We love the Chrysler 300 sedan. Big, boisterous, luxurious and fast -- but especially because it's rear-wheel drive, which lends great driving dynamics to the big American sports sedan. It's been a solid seller since its introduction in the marketplace in 2004, getting more refinement over the past twelve years. But recently Fiat Chrysler America chief executive Sergio Marchionne hinted that the rear-wheel drive Chrysler 300 sedan could end up as a front-wheel drive car for its next generation. Enthusiasts let out a collective shudder upon reading the news. What could be the reason for this, we asked ourselves? 

Well, it's a financial move, which FCA is pulling left and right these days (killing the Dodge Dart, Dodge Viper, Chrysler Town & Country and Chrysler 200), and the idea behind it is to platform share with the new Pacifica minivan. This would allow the next-generation 300 to be both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, building both vehicles at the Windsor, Ontario plant where the Pacifica is currently made. 

The idea of the 300 platform sharing with the Chrysler Pacifica minivan just seems wrong.

It could also be a move that's meant more to differentiate between Chrysler and Dodge products since Dodge already has the rear-wheel drive Challenger and Charger. Chrysler could further separate itself by offering less muscle and more refinement, whereas Dodge could focus on performance products now that the Dart is history. Though we understand the mentality behind these possible changes, we have to disagree with the massive paradigm shift for the 300.

The 300 is viewed by the industry as a bit of a unicorn. Asie from the rather niche and mostly performance-focused Chevrolet SS (which won't last long) and the poorly-selling Cadillac CTS, there are no other upscale rear-wheel drive sedans on the American-branded automotive landscape. All of the following cars are front-wheel drive: Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, with only the LaCrosse really competing with the 300 in terms of luxury. 

The only domestic competition for the 300 is the Buick LaCrosse, and it only comes in front-wheel drive.

Whatever the case, we wish FCA wouldn't head down this path, despite the financial and branding reasons to do so. The 300 started out as a refined but muscled big American sedan. Nothing else, in our opinion, fills this niche from a domestic automaker. It also flies in face of cars like the Nissan Maxima that compromise the driving experience by pairing high horsepower with front-wheel drive. We'd like to see the next-gen 300 (and every generation after that) stick with rear-wheel drive because it's a huge part of its appeal. 

If you like the Chrysler 300, you might also like these other sporty sedans we've driven:

Cadillac CTS-V

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Dodge Charger R/T

dodge charger

Find Local Discounts on the Dodge Charger