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By Sara Lacey
For Utah Rides

I wasn’t sure what accessory I might need while driving the Chrysler 300S.  Turns out I just needed a matching attitude.  I can’t help but feel like the 300S is not for the meek or mild, but the person who takes risks (or feels comfortable acting like it).

Chrysler has maintained the signature look of the most recent generation of the 300 even through some mild updates.  I do like how the 300S takes a vehicle that, in it’s 300C incarnation, screams Al Capone/Head Honcho/Pinstripe Suit and Cigar and flips it into a more urban vibe.  So in the 300S I feel more Jay-Z/Superstar/Pinstripe Suit and Cigar.  I intentionally didn’t say Beyoncé/Sasha Fierce/Platform Heels and Entourage.  Why?

For as feminine as some of the accessories and features sound on paper (red, contrast-stitched leather type seating surfaces) the overall feel is masculine. On the exterior, rather than curvaceous LED daytime lamps, the 300S has boxy, moderately menacing LED’s. Not so menacing that you wouldn’t want to meet if you owed them money, more like the kind you just give a wide berth.  Inside, shiny black trim and faux carbon fiber accents negate that luscious red upholstery.

Despite the masculine styling, I do like the 300S.  I have impressive power, but it actually feels pretty refined.  But on the other hand, I’d like it to rumble more.  Hey, if I’m calling the shots around here I want a car that sounds like it, am I right?  It’s a comfortable ride, but not mushy.   It’s got heated and cooled cupholders, and a heated steering wheel.  There’s a fabulous stereo that’s easy to use, and my test car had the premium Beats by Dre sound system.  It felt weird to listen to talk radio or XM Spa.  I felt most appropriate listening to music, any kind sounded amazing.

In fact, I’m going to take an extra moment to say that the whole touchscreen multimedia system was easy to use. It made me feel like the kind of boss that has a highly efficient personal assistant.  Many systems still feel unruly and stubborn and not like they’re that interested in making my life easier.  I’m glad to say Chrysler’s system makes me happy this kind of technology is present in the 300S.  Another aspect of the system that performed perfectly was the Bluetooth phone and audio connection.  Once I paired my device, the system was a piece of cake.  If I was listening to Beyoncé when I got out of the car, it would start playing again in the same spot when I got back in!  Unreal!  I may have said before that I like when technology is easy.  I mean it.

The 300S is comfortable inside and despite the spacious interior most features and controls were close at hand and easy to use.  The main exception to this is the door, which opens so wide, I cannot close it without leaning out so far I need to hold on to the steering wheel to keep from falling out.  Back doors open wide too, so kids may have problems closing them on their own from the inside.  So hey, now that I think about it, I am a boss.  I am the boss of my kids!  Fortunately, I can be the nice, nurturing boss because of the backseat space.  The rear bench is so wide my kids had their own space.  They weren’t crammed together and, heaven forbid, touching each other.  That means less yelling for this boss lady.  There are three tether anchors, and two sets of latch connectors can accommodate you if you happen to be the boss of one two or three kids (depending on age, height and weight, and type of safety seat of course).  Oddly, adult legroom is less than I anticipated given all the interior space in the 300S.  But it’s not a deal-breaker.

And as boss of my kids, I’ll tell you I’m making deals all the time, so I can spot a good one.  The 2012 Chrysler 300S V8 starts at $39,670 and gets an estimated 16/25 mpgs.  For those of us interested in a little more flexibility if the weather gets wacky, there is an AWD version starting at $42,040.

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