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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

2015 Chrysler 300 debuts with a familiar set of chops


2015 Chrysler 300S
This is the new Chrysler 300. It looks exactly like a Jaguar. Or a Bentley. Or an Aston Martin. Or an Audi. Basically every luxury carmaker is featured somewhere within the sedan's design, and yet in typical 300 fashion, it starts at just $31,395.

The platform for the 300 is now ancient, and a full redo isn't due for a while. And so what we have here is much of the same, tweaking the muscular four-door with modern flourishes to keep it fresh.

Arriving standard with an 8-speed TorqueFlite transmission, the engines of choice range between a 3.6-liter V-6 with either 292 or 300 hp and a 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 good for 363 hp. All-wheel drive is available, and the front axle can disengage to save fuel when power to all-four is unnecessary.

A new 300S (for sport) joins the lineup for 2015, starting at $34,895, featuring a black grille and aggressive tweaks such as a deck spoiler. Then there's the $37,895 300C and the big dog $42,395 300C Platinum.

The Platinum has chrome accents from the grille to the wing mirrors, and the interior is festooned in quilted Nappa leather. In fact for all models of 300, the interiors appear plenty upscale, something Chrysler has been doing well at of late.

Fuel efficiency has been increased throughout the range (31 mpg highway for the V-6, 25 mpg for the V-8), and a new Sport mode will quicken shifts from 400 milliseconds to 250 milliseconds, while sharpening throttle response and firming up the new electric power steering.

The 2015 Chrysler 300 may simply be a subtle evolution of what came before it, and while a bolder aesthetic update would have been welcomed, at least this way you can own a Jag for less coin. Or an Aston Martin. Or a Bentley. Or an Audi.