The 2021 Chrysler 300 is one big four-door large sedans that continues to soldier on. It harkens back to a time when large American sedans powered by big-displacement engines ruled the road. And when you put it next to its more modern rivals, you can really start to see its age. Buyers can choose from either a V-6 or a V-8 engine, the latter of which is mighty powerful but guzzles fuel like a truck. Although it would be a stretch to call it a sports sedan, the 300 delivers a few driving thrills and, unless you go with the sportier 300S, a controlled and easy ride. Chrysler has discontinued the upscale Limited and 300C trims for 2021, leaving just the Touring, Touring L, and 300S models. The Touring L and 300S both receive some new standard equipment, such as front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear-cross-traffic alert. Chrysler also made the Red S Appearance package standard on the 300S this year.
Even the entry-level 300 Limited comes standard with features such as leather upholstery, powered and heated front seats, a proximity key with push-button start, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Despite its rather staid styling, the 300S’s cabin is a fine place to while away the miles, with its well-cushioned front bucket and rear bench seats. Our test car let in just 69 decibels of noise at 70 mph, making its cabin as quiet as that of the much pricier Volvo S90 T5. Every 2021 Chrysler 300 also benefits from Chrysler’s latest Uconnect 4 infotainment software. It features the prior Uconnect system’s logical menu structure, general ease of use, and 8.4-inch display but adds sharper graphics, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, and a host of new touchscreen functions, including the ability to pinch to zoom in or out on the optional $995 navigation system’s map.
The 2021 Chrysler 300 includes gloss-black exterior trim, unique 20-inch wheels, and special badging. A Comfort Group package is now available on the top two trims and brings leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and more convenience features. The Popular Equipment package adds in-dash navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a nine-speaker stereo with a subwoofer. With the 3.6-liter V-6 under its hood, the 300 falls just a bit short of its rivals when it comes to fuel economy. Other competitors—such as the Nissan Maxima—are simply more efficient. The 300 did match its EPA combined estimate of 30 mpg in our real-world testing, but the Toyota Avalon fared much better, besting the Chrysler by 4 mpg. Order up the Hemi 5.7-liter V-8 and this four-door is quite the gas consumer, averaging 19 mpg combined per the EPA’s yardstick.
In the large-car segment, the Chrysler 300 is unusual for its rear-wheel-drive layout and its available Hemi V-8 engine with 363 horsepower. All-wheel drive is optional but only with the standard 292-hp 3.6-liter V-6 engine. In our testing, a rear-wheel-drive V-6-powered 300S hustled to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds; that’s slow for this class but still reasonably sprightly. A V-8-powered rear-driver netted a snappy 5.3-second result in the same test back in 2015. The 300 is not a bad-handling car for its size. The helm isn’t the most talkative, but body roll is well controlled, and the chassis is willing to play—as long as you don’t get overly aggressive. The stiffer suspension and 20-inch wheels on the 300S make that particular model ride a bit rough, which seems out of step with the 300’s near luxury mission. If you’re in the market for something comfy, stick to the Touring or Touring L.
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