The very first Chrysler 300 debuted in 1955 as a way to showcase Chrysler’s new ?Hemi? V-8 engine. The current generation of Chrysler’s 300 began in 2005. The 2008 Chrysler 300 is a large sedan that now comes in five, wide-ranging trim levels: LX, Touring, Limited, C, and SRT8. Each model offers something for every taste and budget. The ride remains smooth and quiet, and the cabin feels roomy and comfortable. At the top of the lineup, the SRT8 delivers outstanding performance at a hard-to-beat price. Overall, any Chrysler 300 model gives you a lot of car for your money.
Body Styles: 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 with auto-manual
Models: Chrysler 300 LX, Chrysler 300 Touring, Chrysler 300 Limited, Chrysler 300 C, Chrysler 300 SRT8
The 2008 Chrysler 300 contains significant updates to its interior, including new soft-touch surfaces, a revised instrument panel and console, and available LED accent lighting. Adaptive cruise control, a surround-sound audio system, a dedicated iPod interface, a Sirius back-seat TV, and a new hard-drive-based MyGIG multimedia system with optional navigation mark new luxury options for 2008. The exterior design is updated for 2008, and front seat-mounted side airbags and available side curtain airbags enhance the 2008 300’s safety.
The Chrysler 300’s exterior looks bold and dramatic, with a hint of 1930s gangster-flick nostalgia. Striking wheel-well cutouts wrap around rims up to 20 inches in diameter. The wheelbase seems long at 120 inches, but short overhangs preserve a sense of power. The 300’s massive signature grille gets flanked by wing-like double-lens headlights and bulging fenders, giving it a commanding presence on the road.
The 2008 Chrysler 300 LX comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, solar control glass, power side mirrors, and power door locks with remote keyless entry. The Touring model upgrades the wheels to chrome and adds foglights. The Limited model adds auto-dimming mirrors, automatic headlights, and 18-inch chrome wheels. Stepping up to the V-8 300C adds power fold-away mirrors, remote ignition, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and xenon headlights.
The high-performance SRT8 model comes decked out like a hot-rod with 20-inch, forged aluminum wheels and asymmetrical, high-performance tires. In classic racetrack fashion, the rear tires measure slightly wider than the front tires, Body-colored front and rear bumper inserts, mirrors, and door handles complete the look.
Several options packages and standalone upgrades help customize any model of the Chrysler 300. The Executive Series package adds six inches to the wheelbase, for a generous 46 inches of legroom inside and a stately, limo-like appearance on the outside. Many of the features of the upper trim levels remain optional on the lower trims.
The 2008 Chrysler 300 LX comes equipped with the basics, such as cloth seats with a power driver’s seat, power windows and door locks, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel, and a stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. The Touring feels more like a luxury car, with leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and illuminated visor vanity mirrors. The next step up, the Chrysler 300 Limited, includes wood interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, power heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, and a HomeLink universal remote. The 300C upgrades the audio to a Boston Acoustics sound system and includes memory for the driver’s settings. The SRT8 includes all of these options plus leather trim on the shift knob and steering wheel.
Performance & Handling
The base rear-drive 300 LX comes with a 2.7-liter V-6 teamed with a four-speed automatic transmission. This small engine produces 178 horsepower and 190 lb-ft of torque, enough to handle city traffic, but a bit underpowered for highway driving. The Touring and Limited models upgrade to a 3.5-liter V-6 that is capable of 250 hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Also teamed with a four-speed automatic transmission, these two models offer rear or all-wheel drive. The more muscular 300C draws power from a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 that produces 340 hp and 390 lb-ft of torque. An upgraded five-speed automatic transmission with auto-manual capability directs the power to either the rear wheels or all four. The same five-speed automatic transmission pairs with a 6.1-liter, V-8 engine in the high-performance Chrysler 300C SRT8. Generating 425 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, the SRT8 goes from zero to 60 mph in just over five seconds.
Anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control come standard on all 2008 Chrysler 300 models, except the base LX. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags remain optional on all models.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chrysler 300 LX: 18/26 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300 Touring: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300 Limited: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300C: 15/22 mpg city/highway
Chrysler 300C SRT8: 13/18 mpg city/highway
- Powerful V-8 engine
- Distinctive styling
- Available all-wheel drive
- Good value for the price
You Won't Like
- Small V-6 in the base model
- Mediocre trunk space
- Poor visibility for shorter drivers
With a huge range of models, it offers something for almost any taste or budget.
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