2014 Chrysler 300 SRT Core
Pure Power for Not-Too-Picky People.No Comments
Simply calling the 300 SRT fast is like saying Attila the Hun has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
Big, Dumb, and Fast as Hell
The Chrysler 300 is a throwback to the land yachts of the early 1970s, and as such, it's not a very practical car in any of its iterations. The 300 C offers a nice blend of speed and luxury, which makes the 300 SRT a bit of an odd bird, as it sacrifices comfort for pure, balls-to-the-wall, badassery.
Simply calling the 300 SRT fast is like saying Attila the Hun has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. This car is a wild, unfettered, psychopathic, speed demon. It might be the stupidest car on the market. But it does stupid so well that it deserves major props just for existing.
It's hard to figure who the ideal buyer for this car is. Anyone attracted by the 300's Town-Car-like comfort is going to be a bit disappointed, this is one luxury-less large sedan. Anyone who likes taking their high-horsepower car to the track probably isn't going to choose something that won't fit in most garages, let alone be nimble around a 45-mph turn.
One thing that is certain is that Chrysler imagines its buyers tip the scale somewhere in the 'morbidly obese' region. Before driving the 300 SRT, we'd never encountered bolstered sport seats that could accommodate two people before. Okay, they're not that wide, but they're pretty darn close. Anyone who doesn't shop at the Big and Tall store will like how skinny this car makes them feel, but unless you're specifically looking for a car that will help improve your body image, that probably won't be a determining factor for most car shoppers.
The interior of the 300 SRT feels rather cheap to us, especially given the car's $50,000 price tag. Also cheap-feeling is the complete lack of standard features. There are no heated seats, no parking sensors, no back-up camera, and no premium sound system: all things one would expect when spending 1/20th of a million dollars on a car. Of course, our tester has the 'core' trim, so if you're willing to spend yet another $6,000 grand or so, you can get a well-optioned interior, but shouldn't you get that for $50,000? You do in the John Varvados Edition.
Granted, this is an SRT, which means it's supposed to be all about the performance, but come on, the 300 is no sports car, no matter how high you can get it on the g-force meter. It's a land yacht, and as such it should be outfitted as such. Otherwise, why not just forego the extra horsepower and buy a 300 C with a slightly smaller, but still pretty powerful, Hemi?
But those extra horsepower? Man, are they cool. Just try launching this Orca without fishtailing. In fact, try just going from a stop sign without doing a burnout. Even if that's not something that appeals to you, behind the wheel of this SRT, you will want to do it, and you will do it.
In fact, if you're considering this car, go ahead and invest in a spare set of tires - you're going to burn through your first set faster than you ever thought possible. And that's just in standard driving mode. Because once the little checkered flag appears on the snazzy blue-lit gauge cluster indicating you're in sport mode, you will find yourself transformed into a donut-doing, patch-laying, menace to society.
In a perfect world, pushing the sport mode button on this car would not only adjust the suspension settings, but would also activate a rider on your life insurance policy that pays your family double if it turns out you didn't die with a smile on your face.
Engine: 6.4-liter V8 Hemi
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Power Output: 470 horsepower / 470 lb-ft torque
Fuel Economy: 14 mpg (city) / 23 mpg (hwy)
Price: $44,900 (base) $52,225 (as tested)
Features: Leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, 20-inch x 9-inch aluminum wheels, Uconnect with SiriusXM and navigation, red brake calipers.