Chrysler 300 Performance
Reviews of the 2008 Chrysler 300's performance depend on which trim is being referenced. The base 300, according to reviewers, is a capable large sedan, but doesn't pack as much punch as the upgraded 300 C model and the top-tier SRT8 houses a beast of an engine that instantly delivers ripping power.
Automobile Magazine summarize consensus by saying that the base 300 "is a bit underpowered, but the mid-level 300s deliver the right amount of performance for most consumers at an attractive price point."
According to Edmunds, the top trim levels of the 300 are the "performance-oriented models," with the SRT8 "tuned and equipped for maximum performance." The says the SRT8 is "huge and fast, and the sensation of this slab-sided four-door accelerating to 60 mph in 5 seconds -- at which point, really, it's just getting its stride -- is something to behold." The concludes that it "feels like you're driving an Autobahn burner."
Little has changed in the 300's performance for 2008. The only notable difference is that trim levels with the HEMI V8 engine get a fuel saving feature, which shuts down four of the engine's eight cylinders when they are not needed.
Acceleration and Power
The 2008 Chrysler 300 has a variety of power options, starting with a 2.7-liter V6 engine. The Touring and Limited trims house a 3.5-liter V6 engine and the top trim SRT8 has a 6.1-liter SRT HEMI V8 engine. A majority of reviewers find the power on the lower trim levels inadequate and lacking for the size and weight of such a sedan. Automobile Magazine says, "You're not going to get anywhere in a hurry if you opt for the base 300," and Forbes adds that with the 300 base model, "You'll get there, but n-o-t-v-e-r-y-f-a-s-t." Edmunds explains that the 300's "3,700-pound curb weight (almost 300 pounds heavier than a 2004 Concorde LX), the power-to-weight ratio is not good. We spent an hour driving a base 300. The engine was reasonably calm at cruising speeds but quickly broke a sweat during simple maneuvers in suburban traffic."
The Touring and Limited models, with the 3.5 liter engine, increases horsepower up to 250 at 6,400 rpm, while the SRT8 packs 425 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. Reviewers like the powerful 300 C, which has a 5.7-liter HEMI Multi Displacement engine that delivers 340 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Forbes gushes: "On the highway, the 300C really shines. Power is effortless, the motor is nicely isolated but never dead quiet (the aim isn't Lexus luxury, it's all-American power) and passing is a snap." U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman calls the 2008 Chrysler 300C engine "a return to the glory days or mouthy muscle cars," adding that it is "powerful indeed but also confidently quiet, with a smooth-shifting five-speed automatic."
The SRT8 is "fast, mean and a riot to drive," says Automobile Magazine. According to Motor Week, the "Hemi does hook up! It feels even bigger and bolder than in Dodge trucks, with the fat power and an aggressive sound of a classic Detroit V8." The concludes that the SRT8's "immense jot of power is almost frightening, partly because it is available instantaneously."
The Environmental Protection Agency gives the 2008 300 all-wheel drive six-cylinder an EPA estimate of 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 on the highway. The top trim 300 SRT8, with five-speed automatic and an eight-cylinder engine, has an EPA estimate of 15 mpg in the city and 23 on the highway.
Handling and Braking
Most reviewers find the 2008 Chrysler 300 ride and handling fitting for this large sedan. Edmunds reports that ride quality is "one of the 300's assets," adding, "Even though the suspension feels taut in the corners, it's suitably smooth when cruising down the highway." New Car Test Drive says the ride is "smooth, solid and comfortable and the cabin is very quiet," adding that the handling is "tight."
Reviewers from Road and Track call the 300C's ride quality "impressive" and find the composed ride complemented by sporty handling, writing, "For such a smooth-riding car, the 300C corners with minimal body roll." New Car Test Drive test drivers "tossed the big 300C from side-to-side through switchback turns, and it beautifully maintained an even keel, with an insignificant amount of body lean, especially considering that it's called a family sedan, not a high-performance sports sedan."
In contrast,explains, "On the open road it's a powerful and confident performer, but in cramped situations it drives like a bloated tank, and it's sluggish and spongy in stop-and-go traffic."
Road and Track comments on the steering, saying it "feels precise on center, and effort required ramps up in a natural way as the wheel is turned." According to Cars.com, the 300 "steers easily and demands just enough effort to impart a semi-sporty sensation. You can expect a confident feel through winding roads." MSN calls the steering "quick," noting that it adds to a "good road feel."
Reviewers are mixed when it comes to the 300's braking. While some find the brakes confident, others note how they are not impressive. MSN finds that the brake pedal has "a reassuring feel, and stopping distances from highway speeds are short." Car and Driver points out that "body pitching in the corners and under braking (a reliable 184 feet from 70 mph under a firm pedal) is minimal, the movements sharp and controlled." Road and Track concludes that the brakes on the 300C, when dabbed, "met with little slop and a firm feel that's easy to modulate."
In conclusion, Automobile Magazine says that the 2008 Chrysler 300C "has balanced steering, fine brakes, a supple ride, and good handling, thanks to its rear-wheel-drive layout and all-around independent suspension that has a lot in common with the far pricier Mercedes Benz E-Class."
Chrysler 300 Base Model:
The 2008 Chrysler 300 Base model comes with a 2.7-liter V6, 24-valve engine, rear-wheel drive, a four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, independent front and rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.
Great American Package Model:
The Great American Package model has the same base features as the base model, but adds anti-lock brakes, brake assist and all-speed traction control.
The 2008 Chrysler 300 Touring trim level comes with a 3.5-liter high-output V6 24-valve engine, a choice between rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, Brake Assist, electronic stability program, all-speed traction control and anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, front and rear independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. The Touring Signature series is available only in RWD. The Touring with RWD receives a four-speed automatic transmission and the Touring with AWD gets a five-speed.
The 2008 Chrysler 300 Limited trim level shares the same engine as the Touring model and adds 18-inch aluminum chrome wheels and a four-wheel independent touring suspension.
The 2008 Chrysler 300C model comes with a 5.7-liter HEMI® Multi Displacement Engine, a choice between rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, a five-speed automatic transmission, brake assist, electronic stability program, all-speed traction control and anti-lock five-wheel disc brakes, front and rear independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.
Heritage Edition Model:
The 2008 Chrysler 300 Heritage Edition has performance specifications that are identical to the 300C Model.
Chrysler's 300C SRT8 Model boasts a powerful 6.1-liter SRT HEMI® SMPI V8 engine, a five-speed automatic transmission, brake assist, electronic stability program, all-speed traction control, performance anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes, front and rear independent suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.