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2003 Chrysler 300M

  • 2003 Chrysler 300M Base Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      27
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      250/250
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
      $28,885
  • 2003 Chrysler 300M Special Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      27
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      255/258
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
      $32,315
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2003 Chrysler 300M Review

A big performance sedan that may please some, but turn off others.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2003 Chrysler 300M is a sport sedan with a lot going for it. Introduced in 1999, this is the first vehicle ever to offer factory installed Sirius Satellite Radio. It is a closely related cousin of the Concorde, but cheaper and smaller, with a bit more of a sporty punch. This is the only Chrysler to export out of the country, showing Chrysler’s confidence in the vehicle. It does have a lot to offer, especially the Special trim line with its 18-inch wheels and performance tires, performance braking, and stiffer suspension for sportier driving feel. The V-6 engine is also nothing to sneeze at. However, it does have its faults. Some cheap interior plastics and lack of standard features may lead some buyers to other, better-equipped vehicles.

The Range

Body Style: sedan
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6 engine
Transmissions: four-speed automatic transmission with AutoStick manual controls
Models: Chrysler 300M, Chrysler 300M Special

What's New

There is little changed in the 2003 Chrysler 300M. Chrysler has added the option of a factory installed Sirius Satellite Radio, which is the first for any vehicle. The audio system is also upgraded in all 300M models with a six-CD changer replacing the old four-disc changer.

Exterior

The 2003 Chrysler 300M is a four-door sedan that share many style features with its cousin the Concorde. The main difference is the rear of the vehicle deck that does away with the smooth curves of the Concorde in favor of sharper, sportier lines. It does share the same wheelbase as the Concorde and Intrepid at 113-inches long. All models receive 17-inch aluminum wheels except for the Special, which receives 18-inch wheels instead.

Interior

The 2003 Chrysler 300M can safely and comfortably seat five-passengers with plenty of room to spare. Standard features include leather upholstery and heated front bucket seats. The rear seat will comfortably seat taller passengers, although there is less legroom available than what buyers will find in the Concorde, likely due to the redesigned rear deck. The rear seat has a split that allows a little extra cargo area, extending the trunk to 16.8 cubic feet. However, the seat does not have a ski pass-through, limiting the trunk size when the seats are up. Unfortunately, many of the model lack the standard features you would expect of a sedan in this class. There is a lot of cheap interior plastic that severely decreases the appeal. The Special has the best equipment of the bunch including a nine-speaker Infiniti II spatial imaging sound system with an in-dash six-CD changer.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Chrysler 300M comes equipped with a 3.5-liter, V-6 engine that produces 250 horsepower. The Special edition has the same engine, but it is upgraded with an extra five horsepower. Both engine types come with a four-speed automatic transmission with an AutoStick manual shifting feature for greater performance. Gear changes can be made by turning the AutoStick lever to the left or right. It has a different driving feel from the Concorde; it is sportier and more athletic. The V-6 has quite a bit of power, and the AutoStick control gives buyers a great manual feel without having to rely on a stick shift. It gets great acceleration off the line and has no trouble passing on the highway. The suspension might be a bit stiff on the Special trim line or those vehicles equipped with the Performance Handling group, but buyers still find plenty of fun.

Safety

The 2003 Chrysler 300M comes equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes, child seat anchors, ventilated front disc brakes, electronic brake force distribution, and low-speed traction control as standard. However, side-impact airbags are optional. The NHTSA gave the vehicle mixed results, either three or four stars out of five depending on the impact. The IIHS have the vehicle a rating of ""acceptable,"" its second best for frontal offset crash tests and rear crash protection. There are other vehicles on the market that are a lot safer.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chrysler 300M Base: 16/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Lots of room
  • Great performance
  • Low price

You Won't Like

  • Automatic only transmission available
  • Lacking in standard features
  • Cheap plastic materials

Sum Up

A big performance sedan that may please some, but turn off others.

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