Rental Review - 2020 Chrysler 300S HEMI

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Apr 28, 2020
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682
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North Dakota
Spent 4 days with a 2020 300S with the 5.7L HEMI from Hertz with about 45,000 miles on the clock. I'm President Circle status with Hertz but this was the best I could get unfortunately upon my arrival in Nashville....there was a Camaro SS that would've been available but someone walked off with the key 😒. That would've been a much more entertaining choice. I'll try to keep it consise:

Pros:
-Economy: HEMI got better mileage than I expected...mid 20's for MPG on the highway. Periods of 4-cylinder operation but mostly stayed firing on all 8
-Infotainment: Uconnect was easy to use and worked well...this was my first experience in a Mopar product with it. Still don't like the back-side steering wheel audio controls but that's a personal preference. Last comment on the infotainment is that the Boston Acoustics audio seemed descent...definately have heard better but also much worse.
-Styling: car has good presence...in this case black paint and rims in the S trim looks pretty mean. I found that spending time with it in person it grows on you asthetically speaking. Definitely dated but Chrysler has refreshed enough over the years to keep it relevant.

Cons:
-Powertrain: first time behind the wheel of a 5.7 in any application, but I was expecting more considering the power and torque ratings. I honestly thought it had the Pentastar until I popped the hood. Not a slouch and I know it's a big heavy car but still, felt a little lacking. My wife mentioned when she drove that she missed the power of our MDX 🤣. What was most concerning of all, though, was the horrendous tick that was heard clearly inside under load, especially at lower RPMs. I know these motors are notoriously noisy but I sure hope this particular case was an exception because it was an annoying racket the entire trip. Other than the growl out of the exhaust not a great sounding engine. The 8-speed tranny (assuming the ZF?) was mostly OK but was clunky from time to time on downshifts and banged here and there in the process. If this is the ZF I've heard nothing but good things and hope again that this particular unit is an outlier.
-Interior: frankly it's an oversized car made for oversized Americans...I found the armrests too far away to get comfortable on the longer stretches of road. I'm 6'3" and I had plenty of headroom but apparently too skinny to fill the seat as designed. As far as seat comfort I thought they lacked support and were a bit too firm on longer stretches. Random items: the interior plastics quality was ehh...especially the piano black everywhere, and the gauge cluster looked like it was designed by the makers of Lite-Brite...really cheap in appearance at night when lit and funky design on the tach and speedo that made them hard to see.
 
Joined
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The 5.7l in those are rated @ less HP than the Charger and Challengers, while those two are rated less than the Ram with a 5.7l.
CKN hit the nail on the head with his post, they truly are modern day dinosaurs, the car and the engine.
While I personally like those cars, they are the Chrysler equivalent of a Nissan Frontier before the redesign, they are an old, new vehicle.
 

dishdude

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The 5.7l in those are rated @ less HP than the Charger and Challengers, while those two are rated less than the Ram with a 5.7l.
CKN hit the nail on the head with his post, they truly are modern day dinosaurs, the car and the engine.
While I personally like those cars, they are the Chrysler equivalent of a Nissan Frontier before the redesign, they are an old, new vehicle.

But man they sure are comfortable, great driving cars.
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2020
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Canada, eh?
I didn't think the 300S was available with the V8 anymore.
Maybe 2020 was the last year, but here in Canada, we only get the V6 in the 300 series.
To get any version with the V8, we need to swap to the Charger.

But I agree with what's been posted above. It truly is a dinosaur compared to anything else in the full size market.
That's not necessarily a bad thing as it reminds us of a simpler time, when gas was cheap and American cars ruled the roads.

That being said, I'm not looking forward to the next time I'm given one for a long road trip.
:cautious:
 
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Nov 11, 2018
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Great Lakes
I also feel that the 5.7 is kinda meh. It feels… lazy to me under 2500rpm. My truck is a bit better than my 2011 Durango, the 2016 Charger R/T rental I got once, and my brothers 2018 Charger are, but they all had the same laziness too them. Getting on it with some aggression though I feel like it’s a lot better, but they GUZZLE gas when you do that.

The tick you heard was probably an exhaust leak from a broken manifold stud. They all pretty much break at some point. I plan on replacing my manifolds with headers when the time comes lol

As for the transmission, it’s probably needs its adaptives reset. Ours acted a bit weird when I started driving it after my wife started driving the minivan everyday. She drives like a saint most of the time though, I’m a bit more aggressive and the first couple of drive cycles it definitely seemed confused by that change. The 8hp70 in my truck (same as the v8 300) is nice and smooth.

Sometimes I miss my 2016 300 S, though mine was a v6. Would have kept it, but we moved to a house with some land and now have 4 kids. Can’t really haul stuff AND take the kids with in the van.
E0C357FF-7AC0-4D3E-89CF-80FF2AE0CC12.jpeg
 
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Too heavy and ponderous.
For what exactly?
Drag strip? Yes
Spirited road course driving? Yes
Everyday driving and interstate travel? No, it’s very good at that.
Too heavy and ponderous certainly applies in several situations, but not all. I’ll give it credit where it’s due, as a cruiser, it does a very good job.
 
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The HEMI sounds "good" if you're into the V8 sound track, but from a performance and economy standpoint, there are better ways to power a vehicle. The Ford 2.7 or 3.5 Ecoboom's will outpower it with better economy under most conditions.
 

