The 2005 300 is Chrysler’s first large, rear-drive sedan in several years. It moves away from its predominantly front-drive past. All-wheel drive is also available for drivers who want more traction. The styling is distinctive, and its interior is spacious and stylish. On the exterior, its giant grille pays homage to the 1958 300C. The original 1955 model was one of the most powerful engines built by Detroit, winning the NASCAR championship in its first year and setting top speed records at Daytona Beach. Four models with varying powertrains are available.
Body style: sedan
Engines: 2.7-liter V-6, 3.5-liter V-6, 5.7-liter V-8, 6.1-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed automatic
Models: Chrysler 300, Chrysler 300 Touring, Chrysler 300 C, Chrysler 300 SRT-8
The rear-drive Chrysler 300 sedan is all-new for 2005. It replaces the Concorde and the 300M.
The 2005 Chrysler 300’s rear-wheel-drive architecture allows for a whole new shape, which looks especially dramatic in profile. The wheel cutouts wrap around five-spoke, 17-inch or 10-spoke, 18-inch wheels. Short overhangs offer a visual sense of power. The roofline complements the long, low, chiseled lines of the rest of the body. The roof rakes down to a short deck, and the smooth sides lead to a long hood with a massive, squared-off grille. The base model comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, and remote power door locks. The Touring model upgrades the wheels to five-spoke aluminum and adds fog lamps. Chrome wheels and automatic headlamps are optional. The 300C steps up to 18-inch chrome wheels, dual exhaust, and projector low-beam headlamps. Finally, the SRT-8 adds a rear spoiler, 20-inch polished alloy wheels with performance tires, rain-sensing wipers, and heated mirrors. Stand-alone options include self-sealing tires, a sunroof, and Xenon high-intensity headlamps.
The 2005 Chrysler 300’s interior is spacious and impressively quiet. The controls are straightforward and easy to use, and the steering wheel features a four-spoke design with tortoise-shell wood trim in an arc across the top. The seats are slightly elevated, and the modest windshield makes for good forward visibility. Because the chassis is pushed out to the wheels and the wheelbase is long, the cabin is quite roomy with 106.6 cubic feet of interior volume. The 60/40-split folding rear seat offers a generous 40 inches of legroom, and the door openings are extra-large, making entry and exit easier. The trunk holds 15.6 cubic feet, and features an angled well for the spare tire so the tire will rotate upward and allow the frame to deform as designed in the event of a rear-end collision. The base model comes with an eight-way power driver’s seat, and both the passenger and driver’s seat have manual lumbar support adjustment. Cruise control, air-conditioning, an AM/FM stereo with in-dash CD player, radio data system, and wiring for a phone are also standard. The Touring model adds leather upholstery and trim on the shift knob and steering wheel. It has heated passenger and driver’s seats, a six-way power passenger seat in addition to the power driver’s seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, memorized settings for three drivers, and a six-speaker premium Boston Acoustics sound system.
Performance & Handling
Four engines are available on the 2005 Chrysler 300. On the base model, a 2.7-liter, V-6, double overhead cam (DOHC) engine produces 190 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque. Rear drive is standard, and the engine is mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. A 3.5-liter V-6 powers the Touring model with 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. This engine is teamed with a four-speed automatic in rear-drive models and a five-speed automatic in all-wheel-drive models. The 300C features a powerful, overhead-valve, 5.7-liter V-8 that sends 340 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque to either the rear wheels or all wheels via a five-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift.
Standard safety equipment on all models of the 2005 Chrysler 300 includes child seat anchors, ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes, rear door child safety locks, engine immobilizer, front seatbelt pretensioners, and dual front airbags with passenger airbag occupant-sensing deactivation. Touring and higher trims add four-wheel anti-lock brakes, emergency braking assist, stability and traction control, and electronic brake force distribution. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives perfect five-star ratings for driver and passenger protection in frontal-impact collisions and rear passenger protection in side-impact crashes. For driver protection in side-impact crash tests, the NHTSA gives four out of five stars, as well as a four-star rollover resistance rating.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chrysler 300: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300 Touring: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300 Touring AWD: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300C: 15/23 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300C AWD: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300 SRT-8: 13/18 mpg city/highway
- Sharp styling
- Powerful V-8
- Safety features
- Good value for the price
You Won't Like
- Sluggish base V-6
- Limited transmission choices
- Limited rear visibility
An upscale sedan with distinctive styling and V-8 power at an affordable price.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Pontiac G6
- Buick LaCrosse