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2001 Chrysler 300M Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: My opinion on a possible lemon. by donald95

A member in Georgia, United States

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Introduction

I love my car, 13 years of dependable extremely expensive repairs with great gas mileage for a behemoth. But honestly lately I fantasize about someone totaling it...honestly give me an excuse and I would put a few rounds into the engine block and mount the radiator above my bed.All in allÖ I would buy another 300, Itís insane I want to upgrade my car to a newer 300 but I know the problems and how expense it is to repair. I got full Stockholm syndrome and donít regret it.

Reviewed: 2001 Chrysler 300M

4dr Sedan 250-horsepower 3.5L V6 4-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Why the 2001 Chrysler 300M?

Fuel economy

For a car going on 13 years it still gets 23 mpg highway and 18 city.

Driving position & visibility

Very large interior, me a 6 foot 4 inch male with a large bulky frame can sit comfortably. Leather seats with great lumbar support and great adjustments, has heated seats and can remember my settings (optional). Very large windows and with proper mirror set up has nearly no blind spots and mine has the optional turn down mirrors when in reverse make parking a breeze.

Controls and instruments

I love the look of the gages in the dash board, the white with silver trim speedometer, heat, pm gages make me hate driving any other car. The fact that the speedometer has proper markers every five mph makes it easy to tell your speed. Radio is very easy to use and has eight programmable channels. My car has a clock and a cd player that holds 6 cds (don't remember the last time I used one though). The temperature control is amazing, you can change per degree, fans blow feet, head, both, the defroster/feet, defroster/head, defroster/rear defroster, and defrosters/mirror defrosters (optional).

Handling

Amazing handling on turns and everyday driving. Acceleration and breaking are very smooth and as my crusty old mechanic told me "I would take your car any day over theses rice burners any day" just proves it's great. There is no jerks or rough acceleration, the breaking if properly applied (aka green light breaking) will make a drive enjoyable, unlike my mother's slamming break tactic when she is 12 feet from someone's bumper...but I digress. High speeds (100+ with 15 cross winds) handle like a dream, handling is precise and with the engine under the hood I am surprised that the speedometer only goes to 120(not that I think for a second that it tops out at that low of a speed).

Cargo capacity

As a southern boy who is large framed (6,3 260) who has like sized friends I got this car so we could take our guns to the range on the weekends. The trunk is huge with pleny of room for whatever you have to stuff in there. Guns, bodys, grocherys, a few hundred pounds of soil it holds it all. The backseat holds three medium build teenagers just fine and with all our gear and ice chest in the trunk (think 1,800 pounds of men/junk) it still drives just fine just advoid the bumps.

Why Not the 2001 Chrysler 300M?

Powertrain performance

Trani is starting is starting to slip at 175k +, the car will sometimes slip into its safety mode for no reason. DO NOT DRIVE IT IN MANUAL unless you want to shred your trani, cause an accident aaand soil yourself. When the safety mode activates you cannot go over 30mph and if you are on a highway going 75... Well your rpms will redline and you're going to have a stroke. Catalytic converter and water pump will always cause you problems. Also the car is so low to the ground that you better go slow or you will bottom out. Did I mention that the water pump is right on the bottom and will scratch if you go to fast over a bump, or that the radiator is very easy to crack if you hit a pot hole? THIS CAR RIDES LOW, GO SLOW OVER ANYTHING.

Materials & workmanship

The interior dashboard is known to crack, I mean foot long 3cm wide gash in the dashboard. Its cheap materials and way to pricey to replace unless you got a grand laying around. Whoever designed this car deserves to be hanged, they crammed way to much under the hood and the most basic repairs and maintenance will cost 3x that of another car... and that's if you could get someone to do it. Most shops will tell you no as soon as you say 300m. The battery is only accessible if you take the passenger front tire off and pray you don't have to replace anything. Maintenance is a pain as there is no wiggle room to remove the belts or hoses. Yes DIY is possible, but it will take a good scotch to get your mechanic friend to do anything.

Exterior styling

The car is often mistaken for a police cuiser somehow, it is also funky looking with the large tires and slopeing front end. A 300 needs more air flow but is given a small amount for who knows what reason. Trim looks nice but the clear coat is cheap and scratches extreamly easy.

Reliability & durability

The car is very reliable until it breaks, then it is a liability until you can pawn it on someone else. Water pump breaks...800 bucks, radiator breaks...700, catalytic convert 300 bucks, trani...total the car it's not worth it, and engine develops a vacuumed 5k. To fix the random emergency mode...3k. Over all it's an amazing car that has lasted me 13 years but once something major breaks at this age it's not worth trying to repair but to just replace. No one wants to work on them but they still seem to be popular.

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