New Updates - 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Long-Term Road Test

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Long-Term Road Test

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Off To Greener Pastures

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on November 11, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

We're late with our official notice, but here you go: the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is no longer in our long-term test fleet. With a smoky burnout salute, we drove it over to CarMax and sold it. You can read all the details in our final Wrap-Up article.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Easily Passes Smog

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 25, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Before we could sell our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 to a private party, it needed a smog check. Per California DMV guidelines, this is the seller's responsibility if the car is more than four years old. We didn't anticipate any issues, despite the aftermarket Mopar exhaust and intake installed by the previous owner. But there was only one way to know for sure.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Carmax Offers the Minimum

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 19, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

With our test of the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 drawing to a close, we took a look at the used car market to determine an asking price.

Here's what we found.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Automotive Tinder

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 27, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Alright, so here's an amusing story to tell about our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. I recently took my four-year-old son to his preschool for morning drop-off. While I was getting out in the parking lot, one of the other moms whom I'm friendly with approached me.

"I love your car!" she said, while rustling her own kids out of her Honda Odyssey.

"Oh, thanks!" I replied. This wasn't long after I had fixed the shifter and washed it, so I was feeling pretty positive about the Charger as well.

"Normally, I don't like Chargers," she continued. "But there's something about the red paint, and the way it sounds. It's exciting."

We both took our kids into the school at that point, but I saw her again outside once we were done.

Now I was curious. "So if we were both single, would you date me just because of my car?" I asked.

"Definitely!" she replied.

Now where was this Charger when I was in high school?

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Clears 80,000 Miles Under Our Watch

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 20, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

"You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation." That's the ad tagline for the Swiss luxury watchmaker. But it's also how I feel about our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. We bought it with 66,350 miles and we've been looking after it through 80,000 miles. And in the next month or two, we'll be passing it off for somebody else to enjoy.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: DIY Transmission Stuck In Park Repair

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 18, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

"What do you want to do?" my coworker Mike Schmidt asked me. We were at his desk in the Edmunds offices deciding on a course of action for our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 and its uncooperative transmission shift lever.

As Mike wrote previously, it became stuck in Park under his watch. Mike figured out a temporary workaround, but clearly not everybody was going to be willing to use a screwdriver to essentially hotwire the thing every time he or she wanted to drive the Charger. Now it was my turn to deal with it. The dilemma was: a) just take it to the dealer and likely pay hundreds of dollars, or b) try to fix it ourselves?

"Well, it is our Millennial Used Car Project," I said. "Millennials aren't supposed to have much money, otherwise they would have bought a new Charger Hellcat. Plus, there are YouTube videos out there on how to fix it. How hard can it be?"

In the back of my mind, though, was the question of whether those would be famous last words.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: April Fuel Update — Still Helping Gas Execs Sleep Well at Night

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on May 16, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Prius! Mirai! Model X! These are three of our long-term fleet's newest vehicles, and two of them don't even use gas! But rest assured, oil executives of the world, our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is still around to help do its part in keeping your company's balance sheets firmly in the black.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Stuck in Park

by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on May 12, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I got into our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 today, started it up and it would not shift out of park. A quick search online reassured me that I wasn't the only one with this problem. But fortunately for me, the combination of having Internet access on my phone and some screwdrivers I keep in my computer bag bailed me out.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Smokey and the Bandit Too

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on April 20, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Next month, it will be 39 years since my father scarred me for life. I wrote about that special day here, and I still regard it as one of the absolute greatest days of my life.

I want to thank Quentin Tarantino for making it possible for me to pass on the favor to my 10-year-old daughter, Jane.

Thinking I would never see the original film in a real theater ever again, last June I wrote that of all the cars in our long-term fleet, our 5.0-liter Mustang GT would have been the most appropriate to drive to the theatrer to see a remake of my all-time favorite movie Smokey and the Bandit. (My dog's name is Bo Darville. I'm not kidding.)   

I wrote, "Our orange long-term 2015 Ford Mustang GT would be the perfect ride for such a father-daughter outing. Maybe someday. I hear there's a "Smokey and the Bandit" remake in the works. Maybe The Bandit will go Mustang this time around."

