2010 Chrysler 300C SRT8 new car reviews

The 300C SRT8 has been with us for a few seasons, but it still cuts an imposing figure.
Standard equipment includes a 6.1-liter Hemi V8 and the beefy Brembos. The grille was updated for 2008.

Better than: Cherokee SRT8
But not as good as: the Blues Mobile
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 79.91

Chrysler has given several models the SRT treatment, and the menacing 300C is definitely one of them. The 300C SRT-8 has been part of the lineup since the 2005 model year, and the recipe is common: Take an ordinary Chrysler product and stuff a lot of power under the hood. Yes, it's got a Hemi.

While that's going on, beef up the brakes--Brembos are standard--and tweak the suspension. The result is a big, boxy machine that hauls. It will haul groceries, your family and a lot of you-know-what.

Other staff views

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

There's a lot to like about this one. For one, it's pretty quick. It's also roomy, although I'm curious how well those of taller stature fit. I also dig the looks, but I'd rather go with a black one. Our red test car felt a little too "hey, check me out," especially with the chrome wheels.

I know that most of us prefer to row our own gears, but this setup works well with the five-speed auto box. Honestly, there's so much torque that you can just set it and forget it.

I'd rate some of the interior controls and details a click below GM's, too. You can kinda tell which ones come from Mercedes and which ones don't.

Our test car stickered at $50,655. That might be a bit too rich for my blood.

Scott Lear Scott Lear

As lead sleds go, these are pretty cool. I do wish the automatic transmission were a bit more evolved, there's nothing really wrong with it, but it lacks the decisive crispness of, say, a Toyota Avalon or any AMG auto. This car certainly has the hustle to get down the road, however. Sounds healthy, too, but don't forget that every time it sounds cool, a gallon of fuel dies.

J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

It'll pass anything but a gas station. The 300C is not what normal people would consider a reasonable car. It's massive appearance is confirmed by the fact that it s a truly massive automobile, and from behind the wheel it gives you a sense of invulnerability like few other cars are capable of. Of course, it's hard to look too cool when you're stopping every few minutes to fill up,but that's the price we pay.

As a car, the 300C feels only mildly special. There's little to distinguish it dynamically from the regular version of itself until you put your foot down. Yes, I know it has some fancy sport suspension and a wheel and tire package that's bigger than my first apartment, but it's a bit like worrying that the below-deck basketball game on the aircraft carrier will throw off the catapult—the 300 is just too big to notice man of the improvements.

Still, it's not a bad car. We're a bit spoiled these days because everything is so darn good and competent. When I was in high school a car like the 300C SRT8 would have been spoken of in hushed tones, as though saying its name out loud would somehow poison your soul and turn the world to ash. Time has marched on, however. Simply throwing the huge motor the the family sedan is no longer the solution to all the world's problems.

It is the solution to some, however.

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin
Associate Publisher

Magazine types like us have a tendency to nitpick. Usually this dissection of a car's faults starts in the parking lot. The 300C, like all Chrysler products, gives us plenty of fodder for our excessive/obsessive need to find every ergonomic flaw and design sin. The interior is a bit crude for a $50K car. The steering wheel is the same unit found in a rental V6 Charger. The controls feel a bit cheap to the touch, etc.....

Once underway, we find that the massive wheels clomp over bad pavement, the controls feel a bit slow (Mercedes lineage, coming through), and--holy camoley!--this thing gets terrible gas mileage!

Then you floor it, and the giggling ensues.

We all know the Daimler/Chrysler "merger of equals" wasn't kind to the home team. All enthusiasts should celebrate the failed merger, though, as it resulted in the best-driving Chrysler sedans of all time: Think the Charger, Magnum and 300C.

This 300C SRT isn't for everyone. It's too showy, massive and crude for most folks looking for a $50K luxury/performance car. It isn't precise like a BMW or creamy like a Lexus. It doesn't host all the whiz-bang technology of an Acura or the grace of an Audi. What the 300C does have is a massive, ass-kicking V8 under the hood, and the noise it creates makes those other cars whimper--and leak fluids.

For better or worse, the 300C SRT8 is a bully. It is a badass that will punch you in the face if you think differently.

I love it.

Tom Heath Tom Heath
UberDork

Of all the SRT-8 models, the 300C SRT8 is my favorite. Visibility, comfort, and practicality is better than the Challenger or Charger that share the same driveline, and even five years after it was introduced the 300C is still a styling hit for me. Some may complain of the 300C's more budget-conscious roots, as it's unlikely to turn heads among non-enthusiasts. In fact, it looks a lot like all the other 300Cs that have been around since 2005. That's a plus, not a minus in my mind. It's probably the most understated and elegant way to lay dark rubber patches across your favorite parking lot.

If I let my mother drive this one for a year, she'd probably never realize the snarling beast that lives under the hood. Squeeze the accelerator a bit, though, and the 300C will eagerly roar through the gears and pin you to your seat. It's a nearly perfect combination of civility and capability for a premium neo-muscle car. It won't replace the role of a more focused sports car in my fantasy garage, but would make a fine daily driver after I nail down a lottery win.

Is the 300C perfect car? Not by a long shot, but it does fill a role that I can imagine having. Maybe the 300C is the perfect 3rd car, after my track beast and my tow rig.

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Chrysler has given several models the SRT treatment, and the menacing 300C is definitely one of them. The 300C SRT-8 has been part of the lineup since the 2005 model year, and the recipe is common: Take an ordinary Chrysler product and stuff a lot of power under the hood. Yes, it's got a Hemi.

While that's going on, beef up the brakes--Brembos are standard--and tweak the suspension. The result is a big, boxy machine that hauls. It will haul groceries, your family and a lot of you-know-what.

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