Chrysler 300 nears Hyundai Genesis for top spot among Consumer Reports large sedan ratings

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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Chrysler has a lot to smile about lately. Not only did the automaker's Canadian operation achieve its best August sales numbers since 2000, marking a 9-percent gain over August 2011, but Consumer Reports magazine just gave its namesake brand's flagship 300 sedan a big boost in its large sedan ratings.

The 2012 Chrysler 300 V6 edged out competitors to score 83 points, nearing the segment leading Hyundai Genesis sedan that scored 87 points. In a press release Consumer Reports especially praised the new 300's "smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission," only available with the base V6 engine. Consumer Reports made mention of "improved drivability" and better fuel economy.

"The 2011 redesign of the 300 put Chrysler's flagship back on the map in the large sedan category," said David Champion, Sr. Director of Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center. "Though the muscular V8-powered 300C delivers more oomph, most buyers will probably be quite happy with the V6 engine, which contributes to its refined character and helps it score near the top of its category."

Other large sedans tested included the 2012 Buick LaCrosse eAssist hybrid, the completely redesigned 2012 Hyundai Azera, and the revised 2013 Ford Taurus, all rating below the Chrysler 300 and the top-rated Hyundai Genesis.

Hyundai's Azera was given a rating of 81 points thanks to being "more stylish and refined than its predecessor," yet criticized for having "a stiff, unrefined ride, which detracts from the car's luxury intentions." The Buick LaCrosse eAssist hybrid received a rating of 78 points, impressing the Consumer Reports staff with best-in-class observed fuel economy of 9 L/100km, but leaving them unimpressed with its "narrow cockpit, a busy dashboard, obscured sight lines and trunk storage that's compromised by the large battery." Lastly, the Ford Taurus was given the lowest rating in the category at 64 points due to a general dislike of the MyFord Touch infotainment system and for poor outward visibility, plus being "cramped for such a large car."

While the Hyundai Genesis sedan gets Consumer Reports' coveted "Recommended" rating, none of the others are so fortunate. Why? The magazine simply doesn't have enough reliability data on the Chrysler 300 to give it the nod quite yet, while the Azera and LaCrosse eAssist are also too new. The Taurus was the only large sedan of the four tested to not make the "Recommended" list because of a low score.

With the totally redesigned Chevrolet Impala and Toyota Avalon arriving soon, Kia's new Cadenza about to replace its already discontinued Amanti, plus others like the recently updated Dodge Charger and Nissan's performance-oriented Maxima in the wings, the large mainstream sedan segment is only becoming more competitive. Hyundai and Chrysler will no doubt continue to improve their flagship sedans to remain on top.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Buick, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai, 300, Taurus, Genesis, LaCrosse eAssist, Consumer Reports,

Organizations: Hyundai, Consumer Reports, Buick

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