A Quick Spin in the 2015 Chrysler 300S: The Evolving Businessman's Muscle Car
When the Chrysler 300 was first making a splash in the American performance car world in the 1950s and 1960s, it was called the “businessman’s muscle car because it offered impressive performance in a classy, roomy package. The 300 was ideal for the family man who needed interior space for either the family or coworkers who also wanted solid performance. The modern 300 follows that same direction, with a gorgeous sedan with a plush interior being appropriate for a trip to the country club with business associates or a trip to grandma’s house with the wife and kids.
The 2015 Chrysler 300S takes that design theory into a new model year with a lightly refreshed exterior that looks great, a revamped interior that both looks and feels great, a retuned suspension setup and a new 8-speed automatic transmission that improves performance and fuel economy.
In other words, the 2015 Chrysler 300S has gotten better in every way.
New Look Inside and Out for 2015
If you were to quickly glance at a 2014 Chrysler 300 and a 2015 Chrysler 300 in passing, you might not notice the differences between the two, as they are subtle at first. The large central grille opening has been enlarged and on my 300S test car, that grille area is filled with a unique blacked out mesh that adds a touch of sportiness to the big luxury car. The 300S is all about sportiness, so joining that black grille is a larger lower fascia opening that is all finished in black, blacked out headlight bezels, black window moldings and an optional black roof treatment.
My test car was fitted with the optional 5.7L Hemi V8 and when you get the Hemi with the 300S, you get unique lower side sills and a low profile rear spoiler that V6 300S buyers do not get. Again, these exterior changes are simple, but they go a long way in making the 300S look like a proper luxury sport sedan. There is also a new set of super sporty wheels, large LED taillights and a contrasting lower rear diffuser that includes integrated exhaust tips – all of which work with the new styling cues across the front to improve the current Chrysler 300S for the better.
On the inside, the 2015 Chrysler 300S sports a new gauge cluster that has a reconfigurable driver’s information display set between two large analog gauges – a setup similar to what I have seen and loved in the likes of the 2015 Dodge Charger. Along with this new gauge cluster comes the newest version of the company’s 8.4” UConnect infotainment system, which offers controls to pretty much every attribute of the interior including the climate control, the navigation systems, the interior settings, the sound system and the media player while still coming with a small collection of buttons and knobs that work in conjunction with the buttons on the steering wheel to adjust the different features of the UConnect system. This system has been heavily awarded for a reason, as it looks great and works great.
When you combine the new gadgets to the leather clad interior layout of the 2015 Chrysler 300S, you have a cockpit that is fitting of a large luxury sport sedan. It is big, roomy, and very comfortable for the people sitting up front and in the back with plenty of seating space and plush seating surfaces while the Beats speaker system provides incredible sound quality whether you listen to rock, rap or country.
New Performance for 2015
The 2015 Chrysler 300S is powered by the same 5.7L Hemi V8 as the previous 300S with 363 horsepower and 394lb-ft of torque, but new for 2015 is an 8-speed transmission that improves both performance and fuel economy. The addition of the 8-speed transmission in place of the old 5-speed gearbox allows the engineers to make the numerically lower gears more aggressive for improved acceleration while also having smaller steps between each gear – with shifts as quick as 250 milliseconds in Sport mode. Best of all, since the numerically higher gears are geared to keep RPMs way down, this new 300S with the Hemi will be a bit more efficient than the previous models so not only does it get quicker, but it also gets more fuel friendly.
In addition to the new transmission, the 2015 Chrysler 300S Hemi also has a tweaked sport suspension setup that yields stiffer handling in most driving situations, but it does so without killing the ride quality. After all, the 300S is still a luxury sedan, so a smooth ride is important. The 2015 300S offers impressive handling for a car of this size while still being smooth and quiet during every day driving.
Finally, the 2015 Chrysler 300S has a new Sport Mode, which sharpens throttle response and steering response while turning up the shift pressure, helping the 8-speed automatic transmission pop from gear to gear in the aforementioned 250 milliseconds. The Sport Mode doesn’t get too extreme, but the stiffer suspension, quicker throttle response and altered shift points all work together to provide an even more entertaining driving experience.
If you are in the market for a full sized luxury sedan that has a sporty side, but one that will satisfy your need for speed without taking you broke – the 2015 Chrysler 300S with the Hemi V8 is a remarkable option. The 2015 300S with the Hemi starts around $38,890 and even when you add some optional items like the Premium Group with a handful of safety gadgets and the stunning panoramic sunroof, the final price only climbs into the $42k range, which is mighty impressive for a car with this many standard feature and such exciting V8 performance.