Then, last month, two things happened. First, we sold the Mustang. Then I got word that the New Beverly Cinema, a small theater in Los Angeles, was showing an original 35mm print of the original Smokey and the Bandit.

So I did two things. First, I bought two tickets for Jane and I. Then I grabbed the keys to our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: 78,000-Mile Service

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on April 15, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 crossed the 78,000 mile mark a few weeks back which meant it was time for another service. The manufacturer-recommended service was simple: an oil and filter change, a tire rotation and an inspection. After Carlos experienced a problem with the transmission, we decided that a tranny flush was in order. The car was set to leave for a road trip and we wanted it serviced before it left.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: March Fuel Economy — Steady, As She Goes

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on April 5, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 test car made just four trips to the gas station during the month of March, during which time we added another 727 miles to the odometer. The result was a new "worst fill" average record of 11.6 mpg (down from 11.7), and a subsequent drop in average lifetime mpg from 15.3 to 15.2 mpg.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: An Uncooperative Transmission and a Brief Moment of Panic

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 11, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I was running some errands in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 over the weekend. This big, red and loud sedan was a nice reprieve from the monotony of cruising from one nondescript big retail store to another. Right until it wasn't.

It wouldn't downshift.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Econ Update for February — A New Record!

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 9, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 traveled just over 1,000 miles this month and consumed 66.4 gallons of fuel, giving a result of 14.5 mpg. Though that's on the lower side, Josh Sadlier's gingerly foot managed to extract the best tank of gas we've seen yet: 25.9 mpg.

Even though the month's fuel economy result was low, the lifetime average only dipped one-tenth, to 15.3 mpg. That means our Charger is still hitting its EPA rating of 15 mpg combined with ease — and the occasional burnout.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Finding a Dimmer Workaround in the Aftermarket Stereo

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 7, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The first time I got Android Auto working in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, I reported that Google Maps' off-blue color palette made it difficult to see during the day. Well, of course it did. It was in its night mode.

The Pioneer headunit has a day and a night mode, but I've never seen it automatically switch between the two. I take partial blame, because I never took the time to dig in and figure out how it works. As it turns out, there's something wrong with the auto setting, but the other options provide a workaround.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Bad Stereo Install Gets Worse

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on March 2, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I wasn't looking for more reasons to be frustrated by PCH Custom Audio's install job on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. Still, I found one. The large bezel surrounding most of the center console is going to crack. And being the owner of an older Nissan 240SX, I'm sensitive to cracks in the dash.

Installing aftermarket stereos often requires using what's called an adapter kit. These plastic pieces replace certain parts in the dash so your fancy new aftermarket headunit fits better.

The problem is our bezel doesn't fit.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Finding Drugs, A Lazy Stereo Installation, and Strange Sound Deadening Solutions

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 29, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

You find things when you tear apart the interior of a car that's already lived a lifetime. The trunk of our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, which we dug into during a recent Dynamat install, was no exception. Here are three peculiar things we found:

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Attempting to Fix the Drone with Dynamat

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on February 24, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The drone can last no longer.

It's so bad in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 that you can't have a conversation. It can be hard to think. It occurs at around 2,500 rpm indicated, which happens to be what the engine turns at normal freeway speeds. The volume is as high as 82 dB, per our decibel meter. That's a little louder than your typical vacuum.

Some in the office have adopted the Niebuhr Workaround, but we wanted a permanent solution.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Dead Key Battery

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on February 19, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

This past weekend, the battery in the key for our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 conked out, forcing us to go old-school and actually put the metal key in the door to unlock the car.

Not a big deal.

The car, however, somehow equates this move with the car being stolen, so it blares its alarm until I can get behind the wheel, put the key in the ignition and start the engine. My neighbors do not appreciate this at 6:00 a.m. Or the other five times.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Hard Start

by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on February 9, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

"Even children get older," Stevie Nicks once observed, "and I'm getting older, too." I think that's roughly what our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is trying to tell us in the video below.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: The Workaround

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on February 3, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I think it was either Niebuhr or Schmidt who when asked what car they were taking that evening replied "the Charger-er-er-er-er." The vocal imitation of our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8's exhaust drone has become a bit of a pet nickname for the big V8 sedan, and I was thinking of it off and on after I decided to sign out the Charger for a couple of nights.

