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Pickup Earns Prestigious Award with Added Capability, Efficiency and Technology
NATICK, Mass., Dec. 13, 2012 -- Few accolades hold as much weight for pickup trucks as the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award, and the magazine's editors say the redesigned Ram 1500 is the clear choice for 2013. Indicating that the rest of the half-ton segment will now have to play catch-up, Motor Trend praised the 2013 Ram 1500's new air suspension, towing capacity and choice of engines and trims.
To earn the Motor Trend Truck of the Year award, vehicles have to be all-new or significantly upgraded from the prior model, and each entrant is tested across six criteria, including Engineering Excellence, Design Advancement, Safety, Efficiency, Value and Performance of Intended Function. Motor Trend editors lauded the Ram 1500's new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, which increases horsepower and torque by 42 percent and 13 percent, respectively, compared to its predecessor. Those improvements also come along with best-in-class fuel economy of 25 mpg on the highway and best-in-class standard V6 towing capacity.
"The Pentastar V6 is just as effective at saving gas during the commute as it is hauling snowmobiles up North for the weekend, and Ram 1500 buyers who need the utmost in performance can still upgrade to the 5.7-liter HEMI V8," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Ram dealership. "What really wrapped up the Truck of the Year award, though, was that Ram recognized that the pickup segment is more than just a race for superior power and towing, so it packed its truck with new technologies and other available amenities."
Among the new Ram 1500's segment-first technologies are an eight-speed automatic transmission, a stop-start system, active aerodynamics, a thermal management system and pulse-width modulation, which all help the truck achieve its leading fuel efficiency. For added convenience, the optional RamBox Cargo Management System can now be locked and unlocked from the key fob or power lock switches, providing easier access to the gear, tools or beverages held in the drainable side-bed compartments.
Inside the cabin, Ram's focus on intuitive technology continues with the available next-generation Uconnect Access system. The in-truck connectivity feature lets drivers manage music, hands-free calls, navigation and climate control with an 8.4-inch touchscreen and voice commands. Uconnect Access can also create a Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing passengers to stay entertained or productive by connecting their tablets, laptops and smartphones to the Internet.
Like Motor Trend's editors, buyers are responding positively to the Ram 1500's new features, as the redesigned model helped boost Ram pickup sales by 23 percent year-over-year last month. More than 24,000 units of the truck found new homes for its best November sales since 2007.
"Even before the new model started arriving in late October, the Ram 1500 was steadily picking up market share in its segment this year, and we expect it to gain even more momentum in 2013," added Gill. "As truck buyers start to judge the Ram 1500 for its total package versus their past loyalties, the choice will become more and more obvious."
All-New Compact Car Earns 2012 Top Safety Pick Designation
NATICK, Mass., Oct. 11, 2012 -- Dodge's sporty new Dart may compete in the compact-car market, but it performs above its weight when it comes to passenger protection, offering more than 60 available safety and security features. The result is a reliably safe vehicle that recently aced crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to receive a 2012 Top Safety Pick designation.
The crash-test regimen from the IIHS includes rear, side and moderate-overlap frontal impacts, as well as a rollover simulation, and scores range from a top rating of "good" to a lowest rating of "poor." The 2013 Dodge Dart earned "good" ratings across the board, reflecting the American automaker's dedication to building a compact car that buyers can feel confident driving.
"The Dodge Dart has one of the highest content ratios of high-strength steel in the industry, which is why it can take a beating without transferring the impact to its occupants," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Dodge dealership. "The best part is that all that advanced steel also makes for a lightweight chassis, which means greater fuel efficiency and a total win-win for buyers."
Fuel economy is a growing priority for consumers amid unstable gas prices, and while the standard Dart already returns up to 36 mpg on the highway, Dodge has gone one step further with the recent arrival of its new Aero trim at dealerships. Sporting a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, the 2013 Dodge Dart Aero nets up to 41 mpg on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the segment.
As its name implies, the Aero trim helps the Dart cut through the air more efficiently. Active grille shutters, underbody aero panels and a lowered ride all improve the car's aerodynamics, while low-rolling resistance tires cut drag. The Dodge Dart Aero also employs aluminum chassis components to save weight.
