Elegant and assertive, the Chrysler 300C turns heads wherever it goes. Its recognisable grille and jewelled LED headlamps compose an aerodynamic fascia that demands attention. Meanwhile, stylish 18-inch aluminium wheels give the sedan a strapping, athletic aura.
The 300C comes stock with an energetic 3.6-litre petrol engine. You have the option of replacing it with a 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine.
Which power plant should you choose?
We'll cover the advantages and potential downsides of diesel and petrol below. The type of engine you decide to put under the 300C's bonnet will have a major influence on your experience behind the wheel.
Diesel engines tend to be more fuel-efficient than their petrol-igniting counterparts. Our diesel engines use a higher compression rate in the combustion chambers. That in turn means that less fuel is needed to produce the energy required to move the vehicle.
The higher compression rate – it's made possible by a longer piston stroke length – also generates more torque, which is the key to acceleration. To compare, the 3.6L petrol engine in the Chrysler 300C can produce 340 Nm of torque while the 3.0L turbo diesel can produce 550 Nm of torque. That's a significant difference.
One of the downsides to a diesel engine is that fuel costs are sometimes higher. However, given the engine’s better fuel efficiency, the higher cost is unlikely to pose an issue for most people. Repairs may also be more expensive, but those repairs are only necessary when ongoing maintenance is neglected.
Petrol engines gain the upper hand in three important areas. First, they tend to be quieter. The passenger cabin of the 300C is remarkably well insulated, so noise isn't a major factor. Still, the comparatively quieter operation of the petrol engine is worth noting.
Second, petrol engines have longer maintenance cycles. For example, you can allow more time between oil changes without concern about the oil's condition or your car’s behaviour.
Third, a petrol engine is less costly. Consider that it comes standard in the Chrysler 300C. The turbo diesel option adds to the drive away price of the vehicle.
It's worth highlighting two downsides: petrol engines produce more exhaust emissions, and they idle less efficiently.
So given the above details, which type of engine should you choose?
Petrol is the most popular option, if only for its lower initial price (again, it comes standard in the 300C). But many people choose the diesel option for the lower emissions, increased torque, and faster launch capability from a standing start.
Before selecting a power plant, carefully weigh the pros and cons of each configuration. If you choose diesel, you'll enjoy better mileage, but pedestrians will notice the noise. If you choose petrol, you'll enjoy a quieter ride, but at the cost of higher emissions and less-efficient idling.
The best course of action is to visit your Chrysler dealer and test drive the 300C with both types of engines. See whether you notice the differences. That's the only way to determine which type provides you with the most rewarding experience.