The 300C Touring has a massive 630 litres of load spacebehind its soft leather-trimmed rear seats. And with the backrests folded down, cargo capacity goes up to a 1,602 litres. By comparison, Audi’s A6 Avant offers 565/1,660 litres, the Mercedes-Benz E-class estate 650/1,910 and Saab’s 9-5 estate 416/1,490.
Chrysler Group UK marketing director Steve Gray regards all this extra space as a bonus in his battle to make further inroads in the fleet market.
He said: ‘We have something that’s very different compared with the usual executive car – the Touring represents a good opportunity to bolster the success we’re achieving with the saloon.’
Speaking at the launch of the Touring in Scotland, Gray told Fleet NewsNet that the boldly-styled American saloon was winning a ‘storming’ reception from UK motorists following its introduction seven months ago.
He added: ‘We have almost doubled our original forecast for 1,500 registrations this year. This car might sell first on its styling, but packaging, performance and pricing will prove to be significant factors.’
Priced 10% cheaper than a Saab 9-5 1.9 TID Vector Sport Estate, the entry-level Touring uses a 3.0-litre Mercedes-Benz diesel engine with a five-speed automatic transmission. Standard specification is extensive.
DESPITE being cheaper than its rivals, the big Chrysler is packaged to be better than most when it comes to heavy-load, long-haul work. Fuel economy might be a comparative weakness, but the price is right and the styling is fantastic.
Behind the wheel
AN old-fashioned, large-diameter steering wheel tends to emphasise the bulk of the Chrysler at first sight, but the impression is soon lost out on the road.
For its size, the car has better performance than you’d expect from a relatively modest power unit – surprisingly, it’s quicker away from a standstill than the 3.5-litre V6 petrol version – and the diesel is the optimal fleet choice for its fuel economy.
Though the rules of physics prevent it from being sprightly through the bends, the Touring proves to be competent on cross-country roads. But this is relaxed transport for motorway use, and its space, high comfort and low noise levels make it ideal as a fast lane cruiser.
|Model:||3.0 V6 CRD||3.5 V6||5.7 V8|
|Max power (bhp/rpm):||218/4,000||249/6,400||340/5,200|
|Max torque (lb-ft/rpm):||376/2,800||250/4,000||387/4,000|
|Max speed (mph):||136||130||155|
|Fuel consumption (mpg):||34.9||25.2||22.6|
|CO2 emissions (g/km):||215||265||296|