2000 Chrysler 300M
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2000 Chrysler 300M Review
Part luxury, part high-performance.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The Chrysler 300M is a front-wheel-drive, V-6-powered sport sedan. Chrysler chose this vehicle to revive the legendary 300 series name, which was part of the company’s famous letter series in the 1950s and 1960s. The 300s were a line of high end, high-performance luxury automobiles produced by Chrysler. Debuting in 1955 with the C300, 1965’s 300L marked the end of the series. When Chrysler came up with a new large, brash, luxury sedan, built on the Chrysler LH platform, it chose to market the vehicle as the 300M as a nod to the company’s history. It is fitting since its pronounced center grille and fin-like taillights, which is a flashback to the company’s luxury sporty muscle cars of that historic 1950s and 1960s letter series. Since it’s introduction in 1999, the 300M has become quite popular. The vehicle is not only sold in North America but Japan, Europe, and Latin America as well. This vehicle radiates class and sophistication, all while carrying respectable power. In fact, the 300M carries more power than other performance sedans like the BMW M3 and the Buick Regal GS.
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, four-speed automatic
Models: Chrysler 300M
The 300M has received a few upgrades for the 2000 model year. There is now the option of 16-inch chrome wheels in the Performance Handling Package. The dash now sports a four-disc CD changer with an optional 360-watt Infinity II audio system. Some slight modifications have been made to the vehicle’s interior. The window and door lock switches are brighter, the power mirror switches are color-keyed, and cup holders have been added to the backseat. There are also five new exterior colors to choose from. After some criticism last year about the 300M being noisy with vibration, Chrysler has enhanced the rear suspension to lessen this issue. The 300M also has a new brake-shift interlock safety feature. This feature eliminates any chance of drivers shifting out of the Park gear without their foot positioned on the brake.
The 300M shares the same exterior styling as the LHS and Concorde, but there are a few differences. The 300M is about 10 inches shorter than those vehicles. The rear deck is shorter and forsakes the rounded lines featured in those body styles for sharp creases. The car rides a 113-inch wheelbase on 17-inch tires with cast-aluminum wheels. The suspension is fully independent. The optional Performance and Handling Package offers a more rigid suspension, high performance brakes, and 16-inch tires. The vehicle’s overall length is 198 inches and the 300M has affectionately been referred to as the ""five-meter car."" The shorter length of the vehicle is necessary since the vehicle is sold as an export in Europe. European countries and countries like Japan tend to have smaller garages and parking spaces.
The five-seat 300M comes standard with leather upholstery with heated front bucket seats. The car has less legroom in the backseat than the similar LHS and Concorde models, but legroom in the back is still adequate for taller passengers. Trunk space is minimal at 16.8 cubic feet but the split rear backseat can be folded down to add cargo space. The vehicle comes standard with air-conditioning, cruise control, tachometer, tilt steering, and an AM/FM radio with a cassette and CD player. An 11-speaker 360-watt Infinity audio system with a four disc in-dash CD changer is optional.
Performance & Handling
The same 3.5-liter, V-6 engine shared by the Chrysler LHS and Prowler powers the Chrysler 300M. It generates 253 horsepower and 255 ft-lb of torque. The independent front and rear suspension is set to the soft ride setting. The optional Performance and Handling Package provides a more rigid and aggressive European-tuned performance for an improved driving experience. Just make sure this optional suspension isn’t too stiff by test driving first on bumpy road surfaces. The vehicle’s steering is first rate. The vehicle has great handling and is very fun to drive. The four-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and can come with AutoStick for manual gear changes.
The 2000 Chrysler 300M was rated with three stars for driver safety in frontal crashes, and fours star for passenger safety in frontal crashes. The 300M comes standard with a four-wheel anti-lock braking system, driver and passenger front airbags, fog lights, traction control, and an antitheft alarm.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Highly affordable
- Aggressive styling
- Sporty suspension
- Refined handling
- Nice roomy interior
You Won't Like
- No manual transmission, AutoStick doesn’t measure up
- Poor rear visibility
- Somewhat weak brakes
- Choppy on rough road surfaces
- No skip protection on CD player
Part luxury, part high-performance.
If You Like This Vehicle
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- Cadillac Catera
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- Buick Regal