: Video Review: Jesda drives the 99 Chrysler 300M



Jesda
01-25-06, 05:51 PM
A while ago I looked at a 99 LHS for a friend. He and his wife were considering one as an upgrade to their 94, and I was mostly impressed. Ride quality, braking, acceleration, and handling were shockingly good for its size. The outside world was muted and the cabin was nicely designed. Huge trunk too.

Out of curiosity and for comparison, I drove a 99 300M. My insurance is getting cheap enough to -almost- justify financing. I drove one last week but it was fairly abused. This one was quite pristine with 78,000 miles.

Braking: *** (out of 5)
Pedal effort was high and felt vague under heavy braking. Brake distances seemed appropriate for the size and weight of the vehicle (3750lbs) but not particularly impressive.

Acceleration: ****
Strong. The Chrysler 3.5 sounds good and feels good as it has for the last decade. No complaints there.

Ride Quality: ***
I guess this depends on where you live. In StL, there's a lot of neglected roads once you leave the wealthier areas. I could feel every pavement imperfection. There was a fair amount of road noise too.

Style: *****
The 300M was always a sharp looking car to me. They took the stylish LH sedan and sharpened it up a bit. Nicely done, and it still looks fresh.

Trunk: ***
Yes, its big, but the opening is annoyingly small. Its like a cave with a doggie door as an entrance.

Value for Money: ****
Proven drivetrain, cheap parts, easy repairs, and an insanely large cabin. I'd easily take a 300 over a similarly priced used Accord or Camry.

Overall: ***1/2
If I hadn't driven the LHS, I'd probably like the 300 more. It feels like someone took a quality American sedan and tarted it up for a bunch of crazy Europeans.

Driving video w/commentary and pictures:
http://q.spilky.com/99-300m/

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-25-06, 05:53 PM
Thats cool, what did the salesman think of the camera?

I may have to test drive a '98 Continental in my area this weekend...

Playdrv4me
01-25-06, 06:03 PM
Nice review! Great work with the camera.

gary88
01-25-06, 06:13 PM
Nice review. The one thing I always liked about Chryslers are thier gauges. They look nice and classy.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-25-06, 11:59 PM
So thats what Jesda sounds like.....

Jesda
01-26-06, 01:03 AM
So thats what Jesda sounds like.....

LOL!!!!! I wonder what was expected? :histeric:

Kev
01-26-06, 01:33 AM
Nicely done Jesda!

Katshot
01-26-06, 07:55 AM
Nice job! :thumbsup:

I have a couple statements and one question for you;
I owned a '99 300M. It was one of the earliest ones on the road and STILL it was an amazingly reliable, trouble-free car. Prior to owning it, I had a rather low opinion of MOPAR products but that car single handedly changed my feelings about the marque.
That said, I would caution drawing certain conclusions based on your test drive. Your opinions of the ride quality and brakes were most likely advesrly effected by aftermarket parts and/or badly worn out original parts. When new, the car was a very nice balance of luxury and sport, and rather successfully hid the fact that it's a large FWD car on the road, even in the tight stuff. I would suggest that your somewhat negative views of the brakes were probably due to them having been replaced with less aggressive aftermarket parts. And the ride quality is probably due to one or both of the following:
1. Cheap or worn tires.
2. Cheap or worn suspension components.
Also, in that year, there was a sport suspension option that DID offer a rather rough ride. I did not get that option on my car since I wanted the nicer wheels and the smoother ride.

Now for the question.
Have you looked at one of the 300M "Specials"? The upgraded wheels, lower cladding and sweet-looking dual exhaust make that car one hot-looking car!

RobertCTS
01-26-06, 08:43 AM
That's a dinosaur now. The car now is RWD and available with the HEMI engine. Much more exciting now. My wife has a similar car, the Dodge Magnum with the HEMI engine. The car has a lot of utility features while still handling like a true sport sedan.

http://usera.imagecave.com/BobsWork/dodge_magnum_2005_-2.jpg

Katshot
01-26-06, 08:53 AM
That's a dinosaur now. The car now is RWD and available with the HEMI engine. Much more exciting now. My wife has a similar car, the Dodge Magnum with the HEMI engine. The car has a lot of utility features while still handling like a true sport sedan.

http://usera.imagecave.com/BobsWork/dodge_magnum_2005_-2.jpg

Happy for you and your wife. The Magnum is a nice car. Not sure what that has to do with this thread though. :hmm:

RobertCTS
01-26-06, 09:19 AM
Happy for you and your wife. The Magnum is a nice car. Not sure what that has to do with this thread though. :hmm:


Can't tie it together? Look at the Magnum and the new Chrysler 300. VERY similar cars and identical drive trains. I don't have a 300 so I offered my input on the Magnum as a very similar car. Jesda's ride was nice but really old technology by todays standards. My point was the new 300 is a much better ride now. See the point?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-26-06, 10:03 AM
LOL!!!!! I wonder what was expected? :histeric:

LOL oh don't take it like that, It just always neat to finally hear another Cadillac Forumer's voice for once! :)

BTW, you sound like you could do these professionally :)

Katshot
01-26-06, 03:52 PM
Can't tie it together? Look at the Magnum and the new Chrysler 300. VERY similar cars and identical drive trains. I don't have a 300 so I offered my input on the Magnum as a very similar car. Jesda's ride was nice but really old technology by todays standards. My point was the new 300 is a much better ride now. See the point?

