My insurance company decided to lend me one of their lounge chairs while a car hospital treats my Mazda3 hatch which suffers from being hit in the face by a lady who makes exceptionally poor choices in intersections. This is a loose review based on formats of loosely based reviews.
General description-I have a leather recliner in my house; the John Elway edition. I picked it out not because I grew up a Kansas City Chief’s fan and wanted to taunt myself for eternity but because I’m tall and it fit me better than any other papa bear chair I tried over the previous year. Add to that a day back in my youth where I watched John Elway defeat a decent Chiefs by relentlessly running the option on TWO sprained and taped ankles. I figured, “That man knows about recuperation and comfort,” so I bought that chair, and to this day, eight years later, my keester is at ease in that chair - no regrets. (I haven’t found any Egyptian slaves to carry me about in that chair for a reasonable rate.)
WFT?-OMG I know riiight? What does that story have to do with this rental? Except the lowest of the lowest lumbar area, It is almost as comfortable, so I will start there.
comfort-goddamn!-Did I tell you that it’s comfortable? Well, in case I haven’t, it is! The leather doesn’t smell funky. I haven’t felt any seams or contour hot spots. The lumbar support not only adjusts electrically into my back but there’s an additional roller that can be moved up or down the back where I find the only shortcoming; how low that roller goes. I need a little extra support right where the back meets the seat, and the roller doesn’t get close enough to affect that spot. Regardless, it became a minor grievance.
space-I won’t call it a cockpit or drivers position. I will discuss the captain’s bridge. On the bridge, as a tall captain of this runabout, I found myself with plenty of space. Not so much I can lay sideways, but enough where my door-side knee isn’t limited to a position. The rests don’t constrain elbows and let’s talk about those elbows. Previously rough and unsightly from conventional plebian vehicles, my elbows found plenty of relief with this interior. A few taps accomplish seat heating on the seven-inch dashboard info screen. That can take a few minutes, but I will say that last night, with a temperature in the high thirties, I had a toasty back in five minutes and shortly after had to turn it down to ‘LOW’.
The steering wheel, even if the adjust is unpowered, does telescope and tilt so wherever the seat is positioned, the reach isn’t forced. I also found the wrapped steering wheel to have some convenient seams at the five and seven positions making perfect places to rest your thumbs and forefingers while steering from the command chair. I can set the cruise control, take my feet back and sit in a relaxing chair and if I choose, cross the ankles and ponder what the poor people must be up to lately.
climate-seven fan speeds and it’s silent on anything other than 6 or 7. Separate temperature controls but I don’t care about other people in this lounge mobile. It’s for my comfort alone. I think adjustable vents for the rear seat passengers exist, but I didn’t look too closely. It’s all about me.
handling-How this grips will not be a big talking point. It handles a corner well, yes, but the seat bolsters are decidedly weak. It is built to handle safely, but it is not built for twisty mountain roads. As my torso rolled over to the side, the car kept carving that turn and surprised me. Perhaps that’s how it instills confidence; by under delivering side support so you are surprised what the car can do. No tire squeals evident, but I didn’t press the issue that hard. I was busy enjoying a leather coddled ass experience. In closing on this talking point, which ran longer than I thought it would, is that this car is not a complete yacht. I used this term on Facebook to describe it; this car is a Sports Whale.
ride-Good for up to a high 70mph range. If your road is billiard smooth, feel free to jack that speed up and pass the lesser fortunate in their rat race without spacious and hot leather. Should your chosen road have any bumps or unsettling areas, this car will bounce. For 82mph (a speed Colorado interstates will let you get away with) more rebound on the suspension is required. Bumps are okay and firm, absorbed enough I suppose but again, I’ll stress they’re toward the firm side. Definitely not 1982 Cadillac soft, but the rebound is surprisingly excessive at a higher velocity. I understand I’m coming from a Mazda3, one of the best handling hatchbacks ever built that is firm all around but after rail road tracks at 65 or more it wont rise up in recovery like this 300. BMW and Mercedes fixed that shit. Cadillac/GM has as well, so well Ferrari borrows some suspension technology for their shock absorbers.
engine/transmission/thrusters-Almost 300hp comes from that 3.6 pentastar v-6. I found it VERY much enough and it will do everything required your foot demands. It does so quietly and unassumingly as it should, unless cranked up high, where the noise intrudes on your leather heaven. The ride has been designed to effortlessly propel you in comfort wherever you go and therein lies the controversy of design. Should you drive with your foot down frequently, this is not your car. It’s not designed to compensate for that. The transmission also demonstrates this concept. It’s a 6-speeds of truck bullshit transmission. I can easily motor away with a nice torque band but if it downshifts with force or upshifts while on even middle power, it does so with a swift bump through the chassis bringing attention away from that jazz show on NPR or that subtle electronica bass heavy instrumental. The downshift affect brings the engine revs up and instant power that is immediately unnecessary. All I wanted was a bit more, not onlining ALL of the fucking warp systems.
My leathered torso demands more subtle changes. Why would anyone in a hurry, spending their money on some excellent luxury, desire that sort of treatment? That brings me to my closing argument for who this car is designed.
Value-Who are you? do you want to motor along at speed and relax with smooth jazz on the radio? Do you accelerate with minor inputs slowly up to speed? Are you not in a hurry? Are your fast roads smooth and straight? Then buy this car.
Are you wanting swift acceleration most of the time and want some sharper handling? do you travel fast over rougher roads with undulations and fast curves? Yes you’ll be extremely comfortable, but the abruptness the car will give you in return just spoils the whole design/drive experience.
So this car is for anyone not in a hurry and grandpa’s all over the place. Besides, it’s not an easy car to manuver. It’s a runabout boat handling like a sporting whale. I guess the SRT8 could be called a killer whale.
If you gotta have that big awesome leather sedan but are on a budget, $35,000 will get you started with this car. Adding features puts you into territory where another choice will get you the same thing but less abrupt behavior.