I was reconsidering my decision when Niebuhr came by and I mentioned to him my trepidation. The last time I drove the Charger, I swore it would be my last. The boomy exhaust hum was just too much for my commute. It made music almost unlistenable, and nearly silenced the voices in my head.

Kurt had been in the Charger recently (and dealt with its dead battery issue) and had a simple, terrific workaround.

"Just keep it in fourth."

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Kickin' It

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on January 27, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Oh, I knew that sound. That too-slow crank, then that click. Damn.

So the battery in our Dodge Charger SRT8 is dead. But before I go and call for roadside assistance, I figured I'd have a look around. But when I couldn't find an obvious culprit inside the car, I popped the hood to have a look at the battery.

Err, make that the trunk. Every idiot knows the Charger SRT8's battery is in the trunk, right? Guys?

But once I saw the battery and found no signs of corrosion or a loose connection, I knew I had to call for backup. I hate calling for backup.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: One-Touch Burnout Access

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on January 21, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

In many ways, our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is a simple car. Deactivating stability control is no exception. See that button? Simply tap it for burnouts.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Economy Update for December - More of the Same

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on January 7, 2016

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 didn't see much action in December. Editors used it mostly for short commutes and when I had it during the New Year's week, I stuck close to home. All the city driving contributed to the Charger's December average of 14.7 mpg over just 1,155 miles. Overall economy barely budged, falling slightly from 15.5 to 15.4 mpg.

It rarely happens in long-term cars with gobs of power on tap, but our overall fuel economy continues to beat the EPA's combined estimate of 15 mpg.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Automatic Headlights Work Sometimes, Maybe

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on December 30, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

A weird thing happened when I hopped in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 one night last week: The headlights didn't turn on.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Exploring Android Auto (With Video)

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on December 28, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

With Android Auto finally working in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, I was eager to pair it with my Nexus 6P and use it as my primary infotainment system for a few days. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it works just as fluidly as its Apple CarPlay counterpoint, but also has the advantage of Google's suite of products like Maps and Search.

So it's better.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Long-Distance Comfort

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on December 24, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Take one look at the seats in our 2007 Dodge Charger and it's obvious that they are some serious thrones. But that's not always a good thing as some performance seats are so aggressive that you quickly grow tired of their constant grip. Remember the Focus ST

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Android Auto Works, Finally

Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on December 14, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I switched to Android recently after purchasing a Nexus 6P. After testing out how Apple CarPlay worked with the aftermarket Pioneer head unit in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, I was eager to see how the equivalent Android Auto worked. Imagine my disappointment when it didn't.

When I plugged my fancy new phone in, the head unit displayed "Incompatible USB." After doing some research, I learned that our Pioneer AVH-4100NEX has two USB outputs on the back and that only one of them supports Android. Fortunately, our installer plugged a USB cable into each, and both sit easily accessible in the glovebox.

I plugged in my USB 3.0 adapter into the correct cable. It still didn't work.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: DIY Front Brake Job Walkaround

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on December 11, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Pt 1 | Pt 2

In our last episode, I had to cancel the brake job on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 because it turned out the old rotors were too thin and I had to get my hands on some new ones. The reality of my schedule led to a two week delay, but the situation was not yet dire. The pad wear indicators were not yet making noise.

Or were they?

Coming back from dinner with the family, I dabbed on the brakes as I wheeled the Dodge into our driveway. My wife and daughter grabbed for their ears and said, "Can you hear that?"

"Hear what?"

The alleged noise hadn't made itself known any of the multiple dozen other times I'd used the brakes that evening, so the pad wear indicators must have just barely started making contact with the rotors. Not yet a full-fledged squeal, they were warming up by emitting the dreaded high-frequency "teenager noise" that can make a dad feel like an old man.

