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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all! I hope to be joining the 300 club soon but I had a few regarding a 2013 300C AWD that I am thinking of purchasing this weekend.

A quick background on myself, I am in my upper 20s and started working for Chrysler (now FCA) about a year ago. I've kept an eye out for new vehicles I like, but it is tough to justify the cost even with my employee discount. So I have chosen to look at certified pre-owned vehicles, specifically the 300C from 2013-2015. My search has brought me to the current vehicle I am now looking at and I'm the process of negotiating. Also, I'll mention up front I do intend to purchase the bumper to bumper lifetime warranty through MOPAR as I intend to drive this vehicle for the reminder of it's useful life.

So the specifics regarding the vehicle. As I mentioned in the title, it is a 2013 300C AWD 5.7L Hemi with 37k miles. Luxury edition, black exterior, frost/beige interior (a look I love), and fully loaded (safety tech, hardon kardon audio, light package). Also, the price before taxes and a $250 doc fee, is approximately $26.5k, which I find very fair, but let me know if you feel otherwise.

So now that I got that out of the way, I do have a few questions.

1) I've heard there have been some people mentioning transmission issues with this vehicle, can anyone confirm? Also, are there any other mechanical issues I should be aware of?

2) Regarding the luxury package, how does the upgraded leather interior compare to the base 300, also, how does it compare to other luxury vehicles? Is this package worth the extra cost?

3) How does the Hardon Kandon audio system sound? Any rattling? Is this a big step up from the Alpine system?

4) I intend to put the JV "Bentley" style grill on the front, if I go through MOPAR directly, how much would I be looking to dish out including labor? Would there be a better place to purchase this from?

5) Is there anything else I am missing or should ask the dealer?

Being that I am out of state from the dealer, I haven't actually seen the vehicle yet, so I will have one shot to physically inspect and test drive the vehicle before I buy. Is there anything specifically I should make sure I look at or test out? As I mentioned early, it is a CPO from an authorized Chrysler dealership. Thanks!
 

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1- I think most of the transmissions complaints here are for the ZF 8-speed auto, not the 5-speed auto that would be in the 2013 you're looking at.

2- The luxury package gives you real leather wraps on the dash, door uppers, etc. Whether its worth it is personal opinion. I looks nice and more upscale than the standard but I'd imagine will need more upkeep to properly maintain it. The open-pore wood trim is also very nice but it is dark. My personal preference is for a lighter interior, but if you like the darker wood it is definitely high quality. The upgraded steering wheel trim and upholstery are also definitely a step up.

3- I enjoy the Harman Kardon unit in my '12. It took a while to get it set up right for my listening preferencees and I had to put a foam strip in between the package try and rear window to squelch a rattle/vibration by that was no big deal. I'd definitely get this over the stock system.

4- No idea.

I will add that starting in 2015 the 5.7 V-8 is no longer available with the AWD. So the engine drivetrain combo on this car you're looking at (I think) gives you the best of everything. I have a 2012 5.7 AWD and was going to trade in 2015 but I ended up keeping it because I didn't want to go with the V-6 in order to get AWD.

Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the well written and detailed response. I did look at the dark interior before, but as you pointed out it appeared too dark. That is one of the main reasons I'm choosing the frost/beige interior.

Good with know about the rattling. Hopefully they fixed that in the 2013 model, if not I now know how to fix it. And I agree with the V-8 AWD combo. Living in the north almost necessitates AWD.

Other thoughts and sentiments would be greatly appreciated
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also, one more question. How do the rims hold up on the 2013-2014 300C's? They appear more 'standard' than I would prefer, but they are classy nonetheless. The reason I ask is because I stopped at a dealership lot and looked at the tires of another 2013 with 50k mileage. The rims appeared to have some of the top coats wearing down. Has anyone else noticed this? I would hate to hit 75k miles only to have the factory rims look like junk.
 

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I have a 2012 300C AWD Luxury with the Hemi. As kampsvilleboy says, it is a unique powertrain combination that you can't currently get. I do really like the interior (same as what you're looking at). It is so much better than the interior I had on my 2009 300C. I don't have the SafetyTech items, so I can't comment. Wish I had those factory HID headlights. Check car values for your area (kbb.com or maybe edmunds.com?) and you should be able to get a good idea what a fair price would be in your area. In my case, earlier this year I was able to get my 2012 just over two years used, about 28K on the odometer, for around 1/2 the price of what this would have originally sold for.

I'm sure others here can chime in on the 5.7L/5-speed combination, but it appears to be a solid, reliable powertrain. Regular maintenance should equal a long life.

