the car was coming up for its first MoT and I booked it in for the warranty work doing at the dealer. This was when they made me another offer I couldn’t refuse.

For just a small sum I could trade in my old 300C CDR for a brand new 300C SRT-Design, with 20gb MyGIG. It was a no brainer!

Chrysler 300c 004

Chrysler 300C Part 2

I took delivery of the new Graphite (although it looks black to me) 300C SRT-Design in October 2010 and have to say it’s been the best car I have ever owned. The only time it has let me down was in August 2013, when a light came on the dash and the vehicle went into limp mode. I knew straight away it was the dreaded ‘swirl motor’ another well documented fault with these cars, but one I was led to believe had been sorted with a revised part. Fortunately the car was still within its warranty period and was repaired within a couple of days.

Chrysler 300c 005The car is now coming up to 3 years old as I write this. There is an all-new model of 300C available, which I feel has lost some of its road presence and so I have decided to keep hold of my SRT-Design for the foreseeable future.