This is the 2023 Chrysler 300C and this isn’t the 5.7-liter V8 with just 363 hp that’s available on the 300S Touring. No, this is the full-fat farewell offering with the 392-cubic-inch hemi under the hood. Just 2,000 300C models will be produced for the 2023 model year in the US, after that, the 300 as we know it is done as is the Hemi, so today, I’m going to test it and see how it goes.
It seems fitting that the 300 C gets a fitting send-off, yes it sits on an aging platform from the days of when Daimler owned Chrysler but it doesn’t feel as old as it is, something we all wish for.
The C trim adds a tricolor badge to the front grille to differentiate itself from lesser 300s and a lot of dark-chrome accents across the body. You get three exterior color choices to choose from, including Gloss Black, Velvet Red, and Bright White.
The model-specific 20-inch dark gray wheels are wrapped in all-season tires (245/45) with red four-piston Brembo calipers with 14.2-inch rotors at the front and 13.8-inch rotors at the rear. A limited-slip rear differential helps to reign in the power and torque but it has its work cut out due to the narrow standard tires.
Inside you get black Laguna leather seats with embossed logos up front, silver stitching, some carbon fiber dotted about the cabin, a 19-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system, and an analog clock a la Lexus.
Under the hood
Chrysler first introduced an SRT8 model in 2011 and discontinued it in 2015, under the hood it had a 425-hp 6.1-liter Hemi. For 2023 this 2023 Chrysler 300C will be powered by a 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 that now makes 485 hp and 475 lb-ft driven through an 8-speed torqueflite automatic.
That’ll get it to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, through the quarter mile in 12.4 seconds, and up to a 160 mph top speed. Not bad.
Driven with care you might get 24 mpg on the highway, I didn’t because I couldn’t stop myself from mashing the go pedal so I only averaged 16.2 mpg.
The 6.4 liter Hemi rumbles at idle providing a sense of what’s to come, it’s quite menacing. It’s loud in Auto mode, it’s loud in Sport, it’s even louder in Track mode, it’s loud all the time. The rumble soon turns to a bark as you mash the gas pedal filling the cabin with 82 decibels of pure American muscle.
All is not perfect though, that 3.09:1 rear end combined with the small all-season tires make for constant wheelspin at every stop light. Getting off the line quickly sans tire smoke requires some deft use of your right foot by letting the car gain traction first then mashing the go pedal.
In Track mode all hell breaks loose, the suspension is quite stiff, and the transmission is super aggressive with upshifts that slam into place as you gain speed. It’s also very noisy, the active exhaust is at its loudest and howls with anger in a delightful old-school way.
It’s no canyon carver though, definitely a slow, and then and only when you see the corner ending do you plant your right foot since the tail will happily kick out a moment’s notice. Fast progress can be made ut exercising caution is the best way to not end up backwards in a ditch.
The big Brembos help bring this heavy car (4,475 lbs) down for high speeds time after time but to be honest, this brute is best on fast sweepers and highways where its sleeper looks will surprise other drivers.
Of course, if you are stuck in a traffic jam you are being cossetted by the big Chrysler’s cushy seats which have some of the best and hottest heaters I have ever tried.
The instrument-cluster info display has been updated and looks reasonably modern but the 8.4-inch infotainment screen is quite small by today’s standards. Some of the plastics are of dubious quality but the dash is soft to the touch and everything seems well put together, I didn’t detect any rattles or squeaks.
Uconnect works as well as it ever did, it’s quick and easy to use even with a smaller screen but on the negative side there’s no wireless charger or a good space to put it; the cup holders are too small and the cubby in front of the rotary shifter is too small as well. On the plus side rear seat passengers are treated to some of the most comfortable back seats I have ever sat in and they are heated,
Chrysler has upgraded the 300C to capless fuel filling, however, there’s still an inside remote release for the fuel door which took me a moment to find as it is somewhat hidden in the driver’s door, not a good thing when you are running on empty.
Being a full-size sedan the 300 C offers a generous 16.4 cubic feet of space, plenty of room for several sets of golf clubs if that’s your thing.
The base price is $55,000 including destination and there are no options, so you’re out the door price if you can still find one is $56,595.
You have to love what Chrysler has done here, the 300 C is a tire-roasting, rubber-melting, hard-charging, and sharp-barking piece of tried-and-true Detroit muscle wrapped up in a full-size sedan suit, and I love it. It has its faults but I am in no doubt that the 2,000 Us customers will be very happy indeed.
2023 Chrysler 300C Numbers
BASE PRICE: $55,000
AS TESTED PRICE: $56,595
ENGINE: Pushrod 16-valve V-8, iron block and aluminum heads, fuel injection
DISPLACEMENT: 392 cu in, 6417 cc
POWER: 485 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE: 475 lb-ft @ 4200 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
CURB WEIGHT: 4,475 lb
ZERO TO 60 MPH: 4.3 sec
TOP SPEED: 160 mph
EPA Combined/City/Highway: 18/15/24 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: 16.2 mpg
PROS: A real sleeper, ferocious engine, and active exhaust, a grin fest
CONS: Heavy, dated interior