While Dodge engineers may have focused on slimming down the Dart Aero, the vehicle is far from sparse in the feature category. Aero models come standard with automatic headlamps, air conditioning that flows through a micron filter to reduce allergens, power accessories, remote keyless entry and even a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. Meanwhile, a class-exclusive 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a seven-inch TFT customizable gauge cluster are also available.
"Saving at the gas pump doesn't have to equate to driving around in a bland automobile," added Gill. "The Dodge Dart offers a variety of unique looks and is fun to drive, yet it won't cost you during your weekly commute. Not to mention, the car doesn't make buyers jump through hoops to get their preferred features."
Uconnect Access Will Debut in New 2013 Ram 1500 and SRT Viper Models
NATICK, Mass., Aug. 14, 2012 - As many vehicle infotainment systems become more and more reliant on their connectivity with smartphones, the Chrysler Group is instead looking at ways to make its vehicles more connected on their own. Partnering with Sprint to enhance its Uconnect infotainment system, Chrysler plans to fully integrate wireless connectivity into upcoming models, starting with the arrivals of the redesigned 2013 Ram 1500 pickup and all-new 2013 SRT Viper supercar later this year.
Called Uconnect Access, the new subscription-based cellular system will allow drivers to perform internet searches or read and compose text messages by voice without having to connect their smartphones. Requesting turn-by-turn directions will also be an easier task than in competing infotainment systems, as motorists will just need to push a button on the steering wheel and state the address, rather than answer a series of prompts. Uconnect Access will turn the vehicles into wireless hot spots as well, allowing passengers to connect laptops, smartphones and tablets to Wi-Fi.
"Massachusetts drivers want to be connected while on the road, and with Uconnect Access, they won't need to worry about where their phones are to send text messages or make calls while in their car," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Ram dealership. "The system takes away the distracting temptation to fumble for your phone, but if you still want to connect your smartphone in a hands-free capacity, the technology will allow for that as well."
Aside from its new available Uconnect Access system, the Ram 1500 has been heavily updated for the 2013 model year. The standard 2013 Ram 1500 houses a new, higher-output 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that generates 305 horsepower while pairing with a new eight-speed automatic transmission to achieve what Ram expects to be best-in-class fuel economy. Select 2013 Ram 1500 models will also be the first pickup trucks on the market to feature stop-start technology, which shuts off the engine when the truck comes to a complete stop to improve fuel efficiency by up to 3.3 percent.
Improvements to the 2013 Ram 1500 continue on the inside, with premium materials now covering the armrests, upper bolsters and door panels. Previously located on the center console, the gear shifter has transformed into a rotary e-shift dial on the dash, opening up additional storage in the console. Meanwhile, the Ram 1500's 3.5-inch vehicle information screen will now be standard on ST and SLT trims, instead of being reserved for premium models.
Outside, the 2013 Ram receives a facelift, with a larger, bolder grille and a revised front fascia. Power-folding mirrors and power stainless-steel running boards offer improved convenience, while five new available exterior colors update the look of the truck. Additionally, buyers of the 2013 Ram 1500 Crew Cab will now be able to opt for a 6-foot-4-inch bed to maximize space.
"The Ram 1500 truck has been at the top of its class for years, and the latest changes to the 2013 model make it better across the board," added Gill. "Buyers that need a truck with serious capability won't have to sacrifice modern conveniences and comforts when they get behind the wheel of the 2013 Ram 1500."
Sales of Patriotic Jeep Will Benefit Military Charities
NATICK, Mass., July 13, 2012 - First developed by the U.S. military to be used as a light reconnaissance vehicle in World War II, the Jeep Wrangler is one of the most uniquely American vehicles on the market today. Now on sale and designed to honor that history is the new Jeep Wrangler Freedom edition, which not only features military-inspired styling, but also supports military charities with each sale.
Available in Deep Cherry Red, Bright White or True Blue, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Freedom edition has star decals on its hood and rear quarter panels, as well as a fender badge that reads "Oscar Mike," meaning "on the move" in military terminology. Jeep will set aside $250 for each Wrangler Freedom edition sold, splitting the money between the Fisher House Foundation and the I Support Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation provides families of injured or sick military members with a place to stay near the hospital, while the I Support Foundation provides grants to charities for veterans and helps returning troops find jobs and healthcare.