So I wheeled the Charger down the driveway and parked it behind the house where it needed to be for the next morning's brake job.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Economy Update for November - Back to Regular Routine

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on December 8, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

It was hard to top our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8's record highs and lows from October, and in November we went back to our typical usage patterns. As you can see in the photo above, the Charger calls for 91 octane gas. This is the only place you'll see this, however. It's not noted on the fuel door or fuel cap.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: DIY Front Brake Job

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 30, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 needed front brakes. The pad wear indicators were not yet squealing, but the front pads were getting mighty thin and the pedal was getting long. Last time we had it in for service the dealer said they could replace the pads and rotors for an out-the door price of $695. That sounded steep, so we figured we might save some money and do it ourselves.

The Charger SRT8 features Brembo high-performance front calipers, which are more expensive to buy initially, but not that hard to service. These are four-piston fixed calipers, which means there are no sliding pins to inspect and lubricate. And we're not experiencing any complications. Our Charger isn't pulling to one side, there's no shudder that might indicate warped rotors, and the rotors themselves look quite smooth as viewed through the five-spoke wheels.

It was possible that we could get away with just a pad change.

So I went to my local Dodge dealer and asked for a set at the parts counter. The guy started to tell me something about the need to order them as he eyed the computer screen, but then stopped suddenly as if he'd just remembered something. Abruptly turning around where he stood, he reached into a box on the floor no more than two feet away and came up with a set of 2007 Charger SRT8 Brembo brake pads, just like that.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Still Buttoned Down After 75K

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 26, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

For an eight-year-old car with more than 75,000 miles, our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 doesn't feel very tired. And it's not simply because of its 425-horsepower V8.

This car still feels tight from top to bottom. The steering is solid, there are no squeaks in the suspension and the brakes grab hard. It feels nothing like your typical used car.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: That's Not Lumbar

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on November 24, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

We hop in and out of a lot of cars, so it can always take a few miles to really settle in and get comfortable. And what I thought was a good driving position in our Dodge Charger SRT8, when I was parked, turned out to need a little adjustment once I was on the road. More specifically, the lumbar support.

Now, the Charger's got power seats, so as I hurtled down the 405, I slid my hand along the side of the seat and found the lumbar rocker switch. And then I found myself speeding up.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Gimme a Trunk-Lid Grab Handle

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on November 20, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I rarely go anywhere these days without a group of kids and a load of backpacks, so ease of loading both people and their stuff is a high priority. Only took one quick trip in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 test car to remind me how far vehicles have come in regards to ergonomic design.

Case in point: the Charger's trunk lid.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Aftermarket Display Can Match Ambient Cabin Light

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on November 19, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I completely understood the desire to replace the dated-when-new head unit in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, but I didn't hold out much hope for the new piece. I have this hate/hate relationship with aftermarket stereos, partly from having one in a personal car and partly from experiencing them in other people's cars.

I could go into the general tackiness of their design, the cheapness of their controls or any other irks that have soured me on these things, but my main reason has always been that the colors don't match the rest of the interior lighting.

With our Pioneer, I needn't have worried about that last bit. 

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Still No Love for Android Users

by Kelly Hellwig, Managing Editor on November 16, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

At the end of October, Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya updated the firmware for the new Pioneer head unit in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 test car. This update was reputed to offer "Expanded compatibility with Google Android Auto." Prior to that, we'd had no luck getting the stereo to recognize an Android phone.

So here's the update: "No Device."

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Handy for Holding the Wallet

by Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor on November 10, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I'm not sure what the original intention was for this slot on the center console of our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 but it works perfectly as a wallet holder; wide enough for everything this side of a George Costanza-esque overstuffed wallet, and deep enough so it won't fly out while negotiating a sharp curve.   

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Economy Update for October — Record Month

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on November 6, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

It was a month of highs and lows for our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. We drove it the most miles in a month (2,051) since we've had it. In those miles, we achieved its worst fill, followed by some of the best.

