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#4

in 2012 Affordable Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $18,686 - $34,630
Original MSRP: $27,670 - $47,670
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
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2012 Chrysler 300 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Reviewers who have tested the 2012 Chrysler 300 praise its quiet, refined interior and standard high-tech gadgetry. The 300 rivals the Ford Taurus with its ample passenger space, and the seats are generally considered long-haul comfortable. Still, the 300 doesn’t offer the largest trunk in the class, and some critics say that the available eight-speed transmission has a shifter that’s tough to operate.

  • "The 300 is Chrysler's flagship car, and it now truly feels that way. Materials quality is generally very good, though a couple plastic bits look a bit low-buck." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The dash and door panels are fitted with soft-touch material that looks and feels good. The wood is real, and the twin-bezel instrument cluster sparkles like jewels.” -- AutoWeek 
  • "In a space that is among the best executed in its class, the 300’s few remaining dull spots -- the window switch panels and the plain black plastic surrounds for the HVAC controls and nav screen are a few examples -- call an inordinate amount of attention to themselves.” -- Car and Driver 
  • "You soon notice improved levels of refinement such as a nicely muted engine sound and well-muffled road noises.” -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "The new interior moves the 300 way upscale. The examples we drove sported two-tone cabins. There are also bright, brushed metal accents that surround the vents and center stack, giving the interior a rich feel. The instrument cluster is especially good-looking. Compared to the flat, two-dimensional gauge cluster on the current BMW 5 Series, the 300's gauges are deeply sculpted and dimensional." -- Autoblog 

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Seating 

Most reviewers agree that the Chrysler 300 features comfortable seating, front and rear. One test driver notes that the front seats lack sufficient bolstering to keep you firmly in place on tight turns, but all agree that it offers the room you’d expect from an affordable large car.

  • "Plush seats and ample room make 300 a pleasant place to conduct the business of driving. The sunroof housing cuts into headroom, so taller drivers will need to adjust their seating positions accordingly. We're glad Chrysler makes it a standalone option." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "We sampled both the cloth and leather seats, and both are comfortable and supportive.” -- AutoWeek 
  • "The seatbacks offer enough support to keep occupants in place during extreme maneuvers, but the bottom cushion offers so little support it might as well be crowned.” -- Car and Driver 
  • "The rear seat has ample room, but it’s not stretch-out comfortable like a Toyota Avalon.” -- Cars.com 
  • "The seats keep their throne-like comfort at the expense of some bolstering, and rear passengers still have ample room, even if Chrysler isn't bringing back the long-wheelbase version yet or directly targeting the limousine crowd following the imminent demise of the Lincoln Town Car.” -- Jalopnik

Interior Features 

Generally, reviewers appreciate the 300’s refined interior. A Uconnect infotainment system, which is now standard across the model line, features an 8.4-inch touch screen. Standard audio features include satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack, SD card reader and a USB port with iPod control.

While standard Uconnect is an impressive feature that doesn’t make shoppers pay a premium for a touch-screen interface, some reviewers note that the Garmin-based maps and navigation look somewhat out of place, with colors and graphics that look a bit chintzy when compared with the 300’s otherwise classy interior. Additionally, not all reviewers like the shifter that comes with models equipped with the optional eight-speed transmission. Since it’s electronic rather than mechanical, the shifter requires a delicate touch to select gears. Auto writers agree that they would prefer a shifter with a solid, gated feel.

Despite these quirks, test drivers usually speak highly of the Chrysler 300’s interior. The 300’s gauges are attractive and easy to read, and the cabin uses mostly high-quality materials.

  • "We can't say we're fans of the console-mounted shifter, which appears to have been swiped wholly intact from the Audi A8, which also uses the ZF eight-speed. It's an electronic selector with lightly defined detents between its four options, and here, as in the Audi, gear selection requires more precision-especially when trying to get reverse-than most other electronic shifters." -- Car and Driver 
  • "All 300 models have a standard 8.4-inch touchscreen that incorporates audio and some climate functions. We appreciate the large display and easy to find virtual buttons." -- Consumer Guide
  • "That shifter mirrors the A8's boat-throttle design. Gears show up on a full-color gauge readout that looks much sharper than last year's black-and-white display. Still, I prefer the gated shifter's mechanical feel to these artificial detents." -- Cars.com 
  • "A huge new 8.4-inch touch screen, beautifully integrated into the center stack, has graphics and colors that rival any of its competitors, but then you touch the navigation button and all that loveliness disappears, replaced by the garish colors and graphics of Garmin. Incredibly cheesy.” -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "With the Fiat takeover of Chrysler, it was decided the company's flagship had to stand apart, and all involved took the job seriously--everything from the giant 8.4-inch info display in the center stack to the analog clock in the top center of the dash. Rolling along at highway speeds, the cockpit is whisper-quiet, making the 300 interior a pleasant place to be.” -- AutoWeek 
  • "Yet below the dash equator, things don't work as well. I suppose the world has decided fake wood is still acceptable, but just because ‘Matlock’ comes on in reruns doesn't mean I'll ever watch it.” -- Jalopnik

Cargo

At 16.3 cubic feet, the redesigned Chrysler 300 features slightly less trunk space than the outgoing model. Still, that number is in the same range as much of the competition. Shoppers looking for a large car with the most trunk space would do well to check out the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus, which have the most space to stow your gear in the affordable large car class.

  • "Interior storage is fine for the class, with a decently sized glovebox, center console, and door pockets." -- Consumer Guide  

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