The 300C Touring could be a hit in the UK - with diesel engine

Discussion in 'Chrysler 300' started by Dori A Schmetterling, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Looks great and the engineering is ok. UK journalist's opinion..

    See paragraph 3 in particular.,,12929-2218596,00.html


    Chrysler 300C Touring
    By Andrew Frankel of The Sunday Times

    It could be really big

    Recently I attended the launch of an executive car where a man
    from marketing stood up and told me what I'd long suspected: it really
    matter if the car was any good or not, so long as it projected the right
    "look". This varied from car to car, which is why some preferred BMW, others
    inclined towards Audi, and so on. But engineering excellence was way down
    the priority list.
    And if looks were the only arbiter, this new Chrysler 300C
    Touring would be the class bestseller. Drive a 507bhp BMW M5 and no one will
    look twice at you, but turn up in this diesel-powered Chrysler and you'll
    garner a level of attention you'd need a new Lamborghini to trump. With its
    long, sleek body, narrow windows and imposing cheese-cutter grille it looks
    cool, individual and, if you order it in black, impressively sinister too.
    Indeed it makes every other estate look bland and predictable by comparison.
    Drive one and there will be people tapping your window at traffic lights to
    find out more.

    You may think you know where I'm heading with this. If I had a
    dollar for every American car I've driven that's failed to deliver on the
    promise of its looks, I'd have a dollar for every American car I've driven.
    Except this one. In the 300C the long promised synergy that merging
    Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler into DaimlerChrysler was meant to deliver from
    the start - an irresistible blend of American creative design with German
    engineering know-how - is finally with us.

    Of course the 300C is not entirely new. A couple of years back I
    reviewed one on this page and was broadly impressed - but that car had
    deeply unfashionable saloon bodywork and, under its bonnet, a highly amusing
    but scarcely practical Chrysler 5.7 litre Hemi V8. What's different about
    this one is not only its estate bodywork but also the state-of-the-art
    Mercedes 3 litre V6 diesel it uses to throw itself very convincingly up the
    road. Its 218bhp means it reaches 62mph in 8.6sec, while a thick slab of
    torque and an ultra-smooth and quick (Mercedes) auto gearbox means it feels
    faster still. And at 34.9mpg it doesn't even use that much fuel.

    But while Mercedes might be responsible for the way it goes in a
    straight line, Chrysler is laying claim for its behaviour in the corners,
    which news in the past would have caused me to groan. Again the 300C
    confounds the form book - it rides a little firmly but that's more than fair
    trade for its precision, grip and balance. Indeed, were it not for the quite
    extraordinary lengths Chrysler goes to in press material to deny any link
    between its chassis and that of the E-class, I'd have sworn there was more
    than a little Mercedes magic in there.

    Of course, however good looking an American car may be on the
    outside, be advised that interior styling is about as important to American
    car designers as aftersales service to a funeral director. But while I'll
    grant you that the cabin of the 300C is not going to get knees knocking in
    Audi design studios, it doesn't stoop to the laughable standards of many
    American cockpits. It has some fiddly switches and, if you order the luxury
    pack, some dodgy wooden touches, but on the whole its quality is reasonable,
    its execution competent and interesting.

    Add to all this the fact that there's acres of space in the back
    and a strangely shaped but capacious boot, and you'll see why the 300C
    Touring is more than a just a good looking, quick and characterful
    alternative to the conformity of a big German estate.

    But I've not even mentioned the best bit. Buy a Mercedes E-class
    estate with this engine in it and it'll cost you over £10,000 more. The 300C
    Touring is £27,275. Of course, the Mercedes is a little better in most areas
    than the 300C but it looks a whole lot worse.

    I can see a cult forming around the 300C Touring - a small,
    brave band of buyers rebelling against executive estate establishment.
    Sadly, its lack of snob value will keep it from the mainstream sales it
    really deserves - were this car called a Mercedes they would queue down the
    street for it.

    Vital statistics

    Model Chrysler 300C CRD Touring
    Engine type 2987cc, six cylinders
    Power/Torque 218bhp @ 3800rpm / 376 lb ft @ 2800rpm
    Transmission Five-speed auto
    Fuel/CO2 34.9mpg (combined) / 215g/km
    Performance 0-62mph: 8.6sec / Top speed: 136mph
    Price £27,275
    Verdict A fascinating and capable alternative estate
    Rating 4/5
    Date of release Out now

    The opposition

    Model Mercedes E 320 CDI Elegance Estate £38,095
    For The best executive load carrier in the business
    Against Expensive relative to the opposition, bland styling

    Model Volvo V70 D5 SE Geartronic £30,065
    For Blends traditional Volvo ability with modern styling
    Against Ride quality is poor, diesel engine rather unrefined
    Dori A Schmetterling, Jun 14, 2006
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  2. Dori A Schmetterling

    Bret Ludwig Guest

    Bret Ludwig, Jun 14, 2006
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  3. Dori A Schmetterling

    flobert Guest

    a 'modern' truck engine from where, US or EU - because the US ones
    are, from what I've seen, WAY behind the EU ones technologically
    (seems like 10-15 years behind)
    flobert, Jun 15, 2006
  4. Dori A Schmetterling

    Steve Guest

    Are you smoking crack? Caterpillar and Cummins. are about a decade ahead
    of European diesel manufacturers. They've had production common-rail
    injection for *years* now, and its still "new and spooky" in Europe.

    Granted, Europe is even further ahead of the US than that in small
    automotive diesels, but when it comes to medium duty engines you can't
    TOUCH Cat and Cummins. Same for locomotives- the 6000 HP class EMD and
    GE engines are superb (although the screw-ups by partnering with Deutz
    almost killed the GE HDL engine, but they've all been undone now that
    the partnership is dissolved.) You have to get all the way up to huge
    ship diesels before you find European engine builders ahead of the US.
    Steve, Jun 15, 2006
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