Blast-from-the-past ‘Merican sedan: Nothing says ‘Merica like apple pie, a cheeseburger, and a boxy V8-powered sedan. That’s precisely what the 2021 Chrysler 300 is: A big ol’ slice of Americana.
This sedan not only offers retro looks and V8 power, but it also adds in comfort expected from classic American sedans. This aligns it with a specific group of buyers who crave that old-school feel without the old-school tech.
Continue reading to find out if the 2021 Chrysler 300’s retro feel makes it a good option for you or if you’re better-suited in a more modern sedan with the latest features.
Handsome, retro design but also retro safety scores: The Chrysler 300 got its design right back in 2005, ditching the swoopy design Chrysler slapped on the 1999-2004 300M, bringing in a classic boxy look. This gave it a touch of retro that Chrysler massaged in 2011 to create the stunning sedan in front of us today.
The 2021 Chrysler 300 is an incredible combination of classic design and modern features that’s lacking in the segment, which is why the automaker’s let it ride out with minimal changes for about a decade.
This if-it-ain’t-broke approach has served the 300 well design-wise, but not so much in safety. The dated structure can’t hold up to today’s crash-test standards, earning a “Marginal” rating in the driver-side small overlap test. Its headlight tech is also well behind, scoring a “Poor” rating. It does have a “Superior”-rated vehicle-to-vehicle automatic emergency braking system, but it's optional and not available on the base trim.
Buyers seeking top-notch safety tech can head to any other showroom (other than Dodge) and pick up a model with a full assortment of standard safety gear. Standouts in this arena include the Nissan Maxima, Kia K900, Genesis G80, and Toyota Avalon.
V8 power with a big appetite: Like its cross-town cousin, the Charger, the Chrysler 300 offers more than just throwback looks – it also has a throwback V8 powertrain. The optional 5.7-liter HEMI V8 injects 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque, and it offers a mighty growl that nothing in the class can match.
The 292-hp V6 isn’t nearly as exciting but matches most of the V6 options in its competitors, plus it has optional all-wheel drive.
Where the 300 drops the ball is fuel economy. With the V8, the 2021 Chrysler 300 gets 16 miles per gallon city, 25 highway, and 19 combined. The closest to this is the twin-turbo K900, which gets 18 mpg city, 25 highway, and 21 combined. Every other competitor is significantly higher.
Buyers who want superior fuel economy from a family sedan can opt for the 43-mpg-combined Avalon Hybrid.
Superior front-seat comfort; Back seats? Not so much: The 2021 Chrysler 300 continues its retro ways with thick, comfortable front thrones with all the support you’d ever need. Add Nappa leather to the mix, and you’ve got all-day comfort.
In the rear, there’s ample leg room at 40.1 inches. However, the rear-wheel-drive platform limits rear seat comfort because it requires a low-riding seat cushion and a shorter seat, eroding the benefits of all that leg room.
Front-wheel-drive options like the Avalon and Camry have better rear seat formats. Even the rear-driven G80 has a superior back seat.
The 300 pulls buyers back in with its monstrous 16.3-cubic-foot trunk. The Avalon comes close at 16.1 cubes, but the G80 (13.1 cubes), K900 (15.3 cubes), and Maxima (14.3 cubes) all fall well short.
The 300’s interior also keeps up in terms of technology with its standard 8.4-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, two USB chargers, and more.
Final thoughts: The 2021 Chrysler 300 caters to specific buyers who miss the simplicity of yesteryear’s designs but still want today’s modern conveniences.
Buyers who are concerned about fuel economy may want to skip the 2021 Chrysler 300, especially the V8-powered versions. These buyers may be better-suited in the Avalon Hybrid or Camry Hybrid.
If safety is a concern, the 300 is also not a great option, as it has so-so crash test scores and limited standard safety gear. These buyers would be best-suited in a Toyota Avalon, Genesis G80, or a Nissan Maxima.
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