Tom Crosby: 2017 Chrysler 300C Sedan nicely tweaked for 2017

Tom Crosby

Any company still employing workers that once faced bankruptcy – as Chrysler did in 2009 – becomes invigorated with a second chance.

Chrysler, purchased by Fiat, hasn’t wasted the opportunity. It shows in the luxurious 2017 Chrysler 300C Platinum full-size sedan, now outfitted with top technology interfaces and an optional suite of competitive, cutting-edge driver safety aids.

The Platinum edition is top of four 300 trims and it was our test drive, boasting an optional $2,995 safety package along with $1,995 for leather wrapped interior accents to go with Nappa leather seats.

Using standard rear wheel drive on 20-inch wheels, it zips from a dead stop – whether in normal or sport mode using the highly regarded 3.6-liter Pentastar engine. Speed demands caution and the safety option included adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot/cross detection warnings, advance brake assist and forward collision warning. Government crash testing rated the 300C four out of five stars.

The ride is cushioned comfortable and handling, partly due to weight, a bit stodgy but highway adequate. A neat feature is a verbal speed alert you can set. For example, if you decide to be alerted at 9 mph over, it will alert you when you are going 54 mph in a 45 mph zone. It doesn’t always get the GPS signaled/speed limit correct but it gets your attention. When perfected it will be an aggressive driver’s best friend.

The tech challenge is solved with a new 8.4-inch dashboard screen with pinch and zoom like an iPad and an array of icons for a smorgasbord of drill down choices. Smartphone integration links Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – all part of Chrysler’s improved UConnect infotainment system. The sophisticated navigation system has quality voice recognition and 19-speaker premium Harman-Kardon speakers yield clear listening joy.

Fit-and-finish is exceptional, the open sunroof has a net to collect debris and ribs of wooden trim mesh with perforated leather seats create upscale ambiance. A slot next to the gearshift knob is cell-phone convenient and knickknack spaces are plentiful, including heated/cooled front seat cupholders.

Outside the sleek profile shows off a raked windshield, level beltline and slanted rear that somewhat restricts rear mirror views. The eye-catching extra large chrome grill sports a winged Chrysler logo inset. Exterior chroming exists on door handles, around windows and dual exhaust pipes. The look is simple and uncluttered. A temporary spare tire rests underneath an ample trunk and visors are dual-extendable.

LIKES: Ride, interior luxury, looks, tech features

DISLIKES: Crimped rear view, speed alert glitches

BOTTOM LINE: Value is high; options add luxury, safety


Base price w/destination fee: $43,835 (as tested $48,855).

Vehicle weight: 4,013 lbs.

Wheelbase: 120.2 inches.

Length: 198.6 inches.

Width: 75.0 inches.

Engine: 3.6-liter, V6, 24-valve, VVT.

Horsepower: 292 hp at 6,350 rpm.

Torque: 260 ft-lbs. at 4,800 rpm.

Transmission: 8-speed automatic.

EPA rating: 19 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

Range: 18.5-gallon tank, regular.

Performance: 0-60 in under 7 seconds.

Tom Crosby is a former journalist and communications director for AAA Carolinas. He has been reviewing cars since 1996, and has been active in traffic safety issues for more than 30 years.