Chrysler’s long-running 300 faces the prospect of becoming FCA’s Crown Vic, but the 2015 update that last tweaked the car’s appearance is aging well. That’s good because it’s not about to be replaced with something new and nothing new is pending, at least not in the immediate future. The sudden departure of the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Dart has left the 300 and its Dodge Charger twin as Fiat Chrysler’s only American-branded sedans.
Having spent a week in the all-wheel-drive 300S, I can report that there is still plenty of life left here.
A 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission propels the 300S, with the eight-speed controlled by the rotary knob that has made its way into just about every Dodge, Jeep and Ram vehicle. In this flavor, the 300S pumps out 300 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty to send this large sedan down the road without apology.
Since this is the sportier S model, the suspension is a little stiffer, offering a more rigid ride than the plusher 300C models, which also trade the 300S’ black grille for something with a little more chrome. The eight-speed auto generally works well with this engine; the transmission is probably the part that has changed the most since the current-generation Chrysler 300 debuted in 2011, and it’s a generally smooth operator here.
The sportier suspension of the 300S offers a firmer ride in town and on the interstate, one punctuated by loud thumps of the tires on manhole covers and such, as well as a stiff-feeling chassis that tries and generally succeeds in keeping everything flat in the corners. The 300S is still a big sedan, so body roll cannot be avoided no matter how stiff the chassis feels; aside from a bit of tire wail, the 300S can tackle B-roads with poise.