2012 Chrysler 300S
By Antony Dickson
Ever walk into a plush hotel room and notice how close attention is paid to the littlest of things? I wish all rooms were so well equipped as these. The little things do matter because it makes life all the more comfortable. Just recently, I experienced such a room, only this one was on cool wheels and comes from the Chrysler stable labelled the 300S.
Most of us are familiar with the 300 and the 300C. These automobiles shot to fame soon after they first made their debut in late 2004. Soon after that, the 300 made several appearances in music videos that furthermore pumped up its ratings and became the choice of car for tuners. The 300 has bagged several awards over the years. Last year, Chrysler unveiled the second generation of the 300. They also introduced new trim level called the 300S. The all-new 2012 Chrysler 300S Series V-6 and V-8 models take the American brand in a new direction with world-class ride and handling, discrete exterior styling elements, contemporary interior materials and state-of-the-art technology features.
The exterior, though not very different from its siblings – the 300 and the 300C – does have the stance that subtly says its youthful, aggressive and sophisticated. The larger 20-inch polished-face aluminum wheels with black painted pockets, wider all-season performance tires, unique body-colour fascia accents and mirrors, and black-accented headlamp bezels with matching sculpted horizontal grille blades in black chrome, gives the 2012 Chrysler 300S an almost menacing look.
Open the door and your wooed by red leather seats that exude luxury. In almost an instance, your in love with the interiors which is complemented by black on interior centre stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door panel elements. To add to the mix is matter carbon hydrographic finished accents replacing traditional burl wood.
The tester I had was equipped with all the little toys you can think of. Even little things like the pedals that could be brought forward by a flick of a button on the side of the driver’s seat for the not-so-tall people. The front seats have a 12-way power driver to get that perfect driving position. If you noticed I called the 300S a ‘room on wheels’ earlier. That’s because this sedan feels like a room and can comfortably seat five persons with lots of leg room in the front and back.
A huge touch screen monitor on the centre console has controls to almost everything in the car. The state-of-the-art Uconnect Touch 8.4 provides passengers with next-generation mobile infotainment, connectivity and multimedia features. Uconnect Touch also controls the 522-watt 12-channel amplifier that powers the world’s first integration of Beats by Dr. Dre audio technology in the 300S. The Beats proprietary equalizer algorithm creates the high-definition sound Beats Audio founders Dr. Dre, and Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, require in their professional recording studios. Delivering the mid- to high-range needed for studio-quality sound are three 3.5-inch speakers located in the instrument panel and two 3.5-inch speakers located in the rear doors. Two 6 x 9-inch front-door woofers provide bass, while two 6 x 9-inch speakers and a center-mounted 8-inch speaker located in the rear-shelf area provide full-range audio. No matter what is playing through this system, it’s just music to your ears!
The tester equipped with the optional Luxury Group, includes premium Nappa leather sport seating in black or exclusive Radar Red, memory module that stores position of the driver seat, exterior mirror, steering wheel, pedal and radio for two drivers, heated rear seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, power tilt and telescoping steering column, power-adjustable pedals, power sunshade, vehicle security alarm, driver’s side auto-dimming mirrors and auto-tilt in Reverse, heated/cooled cup holders, trunk mat, satin chrome lower door sills with “Chrysler” logo, and LED illuminated front-footwells and front and rear map pockets.
Coming to actually driving the car, the 300S lives up to expectations. The 2012 Chrysler 300S V-6 model features the aluminum 3.6-litre Pentastar engine delivering 292 horsepower through an all-new segment-exclusive ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. For even more spirited driving with performance feel, the driver can utilize all-new steering-wheel mounted magnesium paddle shifters to manually select the desired gear. The 8-speed makes it all the more fun when using paddle shifters. The V6 was impressive in the fuel efficiency department too. I averaged close to 12.5 litres/ 100 km of combined city/highway driving. Overtaking on the highway was effortless despite the size of this car. The V8 version pumps out 363 horsepower thanks to the 5.7-liter HEMI. With an innovative Fuel Saver Technology, a five-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and Auto Stick, performance-tuned suspension and larger performance disc brakes, the 2012 Chrysler 300S V-8 delivers world-class power and refinement with enthusiast-tuned handling. Apart from the performance, the 300S drew a lot of envious looks at stop signs and traffic lights, that delights all drivers.
The 300S is truly a car that offers everything that other European high end cars offer. Only it doesn’t cost an arm. The 300S tester we had with the luxury package was priced at $44,490 which is total value for money. If given a choice, the 300S would definitely be one to keep.