From November 2007 issue

YOU GET a whole lot of metal for you money with the Chrysler 300C Touring. At over five metres long and weighing nearly two tonnes, this is a big, heavy car.

That has obvious advantages when towing. Tourers of 1653kg make an 85% match, so the Chrysler makes a sensible match for all but the heaviest caravans. The noseweight limit of 100kg is reassuring, and higher than that of many rivals.

Weighing so much would count for little if the 300C didn’t have the brawn to go with the bulk. There are no worries on that score. The 3.0-litre diesel puts out 215bhp and a huge 376lb.ft of torque. It’s the latter figure which really counts when towing, and helped the Chrysler drag an Abbey Expression 550 (MTPLM: 1500kg) from 30-60mph in just 10.2 seconds.

In our emergency lane-change test, the 300C was a little reluctant to change direction in a hurry but otherwise gave a good account of itself. It coped well with the hill start, too, although the brakes were more disappointing. The pedal felt wooden and the stopping distance of 11.9 metres from 30mph was mediocre.

Driven solo, you’re always aware of the 300C’s size. The soft suspension is comfortable but not especially controlled on bumpy roads and we found the automatic gearbox slow to change down a gear.

There’s plenty of space in the Chrysler, although the bulky transmission tunnel gets in the way of a third rear-seat passenger’s feet. Official figures promise a huge boot, but in practice many rivals offer a more practical load space and the rear seats don’t lie flat when folded.

The 300C is well equipped and keenly priced, but don’t expect the car to hold its value as well as rivals with more prestigious badges.

We say
Towing: 4/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 3/5

Verdict: 3/5 – A powerful and stable towcar, but not as polished as some rivals.

List price when tested: £27,995
Kerbweight: 1945kg
85% match: 1653kg
Max towing weight: 2000kg
Towball limit: 100kg
30-60mph: 10.2seconds
30-0mph: 11.9m

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