"Many Americans still associate the Jeep name with iconic images from World War II, and the Wrangler Freedom edition is a great way of honoring our military's past and present," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Jeep dealer in Massachusetts. "Buyers get a unique, boldly styled Wrangler model while supporting our troops, and Jeep has created a $500 cash allowance for military members that want to take the model home for themselves."
Offered as a two-door Wrangler or a four-door Wrangler Unlimited, the 2012 Jeep Wrangler Freedom edition is based on the vehicle's Sport trim. The grille, bumper inserts and 17-inch alloy wheels are all painted Mineral Gray, while a Mopar fuel fill door and a Sunrider top with deep-tinted rear windows finish off the list of exterior modifications.
The military-themed styling of the Jeep Wrangler Freedom edition continues inside, with Oscar Mike logos embroidered on the seat backs in silver stitching. French Silver stitching marks the steering wheel, seats, doors and front arm rest, while the front-passenger grab handle, door pulls and dash-vent rings all receive Quick Silver accents. That metallic theme is taken further with Satin Chrome spokes on the Wrangler Freedom edition's leather-wrapped steering wheel.
Like all 2012 Wrangler models, the Wrangler Freedom edition houses a new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine that produces 285 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque while returning up to 21 mpg on the highway. That mix of power and fuel efficiency proved very popular in U.S. showrooms in June, with the Wrangler achieving its best sales month ever, up 28 percent year-over-year. Automotive News recently reported that the Chrysler Group will be adding jobs at the Wrangler's Toledo, Ohio assembly facility later this year to keep up with high demand for the vehicle.
"The Wrangler has been selling very quickly since it was outfitted with the versatile Pentastar V6 for the 2012 model year," Gill noted. "What really attracts buyers though is that the powerplant is available in so many customizable Wrangler trims, whether it is a model that honors our soldiers or one that owns the off-roading trails."
Full-Size Sedan Tops Segment in AutoPacific and Autobytel Survey
NATICK, Mass., June 11, 2012 - A new customer-satisfaction survey shows that American automakers still lead when it comes to large cars, taking the top five spots in the segment, and it was the 2012 Chrysler 300 that rose to the top. AutoPacific and Autobytel Inc. recently named the Chrysler 300 the Top Rated Large Car in their 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards, citing the vehicle's quiet ride, smooth handling and impressive power.
Automotive researcher AutoPacific and vehicle-information provider Autobytel put together the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards by surveying roughly 75,000 drivers that bought a 2012-model-year vehicle from September to December of 2011. Their survey covered 48 different areas of satisfaction, ranging from power and acceleration to styling and cargo space, in order to decide awards in 26 different segment categories. Owners of the 2012 Chrysler 300 proved to be the most satisfied in the Large Car category, ahead of the Ford Taurus, Dodge Charger, Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Impala.
"It's one thing to be happy during the first few weeks of ownership, but it's a different story after you spend a few months with your new ride," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Chrysler dealer in Massachusetts. "Chrysler 300 owners remain very pleased with their purchases thanks to the incredibly refined ride, high build quality and the powerful yet fuel-efficient drivetrain options."
The Chrysler 300's calling card is a sophisticated exterior that still manages to look muscular, featuring a high belt line and flared wheel arches. Inside, a laminated acoustic windshield and ample soundproofing in the wheel wells and under the floor provide a calm driving experience, while an optional dual-pane sunroof directs an abundance of light throughout the cabin.
While noise from the engine bay may be muted, the 300's performance is anything but subdued thanks to its powerful drivetrain options. The standard engine is the award-winning 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, which produces 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque while returning up to 31 mpg on the highway. Those looking for more power can opt for the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with 363 horsepower or a 6.4-liter V8 powerplant in the SRT8 model that churns out 465 horsepower. That high performance doesn't mean an unquenchable thirst at the pump though, as both V8-equipped 300s can return 25 mpg on the highway.
Sales of the Chrysler 300 have skyrocketed this year, up 203 percent in 2012 year-over-year and rising by 140 percent in May compared to the same month last year. Those numbers helped the Chrysler brand reach its highest May sales in four years, as well as its 11th-straight month of year-over-year sales growth.
"Chrysler has done a great job of refining its vehicles without inflating their price tags, and that has brought results in showrooms," Gill noted. "The reason that so many Chrysler 300 owners are satisfied is that no other vehicle in its class offers such a great value."
