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2014 Chrysler 300C AWD is big, American, and fuel efficient

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2014 Chrysler 300C AWD (Aaron)

The Chrysler 300 has a history of style and has been an American staple since the 1950s. The 2014 Chrysler 300C AWD is the latest rendition of the 300, this package including the luxurious fittings of the C-line and the assurance of all-wheel drive. All of this in a package that is one of the last of the truly big American cars, but in a package that shatters misconceptions about big being slow and inefficient.

The manufacturer says

There's a reason why the Chrysler 300 is one of the most accessorized vehicles in the industry. It's not because the classic and recognizable shape, size and content lack character. It's because they have just the right amount to make the 300 the solid signature piece that its drivers can stake their claim in.

Specs:

  • Manufacturer: Chrysler
  • Year, Model: 2014 300C AWD
  • Class, Type: Full-size sedan
  • Propulsion system: 3.6L V6
  • Base Price: $39,195
  • MSRP as tested: $44,675
  • Availability: Now

Overview

The Chrysler 300C is the flagship in the company's premium sedan line. It's a truly full-sized sedan in the American tradition, with a big, beefy body, cavernous and comfortable interior, smooth, confident road presence, and exterior styling that no one can mistake for anything else. The Chrysler 300C is a bit cocky, very muscular, exceedingly comfortable, and has surprising agility and fuel economy despite its battleship size.

At the heart of the 2014 Chrysler 300C AWD is its 3.6-liter V6 coupled to a new, eight-speed automatic transmission. Chrysler-Fiat has been rolling this transmission out on many of its models in the Jeep and Ram Truck lines with excellent results, so putting it in this big sedan was a no-brainer. The result? An easy 27 mpg on the highway despite the car's big size and the all-wheel drivetrain. With this combination, the 300C produces 292 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque, and a great exhaust note when you ask it to perform.

On the road, the 2014 300C AWD has a great presence and offers a very comfortable, but not over-cushioned ride. The growl of the engine is only heard when the hammer is done and it's otherwise quiet as this smooth machine travels. Getting the 27 mpg EPA promise is easy to achieve as well, even in inclement weather.

Speaking of which, the AWD in this 300 is extremely well done. During a heavy snow storm, into which we had to venture, the 2014 300C had no problems digging through the snow and traversing the ice. It performed better than many SUVs and crossovers, in fact, thanks to its lower stance and wider body.

Inside, the 2014 Chrysler 300C is all about luxury and maximizing those dollars spent on this upper-level trim. Real wood accents the show as plush leather and excellent stitching builds the package. The optional panoramic sunroof our test car had was an awesome addition and the simple design of the driver's controls (one steering column stick instead of two, simplified shifter, gorgeous blue glow behind the brushed aluminum instrument cluster) makes this car a pleasure to sit in.

Interior space is cavernous, perhaps better than many condominiums and the trunk is large enough to park another car in. The rear seats have more than enough leg room and can easily accommodate three child safety seats or three full-sized, bacon-eating adults.

All in all, the 2014 Chrysler 300C AWD is a beautiful car with everything a full-sized sedan owner might want. There are really no comparisons, though the Chevrolet Impala comes close in terms of size and drive, but doesn't offer the all-wheel capability.

What we like

Big, comfortable, and classic. That about sums this car up.

Great fuel economy, even better in the non-AWD packages if you do not need that capability. The rear-wheel 300C offers 31 mpg on the highway.

What we don't

No options for hybrid or other high-MPG powertrains.

Conclusions

The surprising and beautiful 2014 Chrysler 300C AWD is one of the best cars we've driven this year. Although others with alternative powertrains may offer far more fuel efficiency, the 300C is a complete package of simple drivetrain tech, big comfort, excellent driving dynamics, and roominess with capability. A very well-built machine.

Test Period Length and Limitations
Loaned to us by the manufacturer for about a week, this car was driven in inclement weather on city streets, highways and freeways. A total of about 400 miles were put on the car.

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