FZ1

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For what exactly?
Drag strip? Yes
Spirited road course driving? Yes
Everyday driving and interstate travel? No, it’s very good at that.
Too heavy and ponderous certainly applies in several situations, but not all. I’ll give it credit where it’s due, as a cruiser, it does a very good job.
You just about covered it. Some of the mag articles say that, for it's size/weight, it handles pretty well.
 

OVERKILL

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Spent 4 days with a 2020 300S with the 5.7L HEMI from Hertz with about 45,000 miles on the clock. I'm President Circle status with Hertz but this was the best I could get unfortunately upon my arrival in Nashville....there was a Camaro SS that would've been available but someone walked off with the key 😒. That would've been a much more entertaining choice. I'll try to keep it consise:

Pros:
-Economy: HEMI got better mileage than I expected...mid 20's for MPG on the highway. Periods of 4-cylinder operation but mostly stayed firing on all 8
-Infotainment: Uconnect was easy to use and worked well...this was my first experience in a Mopar product with it. Still don't like the back-side steering wheel audio controls but that's a personal preference. Last comment on the infotainment is that the Boston Acoustics audio seemed descent...definately have heard better but also much worse.
-Styling: car has good presence...in this case black paint and rims in the S trim looks pretty mean. I found that spending time with it in person it grows on you asthetically speaking. Definitely dated but Chrysler has refreshed enough over the years to keep it relevant.

Cons:
-Powertrain: first time behind the wheel of a 5.7 in any application, but I was expecting more considering the power and torque ratings. I honestly thought it had the Pentastar until I popped the hood. Not a slouch and I know it's a big heavy car but still, felt a little lacking. My wife mentioned when she drove that she missed the power of our MDX 🤣. What was most concerning of all, though, was the horrendous tick that was heard clearly inside under load, especially at lower RPMs. I know these motors are notoriously noisy but I sure hope this particular case was an exception because it was an annoying racket the entire trip. Other than the growl out of the exhaust not a great sounding engine. The 8-speed tranny (assuming the ZF?) was mostly OK but was clunky from time to time on downshifts and banged here and there in the process. If this is the ZF I've heard nothing but good things and hope again that this particular unit is an outlier.
-Interior: frankly it's an oversized car made for oversized Americans...I found the armrests too far away to get comfortable on the longer stretches of road. I'm 6'3" and I had plenty of headroom but apparently too skinny to fill the seat as designed. As far as seat comfort I thought they lacked support and were a bit too firm on longer stretches. Random items: the interior plastics quality was ehh...especially the piano black everywhere, and the gauge cluster looked like it was designed by the makers of Lite-Brite...really cheap in appearance at night when lit and funky design on the tach and speedo that made them hard to see.
No pics?

The 5.7L in that car is 363HP (vs the 395HP in the RAM), while the Pentastar is 292HP. 0-60 with the Pentastar is 6.3, while the HEMI manages 5.3. 1/4 mil is 13.9 @ 104Mph, so it's not a rocket ship (with the 5.7L), but is faster than your MDX, which has a 0-60 of 6.8 seconds and runs a 14.9 in the 1/4. This more realistically compares to the Pentastar.

That said, tip-in can have a big impact on how a vehicle feels and if it has been programmed to be lazy, it will feel slow, regardless of what the numbers say. I've always found that Honda has more "spirited" programming in terms of throttle tip-in, which likely explains your wife's comments.
 
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Jul 18, 2010
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Colorado
No pics?

The 5.7L in that car is 363HP (vs the 395HP in the RAM), while the Pentastar is 292HP. 0-60 with the Pentastar is 6.3, while the HEMI manages 5.3. 1/4 mil is 13.9 @ 104Mph, so it's not a rocket ship (with the 5.7L), but is faster than your MDX, which has a 0-60 of 6.8 seconds and runs a 14.9 in the 1/4. This more realistically compares to the Pentastar.

That said, tip-in can have a big impact on how a vehicle feels and if it has been programmed to be lazy, it will feel slow, regardless of what the numbers say. I've always found that Honda has more "spirited" programming in terms of throttle tip-in, which likely explains your wife's comments.
0 to 60 in 5.3 is pretty good for car this size.
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
34
Location
Toronto, ON
I had a 2010 300C that got a lot of highway running over the course of the 2 years i had it. 120k km?
At 6’4, there are not a lot of modern cars I can fit into, but that certainly was one. The old Mercedes designed seats were ridiculously comfortable. The ride was great. And It handled well for what it was.
‘Gas mileage could be shockingly good, if I kept my foot out of it. I recall easily getting 30mpg at 110 km/h (just a bit under 70mph), with a hypermiling high of 33.3 once.
‘The car was dead nuts reliable over that time. I’ve seen a lot of them up here with 400,000 to 500,000 km, so they can be long lasting if give ]n even basic care.
‘I swapped it for an AWD Taurus, that was worse in every way, other then snowy road performance.
 

tbm5690

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
682
Location
North Dakota
No pics?

The 5.7L in that car is 363HP (vs the 395HP in the RAM), while the Pentastar is 292HP. 0-60 with the Pentastar is 6.3, while the HEMI manages 5.3. 1/4 mil is 13.9 @ 104Mph, so it's not a rocket ship (with the 5.7L), but is faster than your MDX, which has a 0-60 of 6.8 seconds and runs a 14.9 in the 1/4. This more realistically compares to the Pentastar.

That said, tip-in can have a big impact on how a vehicle feels and if it has been programmed to be lazy, it will feel slow, regardless of what the numbers say. I've always found that Honda has more "spirited" programming in terms of throttle tip-in, which likely explains your wife's comments.
Agreed on the tip-in, besides the fact that the J35 and the HEMI make their power completely differently.
 
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