In 2005, Chrysler applied the well-traveled 300 badge to this new head-turing full size sedan. There were several directions in which the 300 could be built up from the modest base model, including more potent engines, refined transmissions, higher quality interiors, and a RWD/AWD option. The Limited upgraded the 300 interior and attached several base options as standard equipment.
The four speed automatic was replaced by a five speed, but no manual was available in any 300 for 2005. The Limited also added a larger V-6 engine, increasing from 2.7 to 3.5 liters. The result was significant boosts in both horsepower and torque. The 3.5 liter version provided 250 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. It was enough to bring the 0 to 60 mph time down to nine seconds, but a high curb weight and restrictive aerodynamics limited the engine's full potential. The rear wheel drive Limited offered a more fuel efficient option to the AWD version, improving the EPA rating from 18/24 to 19/27 mpg.
Owners were generally pleased with the overall driving experience of the new 300, with its slick handling, forgiving suspension, and adequate power. Service was another story, with both frequency and quality. Some owners found themselves in an increasingly regular maintenance schedule within their first few months behind the wheel. The 300 was also plagued a radiator recall in 2005, and some were forced to part with their new car for weeks. This and other issues like muffler rattles, mechanical failures, and interior fit and finish degradation led to questions about 300 reliability and Chrysler service quality.