8 Reasons We Love the Chrysler 300 SRT (2 Reasons We Would Never Buy One)
Going back to 2004, Chrysler caused waves in the automotive industry by introducing the sensational Chrysler 300. Considered one of the most important vehicles in the brand’s history and arguably one of the most popular new models of the 2000s, the Chrysler 300 introduced a unique style that American luxury cars lacked. for a long time. As if that weren’t enough, Chrysler upped the ante in 2006 with the performance-focused iteration of the 300 sedan, the 300 SRT.
The exciting combination of Chrysler 300 with the engineering experience of Street and Racing Technology and the pure power of the HEMI powertrain under the hood, the 300 SRT is a superior modern muscle car with a remarkable blend of performance and value. Unfortunately, there are a few inevitable caveats to all the adrenaline-filled excitement that comes with the 300 SRT. We explore several admirable reasons to love the 300 SRT in this article, but read on to find out the two big reasons why we’d never buy one.
ten Reasons to love: the aggressive exterior styling
The 300 sedan undoubtedly resonated with Chrysler’s upscale approach, but the automaker needed the 300 SRT to flaunt an aggressive yet functional exterior styling befitting its high-performance character. To that end, the 300 SRT sits a half-inch lower than non-SRT models, with modified front and rear fascias to help direct airflow and unique ducting that helps cool the brakes.
The rear wing is well defined in appearance and works to increase rear downforce by 39% without increasing drag. Other unique exterior features include SRT badging, four-inch round dual exhaust tips, body-color door mirrors and door handles, body-color grille inserts with chrome bezels, and front bumper inserts and rear in body color.
9 Reasons to love: Adaptive damping suspension system
The 300 SRT features an adaptive damping suspension with three modes, Auto, Sport and Track, explicitly tuned to deliver a comfortable ride consistent with street performance or track conditions. Auto mode automatically adjusts the suspension to manage driver and road inputs such as steering angle, vehicle speed, braking torque, steering speed, throttle and throttle position .
Sport mode locks out the rebound and compression of the damping system for a spirited ride. In contrast, Track mode combines higher damping rates with speed hold and shifting, allowing the driver complete control of shifting. A launch control system comes standard to help maximize straight-line acceleration and control wheel spin.
8 Reasons to love: Benchmark braking
SRT’s engineering prowess and experience are evident in distinctive performance-focused products, like the 300 SRT’s world-class braking system. Benchmark braking features 14.2-inch front and 13.8-inch rear slotted vented rotors with four-piston Brembo brakes. Wind tunnel designed brake cooling ducts allow direct airflow to vented rotors for improved brake cooling and fade performance.
The SRT 300 is equipped with a ready-to-use braking system that anticipates when the driver quickly releases the accelerator pedal and can initiate emergency braking. The electronic stability control pump engages and secures the brake pads against the rotors, reducing the time it takes for the brakes to be fully applied.
seven Reasons to love: World-class luxury
One of the most outstanding features of the SRT 300 is its ability to combine luxury, world-class interior layout and appointments with exhilarating performance capabilities. The leather-wrapped SRT steering wheel features a satin chrome rim section, a flattened lower surface with the SRT logo and an optional heater feature. Higher-end models include carbon fiber accents integrated into the dash and shifter bezel.
The heated and ventilated front seats feature the SRT logo embroidered on the seatbacks and active head restraints, while the rear seats are heated for passenger comfort. On the other hand, the optional premium leather interior package equips the SRT 300 with Poltrona Frau Foligno and Nappa leather trim.
6 Reasons to love: high-performance technology
The 300 SRT featured one of the largest dashboard displays in the segment, a customizable 8.4-inch color touchscreen that provides information such as horsepower, torque output and steering angle. Full-color Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) displays exclusive performance pages, including 60-0 braking distance, 0-60 mph timers, one-eighth-mile/quarter times of mile and lateral/longitudinal g-forces.
Chrysler loaded the 8.4-inch infotainment with an easy-to-use Uconnect Media Center 8.4N system equipped with several media and mobile connectivity items. Other advanced technologies in the 300 SRT include steering wheel controls and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound audio system with GreenEdge speaker/amplifier technology.
5 Reasons to love: Impressive security features
High performance demands high safety standards, and the 300 SRT doesn’t fall behind either, offering over 70 advanced safety features. Standard features include responsive front head restraints, driver’s knee bag, full-length side curtain airbags and front seat-mounted thorax side airbags to enhance occupant protection in the event of a collision.
Chrysler’s SafetyTec package fitted the 300 SRT with a package including adaptive front lighting, forward collision warning, HID high and low beams with automatic headlight leveling, blind spot monitoring, rear cross path detection and ParkSense front/rear park assist system. Other notable features include Keyless Enter-N-Go, energy-absorbing steering column and electric stability control with rain brake assist and ready-to-use braking to improve performance and stability. maneuverability.
4 Reasons to love: the HEMI V-8 engine
Interestingly, the Chrysler HEMI became legendary in the 1960s and 1970s, and SRT engineers continued the status and legacy with the 300 SRT. The performance sedan introduced the highest specific horsepower V-8 ever installed in a Chrysler model, a normally aspirated 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 in previous models, and a 6.4-liter iteration in later models. later models.
After adding more cubic inches, redesigning the intake cylinder head, increasing the compression ratio, and redesigning the exhaust system to increase flow, SRT engineers increased power from 425 hp at the start to 470 hp at the end. of the production period of the 300 SRT. With an A580 five-speed automatic transmission channeling HEMI power, performance figures include 0-60 mph acceleration in 4 seconds, a quarter-mile in the high range of 12 seconds and a top speed of 175 mph.
3 Reasons to love: MDS fuel saving technology
After a short one-year hiatus in 2011, Chrysler reintroduced the SRT 300 for the 2012 model year with a giant question mark hanging over its head; how to sell a high-performance sedan with high consumption in the era of the SUV? According to SRT brand CEO Ralph Gilles, one of Chrysler’s solutions was to rework the 6.4-liter HEMI with improved Multi-Displacement System (MDS) fuel-saving technology.
Chrysler MDS is an integrated cylinder deactivation technology that seamlessly alternates between a high fuel-economy four-cylinder mode when less power is needed and a full-volume V-8 mode when power is demanded. The system optimizes fuel economy when the 300 SRT’s V-8 requires less power without sacrificing capability and performance.
2 Why we’d never buy: Below-average fuel economy
According to data collected by the EPA, the 2006 model year 300 SRT had an estimated fuel economy rating of 13/18/15 MPG city/highway/combined for the 6.1-liter HEMI. The last model year 300 SRT had the 6.4-liter HEMI with upgraded MDS technology, and this iteration offered an estimated fuel economy of 14/23/17 MPG city/highway/combined.
Despite the slight improvement in fuel economy throughout the production period, the 300 SRT still offered below average fuel economy. Consumers today place more importance on a vehicle’s fuel economy, and the 300 SRT is a gas guzzler that we are unwilling to consider.
1 Why we’d never buy: Inferior build quality
Unfortunately, Fiat-Chrysler has earned a notorious reputation for reliability and build quality. The 300 SRT offered an affordable route to the luxury car experience, but it didn’t fall far from the tree, as evidenced by the inferior build quality of several interior features.
The 300 SRT’s inferior build quality stems mainly from the poor choice of interior materials used in trim, center console, leatherette and door inserts. Given how quickly deterioration and the need for replacement sets in, we’re discouraged from buying a used Chrysler 300 SRT.