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2007 Chrysler 300

by Martha Hindes

Chrysler 300 C
Chrysler 300 C Extended Wheelbase Interior

While Chrysler's 300 C premium rear-drive sedan is a hefty seller compared with some more austere import models, it's moving beyond volume into a new, less populated realm for '07. With an expanded wheelbase model now in the off-ing, the bold, retro-look 300 has even more vistas to conquer.

Six inches of space tacked onto row two now equals a limo contender. (Chrysler boasts the added 10.2 cubic feet provides more rear legroom than stretched versions of Audi, BMW and Jaguar.) Picture a busy exec pouring over reports, legs stretched out in rear seat comfort, speeding back from the airport. It seems like an opportunity that couldn't be ignored. Long wheelbases come as Touring models powered by a 3.5-liter High Output V-6, or the premier 300 C with Chrysler's fabled 5.7-liter HEMI V-8.

For 2007, Chrysler adds some fine tuning touches. Eight new metallic or pearl exteriors include Cool Vanilla Clear Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, a brilliant black pearl and two different shades of metallic silver. Upmodel Limited, "C," and all-wheel-drive versions get standard new 18-chrome clad wheels. Other luxe trims (Luxury Group II) include heated rear seats, courtesy puddle lamps and supplemental turn-signal mirrors. Depending on model, other additions include optional adaptive cruise control, SmartBeam intelligent headlamp system and low-risk deployment airbags. An automatic oil change alert for the business minded who might want a busy day reminder. Amenities geared for the long wheelbase crowd: Lighted rear writing tables, footrests and directional reading lights.

Chrysler's mid-size 300 series, in five trims and numerous packages, offers more bang for the buck than some minimally-sized entry lux contenders. Base pricing is just under $24,500, including destination, with mileage of about 21/28 (V-6 automatic). The Hemi-powered V-8 300C adds almost $10,000, before techie goodies, and ranges about 17/25 in fuel economy, with highway economy boosted by shutdown of four cylinders while cruising.

Chrysler is one of those grand old auto names that has graced many coveted vehicles known for parting traffic as they cruised American roads. The 300 C's long wheelbase version should confirm that status once again.