This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Chrysler 300C Saloon (12-15) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

When the 300C was launched in November 2005 just two petrol engines were available - a 250bhp 3.5 V6 and a 340bhp 5.7 V8. The smaller unit is a smooth engine, although not especially quick, so for those who can afford the fuel bills, the 5.7-litre (also known as the HEMI) offers serious performance. It gets to 62mph in 6.2 seconds, has a silky-smooth power delivery and a great engine note.

But as it returns just 23mpg buyers are likely to opt for the diesel. This 3.0-litre CRD V6 (sourced from Mercedes-Benz) was introduced in January 2006 and is certainly the most suitable engine for the 300C - no surprise therefore that it's the most popular. It has plenty of low down grunt and pushes the Chrysler from 0-62mph in 8.7 seconds while in-gear pace is very impressive.

It also returns a useful 35mpg. All cars come with a slick and quick-shifting five-speed automatic gearbox.

American cars have tended to handle badly on UK roads in the past, with soft suspension, vague steering and iffy brakes. But don't let the 300C's all-American looks fool you into thinking it follows this pattern. It's actually rather good and doesn't feel as unwieldy as its proportions suggest. The steering is surprisingly sharp (albeit lacking in feel), bodyroll is well contained and it feels quite agile through corners.

But it also makes a good cruiser: the suspension, developed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz, soaks up lumps and bumps in the road well.