Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

American Cruiser
2005 Chrysler 300C
By Alain Gayot

In short: A powerful and comfortable value cruiser.

It might not be the sexiest car out on the road, but it is good looking and it’s easy to fall in love with. In fact, it is more of a masculine car in which you will feel safe and comfortable. Of course, the Hemi and its 340 horses will give you a sense of power with muscular grace. Just sitting in it feels good and brings back memories of the big cruisers of the 70s — but with today’s luxurious appointments and other electronics added.

Despite the fact that the power under the hood comes from Mexico and the final assembly takes place in Canada, the 300C is unmistakably the ultimate American Cruiser. Already, shop fans have engineered many ways to lower it down, jack it up or take its top off. As a result of this love affair, this model has been quite successful for Chrysler.

Here’s a run-down about these American cruisers: they are larger than your average ride, have a huge trunk and plenty of space inside. Now add an array of features like the dual zone auto temp a/c unit, tortoise shell components (plastic in this case) on the steering wheel and gear shifter, power heated front seats, solar control glass and auto adjusting exterior mirrors. In the end, it is very quiet and smooth riding. In fact, it might the quietest car we have driven this year. You get the feeling you are in a top of the line euro sedan, but the price will keep you grounded. As well, if you want the same looks on a limited budget, for about $23,000, you can have its V6-powered little brother!

Warranty/Service: 7-year or 70,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty with towing assistance; 3-year or 36,000-mile Basic Limited Warranty.

Price as tested: $34,425

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Engine: 5.7-L HEMI V8, 340 hp

Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic

Safety: Front advanced multi-stage air bags

Top Speed: 126 mph

Acceleration: 0-60 mph in 5.6 sec.

Braking: 60-0 mph in 126 feet, Performance Antilock 4-wheel brakes with AutoStick and Emergency Brake Assist

Fuel Economy: 17 city,
25 highway

Handling: Power rack-and-pinion steering, 4-wheel independent touring suspension, all-speed traction control, electronic stability program

Check out other Chrysler models
Read all Automobile Reviews
Visit the Chrysler website

Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 03/06/08 SCV)

The kinds of movies made for foodies, including classics such as Like Water for Chocolate and newer releases like Chef and Ratatouille.

We taste-tested several brands to help you find the best kombuchas on the market and the results are delicious. Bottoms up!