Traditionally in the car market, to get the top glitzed-out luxury trim, one had to move up the engine ladder as well. Bigger equaled better, or perhaps the other way around. But with the just-announced 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series, that’s overturned. The Chrysler 300—as opposed to the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C—has a V-6 engine under its hood, but it has all of the stuff that comes with Chrysler’s premium trim level 300C Luxury Series.
Not that the Chrysler with the V-6 engine is a bad thing. It’s the same powertrain we recently tested in the 2012 Dodge Charger SXT and includes, like the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6, introduced last year, and the advanced all-new eight-speed transmission that the Chrysler Group is hooking up the Pentastar six cylinder for the 2012 model year. Chrysler notes that the V6/8-speed powertrain, the Chrysler 300 has an EPA estimated highway fuel economy of 31 mpg. It’s also rated at 19 mpg in the city while we recorded 20.1 mpg in mixed use.
What makes the 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series and 300C Luxury Series special however, is what’s possibly the most opulent in a Chrysler in the past 50 years. Available only on either model are Black or Mochachino Poltrona Frau “Foligno” leather-wrapped instrument panel, cluster brow, center console side panels and upper front- and rear-door panels. Premium Nappa leather covers the door armrest, bolster and center console armrest. Black or two-tone Mochachino seats are wrapped exclusively in supple Nappa leather. Both front seats are 12-way power-adjustable (including four-way power lumbar) with two-mode ventilation and two-mode heated seats for both front and rear passengers.
The steering wheel of the premier Chrysler Luxury Series sedans is available in either black or two-tone Mochachino leather and have a unique chrome accent ring, highlighting what Chrysler claims is a segment-exclusive 360-degree heated rim. The wood in the Luxury Series models is the real thing, hand-sanded Natural Pore Mocha wood trim with a matte finish.
The Luxury Series get everything, including the “the segment’s largest touchscreen infotainment system (8.4-inch) Uconnect® Touch 8.4N with Garmin® navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link, LED-illuminated instrument cluster with driver-selectable color EVIC, power tilt and telescoping steering column with memory, power-adjustable pedals with memory, power backlight sunshade, premium 18-ounce Berber floor mats satin chrome lower door sills with “Chrysler” logo, dual heated/cooled cup holders, ambient lit foot well lighting, LED illuminated interior door handles and front and rear map pockets, premium carpeted trunk mat, HomeLink universal transceiver and power exterior mirrors with memory, driver mirror auto-dimming and auto-tilt in Reverse.”
Outside, the rear-wheel drive 300 and 300C Luxury Series models have 20-inch alloy wheels with 19-inch wheels standard on the all-wheel drive models, and Chrysler liberally applied platinum trim round and about the exterior.
While the Pentastar V-6-powered 2012 Chrysler 300 may have all the equipment and trim items as the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C, prices aren’t equal, with V-8 and all-wheel drive models costing more. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (including $825 destination) of these Chrysler 300 models is:
- Chrysler 300 Luxury Series (RWD) $40,145
- Chrysler 300 Luxury Series (AWD) $42,495
- Chrysler 300C Luxury Series (RWD) $42,895
- Chrysler 300C Luxury Series (AWD) $45,245
As we said in the Charger SXT review, the Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 is smooth and powerful. And now in the 2012 Chrysler 300 Luxury Series, it comes with all the glitz the Hemi-powered Chrysler 300C.