Chrysler's Detroit Factory Will Also Add Third Shift Sooner than Expected
NATICK, Mass., May 8, 2012 - While other businesses slow down in productivity this July due to the usual summer lull, the Jeep Grand Cherokee's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit will be churning out new models at full throttle. With sales of the SUV up 37 percent year-over-year at Jeep dealerships through April, Chrysler recently announced that it will forgo the usual two-week shutdown of the factory in early July in order to meet growing demand.
The Big Three automakers typically use a two-week period starting around July 4 to stop or slow production, take stock of their inventories and install new manufacturing equipment for the next model year. Chrysler's decision to instead increase production of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is welcome news for both current and future Jefferson North employees, and the automaker also announced that it will move up its plans to add a third shift of workers to the plant to this November instead of next year.
"The Grand Cherokee is one of the few vehicles that can do anything you ask of it, which is good news for both buyers and the workers that rely on its demand," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Jeep dealer. "Unlike most SUVs, you get a comfortable, car-like ride, but you can also get a full range of capability, with available four-wheel drive and a large towing capacity for transporting those big weekend toys."
Currently, the Jefferson North assembly plant employs roughly 2,900 workers to manufacture the Grand Cherokee during two shifts, and is running overtime on two out of every three Saturdays to keep up with demand. Chrysler will be hiring about 1,100 more employees to make up the upcoming third shift.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee sold 2,032 more units last month than it did in April 2011, a 21-percent increase and the vehicle's best April sales in seven years. The SUV helped the Jeep brand post a 19-percent April sales increase year-over-year, resulting in its highest April sales in five years. Last month was the 24th month in a row that Jeep saw a year-over-year sales increase.
Equipped with its standard 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 engine, the 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee delivers 290 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque while still returning 23 mpg on the highway. For drivers who need increased capability, a 5.7-liter V8 option offers 360 horsepower and a 7,400-pound maximum towing capacity when properly equipped. Choosing the range-topping 6.4-liter HEMI V8 will give buyers 470 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque.
"The Jeep Grand Cherokee is completely customizable to suit your lifestyle," added Gill. "If you're someone who travels with a trailer every weekend, one of the V8 options might be for you. If your idea of adventure is getting to the middle school pick-up line no matter the weather, the Grand Cherokee's V6 will get you there on less gas."
Full-Size Truck Gains Pentastar Engine and New Eight-Speed Transmission
NATICK, Mass., April 11, 2012 - Rising fuel costs have truck owners feeling the pinch, and Chrysler is making moves to alleviate some of the pressure with the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup truck. Expected to reach Ram dealerships later this year, the new Ram pickup will feature a myriad of innovative features designed to improve fuel efficiency while still boosting power.
What started as a mild mid-cycle refresh for the 2013 Ram 1500 has turned into an all-out redesign, with everything from the chassis to the interior receiving heavy revisions. The most significant changes, however, are the introductions of Chrysler's Pentastar V6 engine and the TorqueFlite 8 eight-speed automatic transmission to the lineup. Ram engineers expect that drivetrain combo to help boost fuel economy by roughly 20 percent compared to the outgoing V6. That would translate to about 24 mpg on the highway, a new high-water mark for full-size trucks.
"Ram lived up to its name and addressed the issue of fuel efficiency head on, but it did so without neglecting the features that truck owners have always wanted," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Ram dealer. "The result is a Ram 1500 that is not only better on gas, but more powerful, more refined and more capable than the competition."
The new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 in the 2013 Ram 1500 is notably more powerful than the current 3.7-liter V6, producing 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque, increases of 42 percent and 13 percent, respectively. New 2013 Ram 1500 trucks with the HEMI V8 will deliver 395 horsepower, a five-horsepower boost, but perhaps more impressive is that they will also feature at least a 10-percent improvement in fuel economy. The V8 models will be available with the TorqueFlite 8 transmission later in the 2013 model year.
While its drivetrains will be doing the heavy lifting, the 2013 Ram 1500's suspension also received some attention. A class-exclusive air suspension improves fuel economy, handling and off-road capability while also auto-leveling the truck when it is loaded with cargo or towing a trailer. Based on the driver's needs and conditions, the suspension can either adjust automatically or be controlled manually to raise or lower the truck. Drivers can also increase ride height by up to two inches for off-roading, creating a best-in-class 10.7 inches of ground clearance.
