For nearly 15 years, the Chrysler 300 has been the pinnacle of Chrysler's sedan lineup, topping a range of cars from that brand and those of its Dodge sister company. Somewhere under the 300's bold looks is a Mercedes-Benz platform adopted way back in the Daimler-Chrysler days, and since then, Chrysler has done a good job of refining those underpinnings to keep this car modern without resorting to a full redesign.
For 2019, the only update is a new "black noise" wheel finish on the 300S trim level. That's the middle child of a five-trim lineup that includes Touring, Touring L, Limited and 300C models.
Once again, the 300 comes standard with a 3.6L V6 engine whose 292 hp/260 lb-ft of torque goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels or, optionally, all four wheels. The power upgrade is a 5.7L V8 making 363 hp and 394 lb-ft that is also paired with an eight-speed gearbox but powers the rear wheels only.
The Chrysler 300 is the most interesting car in a full-size sedan field whose market share is continually being eroded by large SUVs and crossovers. Chrysler doesn't have one of those in its lineup, but the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee are notable for sharing the 300's powertrain options, and go a step further with more potent SRT variants, an option the 300 last offered in 2014.
Chrysler's competition comes from cars like the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon and Chevrolet Impala, but only the Taurus challenges the 300's power position with its SHO variant, whose turbocharged V6 comes close to the 300C's power output.
Standard features in Touring trim include a gauge cluster with a seven-inch customizable display, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Uconnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, 12-way power driver's seat with lumbar, cloth upholstery and passive keyless entry. Outside, there are 17-inch wheels, halogen headlights and LED taillights.
You have to move up to the 300S to get heated front seats, a trim that also brings a backup camera, remote engine start, 10-speaker stereo, Nappa leather-faced seating, 12-way power front passenger seat and black 20-inch wheels.
The Limited includes polished 20-inch wheels, auto-dimming driver's side mirror, power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, LED reading lights, Nappa seating with perforated inserts, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
Finally, the 300C gets the Hemi motor, trim-specific 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, adaptive xenon headlights with automatic levelling, heated and cooled console cupholders, black grille with platinum surround, luxury steering wheel with shift paddles, sport driving mode, and quilted Nappa seats.
Chrysler fuel consumption estimates for the 300 are 12.4/7.8 L/100 km (city/highway) with the V6 and rear-wheel drive, while cars with the V6/AWD combo are rated 12.8/8.7. The 300C and its V8 is rated 14.7/9.4.