6 things you need to know about the 2012 Chrysler 300.

1. Curb appeal.  Just like the previous 300, the 2012 model has a very imposing, luxurious look, both inside and out.  It’s easy to see why many people lovingly refer to the 300 as a “Baby Bentley.”  It’s wide, long, and impressive.  Even the exterior trunk release is minimalist—it’s just a small, black button at the edge of the brake light.

2. Wonder Twin Powers.  There is a slot on the dashboard for music stored on your SD card and there is also a USB port located in the storage bin beneath the armrest.  The port in armrest is doubly cool because it’s lighted.  The cool blue glow will help you find it at night and inside dark parking garages.  Hey, you never know when you might need your playlist!

3. Welcome to IMAX.  The Chrysler 300 has a huge 8.4-inch touch screen in the center console.  It’s great for reading all of the car’s pertinent information, from music to climate.  We’re sure the huge screen would be great for navigation but, sadly, our test drive vehicle didn’t have it.  It felt like such a waste of a big screen.

4. Meet George Jetson.  The 300 offers optional E-Drive that turns your regular old gearshift into a space age shifter.  Use your thumb to press the button on the side of the shifter and pull it back until you reach your gear of choice.  The joystick pops back into place each time, though, so you need to look before you move to make sure you’re in the right gear.

5. Bling bling.  We’ve mentioned the interior already but the beauty of the 300’s dashboard deserves a special mention.  The metallic finish, blue lights, and retro styling makes the whole dash sparkle like jewels in the sunlight.   No, really.  Trust us.  There’s even an analog clock—a very nice throwback touch.

6. Eat your heart out, Siri.  Via the U-Connect system, you can control the 300’s audio system by issuing simple commands like, “change to iPod” or “change to Shade 45.”  This makes it simple to get your music jumping on the go and (of course) impress whoever might be riding with you.

Advertised MPG: 23
MPG during test drive: 17.4
User friendly rank (i.e. # of times we consulted the owner manual): 1
Base price: $27K
Price, as tested: $28K

More info: chrysler.com

 

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