If you’re looking for an affordable, powerful, rear-wheel drive sedan, you aren’t left with many options anymore. Sure the German brands will sell you a V8-powered four-door in both sedan and wagon variants, but you’ll pay a hefty sum. Really, if you are in the market for a more affordable but quick sedan, you are left with only two choices: the Chrysler SRT 300C and the Aussie-built Chevrolet SS.
Motor Trend recently had the chance to pit the SS and the SRT 300C against one another on the road and the track. The conclusion of this comparison is important, seeing as we heard The Smoking Tire’s Matt Farah say previously how he’d rather have the SRT than the SS and now here they are being pitted against one another—by a professional racing driver, no less.
The first difference between the two cars is the price: Motor Trend’s SS rang in at an expected $45,770, while the $61,570 sticker on the SRT8 nearly made the magazine staffers faint. However, the straight-line speed of the cars presented a somewhat smaller difference. The 300C beats the SS in the sprint to 60 mph, 4.6 seconds to 4.8, while the 300C posts a 12.9 second quarter mile, only 0.1 second faster than the SS.
Despite the close differences in straight-line performance, the cars present a stark contrast on the Streets of Willow Raceway, with racing driver Randy Pobst behind the wheel. Pobst says the 300 had good initial turn-in but suffered from understeer, tall gearing, and brakes, which faded when used heavily on the racetrack.
The SS proved to be the better track weapon, with Pobst saying the brakes “are so solid, exactly the same in the last corner of the last lap as the first corner of the first lap. I feel so comfortable and it gives me so much confidence.” He also lauded the car’s turning feel and lack of understeer. “Turn-in is beautiful and mid-corner has a little understeer but nothing like the 300, a 3/10 at most, and then just such gentle and controllable oversteer on exit.”
In the end, Motor Trend says the SS is the one they would spend their money on. It more civilized and quiet on the highway with less wind and road noise and the faster, more confidence-inspiring car on the racetrack. Add in the siginificant difference in price and this one becomes a no-brainer.
Don’t forget to read Motor Trend’s full review of the Chevrolet SS and Chrysler 300C SRT right here.