Popularized by NASCAR dominance and later a hokey TV show, the Dodge Charger is one of America's most revered performance nameplates. Originally an icon of the muscle car era, the Charger was reborn as an affordable performance sedan -- and it's one of the better ones available in this market niche.
The current Dodge Charger may not be the two-door muscle car you remember from the '60s (to the chagrin of traditionalists, it's a four-door sedan), but it does a fine job of being a modern interpretation. As a bonus, the latest Charger has a usable interior and plenty of standard equipment. Think of it as a muscle car the whole family can enjoy.
Current Dodge Charger
The current Dodge Charger is based on the same platform used for the Chrysler 300. As such, the Charger has four doors and is a fairly large sedan. Its front-end styling is much more aggressive than the 300C's, and the rear roof line slopes downward in a coupelike fashion.
The current Charger is available in five trim levels: SE, SXT, R/T, SRT8 and SRT8 Superbee. The SE and SRT8 trims are only offered with rear-wheel drive, while the SXT and R/T can be rear-drive or all-wheel drive.
The SE and SXT come with a 3.5-liter 292-horsepower V6 engine that achieves good fuel economy given its output. Adding the Rallye Appearance Group or Blacktop package raises horsepower to 300. A five-speed automatic is standard on the SE; an eight-speed automatic is optional for the SE and standard for all SXTs.
Stepping up to the R/T gets you a 370-hp 5.7-liter V8 engine along with a sport-tuned suspension and a variety of luxury, convenience and technology items that are mostly available as options on the V6 trims. The R/T's Super Track Pak gets you additional handling and braking upgrades, including a three-mode adjustable stability control system.
The SRT8 ups the performance ante further by essentially pairing the Super Track Pak items with a 470-hp 6.4-liter V8. It gets an abundance of luxury features standard, but should you be OK with less stuff, the decontented SRT8 Superbee should do the trick. We hope you like yellow or black paint, though, as they are mandatory, along with some not-so-subtle Superbee graphics.
The current Charger scores points not only for the plentiful power output of its big V8 engines, but the ample grunt and decent fuel economy of the entry-level V6 as well. The spacious cabin, improvements in ride quality and interior design also contribute to the overall appeal. There are a couple downsides, notably a lack of rear headroom and lifeless steering, but overall the Dodge Charger is one of the most fun-to-drive large sedans on the market.
Read the most recent 2014 Dodge Charger review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Dodge Charger page.
For more on past Dodge Charger models, view our Dodge Charger history page.