You are here

Chrysler 300 5.7 HEMI: Big bruiser’s last getaway

By Ghaith Madadha - Sep 04,2023 - Last updated at Sep 06,2023

Oozing an unapologetically aggressive and all-American aesthetic reminiscent of a bygone era, the modern Chrysler 300 first arrived in 2004 sporting an ostentatiously dramatic design and Mercedes E-Class-derived platform inherited from the DaimlerChrysler corporate era. Big, blocky and upright with a massive grille, level lines, high waistline, small glasshouse and liberal used of chrome, the 300’s unmistakably “gangster” styling sensibility was however slightly toned down and made tauter for its second generation, which arrived in 2011 and was subtly revised in 2015.


Elegantly aggressive


A product of a the combustion car’s last hurrah as the predominant vehicle format, the second generation 300 continued with a little altered unibody platform and similar big, brawny engines as its predecessor. Now nearing the end of the line, with production slated to cease at the end of the current year, the 300 — and its Dodge Charger sister model — will almost certainly be ultimately replaced by some crossover body and electric drive-train vehicle, but for now remains among the few true blue non-electrified and authentically combustion engine powered modern automotive icons.

Adopting a somewhat softer edged, and more swept back style fascia with a smaller, slightly less conspicuous grille in its second generation, the Chrysler 300 nevertheless emanates a similar level of aggression, albeit with a more urgent demeanour. Elegantly assertive outside and inside, the 300’s cabin features bold details, quality materials and textures, user-friendly layouts, clear instrumentation, and comfortable, well adjustable seating. Also included is plenty of comfort, convenience and safety features, and more advanced driver-assistance systems and enhanced tech, as of 2015.


Confident charisma


Winding down its production run with both entry-level 3.6-litre V6 engine — delivering up to 300BHP — and a more powerful but limited production 485BHP iteration of the 6.4-litre V8 SRT high performance variant still available, the defining Chrysler 300 however remains the mid-range 5.7-litre V8 HEMI powered model. A muscularly languid and low-revving naturally-aspirated V8 engine with a compact 16-valve pushrod OHV design and low 5,800rpm redline, the rumbling and robust 5.7-HEMI is unmistakably American and traditional in character.

Progressive in delivery and benefitting from an ample reservoir of torque available throughout the rev range, the 5.7 HEMI makes for responsive starts from standstill and provide abundant mid-range versatility for overtaking and on inclines. Producing 363BHP at 5,200rpm and 394lb/ft at 4,200rpm, the 5.7 HEMI may lack the ultimate urgency, verve and peaky punching power of the SRT variant, but nevertheless confidently and quickly carries the Chrysler 300’s hefty 2-tonne mass through the 0-100km/h acceleration benchmark in an estimated 5.8-second time.


Ample output


With ample mid-range pull and linear power accumulation the 300 effectively unleashes output for brisk performance, but without being overly aggressive or too ready to un-stick its driven rear wheels and unintentionally incur stability control interventions. Smooth and slick shifting, the 300’s 8-speed automatic gearbox features a wide ratio range including responsive lower gears and relaxed high gears for refined and quiet cruising. With its gearbox well utilising output for performance, versatility and efficiency, it can meanwhile run on minimum mid-grade 91RON fuel.

If big and heavy, the Chrysler 300 is nevertheless well-balanced with near ideal 53:47 front-to rear weighting. Confident through corners, its good throttle response and progressive delivery meanwhile allows one to smoothly dial in power when accelerating out of curves. Available with either standard comfort-oriented or tauter sport-tuned front double wishbone and rear multi-link suspension, the 300 well controls cornering body lean for its weight and size, and feels sufficiently settled over imperfections and when entering corners.


Classy cruiser


A smooth straight line cruiser, the 300 is, meanwhile, tidy and accurate turning into corners, if not outright sharp, darty and nimble. Its 2.8-turns lock-to-lock electric-assisted steering is meanwhile quick, accurate and light, but not as fast as its Dodge Charger cousin. Though balanced and reassuring, the 300 understeers slightly if pushed too hard into tight corners, but is easily adjustable with its long wheelbase and progressive weight shifts. More agile than expected, ride quality is nevertheless comfortably compliant in character, rather than firmly focused.

Planted and stable at speed, the Chrysler 300 is in its element on motorway cruising duties, and through long and fast sweeping bends, where it is composed and confident. Forgiving over road imperfections despite its firm low profile 245/45R20 tyres, the 300’s cabin experience is refined, quiet, comfortable and well-insulated. 

Spacious inside, the 300 has a hunkered down cabin feel, with big comfortable seats, decent front visibility and generous rear seat width and legroom, with perfectly adequate, if not overly generous rear headroom.



  • Engine: 5.7-litre, cast-iron block / aluminium head, in-line V8-cylinders
  • Bore x Stroke: 99.5 x 90.9mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.5:1
  • Valve-train: 16-valve, Pushrod OHV
  • Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel-drive
  • Gear ratios: 1st 4.71; 2nd 3.14; 3rd 2.11; 4th 1.67; 5th 1.29; 6th 1.0; 7th 0.84; 8th 0.67; R 3.32
  • Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 363 (367) [270] @5,200rpm
  • Specific power: 64.2BHP/litre
  • Power-to-weight: 182.7BHP/ton
  • Torque lb/ft (Nm): 394 (534) @4,200rpm
  • Specific torque: 94.4Nm/litre
  • Torque-to-weight: 268.7Nm/ton
  • Rev limit: 5,800rpm
  • 0-100km/h: 5.8-seconds (estimate)
  • Fuel consumption, city / highway / combined: 14.7-/9.4/12.4-litres/100km (estimate)
  • Fuel capacity: 70-litres
  • Fuel requirement, recommended (minimum): 93(91)RON
  • Length: 5,044mm
  • Width: 1,902mm 
  • Height: 1,492mm
  • Wheelbase: 3,048mm
  • Track, F/R: 1,611 / 1,620mm
  • Ground clearance: 127mm
  • Kerb weight: 1,987kg
  • Weight distribution, F/R: 53% / 47%
  • Aerodynamic drag co-efficiency: 0.32
  • Headroom, F/R: 981 / 963mm
  • Legroom, F/R: 1,061 / 1,019mm
  • Shoulder room, F/R: 1,510 / 1,465mm
  • Hip room, F/R: 1,428 / 1,425mm
  • Boot lift-over height: 769mm
  • Cargo volume: 460-litres
  • Steering: Electric-assisted rack & pinion
  • Steering ratio: 15.5:1
  • Turning circle: 11.4-meters
  • Lock-to-lock: 2.8-turns
  • Suspension F/R: Unequal double wishbones / five-link, anti-roll bars
  • Brakes, F/R: Ventilated discs 345 x 28mm / 320 x 22mm
  • Brake calipers, F/R: 2- / 1-pistons
  • Tyres: 245/45R20
32 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.