You'll Like The 2008 Chrysler 300 If...

If you're searching for a family sedan with attitude but need to keep your spending in check, you'll find the 2008 Chrysler 300 hard to ignore.

You May Not Like The 2008 Chrysler 300 If...

If you're looking for something inconspicuous, say, for a stakeout, the Chrysler 300 might not be your best option. Car enthusiasts will lament the absence of a manual transmission and some may find the interior color choices drab.

What's New

2008 sees modest but important changes. The cruise control stalk has been relocated to the four o'clock position where it won't be confused with the turn signal, and the dash receives a minor freshening. New options include MyGIG multimedia audio system and remote start

Interior Features

The 300's attractive instrument panel and interior design is in line with its high-style exterior, though some of the plastics lack the precise color-matching and touch-friendly feel of some top-notch luxury sedans. Despite the 300's somewhat colorless interior, exquisite touches, such as the faux tortoise shell steering wheel on the 300C, add an air of individuality and elegance. We are also fond of the instrument cluster, which features white-faced gauges with art-deco fonts. The front bucket seats provide excellent lower back and thigh support, and feature adjustable lumbar support for both the driver and passenger. Legroom is abundant throughout, as is headroom both front and rear.

Exterior Features

Large slab-side panels, a high "belt-line" and narrow side windows give the 300 an appearance reminiscent of a custom chop-top cruiser. Big 17- or 18-inch wheels are standard, but the 300's large wheel wells allow space for aftermarket wheels as large as 22 inches. The gaping grille - an exaggerated version of those seen on other Chrysler vehicles - is flanked by two hefty headlamps balancing out the aggressive styling of the front end. The rear end, while handsome, is more conservative and the trunk's tall lid makes gauging reverse parking maneuvers a bit of a guessing game.

Driving Impressions

We drove the powerful 300C model that Chrysler claims accounts for almost half of all 300 models sold. With its 340-horsepower HEMI V8, the 300C provides an impressive blend of power and grace, thanks in part to its sophisticated traction and stability controls. The V8's MDS (Multiple-Displacement System) improves economy by cutting fuel to four of the eight cylinders when their output is not required. The suspension doesn't readily evoke that of a European sport sedan, but tight and true steering keeps you feeling in control of what is admittedly a large vehicle.

Pricing Notes

The 2008 Chrysler 300 LX's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just over $25,000, while the popular Touring and Limited trims cross the $30,000 mark - nicely equipped, of course. The HEMI-powered 300C starts around $36,000 and all-wheel drive adds about $2,000 to the bottom line. 300 sales have cooled off somewhat, making it easier to find a good deal. Before you buy your new 300 be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which is adjusted periodically to show what others in your area are paying for their new cars. The 300 is projected to hold a better-than-average residual value, with the Touring and Limited trims actually bettering the V8 300C by a few percentage points over a five-year period.

Notable Equipment

The 2008 Chrysler 300 LX features a 2.7-liter V6 engine, four-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with CD and auxiliary input jack, power locks, power windows, 60/40 split rear seat, driver- and passenger-adjustable lumbar support, power driver's seat, four-wheel disc brakes, remote keyless entry, speed control, rear defrost, dual power mirrors and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Notable Options

Features available only on select trim levels or as stand-alone options include all-wheel drive, five-speed AutoStick transmission, leather seating, power sun roof, heated front seats, heated rear seats, Adaptive Speed Control, adaptive headlamps, 18-inch wheels, side-curtain and seat-mounted airbags, rear object detection, power-adjustable pedals, Boston Acoustics eight-speaker sound system, GPS navigation system with integrated six-disc CD/MP3 player, remote start, MyGIG audio and entertainment system, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and xenon headlamps with high-pressure washers. Powerplant options include a 3.5-liter V6 engine and the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, the latter available only in the top-of-the-line 300C.

Favorite Features

HEMI Engine

The available 5.7-liter V8 HEMI with 340 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque delivers terrific straight-line performance.

All-Wheel Drive

An option not available on many sedans in its price range, the 300's all-wheel-drive system promises to provide increased stability and traction in all driving conditions.

Under the Hood

The base 2.7-liter engine is advisable only if a low sticker price is your primary motivator. The 3.5-liter V6 is more powerful, but still somewhat unrefined when pressed hard. The HEMI V8 truly brings the 300C to life, transforming it into a world-class performer wrapped in uniquely American sheetmetal.

2.7-liter V6

178 horsepower @ 6400 rpm

190 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26

3.5-liter V6

250 horsepower @ 6400 rpm

250 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 (RWD), 15/22 (AWD)

5.7-liter HEMI V8

340 horsepower @ 5000 rpm

390 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/23 (RWD), 15/22 (AWD)

Editors' Notes

The 2008 Chrysler 300 sedan has succeeded where many of its domestic rivals have not. While it's true that Americans have flocked to the 300 chiefly because of its bold styling, the 300 provides a roomy interior, impressive ride and handling, the availability of the well-known HEMI V8 engine and the option of all-wheel drive. The 300 benefited greatly from the now-defunct merger between Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler by receiving a number of German-engineered components, including its rear suspension and five-speed automatic transmission. One might think with so much premium content added to the mix that the 300's price tag would also surge, but V6 models start around $25,000. Thanks to the 300's popularity among the tuner crowd, there are plenty of aftermarket parts, allowing owners to customize their cars to their hearts' content.

Road Test Video Reviews

2008 Chrysler 300 Owner Reviews

71 Reviews
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Check for recalls regularly! It is a great car, but with tinted windows and the sleekness of sure to pay extra attention to turning corners at night...hard to see walkers/cyclists due to blind spots/tint.

2008 Chrysler 300

I love the bass in the stereo!! (factory equipped, nothing added); it is sporty and sleek (with tinted windows); comfortable to sleep in when reclined (driver seat)...but would prefer an auto controlled lumbar adjustment in driver seat-only has flip control; has great pick up, rides smooth. Only complaints I have are no heated seats, would prefer passenger seat to have controlled adjustable seat instead of manual...and always seems to have something on the recall list. Also there is a slippage and leak in the rear end that mechanic says is pretty prevalent in these types of cars.

- Elizabeth C

Creature comforts abound!

2008 Chrysler 300

I own a Chrysler 300 AWD I currently have 165000 miles on this vehicle and have found it to be one of the more reliable vehicles that I have owned in past 40 years. I think that the only complaint about the car is from a performance aspect it is certainly comfortable to drive and ride in but lacks some of the acceleration that some of the other cars that I have had. But if someone was looking for a full size luxury vehicle I would certainly recommend this vehicle.

- Greg J

2008 Chrysler 300c (Old Lightning)

2008 Chrysler 300 C Hemi

All around it is a great car. For being a 2008 it is very high tech. It has a touch screen display with navigation and a sunroof. It has 157,000 miles on it and it still runs brand new. It is very comfortable and stylish. Among other things it has a very powerful engine. The biggest problem with the car is the MPG. Because it has such a big engine I Only get around 12 MPG but if you aren't someone who drives a lot this would be the perfect car.

- Christopher M

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