2020 Chrysler 300 vs. 2020 Lexus IS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

The 300 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The IS Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 300 and the IS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chrysler 300 is safer than the Lexus IS Series:

300

IS Series

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

131

274

Neck Injury Risk

31%

36%

Neck Stress

280 lbs.

339 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

47 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

203

264

Neck Injury Risk

33%

55%

Neck Stress

143 lbs.

197 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

504/415 lbs.

426/505 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chrysler 300 is safer than the Lexus IS Series:

300

IS Series

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

350 lbs.

691 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

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There are almost 10 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 300’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 300’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the IS Series’ camshafts. If the IS Series’ belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the 300 is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 300’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The IS Series’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 300 third among large cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The IS Series isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

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The 300 has more powerful engines than the IS Series:

Horsepower

Torque

300 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

300S 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

300 5.7 V8

363 HP

394 lbs.-ft.

IS 300 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

IS 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

IS 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chrysler 300 V8 is faster than the IS 350 3.5 DOHC V6:

300

IS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.8 sec

9.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.6 sec

14.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.8 sec

2.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.4 MPH

99.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 300 gets better fuel mileage than the IS Series:

300

IS Series

RWD

3.6 V6/Auto

19 city/30 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

AWD

3.6 V6/Auto

18 city/27 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

n/a

18 city/24 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the 300 V8’s fuel efficiency. The IS Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chrysler 300 uses regular unleaded gasoline (mid-grade octane recommended with the 5.7 V8 engine for maximum performance). The IS Series requires premium, which can cost 5 to 40 cents more per gallon.

The 300 has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the IS Series (18.5 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The 300 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The IS Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the 300 V8/AWD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the IS Series:

300 V8/AWD

IS Series

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.2 inches

The 300 V8/AWD’s brakes have 8% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the IS Series (513 vs. 476 square inches).

The 300 stops much shorter than the IS Series:

300

IS Series

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

177 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 300’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the IS Series (245/45R20 vs. 225/40R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 300 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The IS Series’ largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the 300 can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The IS Series doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 300’s wheelbase is 9.8 inches longer than on the IS Series (120 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 300 is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the IS Series.

The 300S handles at .83 G’s, while the IS Series AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 300S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the IS Series (26.7 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the 300S is quieter than the IS 350 F Sport (39 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 300 a Large car, while the IS Series is rated a Compact.

The 300 has 16.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the IS Series (106.3 vs. 90.2).

The 300 has .4 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front hip room, 3.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 7.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.1 inches more rear hip room and 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the IS Series.

Cargo Capacity

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The 300 has a much larger trunk than the IS Series (16.3 vs. 10.8 cubic feet).

Towing

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The 300 has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The IS Series has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The power windows standard on both the 300 and the IS Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 300 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The IS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 300’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The IS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 300 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The IS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the 300 has standard extendable sun visors. The IS Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the 300 and the IS Series offer available heated front seats. The 300 also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the IS Series.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the 300 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 300 will cost $1875 to $6515 less than the IS Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 300 is less expensive to operate than the IS Series because it costs $128 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 300 than the IS Series, including $192 less for a water pump, $770 less for a starter, $436 less for fuel injection, $26 less for a fuel pump, $587 less for a timing belt/chain and $262 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Chrysler 300 will be $1931 to $7265 less than for the Lexus IS Series.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/04/06

Consumer Reports® recommends the Chrysler 300, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Lexus IS Series isn't recommended.

The Chrysler 300 outsold the Lexus IS Series by almost two to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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