Craig: The engine portion of the 300’s powertrain formula is impressive, but the transmission is anything but. Mr. Haj-Assaad should agree, but being an automotive contrarian that’s not going to happen. For starters the car’s only got a five-shot magazine. I’ve grumbled at length about Honda and Toyota five-speed gearboxes so don’t think Chrysler’s getting off the hook. Six is the minimum price of admission these days, and more are even merrier. Now, it’s not as big a deal if the transmission goes about its business in an unobtrusive manner – like the ones in Honda’s Ridgeline and the Toyota Highlander. But Chrysler’s cog-crate is dreadful. It jerks and bangs like a rodeo bull, sending shudders through the car’s structure. The 300 is good and deserves a better transmission.
Sami: It’s predictable that Mr. Cole would find fault in the transmission, but his five-speed spite is unwarranted here. First of all, the V8 is powerful enough to deliver thrust in practically any part of tach, dismissing any needs for more gears. Additional cogs would likely result in annoying gear-hunting. Still, despite having six gears, the V8 hums along at highway speeds, barely noticeable within the cabin. If anything, Chrysler should be proud of the slick rev-matching downshifts which are activated via the vehicle’s steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. It’s smooth and helps share the soundtrack of that harmonic hemi.