Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The 3.5-litre V6 kicks-off the range, and is a good engine - it's quiet, smooth and refined, but not worth considering as a new car unless you're a die-hard petrolhead. That's because the 3.0 CRD V6 (sourced from Mercedes-Benz) is a remarkable diesel. It's quicker, getting to 62mph in 8.6 seconds, just as refined and has much better fuel economy. There's loads of low-down pulling power too, so overtaking is a breeze.

If you can afford the huge fuel bills, then the 5.7-litre V8 (also known as the HEMI) may be worth a look. It offers serious performance, with a 0-62mph time of 6.2 seconds, smooth power delivery and top speed of 155mph. But as it returns just 23mpg, most buyers are likely to opt for the diesel.

American cars have a reputation for poor handling in the UK, characterised by soft suspension, vague steering and iffy brakes. But that's simply not the case with the 300C Touring, which is surprisingly able. The steering is direct, bodyroll is well contained, it's accomplished through corners and doesn't feel as cumbersome to drive as you'd expect from a car with such large proportions.

It's relaxed on the motorway, too, with a comfortable ride that was developed in conjunction with Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler's sister company.