Inside, Ram 1500 trucks equipped with the TorqueFlite 8 transmission will shift using a rotary knob rather than a lever, enabling blind shifts from reverse to drive, a useful feature when backing a trailer into a space. Another interior option is Chrysler's Uconnect infotainment system, which uses an 8.4-inch touchscreen to control audio settings, climate control and navigation. The system can also perform hands-free phone calls and texting when connected to a smartphone. Unlike offerings from other automakers, the software can be updated from the touchscreen instead of requiring a USB drive or a visit to the dealership.
"Trucks have to be more than a large piece of work equipment these days, and Ram has found the right mix of rugged capability and daily usability with the 2013 Ram 1500," Gill noted. "Massachusetts truck drivers want a ride that can do it all, and Ram is the only brand that is delivering the goods across the board."
Premium Sedan Is Certified Family Friendly by Kelley Blue Book's Kbb.com
NATICK, Mass., March 7, 2012 - Chrysler is quick to point out the style and power of its large luxury flagship, the 300, but Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com recently saw a softer side of the bad-boy sedan. The automotive-information group recently featured the 2012 Chrysler 300 available at Chrysler dealerships on its 10 Best Family Cars of 2012 list, proving that the Town & Country minivan isn't the brand's lone family-friendly product.
Kbb.com based its 10 Best Family Cars of 2012 list on a range of factors, including safety, comfort, child-friendliness, strong consumer ratings and low cost of ownership. The 2012 Chrysler 300 was the only full-size sedan on the list, earning praise for its distinctive styling, premium standard features and outstanding comfort. Kbb.com editors also noted the 300's fuel-efficient yet powerful V6 powertrain and class-exclusive eight-speed automatic transmission.
"Chrysler's 300 is a great vehicle for families that refuse to give up style and driving enjoyment just because they have one or two little ones onboard," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Chrysler dealer. "Some family vehicles are just glorified boxes on wheels, but Chrysler has proven that kid friendly doesn't have to mean bland and boring."
It was the Chrysler 300's stylish appeal that came into play in its victory over the 2012 Hyundai Genesis sedan in Autoblog's recent luxury-sedan comparison test. The online automotive publication chose to compare the 300 and Genesis because they are the only full-size, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans available with base prices at less than $35,000, providing premium features without a premium price.
Powered by Chrysler's Pentastar V6 engine, the Chrysler 300 has 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque on tap, offering ample acceleration while returning 31 mpg on the highway, two more than the Genesis sedan. The Chrysler also sports more trunk space, 16.3 cubic-feet compared to 15.9 cubic-feet for the Hyundai, which means there is plenty of room for groceries, golf clubs or luggage for a family of four.
Autoblog editors praised the Chrysler 300 for its style both inside and out, while criticizing the Hyundai's interior for being "bland." Chrysler designers focused on soft-touch materials throughout the 300's cabin, including optional soft-leather upholstery that is available in classic Black or a vibrant Radar Red for those looking to spice things up. Glossy piano-black trim pieces on the doors and dash add to the sense of sophistication, while the acoustic windshield, wheel liners and underbody closeouts ensure a quiet driving environment.
"Thanks to the Chrysler 300, you don't have to spend $70,000 to get a complete full-size luxury sedan," Gill noted. "The Chrysler 300 is the democratization of luxury: You can get the silent ride, the soft-leather upholstery and the innovative technology without having to be a millionaire."
Laramie Limited Pickup Offers Premium Alternative to Laramie Longhorn
NATICK, Mass., Feb. 8, 2012 - The premium-trim Ram Laramie Longhorn pickup truck has proven popular since its debut last year, but its strong Western theme is not for everyone. Enter the new top-of-the-line Ram Laramie Limited, which will look more at home on city construction sites or by motorsport courses after it arrives at Ram dealerships in the second quarter of 2012.
Scheduled to debut this week at the 2012 Chicago Auto Show, the Ram Laramie Limited is aimed at drivers that need towing capacity for equipment like snowmobiles or motorcycles yet want a higher level of comfort and refinement. Luxury touches in the Laramie Limited will include full Natura Plus leather seating, piano-black trim and understated exterior badging to exude what Ram calls a "street truck" look.
