Chrysler 300S vs. Chevrolet SS vs. BMW 335i

Chrysler 300S vs. Chevrolet SS vs. BMW 335i

Ask AutoGuide No. 44

Ask AutoGuide, the internet’s premiere vehicular-advice column is back in business. But like a long-running Broadway musical you’d better act fast because this is strictly a limited-time engagement.


1992 Mercury Grand MarquisIn contrast to productions like Les Misérables, The Phantom of the Opera or Cats this performance won’t drag on for hours so hopefully you don’t fall asleep and get spittle on your Sunday best. We don’t want that and neither do you, especially since dry-cleaning is inconvenient and uses caustic chemicals.

This week Walter sent us an e-mail requesting some automotive shopping assistance. He’s looking for a new car and has up to $45,000 to spend on said ride. Currently he owns a 2011 Ford F-150 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine as well as a 1992 Mercury Grand Marquis.

V8-LogoA self-proclaimed baby boomer, Walt is an enthusiast of traditional cars and has a “burning desire” to get another rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered American sedan, though he’s well aware that his options are fairly limited these days. It’s also understandable why he’d want an upgrade from his aging Panther car. He’ll consider German models but has some reservations about them, mostly their notoriously high maintenance costs; Japanese vehicles are off limits.

Other features he demands include air conditioning, a decent sound system with AM/FM radio and a CD player; an automatic transmission is mandatory as well. In addition to large sedans Walter will also consider cars like the 2015 Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro. But honestly we think he can do better without resorting to two-door models, which have a host of issues all their own. Does he really want a low-slung vehicle with limited outward visibility? Probably not, plus the brand-new ‘Stang is on the way so why would you ever buy the outgoing version? Sticking with four-doors here are our recommendations.

  • M Harris

    Wow – You recommend a car that doesn’t meet three of his basic criteria (American, RWD and V8), is smaller than and has less power than the other two options, and will in reality cost more to buy and ultimately maintain once out of warranty. I doubt you can buy a BMW with zero options but optioned out with similar features to the $47K SS (heated seats, Nav, active safety systems like blind spot warning, etc) and you’re quickly up to $53K for the 335i. I’ve got nothing against BMW’s but apparently you owe them money or something to come up with this as some sort of better alternative to the Chrysler or Chevy.

  • M Harris

    Quick correction to my post…the 335i is RWD, so I guess it really is a better deal…:-)

  • Jake Carlin

    “Walt has a “burning desire” to get another rear-wheel-drive, V8-powered American sedan, though he’s well aware that his options are fairly limited these days. He’ll consider German models[…]”

    The letter writer seems perfectly content to consider things outside of “V8, FWD, American” as long as it fits the spirit of that type of vehicle. The 300 and SS are obviously top contenders, but there’s nothing wrong with also recommending the 335i, other than the fact that it’s tricky to keep one within the $45k budget.

  • Isend2C

    Hyundai Genesis could be a compelling choice too if Walt is OKay with Korean cars. It can have an 8-speed and a 5.0 V8 with 400+ HP and RWD.