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

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

Suggestion No. 1 – 2014 Chrysler 300S

And the first suggestion we’re going to make is one that Walt has already considered. On paper the Chrysler 300 should be the perfect vehicle for him. It’s rear-wheel drive, features a powerful Hemi engine and has the style, comfort, features and pricing to check all his boxes. A V8-powered 300S can be had for around $38,200 including delivery fees though sans any rebates that may be available.

But there’s one aspect of this sedan that’s caused him great anxiety: quality. His concerns are not without merit; Chrysler has faced reliability issues for decades, from its problem-prone lineup of 1957 models to the troublesome Ultradrive automatic transmission to sludge-choked 2.7-liter V6 engines.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Chrysler 300 AWD Review

Despite its general reputation for lackadaisical quality the Pentastar brand and its various divisions have made enormous strides in recent years. They truly build some excellent products these days. For instance the Ram pickup is world class, the Dodge Dart small car is more than competitive and the new 200 sedan is stylish and feature laden, though Fiat’s offerings are still pretty hit or miss.

Influential watchdog organization Consumer Reports even recommends the recently refreshed 300. Editors praised the car’s comfortable ride, responsive handling and well-done interior. Hemi-powered models should even have better-than-average reliability, topping other large sedans like the Nissan Maxima and Hyundai Genesis.

Powering this American luxury car is either a 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 or a burly a 5.7-liter Hemi. The two-by-four pumps out 363 hp and 394 lb-ft of torque, all of which is routed through a five-speed automatic transmission to either the rear or all four wheels. The six-cylinder engine is matched to an eight-speed gearbox, something that should be paired with the Hemi in 2015.

According to the EPA fuel economy clocks in at 15 miles per gallon around town and 25 on the interstate; combined consumption hits 18 MPG.

The most affordable 300S equipped with the optional Hemi engine, which adds $2,800 to the bottom line, comes with a host of highly desirable standard features, things like leather seats, cruise control, a backup camera, the company’s acclaimed Uconnect infotainment system, dual-zone climate control and much more. It should meet all of Walter’s abovementioned requirements.

Chrysler Hemi Engine

Chrysler has a lot to be proud of with the 2014 300. It looks nice, drives well and comes with all kinds of nifty additions. The Hemi V8 is powerful and refined, giving the car ample scoot. This is a model that should not disappoint.

If something with a slightly different look is desired Walter should also check out the Dodge Charger and Challenger models, which from a mechanical standpoint are essentially the same as the 300. The charger has different interior and exterior styling while the Challenger is a large, two-door performance car with a surprisingly comfortable interior. Either way you really can’t go wrong.

  • 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.