"The Laramie Limited has all of the power and hauling capacity of other full-size pickup trucks, but it's smoother around the edges and has more confident styling," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Ram dealer. "While you'll be able to haul and tow with the best of them in the Limited, you'll also be able to do it while sitting in the lap of luxury. For a pickup truck, that's rare."
Available in Ram 1500, 2500 HD and 3500 HD configurations, the Laramie Limited will come equipped with a standard navigational radio, back-up camera and leather-wrapped shifter. Also standard are a remote start system, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front and rear seats, which all make the Laramie Limited an ideal pickup for weekend snowmobiling trips in the winter.
While the Laramie Limited will not go on sale until this spring, Ram has already seen rising sales of its other models in 2012. Last month, the brand earned its best January sales since 2008, up 42 percent compared to January 2011. Ram pickup truck sales alone saw an increase of 47 percent, achieving their 21st-consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.
In addition to its strong sales, the Ram 1500 was declared a 2012 Consumer Guide Automotive Best Buy in the Large Pickup segment last month. Following a road test, editors at the auto-review publication were particularly fond of the truck's passenger and cargo room, as well as the acceleration of V8 models. The Ram 1500 was also recently named U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Best Full-Size Pickup Truck for the Money.
"Ram spends all of its energy and resources building trucks, and that dedication shows when the end result is a pickup like the Ram 1500," added Gill. "When you add in trims like the Laramie Limited, customers get a variety of options to suit their tastes. Regardless, they know from the start that any of the configurations will deliver when it comes to performance."
Automaker Brings Ultra-Premium Leather, Better Fuel Economy to Flagship Sedan
NATICK, Mass., Jan. 9, 2012 - Chrysler is going further upscale with its new 300 Luxury Series, which the automaker says will be the most luxurious, fuel-efficient Chrysler flagship ever. Due to reach Chrysler dealers in the first quarter of 2012, the leather-clad sedan will return up to 31 mpg on the highway, giving luxury lovers a guilt-free way to get around.
Featuring top-grade Black or Mochachino Poltrona Frau "Foligno" leather normally found in Maseratis, the Luxury Series 300 and 300C sedans punch well above their price tags when it comes to luxury. The interior also features hand-sanded wood trim accents, 12-way power-adjustable heated and ventilated seats, Berber floor mats and a heated, leather-trimmed steering wheel tailored toward Snow Belt natives.
"The 300 Luxury Series steps away from the more-common Corinthian leather and provides a truly upscale cabin experience with the highest quality leathers," said Richard Gill, owner of Brigham-Gill Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, a Natick, Massachusetts Chrysler dealer. "Chrysler has combined the luxurious interior of an exotic Italian car with the muscle of an all-American sedan imported from Detroit. It's the best of both worlds at a price that undercuts the competition by thousands of dollars."
Power and fuel efficiency in the 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series come from the standard 292-horsepower Pentastar V6, which is paired with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. The 300 Luxury Series comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but an available all-wheel-drive system will likely be a popular choice with Bay State drivers who have to deal with dangerous winter driving. Those looking for more power can opt for the V8-toting 300C Luxury Series, which pumps out 363 horsepower and still returns 25 mpg on the highway. The V8 is also available with Chrysler's all-wheel-drive setup.
Chrysler's efforts to innovate didn't stop in the 300's engine bay, as the automaker has also gone to great lengths to provide cutting-edge in-car connectivity with the latest infotainment hardware. Luxury Series cars will come with Chrysler's Uconnect Touch system, which combines the power of a Garmin navigation unit, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link with an 8.4-inch touch screen, the largest screen in the segment. The system can also work with Bluetooth-connected smartphones to provide hands-free calling and even stream music without having to plug in.
Outside, the Chrysler 300 Luxury Series differentiates itself from other models with 20-inch polished rims on rear-wheel-drive models and 19-inch rollers on all-wheel-drive-equipped 300s. Platinum chrome adorns the exterior mirrors, door handles and fascia accents, creating an upscale look that is topped off by the large chromed grille.
"The 300 Luxury Series has an air of what I'd describe as sophisticated aggression," Gill noted. "It's very upscale looking, but the low stance and creased sides look like they belong in an action movie. It's a really distinctive car."