I love the HK system sound. There are quirks with UConnect, and of course the rattle issue, but these can be dealt with or lived with.

As far as the wheels: 3 of my original wheels showed signs of corrosion under the clearcoat (search the forums and you'll find threads about it) similar to what you said you observed. I took it into my Chrysler dealer and each was replaced for free under warranty. It seems to be a problem with these wheels, and I expect the new wheels I received will eventually suffer the same problem.

All in all, this is a great car: big, powerful, quiet, comfortable and solid on dry and wet roads. I drive a lot and this thing just eats up the highway. I haven't done many miles in snow, but what I did drive in was no problem. Honestly, my 2009 300C RWD was decent in snow with winter tires. The AWD can only be better. Good luck with the decision.
 
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Hi,

I have a 2012 Luxury Edition, so there may be some minor differences between it and the 2013. My car does not have any bright chrome. It has subdued brushed nickel looking brightwork that Chrysler calls "platinum". The wheels are 20" vs the standard 18" on a 300C, and they are not clad wheels. They are very similar to those on a 300S. I have not had any chipping or peeling on my wheels. They look like new. My car has paddle shifters, while the regular 300C does not. Your car, being AWD should have 19" wheels. My Luxury also has a "Sport" mode, but it only controls the transmission. My interior is Light frost beige/dark frost beige combo, which I think is the same as the car you are looking at. Although the exterior is metallic dark brown ( called Luxury Brown) it looks black except in bright sunlight. Since you haven't seen your car in person, it might actually be Luxury Brown since that is the color usually associated with the frost beige interior. The interior wood is real and looks like real wood, unlike my other car which has real wood that looks like it is plastic. The wood color is medium brown, unlike the dark wood on the black interior. The interior has held up very well and I have received many compliments on it. Some are surprised to find such a nice interior in a Chrysler. According to the Chrysler literature (for what it is worth) it is a superior grade of leather compared to the standard 300C. Standard on the Luxury is the 8.4" Nav radio and U-connect. The sales brochure claims that the Luxury has a different suspension than the standard 300C. To quote Chrysler " 4-wheel independent touring. The 300C is listed as "4 wheel independent comfort". Not sure what the difference is, but I'm guessing a firmer ride. Can't help with the HK radio since my car came with a 6 speaker Alpine system which was rather poor. I have upgraded it. I also have the Safetytec system and it has been trouble free and much appreciated. I have the dual pane panoramic sunroof and it has been trouble free.
The only issue I have had with my car is the steering column developed a growl when turning at low speeds. This apparently is a common problem, at least on 2012's, due to inadequate lubrication of one of the bearings in the column. It was fixed under warranty by the dealer, who serviced the bearing. No transmission problems whatsoever.
No idea what the "Bentley" grill looks like so can't help there.


Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Blackngold - Thank you for the 1st hand information, it is very helpful. Interesting about the rims. I'll have the full lifetime warranty so if they get too bad, the warranty should cover them. Hopefully they will just replace them with newer rims so I won't have than issue every 50,000 miles.

Phunter - you are correct, the wheels are 19" on the 2013 AWD. I should have clarified better in my previous posts. I have seen a multitude of photos and vidoes of the exact car I am looking to purchase, I just haven't seen it in person. So I am sure that it is black (unfornatley not the tri-coat which I would have prefer). I am most looking forward to the interior as well as that appears to be one of the best features of the 300.

I'll be sure to report back on the how the leather feels in comparison to the regular 300C. Also, I did do some reading on the type of different suspensions, but I was unable to determine what the actual differences were. Can anyone else shed some light on this issue?

In reference to the "Bentley" style grill, see the image from Google images. This comes stock on the 2014 JV edition, but not on the JV limited.

2014 john varvatos 300c - Bing Images
 

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I have a 2013 Luxury as well - non AWD. I leased it as a leftover in late 2013.

First - the interior is really nice, the real wood and leather wrapped door panels and dash are a big upgrade over the standard interior (which is already nice...) It's nicer than almost anything in it's price class.

The Harmon Kardon system is interesting - I would not have paid "retail" for it - because I do not think it was worth $1,995 when the car was new. I has a TON of bass - never heard so much bass in a factory system - not sure it is much of an overall upgrade over Sound Group II in my 2011 Challenger R/T, but if you like bass-heavy music, you will be in heaven. I don't have the rear deck rattle that most people get. I have the bass at minus 5 to make the sound more balanced to my ears.

I have not had any corrosion in my 20" wheels - they look like new, but I only have 8,000 miles on the car and I live in the south now, so others may have a different experience. First year I owned the car, I lived in NY, but I think I drove it in snow once and rain about 10 times.

