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2014 Chrysler 300S defines full size luxury performance imported from Detroit

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2014 Chrysler 300S RWD

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The 2014 Chrysler 300S continues and enhances its 'Imported From Detroit' style with selected improvements not the least of which is the addition of Exclusive Beats By Dr. Dre Sound as standard in the 300S.

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Chrysler will tell you that their 300 is the most luxurious vehicle in its class with four trim level models offering Detroit unique styling and craftsmanship along with high levels of quality and advanced technologies providing an excellent drive experience that meets consumer expectations of a world-class flagship sedan - at an affordable price.

A confirmation of their claim was the Consumers Digest naming (in November) of the 2014 Chrysler 300 as a luxury segment Best Buy for 2014.

It joined a small (and exclusive) group of luxury vehicles so named including the smaller Audi A-6, BMW 3 Series and the Cadillac ATS.

The Consumers Digest award is determined by Consumers Digest editors who evaluate and determine the vehicle's value as a Best buy based on purchase price and ownership costs relative to quality, performance along with subjective factors, such as comfort and design.

For the 2014 award, performance characteristics that were evaluated included starting, acceleration, shifting, steering and handling, braking, ride quality and fuel economy. Design factors considered included interior ergonomics, seating configuration and flexibility, accessories and amenities, fit and finish and cargo space.

But then, based on our several ride and drives of the Chrysler 300 line the last several months, we would have told you that we already considered the Chrysler 300 a best buy in its segment with four exceptionally well equipped trim levels available with MSRP's ranging from just $30,545 for the base 300 to the 300C John Varvatos Luxury Edition at $41,195.

The above MSRP prices are for the Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) versions. All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is also available for an additional $2,500. Except for places like Detroit and Chicago, you do not need the AWD.

We tested a brand new 2014 Chrysler 300S RWD (Rear Wheel Drive)) during the first week of December to evaluate for ourselves how the new 2014 Chrysler 300 performed when compared to the 2013 Chrysler 300C, 2013 Chrysler 300C John Varvatos and the 2013 Chrysler 300 SRT8 Core - all of which we have driven in the last year.

Without a doubt, the 2014 Chrysler 300 has taken it up another notch.

Starting with a walk around the outside, the 2014 300S stands out boldly and says 'Imported From Detroit' from every angle.

For 2014 this Chrysler flagship embraces a new 'blacked out' style featuring a monochromatic look with specially appointed body-color door handles and fascia inserts. New Gloss Black belt molding, daylight opening surrounds and tail lamp bezels are paired with Gloss Black headlamp bezels to further toughen the look.

A new Black Chrome grille surround features sculpted horizontal grille blades in the same unique finish, while front and rear Chrysler wing badges in Liquid Chrome with black “Chrysler” center logo trim out the what Chrysler calls its 'industrial appearance'.

Our test 300S came loaded up with all of the available packages and options for this trim level.

The sticker price for our 300S RWD in Billet Silver Metallic Clear Coat was $45,170.

It had a luscious Black Leather interior with Matte Carbon Hydrographic interior accents and rode on stylishly bold 20-inch cast aluminum 10 split-spoke wheels with polished face and black painted pockets.

The 'namesake' standard feature for the 300S is the awesome, segment-exclusive, Beats by Dr. Dre. audio system, with 10-speakers and a 12-channel amplifier that integrates the heart of the Beats proprietary equalizer algorithm filling the cabin of this very roomy luxury sedan with sounds as they are intended to be heard.

Under the hood of our 300S was the optional ($2,200) 363 horsepower HEMI V-8 engine with four-cylinder mode Fuel Saver Technology features an exclusive performance-tuned suspension and brakes, mated to a five-speed overdrive transmission with Auto Stick and featuring driver selectable sport mode and paddle-shifters.

The 5.7L Hemi on our test car is rated at 15/25 mpg City/Highway with an average of 18 mpg. In our 1,000 plus miles of driving both city and highway, we averaged 18.7 mpg.

If fuel economy is high on your list, then you can stay with the standard power train for the 300S which is the Pentastar V6 with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. It gets a segment leading 31 mpg Highway with 19 mpg City. Both engines run on regular gas.

On the inside the new 2014 Chrysler 300S model has driver and passenger sport seats in black with accent stitching. For added detail, the center console armrest and door armrests are color matched to the seats and feature French seamed stitching in silver. Exclusive use of Piano Black on interior center stack, instrument panel, steering wheel, gauge cluster and door panel elements provide a lacquered and detailed appearance. The interior is finished up with matte carbon accents and die-cast steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The Luxury Group ($2,850) further enhances the nicely equipped interior with driver's side auto-dimming mirrors with auto-tilt in reverse, satin chrome doorsills with 'Chrysler' logo; LED lit front footwells, interior door handles, and front and rear map pockets; heated and cooled cup holders; 12-way power front driver and passenger seating; heated rear seats; power adjustable pedals; power backlight sunshade; power tilt and telescopic steering wheel and vehicle security alarm.

The optional ($1,595) Panoramic Dual-Pane power sunroof featuring a nicely trimmed interior shade completed the interior ambiance.

Exterior lighting is enhanced by the Light Group ($895) adding adaptive-forward lighting with HID projector beams and automatic headlamp leveling, auto high beam control and LED illuminated rear fog lamps.

The Safety Tec Group ($1,995) includes Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind-spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross Path Detection (RCP), ParkSense front and rear park assist system, exterior mirrors with turn signal indicators and approach lamps along with rain sensing wipers.

Lastly, this 300S upgraded the award winning Uconnect 8.4 infotainment system to the Uconnect 8.4N with Garmin Navigation ($995) featuring the 8.4-inch center-stack touch screen display, SiriusXM and HD radio, Bluetooth and hands-free capability.

For our money, this new 2014 Chrysler 300S uniquely defines luxury style and performance with value and is one fine ride - 'Detroit Style'.

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