We filled the Charger's tank nine times in October. The worst fill to date — 10.7 mpg — occurred early in the month. It was a small fill-up where we covered just 54 miles before topping off. This low point was set by Reese Counts, our new vehicle testing assistant, but he quickly redeemed himself.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Help! My Millennial Parents Bought a Charger

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on November 3, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

A few weeks ago, Time magazine ran a cover story titled "Help! My Parents Are Millennials" that detailed changing parenting styles as the millennial generation starts having children. Oddly, Time overlooked reporting on our super awesome 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Millennial Used Car project. But nonetheless I've got a few observations on how well our Charger fares for kid duty.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Twenty-Three Grand Well Spent

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 30, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Here are some guilty pleasures I've been enjoying recently: Listening to the SiriusXM NFL Blitz program with Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon. Sneaking Snickers Halloween candy, pre-Halloween. Fallout Shelter.

Also, our 2007 Charger SRT8. Unexpectedly, it's one of my favorite cars in our long-term fleet right now.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: New Radio Install Increases Hazard, Instability

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 28, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

We recently had our new aftermarket Pioneer touchscreen head unit installed on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, but it seems that when the shop guys put everything back together they forgot to re-connect the button array at the top of the center stack that activates the hazard lights and traction/stability control.

How do I know this? Well, obviously, any self-respecting Charger SRT8 driver is a frequent user of the hazard lights, right?

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Cleaning the Dirty Mopar Air Filter

by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on October 26, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I recently opened the hood on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 to check the engine oil level (it's fine) when I noticed the blue Mopar aftermarket cold air intake. Specifically, I noticed how dirty the air filter was. The blue fibers looked dingy and there was a lot of dust and detritus between the pleats.

Figuring I'd show our Charger a little love, I took it upon myself to clean the air filter. Now I just needed to figure out how.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Updating Stereo Firmware

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 21, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Firmware updates are inevitable with any modern high-tech device. In a perfect world, everything would be connected to the Internet and things would update themselves while you sleep. While some things, like my iPhone, can do that already, the Pioneer stereo on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 cannot.

I stumbled on this firmware update while researching the Pioneer website for an article. There was a tab labeled "Firmware and Software," so I clicked on it. There lay a file for updating the firmware of our unit to version 1.03.

Here's what it covered:

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Calibrating the Rearview Cam

by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on October 20, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Although the rearview camera made its first appearance in the United States on the 2002 Infiniti Q45, the technology hadn't yet trickled down to more mainstream cars like our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 when it was manufactured. But cameras have become ubiquitous over the last decade, and now even a new Scion iA that costs $16,500 comes with a backup camera. So when it came time to bring the Charger up to current standards, a backup camera topped the list.

We installed a camera made by Pioneer and the results are impressive.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Replacing Tired Trunk Struts

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 16, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

No used car will ever be perfect. Even a clean, one-owner car like our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 will have a list of things that need attention. As the new owner, your job is to triage these issues and get to them as time and budget allows.

Back in June, Executive Editor Ed Hellwig noted that the trunk struts were clearly worn out and caused the trunk lid to slam down rapidly. I had some experience with this type of repair: We replaced the hood struts on our 1996 Lexus ES 300, also known as the "Debt-Free Car."

It seemed like an easy enough job to tackle again. Here's how we did it.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Economy Update for September - Trending Down

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 15, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 was busy in September, travelling just more than 1,500 miles. Those were mostly city miles, as the Charger's droning exhaust has discouraged folks from taking it out on the highway or for a weekend cruise. We're working on an exhaust fix, but in the meantime, we did make some substantial tech upgrades to the car. It now has a much improved and more loved infotainment system.

We filled up the Charger's tank seven times in September. We averaged about 13.7 mpg for the month, which in turn brought down our lifetime mpg from 15.3 to 14.9 mpg.

What does that translate to in dollars? We've been using Fuelly to keep track of the fuel costs and have some interesting stats.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: New Shoes Set Us Back a Few Bills

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 13, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

In our last maintenance post, a few readers said they didn't know that a car could have rear brake pads and brake shoes that controlled the parking brake. But our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 does. And as Edmunds commenter Blackecoram noted, these shoes wear out over time and eventually need replacement.