Bob,
The new 300C has about as much in common with the 300M as it does with any other Chrysler sedan. You're comparing apples and oranges at best. What's the point?
It would be like someone starting a thread about the '96 Impala SS and then you post about your new '05 Impala. The name's the same but that's about it. They're two totally different cars.

RobertCTS
01-26-06, 05:10 PM
Bob,
The new 300C has about as much in common with the 300M as it does with any other Chrysler sedan. You're comparing apples and oranges at best. What's the point?
It would be like someone starting a thread about the '96 Impala SS and then you post about your new '05 Impala. The name's the same but that's about it. They're two totally different cars.

You just don't get it. It's the evolution of the car for the better. There is a connection. Sure a 1958 Impala 348 335 HP was a different car but it carried the same banner as today's Impala even though different. Things change and people are interested in change. It's why the Forum is popular in that it's an opportunity to discuss the automobile and how time has brought about change KatShot. It's all apples.

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
01-26-06, 05:42 PM
Have you considered doing video car reviews as a video podcast?
That would be something I'd subscribe to for sure.

Katshot
01-26-06, 06:35 PM
You just don't get it. It's the evolution of the car for the better. There is a connection. Sure a 1958 Impala 348 335 HP was a different car but it carried the same banner as today's Impala even though different. Things change and people are interested in change. It's why the Forum is popular in that it's an opportunity to discuss the automobile and how time has brought about change KatShot. It's all apples.

Yeah, well when the thread's title is something like "Any thoughts about the Chrysler letter cars?" or "How about Chrysler sport sedans?" Or the tone of the thread is broad rather than focused on one specific model car, I'll agree with your post being on topic. But that's NOT the case here. Yeah, I understand that the 300C is an evolution of the 300M. I understand that there's a connection between the cars but nobody was talking about anything other than the 300M. One model. That's why I thought your post came out of left field. Now do YOU get it? And what's the deal with you using the capital "S" or otherwise bastardizing my screen name when you're unhappy with me? :bigroll:

Night Wolf
01-26-06, 06:40 PM
yeah... 300M and 300C are totally different....

I like them both though :)

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-26-06, 08:31 PM
To tell you the truth, I really dont like the way the pre 1998 300M, LHS or Concordes look. They look whalish, like a bar of soap thats been sitting in your shower for far too long.

Just my opinion though, I really kinda like the 94-97 LHS's and the 93-94 New Yorkers. :)

Destroyer
01-26-06, 09:58 PM
Wow!. I am astonished at the glowing praise for the '99 300M. I bought a brand new '98 Chrysler Concorde back in '98 and it was the biggest pile of junk I ever owned. Oh the memories of opening the doors and just having to pick up the weather stripping off the ground were priceless indeed. The thought of replacing brakes every 10k miles are equally impressive. The engine was crap too, trans shifted funny and I took $20k loss trading it in only 4 years later!. I swore I would never buy a damn Chrysler product again. That was then. Since Mercedes started making Chrysler a better car, and with the releases of the SRT8 models, I am reconsidering.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-26-06, 10:41 PM
I get nautious riding in my friend's dad's 01 Concorde LXi, something about riding in the backseat of that car just makes me and all of my friends feel nautious and light headed....

Jesda
01-27-06, 01:18 AM
Have you considered doing video car reviews as a video podcast?
That would be something I'd subscribe to for sure.

Hmm!

Katshot
01-27-06, 05:39 AM
To tell you the truth, I really dont like the way the pre 1998 300M, LHS or Concordes look. They look whalish, like a bar of soap thats been sitting in your shower for far too long.

Just my opinion though, I really kinda like the 94-97 LHS's and the 93-94 New Yorkers. :)

There was no '98 300M. The first year for it was '99. The Chrysler "LH" cars were pretty much "all-new" in '99. So anything before that, is not as good IMO.

Jesda
01-27-06, 05:58 AM
ILuvCaddys:
I'm also fond of the 93-97 New Yorker and LHS -- full size cars that drive like midsize cars. Shockingly good handling and excellent ride quality. I only wish there was a little less road noise and better plastics inside. Otherwise, they're a heck of a good value.

The big weak spot was the tranny. With Chrysler ATF, routine flushing, and an external cooler, its good for 200k. My friend has 180k on his '94 with the original drivetrain. The only issue he ran into was a fuel pump failure. The pump was fine, but the ground was bad, so he connected a new ground wire and it was good to go.

