The Chrysler 300 is an iconic sedan, with its luxurious style it is often mistaken for a Bentley or a Rolls Royce.
This American-made vehicle remains practical, economical and popular for everyday use.
But how does the Chrysler 300 perform in the harsh winter weather? Read on and find out…
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Here is the short answer to whether the Chrysler 300 is good for snow and winter driving:
The Chrysler 300 is a good choice for driving in the snow, particularly the AWD models. This sedan is more than capable in winter due to its Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, ABS and high safety rating, however its 5.5 inch ground clearance will limit it to lighter snow conditions.
Is a Chrysler 300 Good in the Snow?
The answer is yes. However, models come in both rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD), so it is important to take this into consideration before buying a 300 that will be driven on snow-covered roads.
An AWD model will maintain better traction and control when the road is slippery whereas rear-wheel-drive models will be more prone to fishtailing due to their being less weight over the driven wheels.
For winter driving people often look to SUVs and trucks due to their increased ground clearance, however sedans are more than capable in lighter snow conditions.
Sedans have a lower center of gravity which decreases the likelihood of the vehicle rolling over as the car ‘hugs’ the road.
U.S.News and AutoBlog have both awarded the 300 a good overall safety score, scoring on average 8.4/10 and 4/5 respectively.
For light snow conditions the 300 will handle just fine, however due to its relatively low ground clearance we would not recommend it for areas subject to heavy snowfall and unplowed roads.
What Features Will Improve Winter Driving?
The engineers of the Chrysler 300 have included a number of features that can help improve winter driving, here are some detailed below:
All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
AWD is a great feature to have especially for unplowed roads and for getting out of snowed-in parking spots.
The 300’s AWD system automatically decides the best wheels to send power to, to ensure optimal traction.
AWD is will cost around an extra $2000 and is available on the following trims:
- 300 Touring
- 300 Touring L
- 300 Limited
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
During extreme steering maneuvers Electronic Stability Control can help prevent a potential spin or slide.
It is designed to keep the vehicle under control and headed in the driver’s intended direction.
It does this by receiving input signals from various sensors such as wheel speed and steering angle and analyzing the data.
If the steering angle is inconsistent with the direction of the vehicle of travel, ESC will be activated and the system will take corrective action.
ESC maintains vehicle stability by applying brakes to specific wheels and/or reducing throttle input, to keep the vehicle headed in the intended direction without resulting in a loss of control.
Traction Control is an electronic device which stops or reduces the amount of wheelspin on a cars driven wheels.
When a vehicles wheel spins without any grip on the roads surface, this can lead to a loss of control, especially in slick conditions.
When the system detects wheelspin, it it can apply the brakes to individual wheels or reduce throttle to maintain the most traction possible.
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)
The Anti-Lock Brake System helps prevent the wheels from locking up under braking.
ABS can detect a lock-up and decrease brake pressure so the wheel can spin again.
By preventing this lock-up the vehicle stops sooner and remains under the drivers control.
Rain Brake Support
Although it is called ‘Rain Brake Support’ it is still a useful feature in snowy conditions.
The vehicle’s system very lightly applies the brakes when it detects the wipers are being used, this is done to remove any water buildup on the brake rotors.
Dry rotors equate to better braking.
Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist
During the winter months drivers are often more tired due to the shortened daylight hours and this can lead to inattentive driving.
If you’ve lost focus behind the wheel Chryslers LaneSense can bring your attention back to where it should be.
LaneSense, is the combination of a lane departure warning system and lane keep assist.
Should you unintentionally drift lanes, the system sounds an alert and if there is no response, the vehicle will gently help you get back on course and into your lane.
Does the 300 Have a Snow Mode?
The Chrysler 300 does not come with a ‘snow mode’.
A ‘snow mode’ is designed primarily, to reduce throttle sensitivity – it locks the wheels to the same speed to increase traction and reduce wheel slip.
Despite its lack of a snow mode, the 300 remains more than capable in winter conditions.
Can You Install Additional Snow Gear on 300?
You can install snow gear on the 300, such as:
- Snow socks
- Studded tires.
- Winter tires
Be sure to check the availability and legality of snow gear in your region. Some regions do not allow add-ons such as studded tires or chains, and having them on your vehicle could result in a hefty fine.
Never buy winter tires without knowing what size, speed and load rating the vehicle demands.
The placard on the driver’s door jamb has all of the required tire information.
If you are going to be using snow chains, it is advised to only put them on the rear of the vehicle. Also make sure you use the proper size.
With snow socks and chains, do not exceed speeds of 30 MPH – exceeding these speeds can cause damage to your vehicle.
Do not install any snow gear if you do not know what you are doing, have a professional do it for you.
How Much Snow Can a 300 Handle?
The ground clearance of a Chrysler 300 is only 4.7 to 5.5 inches, depending on trim level.
Any major amount of snowfall will restrict the 300’s ability, and we would advise not driving in snow deeper than 4 inches.
Be cautious of driving the 300 if your region suffers from extreme snowfall, this could cause damage to your vehicle and cause it to become stuck.
How Do 300s Handle Low Winter Temperatures?
All Chrysler 300’s come equipped with fuel injection, meaning much shorter warm ups.
Before temperatures start to drop, taking your 300 into a mechanic’s shop for a quick check-up is a smart move.
Items such as the battery, tires, wipers and oil viscosity should be inspected before winter driving.
If you live in an extremely cold region, you might consider having an engine block heater installed – your car will start up easier and use less energy.
The 300’s cabin comes with heated seats, heated steering, and front/rear defrost. This adds a bit of extra comfort and convenience in those bleak winter months.
Can a Chrysler 300 Drive on Ice?
Without studded tires or chains, the 300 will perform poorly on ice. But it is not the fault of the car, as most vehicles will perform poorly on ice without the right snow gear.
When driving on icy terrain it’s important to leave extra stopping room and drive slowly.
AWD models will perform better on ice than a RWD model, with or without snow gear.
Does the 300 Have 4WD?
AWD is available on most trims however RWD is usually the standard option.
The 300’s AWD works automatically when the vehicle requires more traction, sending power to specific wheels to maximize grip.
This makes driving much simpler as the vehicle’s AWD system can do the work while the driver maintains their focus on the road.
If you plan on driving a 300 in the winter, it would be best to opt for an AWD model.
What About Older 300 Models and Winter Driving?
The 300 has been around in its current form since 2005.
Models made in 2005 and up will be okay for driving in the winter, as they all come equipped with traction control and ABS.
Older model 300s from the 1950’s to the 1970’s would handle the winter months comparatively poorly. They have reduced handling capabilities and no driver assists to keep the vehicle stable.
The Chrysler 300M made in 1999-2004 had electronic brake force distribution and ABS. This model would not be as good as the 2005+ models for winter driving, but it would still be reasonable.
For the most part the newest model Chrysler 300 equipped with AWD would perform the best in the winter months.
Do 300s Need Snow Tires?
If snow fall is very light and brief in your area, then you might be able to drive through the winter with all-seasons.
However there is still no substitute for a good set of snow tires, these will provide optimum traction.
They have a softer rubber compound, meaning they perform much better and have more grip in the cold.
Winter tires also have a tread pattern that is intended to divert the snow out from under the tire, giving the vehicle more traction.
For these reasons, winter tires are strongly recommended on the 300 if any sort of winter driving will be done.
Can You Mount a Snow Plow on a 300?
We would advise against mounting a snow plow on a 300, it could damage your vehicle and invalidate its warranty.
Snow plows are typically only mounted on trucks and large SUVs.