Vehicles

Chrysler 300 Review: Enough Luxury For The Limo Biz?

Posted on September 17, 2012 by

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The 2012 Chrysler 300 shows off its Italian influence with refined front and rear ends, chrome accented tail lights and diamond-like LED daytime running lights.
The 2012 Chrysler 300 shows off its Italian influence with refined front and rear ends, chrome accented tail lights and diamond-like LED daytime running lights.

Three years after Italian auto manufacturer Fiat took majority control of Chrysler Group as part of Chrysler’s Chapter 11 reorganization, the odd couple gave birth to an Italian-American sedan, the 2012 Chrysler 300. It’s one of those children that take the best features from both parents; in this case, refined Italian design on the outside and powerful American muscle on the inside.

From the several models released in the 2012 line, Chrysler chose the 300 Limited, which sports an efficient V-6 engine and eight-speed transmission with an EPA-estimated 31 mpg highway rating, as its livery model. The fleet incentive net price is $31,415, which factors in the MSRP of $29,845; the destination fee of $995; a “driver convenience” add-on of $2,000; 18-inch chrome wheels for $825; and the fleet incentive rebate of $2,250.

The 300 Limited livery edition sedan debuted at the 2012 International LCT Show in Las Vegas among industry heavyweights, sparring with new models from Lincoln, Cadillac and BMW. Call it a dark horse or an underdog, there is no mistaking that this once third-ranked American livery sedan that left the industry in 2010 amid poor performance has re-emerged as an improved and exciting breed.

The sleek sedan body meets the low-profile style requirement of chauffeured cars, but the vehicle looks larger than it actually is.
The sleek sedan body meets the low-profile style requirement of chauffeured cars, but the vehicle looks larger than it actually is.

Among other exterior enhancements, the front fascia and rear end are sleeker and more fluid, accented by chrome on the front grille and rear tail lights. The side windows offer a spotlight on the door handles at night, and the most distinguishable design feature (in my opinion) are the LED daytime running lights that look like diamonds in the front, a possible allusion to the car’s historical bling-bling hip-hop appeal.

On the surface, the 2012 Chrysler 300 is an elegant, low-profile luxury sedan that looks every bit like a livery workhorse. But as all operators know, it’s what’s inside that really counts. I spent a week testing the rear-wheel drive Chrysler 300C, which has a V-8 Hemi engine instead of the Limited’s V-6, and is the automaker’s livery vehicle for the UK market. But as I discovered, there are plenty of features and amenities shared between the 300C and 300 Limited models.

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