2020 vs 2021: What's the Difference?
Despite being sold in its current format for the past decade, the Chrysler 300 is one of the better full-size sedans on the market. The optional V8 that comes on the 2021 line-up is nothing to scoff at, and you'd better believe that its cabin is incredibly spacious. Of course, this car is built for cruising, and its driving performance tends to reflect this.
But a few changes to the 2021 line-up have us wondering if the 300 has seen its better days. The Limited and C trims have been removed for the model year, and the C has been replaced with the 300S that comes equipped with a 363-hp HEMI V8 engine. (Last year, the 300S was given the option of adding the new Red S Appearance package.) Chrysler seems to be trying to keep up with the times by cutting some of the fat from its line-up and standardizing more features, such as blind spot monitoring.
The 300 feels its size while driving, and that is the one thing holding it back from being a truly outstanding large sedan. Tight turns just aren't the 300's strong suit. But it could end up being the right choice for you. Let's go over its trim level offerings, the technology it incorporates, how it performs, its safety and reliability, and how it compares to some of the other large sedans on the market.
What Do the Various Trim Levels Offer?
The 2021 Chrysler 300 has just three trim levels now, whereas the 2020 line-up had five. The 2021's list of trims consists of the Touring, Touring L, and the line-topping S trim. Each one is powered by a standard 3.6-L V6 engine that generates a power output of 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque in the Touring and Touring L and 300 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque in the S. The 300S also offers an optional 5.7-L V8 with an impressive 363 hp and 394 lb-ft power output. An 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard across the line-up, but all-wheel drive can be equipped on the Touring and Touring L.
The Touring starts you off with 17-inch wheels on the RWD or 19-inch wheels on the AWD. Heated mirrors come equipped, as do keyless ignition and entry, a dual-zone automatic climate control system, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. You also get an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, and a 6-speaker sound system.
You can opt for two packages: the Chrome Appearance (which equips chrome trim on the exterior) or the Sport Appearance package (which blacks out the exterior). Both upgrade you to 20-inch wheels.
The Touring L builds on that by adding 18-inch wheels (or 19-inch ones on the AWD), remote engine start, and a driver's side mirror with auto-dimming. It also equips leather upholstery, heated front seats, parking sensors for the front and rear, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert.
Aside from the Chrome and Sport Appearance packages, you can add the Comfort Group (which has xenon headlights, an Alpine sound system, and heated rear seats), the SafetyTec Plus Group (which has forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and the Alpine sound system), or the Popular Equipment Group (which offers a 9-speaker version of the Alpine sound system, integrated navigation, and a panoramic sunroof).
The line-topping 300S gives you a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels, exterior styling elements painted in black, sport front seats, paddle shifters, and the premium Alpine audio system. Upgrading to the V8 gives you the 9-speaker sound system, an aerodynamic kit, and the built-in navigation system.
The 300S V6 does allow you to get the aerodynamic kit with the S Appearance package. You can also equip the 300S with the Comfort Group, Popular Equipment Group, or SafetyTec Plus Group.
Which Trim is Right for Me?
Unless you are ready to drop more money on the 300S's V8 engine, we'd recommend going middle-of-the-road and sticking with the Touring L. It offers a lot of standard features while remaining somewhat more affordable. You can customize it more than you can the base Touring.
What Kind of Technology Does it Have?
The 2021 Chrysler 300 comes with a lengthy list of tech features. There are multiple sound systems to choose from, two of which are Alpine sound systems. The built-in navigation system is easier to use than many others on the market right now, and the infotainment system is too. There is also the option of adding 4G LTE WiFi hot-spot connectivity for your on-the-go needs. Bluetooth, of course, comes standard.
How Does It Perform?
The 300 is a sizable sedan, and you will feel it rounding through tight corners. But it is otherwise an adept cruiser. The optional V8 packs a lot of punch but can get kind of growly, but the 8-speed transmission provides smooth gear shifts and delivery of power. The steering feels responsive enough, giving plenty of feedback to the driver.
Is It Safe and Reliable?
The 300 is given a fair amount of driver aids, and the IIHS has given it "Good" ratings this year. However, NHTSA gave the 2020 line-up just 4/5 stars, with it losing points on multiple aspects of their testing. Buyers do claim that it is a reliable vehicle though.
What's the Interior Like?
The interior is upscale and plenty spacious. Sliding in and out is easy given the wide door openings, and the front seats are easy to adjust for comfort. Of course, like other large sedans, this one has some sizable blind spots.
What are the Alternatives to this Model?
Alternatives are becoming fewer due to SUVs domineering the market, but a few still exist. The Toyota Avalon offers a luxurious design and athletic handling capabilities for this segment. The Dodge Charger has the inspiring Hellcat trims, which are made for those who crave power.
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