It’s not always about the looks, but let’s be honest—it helps to have good genes.
With over 40 years of heritage, the Dodge Charger has been modernized from the 1960’s classic, two-door muscle car into a slick, eye-catching full-size sedan, ready to make an impression on today’s roads.
Forever etched into the hearts of muscle car purists as Steve McQueen’s enemy in the famous chase scene of Bullitt, or from zooming across television screens as the orange “General Lee” on The Dukes of Hazard,” the Charger has been reinvented and hailed as a muscle car suitable for the whole family. As just one of two of the remaining full-size American sedans, the seventh generation Charger impresses with updated interior and exterior styling and performance.
5 Reasons to buy a Dodge Charger:
1) The Performance
Dodge brazenly sets the Charger apart from other competing large sedans, thanks to thanks its impressive, growling engine and sleek trim levels. While earlier editions of the Dodge Charger meant that without an HEMI V8 engine, drivers had to go a little slower than the vehicle’s name might inspire, since 2012 (and thanks to Chrysler’s new 3.6-liter V6 engine) drivers can get some considerable bang for their buck.
Over the years, the Dodge Charger has modified and increased its models: the SE, SE AWD, SXT, SXT AWD, R/T, R/T ROAD & TRACK, R/T SCAT PACK, SRT 392, and SRT Hellcat, all offer considerable power and every single model holds true to its roots of being an undefeatable vehicle.
The 2012 Dodge Charger premiered the new strength and flair, with available trims being the SE, SXT, R/T, and SRT8 Superbee. The first two came with a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine, producing a solid 292 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. With a standard 5-speed automatic transmission on the SE, an 8-speed automatic transmission is also available for the SE and standard on the SXT. Rear-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional on the V6 SE and SXT, but is no longer available for the R/T.
Meanwhile, driving a Charger R/T with the 5.7-liter HEMI yields 370 hp, while the SRT and SCAT PACK editions offer up to 485 hp. The ultimate road-destroyer, however, is the SRT Hellcat, but more on that later…
2) New & Improved: Upgraded Design, Transmission & Miles Per Gallon
Dodge has expanded its engine options over the years, with the current charge offering several V8 choices and Dodge’s popular HEMI package attracting most buyers.
In 2014, the Charger underwent minor adjustments, but still guaranteed ride comfort thanks to fine-tuned suspension and guaranteed power due to the V8 engine. The rear-drive SXT met average standards of acceleration for a sedan of its size, reaching 60 mph in just 7.1 seconds. Considering the substantial bulk of the vehicle, the SXT’s ability to arrive at a complete halt from 60 mph in just 113 feet was deemed remarkable.
However, the single flaw critics continued to point out was the Charger’s fuel economy, which despite the optional 8-speed automatic transmission managing 31mpg on the highway, the standard for the 2014 Dodge Charger V6 and V8 engine models was a 5-speed automatic. Subsequently, average mileage results were low. By 2015, Dodge addressed this issue and rolled out significant updates for the Charger, both for the exterior and interior, including making an 8-speed automatic transmission a standard feature for all models.
At first glance, the aesthetic updates made within a year are very noticeable. For years, the Charger preserved its historically retro look, but the restyling of the front and rear-end creates a more balanced, slicker guise. With new LED daytime running lights and a characteristic racetrack taillight arrangement, the vehicle has an up-to-date edge. The lower stance of the models conveys a more competitive, racecar persona, but the design of the new grille and headlights were repositioned to improve engine airflow. 17-inch
3) Safety and Savings: a comparison to competition
Leading the category of its kind, the Charger is incredibly affordable. Reviewers and critics have compared the 2016 Dodge Charger with the Chevrolet SS, saying that it is the only considerable American rival. While the SS falls a few thousand dollars cheaper than say the Dodge Charger Hellcat, it also falls 300hp short, making it a much better match for the regular Dodge Charger SRT 392 which as a 485 hp, 6.4-liter V8 engine.
Additionally, the Chevrolet Impala and the Nissan Maxima (2016 models) are often compared to the 2016 Dodge Charger due to being a similar class and size. However, the Charger comes neck-and-neck with the 2016 Chevrolet impala, and is in fact a few thousand dollars below the cost of a 2016 Nissan Maxima. Ranking between the two at an 8.6 performance rating, the Charger ultimately outstrips the two models with its 8-speed automatic transmission, a power tilt/sliding sun and moon roof, in addition to its tire durability.
Safety tests for the 2015 and 2016 Dodge Charger models meet some of the best crash test scores, thanks to added features like automatic pre-collision brakes and blind spot monitoring. While rivals exist in the market like the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, ultimately the Dodge Charger is the full deal. With lane departure warning, traction control, and rollover protection system among other safety features, the Charger’s overall five star rating has remained consistent over the years.
Ultimately, however, the engine is where the Dodge Charger sets itself apart even from the likes of competition like the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, the Toyota Avalon or Hyundai Azera. Peer under the hood on any of the latest Charger’s four engine options, and its stance as a muscle car is revved up to whole new levels.
4) Because you can get the SRT Hellcat
With four new V8 engine models, the Dodge Charger now includes the SRT Hellcat that boasts a breathtaking 707 horsepower, the first American sedan to offer such a level of strength and speed.
With only the three-times as expensive Porsche Panamera Turbo S capable of beating the Hellcat to 60 mph, it is unlikely another vehicle on the road can top the Charger’s top speed claim of 204 miles per hour. With an engine blast straight out of NASCAR, flooring it makes a Hellcat bear down for a split second before shooting forward like being fired out of a cannon. Testing of the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat yielded whopping results of a drag-strip quarter-mile time of 11.03 seconds at 126.61 mph.
While the steering of other SRT models provides adjustable power steering, the Hellcat requires a little more of a heavy hand, and for inexperienced drivers, it could be the loosest cannonball on the road considering its muscle. Reigning in the Hellcat however is easy to do, thanks to large, six-piston Brembo-brand calipers in the front and four-piston in the rear. For such a heavy vehicle, it can accomplish a steady, definite stop. Overall, like its other V6 and V8 engine versions, the 2015 Hellcat is a distinct presence on the road, but despite its simmering, immense power, one could drive around town calmly.
Calmly, that is, until it is time to refuel. The Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat does require premium fuel. While it seems to be more Hulk than environmental-friendly green, the gas guzzling does not yield as terrible mileage as you may fear. With a combined 17mpg, the Hellcat runs on 13 mpg for city driving and 22mpg on the highway; yet, in economy mode, the vehicle’s throttle and transmission responses are softened and the engine is capped to 500hp, resulting in a 22mpg highway mileage.
5) Did I mention you could get the SRT Hellcat?
For the money, is this the ultimate family sedan? Just maybe. Dodge truly sets the bar high for the Hellcat’s performance value, and what with standard leather interior, heated seating and steering wheel, Brembo brakes, and more, its cost is unexpectedly affordable. Even throwing in premium options like a 19-speaker audio system or a moon-roof still keeps this bizarrely fast, four-door family car at a fraction of the price of its only real competition sedans, the luxury BMW M5 or the Mercedes AMG E63.
With unmatchable power for a fair cost, any model of the Dodge Charger is a
family-friendly vehicle guaranteeing a smooth ride while striking a presence on the road.
Published via ZOG Media: