There are so far two big boys in the luxury game: Mercedes and BMW. All the others, might reached the level of refinement, style and safety, but the name will always be a handicap. Let's take for example VW Phaeton. One of the greatest cars ever made on its class. Almost bankrupt. Insignificant sales. You just can't show yourself in a box with the VW badge on it. The problem is never the car, but the badge.
Now once I got from the rental company the Chrysler 300c, that is actually a Lancia Thema, I had some expectations. I had some expectation even that the badge is not the right one, but at least it should compensate with something else.
Quite a disappointment. Don't get me wrong. The car is not so bad, also again is my own taste here, so it might appeal to others for whatever reasons, and I'm more than fine with that but it is for sure not for me.
It is not for me because I can't fit in it. Chair was set as low as possible, as far as I could push it back, still no space for my head. My luck came from the sun-roof that allowed me to open the sunshade curtain from it. That gave me another 2 cm in height on the roof so that I could fit my head. So far so good.
Engine start, push the pedal, highway, push the pedal more, well, what I can tell is that the car was doing the most strange conversion of energy ever seen in a car: fuel to noise.
I mean the only thing that was coming out form the engine was noise. From an engine with more than 300 HP you would expect some kick regardless of the car weight but the only push came in my ears from the sound waves generated by the engine.
Inside, you get all the gizmos that you might think of, satnav, bluetooth, radars, cruise control, name it and you have it but they are delivered around you in some really cheap plastic and that you see all over the place. Cheap is the word to be used describing anything inside. Then the inside noise. The whole thing was producing all kind of cracking noises during the ride, even when cruising, might be that is all made in purpose? Some kind of interior harmony with the engine? Not sure, I would need to check as that would have been the scope and I just missed it.
Later on when refueling (bloody hell is thirsty) I might had an explanation of the lack of power. Reason would be the fuel. My first experience with Canada/US gas stations left me jar open when realised that an octane of 89 is a great one. With that number, I'm really wondering how come that the engine even stop as with such a long burning time I would expect that pistons are still running long after I switched off the ignition.
(I still have no clue what is the scale used for octane numbers there: RON, MON or AKI so I might be wrong)
Getting back to the Lancia, well Chrysler, it is for sure doing it's job for the money but you get exactly as much as you pay. Don't expect BMW or Mercedes qualities with such a low price. Overall, not that bad, quite a cruiser. It might suit better if you are a small person (under 190cm) so that you could fit in the car or if you are taller than that, do not forget to pick the sunroof from the option list as you might not fit in the car without one.