Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Big, Brash and an Extrovert!

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Big, Brash and an Extrovert!

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jonathan Smith

THEY say - with some justification - that dogowners grow to look like their pets. Well, I'm convinced that cars resemble the nations that make them...at least in terms of their characteristics.

Think about it. A fair number of Italian marques are incredibly beautiful and elegant, not unlike their populace.

German makes tend to be nononsense with a hint of aggression and who could deny that French cars are a trifle eccentric.

But the best illustration I've come across is the new Chrysler 300C Touring - big, brash and unwaveringly extrovert.

How could it ever be anything other than American!

With its giant cheese-grater grille, high waistline and generous girth the large estate dominates the road and short of being parked next to a Rolls Phantom is one of the most striking cars on the road.

There's a choice of engines between the V8 5.7-litre Hemi - usually bought by those with oil company shares - and the 3.0-litre V6 CRD diesel, a relatively frugal unit that delivers a strong performance and possesses reasonable refinement.

It is this model priced at pounds 27,815 that is the clear favourite in British sales and the one I drove.

Whether you are travelling fiveup with the rear seats in place or you've folded them down, there's acres of cargo room. It works out at 630 litres and 1,600 litres depending on luggage/passenger configuration, which is roomy by any standards. Another plus for buyers who are likely to make full use of the load-carrying is the tailgate which rises almost vertically thanks to clever hinges.

It means that even a six-footer doesn't have to stand back from the vehicle.

Following the typical American adage of maximum bangs for your buck, the 300C is stacked with goodies. Traction control, high intensity lights, air con, heated driver and passenger seats, cruise control, dual zone temperature control system and metallic paint are all in with the pared down price. …

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