I don’t like snow; never have. It’s wet, heavy, and makes commuters late for work. You have to shovel concrete driveways, get used to having sand and or salt everywhere and wear those awful looking hats with the furry ears. Snow is also the leading cause of milk and bread disappearances. Even the mere threat of it incites a riot of shoppers who fight over meager scraps of food as though the end of civilization is at hand.
Growing up in Indiana I had many encounters with snow. I hated it, but we lived in the Snow Belt, an area of the country where snow is a regular occurrence and pasty white skin is the norm. You could either deal with it or escape; I chose the latter leaving the snow shovels, awful looking hat with the furry ears and galoshes behind. I fled to Florida where the only snow that’s found makes law enforcement types upset. I no longer need spend the darkest depths of winter pining for spring, which in the Snow Belt occurs sometime in June, about the time most residents have turned in to zombies thanks to the lack of milk and bread and the rest are fighting them off in an apocalypse.
Chrysler meanwhile has decided to celebrate the region called the ‘Snow Belt’. They’ve made a car specifically designed for our snow bound brethren, called the Glacier; specifically the Chrysler 300 Glacier Edition. The Glacier is basically a 300S with a few modifications that pay homage to those who choose to live in the Snow Belt. While it is offered in three colors, there is no option when it comes to the interior; it’s black, that’s it. The interior has different materials, but is all black and features accents that look like bits of carbon fiber. Oddly however, the seats are ‘leather trimmed’ with cloth in center. That center cloth looks like something from an old office chair. The black interior made me wonder why Chrysler would do such a thing in a car designed for someone who lives their life in a place that has a long winter; aren’t long winters depressing enough? Shouldn’t your car interior be something brighter, a happy place? I wouldn’t want to get in my car after being snowbound for months only to look around, sigh and say ‘ok that’s it, close the garage door and leave the engine running’.
Inside the layout is adequate, the gauges well planned and situated and the touch screen navigation/sound system easy to operate and understand. The model I tested had the optional ‘Beats’ sound system designed by someone named ‘Dr. Dre’. Now I’m not hip enough to know who that is or what kind of doctor he is but the sound system he designed sounds fantastic, especially when paired with your favorite MP3 player. The steering wheel contains as many controls as a Formula 1 racecar. However it’s almost as though they aren’t the right ones. Sure the cruise control buttons are there, along with the voice command and a button to answer your cell phone, but so are the controls for the small display between the gauges. Want to control the sound system? Those buttons are hidden behind the wheel; close to the paddle shifters. Be careful, those paddle shifters will operate no matter what mode you are in. if you are whizzing along at 60 miles per hour and accidently bump the paddle while trying to change the channel on the radio, you will downshift.; it will do what you ask without question. I also accidently tapped the paddles while turning. I had to quickly shift back up or tap the center gear shift from ‘Drive’ to ‘Sport’ and back again.
For sliding through snowdrifts, you get the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 engine or a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. There’s standard all wheel drive, which disconnects for fuel mileage purposes when it’s not needed along with a cold air intake that Chrysler says improves horsepower. The V-6 has a sport tuned exhaust rated at 300 horsepower and is matched up with an eight speed transmission. The model I tested never left the state of Florida during my week with it, so I can’t speak for its performance in the snow. In everyday driving though I actually found the V-6 to lack a little power. It was almost like the engine and transmission was an old married couple; they got along just fine most of the time, but on occasion bickered a bit when you wanted the car to move forward. Sure it sounded great, but it seemed at times that the 300 horsepower was going somewhere else besides the road.
Make no mistake about one thing however. This is a very pretty car. The Pearl Blue color matched with the painted roof featuring black accents on the outside make this car easily one of the best looking machines on the road. Sure the black interior may be depressing to some, but with the gauges bathed in a soft ice blue light and with the carbon fiber and piano black accents the interior oozes elegance. Ignore the tacky black cloth seat insets and the interior is a nice place to be.
The problem for the Chrysler 300, at least the Glacier edition, is that it almost seems lost. If you consider it an everyday urban sedan, like a Ford Taurus or Buick LaCrosse, it is above standard. If you try and put it into the luxury sedan category, such as an Audi A5 or Cadillac CTS though it seems to fall a little short; yes there are many of the features found in cars costing more, but at least with the V-6, the performance will leave you wanting more if you are looking for a luxury performance sedan. There’s a fair bit of road noise, the ride is just a notch above smooth and the body roll in aggressive corners is a little much.
The best thing the Glacier has going for it is the look. If you’re looking for a stylish car with above average features, and aren’t interested in racing along winding country roads this car is a fine choice. If you’re forced to live in the ‘Snow Belt’ the Chrysler 300 Glacier Edition will have you wheeling around in style. Meanwhile I’ll be sipping fruity drinks by the pool safe in the knowledge that there is plenty of milk and bread at my local grocery store.
2013 Chrysler 300 Glacier Edition
Price as tested: $40,335
3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve VVT Engine
300 Horsepower Rating
8-Speed Automatic Transmission with E-Shifter
Rated MPG: 18/27
MPG as tested:22 (Mixed roads)
Ground Clearance – at curb weight – Running Ground Clearance:4.8
Overall Body Width:75.0
Cargo Capacity (Trunk):16.3
Head Room – Front:38.6
Head Room – Rear:37.9
Hip Room – Front:56.2
Hip Room – Rear:56.1
Leg Room – Front:41.8
Leg Room – Rear:40.1
Passenger Interior Volume:106.3
Seating Capacity – Maximum Seating:5
Seating Capacity – Standard Seating:5
Shoulder Room – Front:59.5
Shoulder Room – Rear:57.7
Trunk Lift-Over Height:30.1
Basic: 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain: 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion: 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance: 5 Years/100,000 Miles
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