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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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Discussion Starter #1
I know some of your have had 300M's, or have had long term experience with them. What do you think of them? Are they a pretty cool car to own?

I'm not thinking of doing anything soon, but I've taken an interest in them recently. I'm NOT a Chrysler/Mopar guy at all, and I really don't like "cab forward styling", but I liked these when they came out in the summer of '98 (I remember being very excited the first time I saw one at a Chrysler display at a big fair around the 4th of July in '98) Seeing as how my dad had that '57 Chrysler Windsor when I was a child (the downmarket sister to the 300C), I've always liked the old 300's and when they resurrected the name in '99, I was very excited for it.

I was looking on YouTube last night at some 300M videos, and it was Motor Trend's "Car of The Year" for 1999, so that only adds to it's credibility. Apparently they were a very good handling car for it's size, but especially for a FWD setup. And they also had a very roomy, luxurious, beautiful interior, with very comfortable seats and all sorts of amenities.

The 3.5L SOHC V6 makes more horsepower than my Supercharged 3800 OHV V6 (250 v. 240), but the torque isn't quite the same (250 lb/ft v. 280 in the 3800). The 300M is quick, but not the tire-shredding torque monster like the supercharged 3.8....0-60 in the 300M is in the 7.5 second range, 6.7 second range for the GS. But the 300M has a nicer interior and probably drives better and more "solidly", while handling tighter.

The 300M's exterior isn't dated after 12 years, unlike all the other cab forward LH Chryslers. From some angles, in some lights, it very closely resembles the new Chrysler 200. I wonder if that isn't intentional on Chrysler's part...

Are they reliable cars, or a giant -hit-or-miss- like the 98-04 Seville? Do they really drive much smaller than they are? Are they really that great?


I need to get out and find one to drive.

Here's some pics of a decent '01 on ebay.


 

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Cadillac 95 STS, 02 SLS
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13,792 Posts
I drove a Chrysler 300M back in 2000, at the time we had the '97 Regal GS with the sport suspension. I was looking for something to replace the Regal. My memory of the 300M was that it was subpar both in the way it drove and in the quality of the interior. I quickly crossed it off my list of possible purchases. Both the Lincoln LS V-6 and the Catera were far superior and if I remember correctly around the same price. I too had been attracted by the way the car looked, but was really disappointed in the car's quality.
 

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'08 DTS Lux III Blk Cherry, '89 Brougham d'Elegance Dip Blue
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Until a couple of months ago a friend's mom had one. They had it for quite a while. As far as I know it served them well until it developed an electrical gremlin that made her decide to trade it in.

And the interior in them is quite striking. I wonder about the trans in them though. It got a manual shift mode when that concept was still kinda new. I think it was standard in the 300M and Intrepid R/T, optional in the Eagle Vision TSi.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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They are decent, but like all Chryslers from that era, reliability is very hit or miss and the interior has a LOT of big plastic pieces. It looks good, but doesn't feel substantial. The 3.5 is a good motor, but apparently they do have their share of HG failures. 2004 Special Edition 300Ms are the best ones to get.
 

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Past: 95 Fleetwood, 91 Brougham. Now: 92 Lexus SC300
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5,418 Posts
My neighbor traded in her 2001 300M on a brand new ******* Sonota. Said that the 300 was giving her too many problems.

I personally think they are ugly, just like every other cab forward Chrysler, Dodge Intrepid, Eagle or whatever. The styling just screams 90's bloated jellybean to me, probably one of the worst automotive design fads ever.

They are very nice and roomy inside and have a huge trunk, but I can think of a bunch of other full size sedans from that era I'd rather own.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Hell, pretty soon 300Cs will drop enough to be a much better alternative to the 300M.
 

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'08 DTS Lux III Blk Cherry, '89 Brougham d'Elegance Dip Blue
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I liked the 300 Jim had as a rental at the meet. I could live with one of them.
 

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2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
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22,408 Posts
They're a joy to drive because they feel light on their feet. All of the LH cars fly around corners with the agility of much smaller cars, but refinement isn't up there with Cadillac, Lincoln, or Buick. The early to mid 90s LHS, Concorde, and Intrepid were fairly dependable, but the 300M suffered from bad head gaskets (not a Northstar nightmare to replace, since its a longitudinal V6), transmission problems, early interior wear, and electrical gremlins.

I picked one out for a friend a few years ago and its been nothing but trouble, requiring a new transmission and engine at 120k. His dashboard cracked (never seen a car do that since the early 90s) and the leather has split seams and rips all over. The Daimler acquisition ushered in an era of engineering and design shortcuts.

Its beautiful though, and if the resale value keeps dropping, I'd consider a 300M Special.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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Seeing that video, and everything you got in the 300m Special for 32k... I came to the startling realization that those may have been the bargain of those last few years. I certainly can't say with a straight face that the STS Luxury Performance honestly offered $20,000 more "goodness" even with as much as I like them. The interesting thing is that 2002-2004 M Specials now, sell for as much or more than the equivalent year STSs.
 

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2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
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Really? I thought those N* cars were quicker, like 0-60 in the mid six second range and a quarter mile time of 15 seconds flat or maybe [email protected]
The lighter 93-97 Sevilles did 0-60 in just under 6.5. The weight gain in 1998 affected acceleration.
 

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1979 Sedan deVille d'Elegance
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4,153 Posts
Chad, You are sure patient with your car fantasies. :) If I were in your position I'd focus on double payments on that Regal so you have the monthly payment albatross off your back and own one solid car outright. Then tightly manage your budget and save up $ in a fun car account to blow on the cool cars that come your way or that your dreams lead you to. :)
 

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2000 Seville STS
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985 Posts
The problem with the 300M (I owned it's predecessor, the Eagle Vision TSi, before my current STS) was the transmission: VERY fragile. In 12 years and 174K miles of ownership, the trans in my Vision was rebuilt twice. Also, the real reason the 300M Special only got a 5 HP bump over the standard 300M: the trans was at its absolute power handling limits. Read a story once about a prototype 300M with almost 300HP from the V6, and the trans didn't even last 20K miles.
 

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1992 STS / 2005 MB G500 / 2003 STS / 2006 XLR-V
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11,694 Posts
Yea that's a really stupid Chrysler weakness. Never have figured out why they can't put together a transmission that isn't made of tissue paper.

Doesn't matter anyway, as much I like them, I remember now why they never beat out the Seville in my searches. Autotrader shows a grand total of 7 300M Specials under 5k in the entire country, and they are either beat to shit or have a bajillion miles. People really abuse those cars so the used market is worthless.
 
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