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Chrysler is continuing its product resurgence, following on from the recently launched new Delta and Ypsilon models with the second generation of its flagship 300C saloon.
The executive-sized model is a striking alternative choice to the German saloons that dominate the sector, although Chrysler is only competing at the top end of the category as the 300C comes with just one engine choice, a 3.0-litre 236hp diesel. Unfortunately, against its key rivals its efficiency figures are disappointing, with CO2 coming in at 191g/km and economy at 39.6mpg. That compares with 139g/km and 53.3mpg for a BMW 530d auto.
But the 300C does have a spectacular standard equipment list. Items that would total several thousands of pounds for a German premium saloon come as standard, including satnav, digital radio, front and rear parking sensors and a very impressive complement of standard safety kit including seven airbags and a system that alerts the driver if someone is about to cross their path as they engage reverse.
The interior is particularly plush, there's plenty of room in the back, and the boot goes back a long way, but has severe wheel arch intrusion that eats into space and usability, and means the 300C's 481 litres is 40-60 litres behind the rival German saloons.
To drive, it feels like a big imposing car, and is certainly not as nimble as a 5-series, but a sense of presence communicates itself from behind the wheel as you look down the long bonnet. Refinement impresses too.
Residual values just about break the 30% boundary, but the poor emissions hit running costs, and you're looking at 2.4p per mile more than a 530d M-sport, which starts at over £3000 more. But the impressive equipment, vastly improved interior quality and better refinement could appeal to those looking for something different to the premium German norm.