The 2012 Chrysler 300 Sedan offers the best performance ever seen in the Chrysler line. Base models are powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that offers 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and is paired up with a standard five-speed automatic. Even for a base model, this is pretty quick, accelerating zero to 60 mph in only 7.1 seconds. The 300C and 300S models get a 5.7-liter V-8 engine that produces 363 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. However, for the ultimate driving performance, Chrysler has gone even farther by giving the SRT8 a 6.3-liter V-8 engine. This machine delivers 470 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque, which blows the competition away.
Fuel saver technology comes standard, turning off half of the cylinders automatically whenever possible to improve efficiency. This does offset the potential for rapid acceleration, but with higher gas mileage, most agree that the tradeoff is worthwhile. Estimated fuel economy on a base model is 19 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. An active exhaust system sends the engine waste directly to the mid and rear muffler. Sophisticated engineering makes this vehicle the most technologically advanced among the competition.
Test drivers found that the vehicle gains speed quickly, though at higher velocities, it is more difficult to steer than one would wish. The transmission is solid, but doesn't shift as quickly as needed under fast-moving scenarios. The 300 is quite stable when turning and the brakes performed very well, even when the speedometer hit triple digits.
With more than 70 active and passive security and safety features, drivers feel good about the Chrysler 300 Sedan. Some of these include electronic stability control which springs into action when you seem to be sliding off course, anti-lock brakes with all speed traction control, and Brake Assist, which employs smart technology to automatically increase braking pressure when it senses an emergency situation. Keyless Enter 'N Go is a new feature that senses the key, resulting in keyless entry and car start for quick departure. Airbags are offered standard at the level you would expect, with multistage front airbags, supplemental front-seat thorax side airbags, driver knee air bag, and side-curtain airbags for the front and back seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Chrysler 300 Sedan as "Good" I frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests, which is the highest rating possible.