This forum thread offers plenty of photos and even a step-by-step guide on how to change the shoes yourself. It's for a Dodge Magnum, but our Charger is pretty much the same car, so the steps should apply. I took one look at it the install process and knew it was more than I was capable of doing.

So once the parts arrived, I took the car back to the dealership to let the pros install the parking brake shoes.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Our Pioneer Head Unit Is a Worthy Addition to Any Used Car

by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on October 8, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Besides age-old factors like mileage, maintenance and the grossness of strangers, there are two key areas where buying a used car, especially those that have been on the road for almost a decade like our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, is worse than buying new.

First is fuel economy. Take a random sample of 10-year-old cars on fueleconomy.gov and marvel at comparatively crappy fuel economy standards from just a short time ago.

The second area is in-car tech. But as the new Pioneer head unit in our Charger proves, that can be fixed far easier than fuel economy (which in no way can be fixed).

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: New Shoes and an Oil Change

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on October 6, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Soon after we purchased the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, we started to notice that the parking brake wasn't quite holding the car in place as well as it should. After a while, you'd press the pedal to the floor and it did nothing.

"We should have this looked at," said Dan Edmunds, director of vehicle testing "You don't want the transmission bearing the weight of this car."

So we took it in to our local Dodge dealer and, no surprise, the mechanic confirmed that the parking brake needed new shoes.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Appeals Across Generations

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 29, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Forget those sniveling, oversharing, irony-as-lifestyle Millenials for whom we've devised this project car — I'm demographically-certified GenX, friend. My generation built this great country! And we did it without Facebook or Instagram, but with mixtapes, Xerox-ed fliers, and a shared CompuServe account. Our hope, optimism and shared love of The Scorpions toppled the Berlin Wall. We made Tom Cruise!

Therefore, I want the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 for myself and my generation.  

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: New Backup Cam and Sat Radio Upgrades

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 23, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Two items were missing from the head unit install we did a few weeks ago on our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: a backup camera and an adapter to restore the satellite radio functionality lost when we replaced the factory head unit.

Many of today's cars come standard with a rearview cam and it's not a stretch to think that a tech-savvy millennial (the demographic that inspired this long-term project in the first place) might want the same on their car. Our Pioneer AVH-4100NEX head unit has the capability to display a backup camera signal and Pioneer was nice enough to send us one.

The Pioneer ND-BC8 goes for about $87 on Amazon. This camera is on the pricier end, but since it's the same brand as the head unit, we could expect perfect compatibility. The Esky EX180-19 camera, which costs about $40, is a less expensive alternative.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Economy Update for August — Squeaks Ahead of EPA Rating for First Time

By Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 17, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger apparently wants to be considered the Most Interesting Car in the World because its motto is, "Stay thirsty, my friends." The SRT8 is indeed a thirsty beast, but in August it finally surpassed the EPA's combined estimate of 15 mpg by a whisker, climbing to 15.3 mpg. Prior to August, the Charger had been sitting at 14.8 mpg.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Exploring Apple CarPlay (With Videos)

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on September 15, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The new Pioneer head unit lands like an alien monolith into the interior of our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. What was once a tired-looking relic of last decade's tech is now a beacon of modernity amidst the wasteland that is this late-2000s Dodge interior.

Seriously, before this stereo, the interior would've looked at home in a Dodge Caravan.

The large, comparatively high-res Pioneer unit comes with a host of features, but crucially it supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. I still soldier on with an iPhone — as tempting as Android devices look — so we'll be exploring CarPlay in this post.

See the video below for an overview and the text beneath for some more thoughts.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8: Old Car, Modern Tire Tech

by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 10, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8

Maybe it's the change of season and lower temperatures, but our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 was showing low air pressure in all four tires. The front left was so low at 27 psi that the number was blinking to get our attention. It's interesting to note that this eight-year-old car has a nice tire pressure indicator on the gauge cluster.

While we recommend checking the tires once a month, it's easy to let it slide and then fall below the limit. The digital tire indicator is a welcome call to action.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Updated With New Connected Tech

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 2, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Infotainment technology doesn't age well on used cars. What passed for the latest in-car technology a few years ago can feel like a relic today. And for millennials, a generation that grew up with the Internet and rapid tech development, the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8's old tech wasn't going to cut it, especially for a car we've billed as the "Millennial Used Car Project"

Social Media Editor and in-house millennial Travis Langness first pointed this out back in July when he noted that the Charger's head unit "graphics were pretty bad" and that there was no place to hook up his iPhone.

