2012 Chrysler 300 Review
The 2012 Chrysler 300 offers a refined interior and a long list of standard features. However, adding options can make the 300 expensive compared with other affordable large cars.
The Chrysler 300 has a significantly updated powertrain, provided you’re willing to pay for it. When the redesigned 2011 model hit the streets last year, test drovers raved about the 300’s new V6, but all agreed that its transmission was outdated and sluggish. For 2012, that transmission carries over on the base 300, but Chrysler has added a new transmission to the options list, which receives good reviews.
The optional transmission improves performance and fuel economy, but shoppers who need all-wheel drive will be pleased to learn that it’s now optional on both V6 and V8 models. In the past, all-wheel drive was only available on V8 trims, which meant a hefty price tag. While this feature costs significantly less with the V6 engine, it still costs more than an all-wheel drive Ford Taurus SEL.
Inside, the Chrysler 300 continues to carry standard tech features in an attractive, comfortable package. However, a few reviewers say that there are a few minor quirks with the 300’s controls.
In terms of price, the 2012 Chrysler 300 runs mid-pack. It’s not as expensive as a Toyota Avalon, but it costs more than competitors like the Chevrolet Impala and Hyundai Azera. While that may make the 300 seem like a good compromise, some test drivers warn that adding options and selecting higher trims can make the 300’s price escalate quickly.
Other Cars to Consider
The Chrysler 300 and its corporate cousin, the Dodge Charger, are the only affordable large cars that come with rear-wheel drive. If you like the 300’s drivetrain and interior features, the Charger will closely match those attributes and save you some money. However, you’ll trade the 300’s elegant look for the Charger’s muscular stance. Additionally, the Charger’s suspension is tuned more for sport than comfort.
If you’d prefer a car that offers front-wheel drive, and have some extra money to spend, consider the Toyota Avalon. Some reviewers say that the Avalon’s interior is among the most comfortable in the class. Still, the Avalon lags behind the 300 with a smaller trunk. It also comes with fewer interior features, which means you’ll have to add options to match Chrysler 300’s list of standard equipment.
Chrysler 300: The Details
The 2012 Chrysler 300 comes in five trim levels: base, Limited, 300S, 300C and 300 C Luxury Series. A V6 engine is standard, while a Hemi V8 comes with the upper trims. For 2012, updates include an all-wheel drive option for V6 models and an available eight-speed automatic transmission.
See a full list of 2012 Chrysler 300 specifications.
- "Other elements of the V-6 300 are as described in our other reviews of the new-gen car - a more sophisticated exterior, more refined interior, quiet operation - only now augmented by the seamless eight-speed auto." -- Car and Driver
- "Shoppers who desire a comfortable, distinctly American sedan would do very well to put the 300 on their list." -- Consumer Guide
- "Happily, the new 300 not only looks great, it's still a great driver. The previous car's rough edges have been sanded away, as evidenced mainly by the high-caliber cabin and the standard 292-hp, 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 with variable valve timing.” -- Automobile Magazine
- "Refined exterior styling and a vastly improved interior endow the big Chrysler with a new prestige, while new technologies equip it to compete with more expensive luxury models like the Acura RL, BMW 550i, Cadillac STS and Mercedes-Benz E 550.” -- Detroit Free Press