Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

There’s only one engine choice and that’s the all-new 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel that made its UK debut in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee last year. The 236bhp unit produces 540Nm of pulling power, peaking between 1,600 and 2800rpm, and it’ll get from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and then go on to a top speed of 144mph. Therefore you could consider Chrysler 300C performance as impressive especially when you factor in its size.

The hearty peak torque means that the 300C is great as a cruiser – you can sit quite happily on the motorway, but when you need to overtake it’ll respond nicely with a quick prod on the accelerator. It’s not quite the same story on B roads when more urgency is required. A bit of lag, and that bulky body means you have to be a bit more committed when planning passing manoeuvres that require you to be on the wrong side of the road.

The Chrysler 300C comes with a five-speed automatic transmission with full automatic and semi-automatic functions. As with a traditional automatic once ‘Drive’ has been selected the gearbox can be left to do its own thing, but for drivers who want more involvement they can flick on the AutoStick function that allows them to select higher or lower gears using the gear lever on the central console.

If you are driving the higher-spec Executive version you can use the standard-fit steering wheel-mounted paddles to change gear.

Chrysler says the near 50-50 weight distribution gives the car excellent balance but it’s still a pretty cumbersome vehicle that isn’t particularly engaging in corners. It’s not in the same league as similar-sized Audi, Mercedes or BMW for example, but it does have a sort of regal air about it that is satisfying. It’s fair to say that it’s happier on the straight bits, plodding along and minding its own business, but it does start to get a little ungainly when you start pounding along a tricky B-road.

It’s horses for courses really. If you want poise and agility, don’t bother with a 300C, but if you want ride comfort and a sense of occasion with supple, cushion-like suspension you’ll be happy here. Steering feel is non-existent and gets agitated by undulations in the road. The brakes, however, are reassuringly dependable when you want to stop with urgency.