Suggestion No. 1 – 2014 Chrysler 300C John Varvados Luxury Edition
The Chrysler 300 was something of a sensation when it was introduced back in 2005. This rear-wheel drive large sedan was dressed in a form-fitting suit that made it look ready for a night on the town. The car’s bold styling, truncated side glass and available Hemi V8 commanded attention. It was far more exciting than the utterly forgettable Ford Five Hundred, which launched at the same time. Wait, what were we talking about again?
Today, Chrysler’s second-generation 300 is aging gracefully. This updated version maintains much of the original’s panache but gains more sophisticated styling and technology that’s far more advanced, which is why we’re recommending it as an option for Jake.
Specifically we’re pushing for the gussied-up John Varvatos Luxury Edition. Don’t know who that is? No worries; we’d never heard of him, either. Apparently he’s a men’s fashion designer and not a member of Slovenian parliament.
Base price for a rear-wheel-drive version of this car is $42,475, including destination and delivery fees. Of course it looks like there are some pretty appealing incentives available right now that could lower the price significantly.
But what do you get for your money? Well, starting with the Varvatos exclusives, they include standard 20-inch wheels, “platinum chrome” exterior mirror housings and door handles, a unique mesh grille and fog lamps. Passengers are treated inside to premium leather trim, extra-special cow hide on the doors and instrument panel, real wood accents and more.
Moving to things that actually matter, a 3.6-liter V6 is standard and a fire-breathing 5.7-liter Hemi is optional. Breaking with tradition, we’re going to recommend Jake go with the six-shooter on account that it’s paired to a cutting-edge eight-speed automatic transmission. The two-by-four is only available with an outdated five-speed slushier, plus it’s a lot less efficient. As much as we love a good eight-cylinder engine we’re going to suggest skipping it. All-wheel drive is available at extra cost.
The V6 delivers 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, so it’s plenty muscular. When it comes to consumption this Chrysler stickers at 19 MPG city and 31 on the highway; combined it earns a score of 23 MPG.
In addition to that efficient powertrain, the car comes with a rearview camera, Chrysler’s Uconect 8.4 infotainment system, an electrically adjustable steering column, a power rear sunshade and more.
Add it all up and the 300 is certainly a very nice car, but regrettably it’s no luxury machine, not even in John Varvatos trim. It’s premium in many ways but we have a feeling it’s a step behind that hot new Hyundai Genesis that’s about to be unleashed.