Chrysler 300M Origins
Chrysler vehicles can certainly polarize the public and the 300M is certainly part of that tradition. The 300M was released in the 1999 model year as a model just beneath the LHS and Concorde Limited vehicles, which were considered flagship cars for the Chrysler company. Chrysler built the 300M at the Brampton, Ontario plant in Canada. The car experienced modest sales and was dropped in 2004.Chrysler 300M Features
A big car at first glance, the 300M is a surprising 10 inches shorter than the Concorde. The cut length serves the specific purpose of exporting the vehicle to the European market, where driving big large vehicles like the Concorde remains unfeasible due to parking and small roads. With the discontinuation of the 300M predecessor, the Eagle Vision, the 300M filled a gap left in the European Market.
Only one engine, a 3.5-liter EGG V6 is available in the 300M. This engine has an output rating of 253 horsepower. Compared to the 300s of the past (all of which produced at least 300 gross horsepower), the 300M is not a serious competitor.
The 300M performs well in several areas. With a fresh coat of paint the body, the 300M really shines. For a late 1990s car, when boxes and silhouettes were all the rage, the 300M is elegant. The plush interior also adds a little extra class. The 300M rallies so much enthusiasm that there is a 300M-appreciation club on the Internet. That speaks volumes, especially since the car hasn’t been in production for several years.
The 300M's popularity may be due to the way the car drives. The Chrysler 300M benchmarks next to the BMW 5 Series, an amazing car in its own right. Not only does the Chrysler 300M perform splendidly in comparison to the 5 Series, it outperforms it in others. The 300M provides a smooth ride, responding to minor changes in the steering wheel. It is actually one of the best front-wheel drive vehicles of its time.
Don’t let the 253 horsepower produced by the engine fool you; the 300M is light. It accelerates from zero to 60 in about 7.25 seconds. The engine doesn’t even need to work hard to reach that level of performance. Shifting from gear to gear in automatic still gives the grind and feel of a manual transmission.
Inside, the Chrysler 300M is luxurious. Leather seats and wood trim are available in certain packages. The illuminated instrument panel is subtle and elegant.
Chrysler discontinued the 300M in 2004, but the 300 class lives on today. Several 300 models were released for the 2012 model year, including the 300 base model, 300 Limited, 300 S, 300C, 300 SRT8, and the 300C Luxury Series. If you can’t find a 300M, you cannot go wrong with the new 300 series vehicles.Chrysler 300M Evolution
The 300M went through a few subtle changes during its production run. 1999 saw the introduction of automatic headlamps. A lock between park and engaging the driving mechanism when shifting in automatic was added in 2000. The lock keeps the car from sliding into drive by requiring the driver to press the brake when shifting from park.
Trim was upgraded in 2001 to include a dimming mirror option and a new trip computer. Supplemental side airbags add to safety features. Electronic brake distribution on the anti-lock brakes prevents skidding when turning. The brakes detect when one wheel begins spinning wildly and presses the brakes on the other wheels to prevent the skid from occurring.
A slight engine upgrade was introduced in 2002. The 3.5-liter (requiring premium gas) produces 255 horsepower with 258 lb-ft of torque. The 300M special has this new engine as well as faux carbon trim and sport performance tires and brakes. A 300M Pro Am was also released in 2002.
In 2003, more colors were added to the car line as well as upgraded entertainment options. Sirius radio and other luxuries were added in 2004, the final year of the cars’ production.
If you are looking for a smooth, elegant ride you can’t go wrong with the 300M. Even used, the 300M will perform smoothly with a tuned engine and a good lookover by a certified mechanic.