You could bolt up a 98+ transmission to an older LH car with only a couple small modifications, and the engines prior to 1998 were MUCH more reliable (well, the 3.5 was mostly the same). Chrysler introduced that god-awful 2.7L V6 in entry-level versions. The 3.3 that preceded it was old but faultless.

It would be nice to see cars as elegant as the 94 LHS on the road again.

Night Wolf
01-27-06, 07:12 AM
the 2.7 Magnum V6....

I have heard ups and downs... what is the exact story behind it?

All I know is, it is very tempramental, and oil passages are small...

and parts are really expensive....

my cousins '01 Stratus, black with black leather... THAT was a sharp looking car... he liked it alot but recently totaled it... it was a rare version with the 2.7 V6.... he put around 18k miles on it though with no problem.

I have heard good storys about the 3.5.... as well as the 3.3.... the 3.3 was then made into the 3.8, right? I know they are all pushrod design.... the 3.8 V6 is going to be put into the all new '07 Jeep Wrangler... no more beastly 4.0 I6 :( the overall consensus is that its a tried and true engine as well, and everyone likes the pushrod factor, just gotta see how it'll do off-road.

Katshot
01-27-06, 07:35 AM
the 2.7 Magnum V6....
I have heard ups and downs... what is the exact story behind it?
All I know is, it is very tempramental, and oil passages are small...
and parts are really expensive....
my cousins '01 Stratus, black with black leather... THAT was a sharp looking car... he liked it alot but recently totaled it... it was a rare version with the 2.7 V6.... he put around 18k miles on it though with no problem.
I have heard good storys about the 3.5.... as well as the 3.3.... the 3.3 was then made into the 3.8, right? I know they are all pushrod design.... the 3.8 V6 is going to be put into the all new '07 Jeep Wrangler... no more beastly 4.0 I6 :( the overall consensus is that its a tried and true engine as well, and everyone likes the pushrod factor, just gotta see how it'll do off-road.

The I6 is a rock-solid engine. Unfortunately, it's also noisy, rough-running and a gas pig. :(

Jesda
01-27-06, 07:56 AM
the 2.7 Magnum V6....
I have heard ups and downs... what is the exact story behind it?
All I know is, it is very tempramental, and oil passages are small...
and parts are really expensive....

Oil turns into sludge and timing chain tensioners suddenly fail. In 2001 the 2.7 was sort of "patched" with various modifications, but the same issues remain. Chrysler never admitted to any problems.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-27-06, 10:46 AM
ILuvCaddys:
I'm also fond of the 93-97 New Yorker and LHS -- full size cars that drive like midsize cars. Shockingly good handling and excellent ride quality. I only wish there was a little less road noise and better plastics inside. Otherwise, they're a heck of a good value.

The big weak spot was the tranny. With Chrysler ATF, routine flushing, and an external cooler, its good for 200k. My friend has 180k on his '94 with the original drivetrain. The only issue he ran into was a fuel pump failure. The pump was fine, but the ground was bad, so he connected a new ground wire and it was good to go.

You could bolt up a 98+ transmission to an older LH car with only a couple small modifications, and the engines prior to 1998 were MUCH more reliable (well, the 3.5 was mostly the same). Chrysler introduced that god-awful 2.7L V6 in entry-level versions. The 3.3 that preceded it was old but faultless.

It would be nice to see cars as elegant as the 94 LHS on the road again.

Yeah I remember asking my dad if a LHS would make a good first car, and he told me the same thing about the tranny's being junk.

I have heard Chrysler had this same problem with all of the FWD trannys in the mid '90s, especially in the Grand Caravan/Voyager/ Town and Country.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-27-06, 10:49 AM
Hey Jesda, do the 94-97 LHS's have the driver information center like the Devilles have?

IIRC, the LHS's have atleast a compass and exterior temperature guage in the ceiling console ( I know thats not what it's called, I forget the real name)


Seeing as how you bought that BMW, are you still gonna buy that 300M and have the BMW as the secondary car, or are you just gonna keep the BMW as the only car?

Jesda
01-27-06, 06:11 PM
The LHS info center (overhead) is vastly inferior to the Cadillac one, but its pretty easy to use. Its just a compass, outdoor temp gauge, and DTE/MPG display. No error codes, status messages, or oil life monitor.

I still need to learn all the messages on the 525. I once glanced down and it scrolled something about "see owner's manual" but I missed it.

Right now the BMW is my #2 and the Maxima is #1. The BMW needs the door lock actuator replaced on the driver's side and an exhaust repair ($60 estimate). I need to get plates.

Lord Cadillac
01-27-06, 06:15 PM
Nice video review! Very cool...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-27-06, 06:19 PM
Oh yeah, actually I was just reading the '94 LHS brochure, and I found out where it was talking about the trip computer in the overhead console