Back in December of 2013, I was handed the keys to Chrysler’s big boofa 300C. Due to a small but not unwelcome scheduling hiccup, A Wheel Thing got a second bite at the beast. This time round a couple of extra things made themselves known and an old enemy resurfaced…
This is the link to the original: http://awheelthing.com/heavyweight-presence-chrysler-300c-luxury/
First up was a revisiting of that abysmal gear lever, hated it the first time and hated it again. The rocker motion and lack of a clearly defined gear selection is woeful and painful, especially when a bit of a hurry on is needed. On the other side is the eight speed auto; with a couple of extra thousand kilometres under the tyres it was smoother, slicker, allowing the looser engine to deliver more when the loud pedal was punched. There’s still the hesitation from a full stop to the engagement of the transmission, just enough to be noticeable when the accelerator is pushed however the noise from the engine, ranging from quiet to a muted roar takes the edge off.
Another thing (or two) is visibility; thanks to the sharp rake of the rear and front glass, it’s like looking through slots, especially when the rear window’s louvre is raised. It then makes judging where the front corners are, especially in shopping centres, somewhat uncomfortable. As the car is already wide the worry is scraping (or worse) those lovely 20 inch wheels.
Start up is made pleasurable by the glow from the dash, a nice shade of light purple brightens the cabin, itself a comfortable place to be. The pews are supportive, broad enough (no surprises there) for just about everyone although anyone of a slim build might find themselves lost…
On the road the suspension is soft initially before hardening up over bumps; the car park speed hump test confirms more jolt at slow speeds than at thirty or forty. On the freeway it’s still nicely tied down with a bare hint of float before resettling through dips with the steering reasonably responsive.
Revisiting such a vehicle provides a great opportunity to see if time changes perception of something for the better; in the case of the gear lever mechanism, no, not a hope. The difficulty of judging the front wings seemed more noticeable second time round whilst ride was as remembered. Normally I don’t do this; a public acknowledgement of thanks to Diane at Fiat/Chrysler for her backing and support.
Head to http://www.chrysler.com.au for information on the 300C range and more.