The only major mechanical issue I have had is with the transmission - twice. The dealer replaced the valve body and then on a second occasion reflashed the software. Only other issue is the battery went bad while it was parked for a month - I got a new battery under warranty.

The service department that takes care of my car is really good - that also helps. Even when I have had issues, they have stepped up and provided great service.

You will love the car - Best of luck to you.
 

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Agree with the AWD requirement up north. I just picked up a '14 300C Hemi AWD 2 weeks ago. 17K miles for $27500 canadian. A whole lot of car for the price.

1)The car has been fantastic so far. I had the same Hemi/5 speed combo in the Ram and it ran flawlessly. Besides a transmission oil change per owner's manual, never been in for service in 5 years. The 5 speed is a LOT smoother than the 8 speed-it was a bit clunky and searched for gears when downshifting. The 5 speed doesn't do this.

2) The leather in the C feels firmer and more plush than the base V6 model. The V6 had fewer miles on it but the leather had some surface cracks around the seat corners. The C's seats are mint. The perforations for the ventilated seats (awesome feature) look pretty badass too. The power adjustable pedals/wheel/seats make for one comfortable personalized driving position.

3) I have the alpine system but I hear the HK system is excellent, but rattles, as you know already.

4) No clue on where to buy grill..but the dealer's hourly rate is usually $110 and they may charge you 2 hours labour (bumper removal/grill installation), so...

5) I'd make sure that all the maintenance requirements at the mileage you're buying at, are taken care of. The owner's manual will show you what's needed at that mileage. Make sure they provide you with service records or perform the services before you take possession.

I think you'll love the car and the hemi. It's somewhat of a sleeper, plus when it snows, we're still good.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for the excellent information. Long story short, I have been convinced this is absolutely a vehicle worth buying! Assuming I don't see something drastically different than I am expecting (ie. A heavy smoker drove the car before me), I'll be sure to update you all with pictures.

Also, I'm not planning on doing any modifications as I prefer to keep it eligible for the warranty, but I do plan on adding the new grill and possibly adding a cold air intake while leaving the exhaust as factory. Can anyone else here who added a cold air intakr offer any input here? I would probably go through MOPAR as I am not a car guy, but would there be better options? Also, would there be any sort of noticeable difference in performance / sound if added?
 

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I don't have a CAI, but there is a lot of debate on these forums. It seems like the intakes are mostly for sound, not much in performance - but again, I don't have one so can't speak from experience.

Looking forward to seeing some photos if it all works out.
 

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After I posted the question regarding CAI's yesterday, I did a bunch of research on these forums and came to the same conclusions. I think I'll trust a part that went through hundreds of desks and review procedures to ensure it gives the best in all world's, not just noise.
 

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LMI intakes have been proven to improve performance, but do not result in optimal performance that is achievable until you add a programmer and freer flowing exhaust. Those items together form a system that is greater than the sum of their individual parts.
 

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So I ended up picking it up and it's sweet. New mint condition even though it has nearly 38k miles The 3 hour drive home from the dealership flew by. I also all the features, but I am still getting used to the adaptive cruze control. It seems stay too far back in Metro Highway driving which almost caused the person behind me to hit me. I know they have to do it for safety reasons, but it seems that even at the closest setting it is still a makes to stay a bit to far away.

Cleaned the interior, cleaned and moisturize the leather and polished up the wood paneling. Tomorrow will get the full wash and wax treatment. Will post pictures after all is said and done.

Thanks again everyone for all your help!
 

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After my full detail of the interior and exterior, I would say it turned out pretty good. So a couple critiques with this being a certified pre-owned vehicle only a 2 years old.

First if all, there is a spot of rust on the roof (above the size of a pencil eraser) right above the driver side which I didn't notice at the time of purchase. I'm shocked this passed certification with this glaring corrosion. There is also another spot on the driver side front panel that looks like rust covered with some touch up. Unacceptable.

Secondly, after the 250 mile drive home, the check engine light came on. As all dealerships are closed today, I'm it in first thing Monday morning . I could just be a complete coincidence, but that should not happen on a vehicle fresh out of certification. I'm hoping it's a simple fix. I did notice the eco light doesn't come on anymore, but from what I read that light is always disabled while the check engine light is on.

So I am going to make sure both of these issues get fixed in their entirety before I leave the dealership. Does anyone have much experience with CPO vehicle issues? I know there could be hundreds of potential issues, but can anyone think of any potential reasons the check engine light is on? And yes I already checked the gas cap several times.
 

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