Well Travis, ask and you shall receive. We gave the Charger a dose of updated tech in the form of a new Pioneer head unit.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: A Celebration of Hard Plastic

by James Riswick, Automotive Editor on August 28, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8's cabin was junk when it was new and it's definitely still junk today. It is a remarkable celebration of hard, cheap plastic everywhere you look. There are actually a few squishy bits on the dash, but they too are glossy and look chintzy. Dodge supposedly "improved" the cabin the year after our long-termer was produced, but that's an extremely relative term, as it still trailed just about everything remotely in its price range.

Personally, I think actually it looks worse.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Feels Like a Bus Around Tight Turns

August 21, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

This won't likely be a surprising observation, but our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is not at home on narrow, curvy roads like the one pictured here. This is a big-boned sedan weighing more than two tons, and you notice all of it when you're seated behind the wheel.

There's a lot more car behind you than ahead of you. The steering wheel rim's diameter is big, and the feel is overly light and numb when you enter a turn. Take a few consecutive tight turns on less than smooth pavement and the lack of steering feel and choppy ride (likely related to the past-prime suspension dampers) can make it seem like you're driving a bus.

But it's a party bus, at least. A big red party bus.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Hellcat Shreds It

August 19, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

If you had our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 for just one afternoon, what would you do? Besides replace the exhaust, I mean.

You'd probably drive to pick up some In-N-Out and navigate to your favorite on/off-ramps and sweeper interchanges. You'd probably find some traffic signals away from the watchful eye of the law, test your reaction time, see if you still got it. Maybe you'd drive four adult friends — they'd all fit — to Vegas for burger. You'd plant some stripes somewhere.

Now, what if you had a Hellcat for an afternoon?

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Anonymous Muscle

August 14, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

A few days ago I was eavesdropping on coworker Josh Sadlier and head honcho Scott Oldham in the office. Josh was saying how our 1989 Yugo GVL, despite the Balkan Bullet's rarity, was nondescript to other motorists while driving. Scott said the same thing was true of our 1966 Chevrolet Corvette.

"Nobody cares," he remarked.

This is no doubt related to our offices being based in Los Angeles, where BMWs and Mercedes-Benzes are mundane and Ferrari sightings are regular.

So where does that leave our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8? Pretty much invisible.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Macho Man Car at the Valet Line

August 12, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Here's the scene:

I've checked out of a semi-swanky Los Angeles hotel after an event and I'm standing out front after I gave the valet guy my ticket. There were a few people ahead of me though, so I'm waiting as cars belonging to other hotel guests start pulling up.

A scuffed-up Toyota Prius comes first, then a white Chevrolet Impala, no doubt a rental given that the couple piling into is speaking German. Next is a Volvo S60 in fine, anonymous silver. It's a snooze parade.

Then I hear it: Rugga! Lub-lub-lub-lub-lub-lub. Yep, it's our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 pulling up out of the hotel's lower level parking garage. Go America!

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Its Dampers Are Tired

August 11, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I took my first whirl in our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 over the weekend. Yeah, the exhaust gets old in about 10 minutes of driving.

My fellow editor Josh Sadlier is correct that the big sedan is nicely devoid of squeaks and rattles, but "tight" isn't how I'd describe the current state of its dampers.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Still Thirsty - Good Thing Gas Is Cheap

August 6, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is going to test our creativity for writing the monthly fuel economy updates. Pretty much every month is going to be some version of: "It guzzled gas like Moses finding an Orange Julius after emerging from the desert."

As consolation though (to our gas budget, if not necessarily the planet), gas is cheap right now.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Spotty Satellite Radio

August 4, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I'm not sure how long this has been going on, but during the last couple drives in our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, the satellite radio was cutting in and out more than usual.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Terrible Headlights Need Replacement

July 31, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

My oh my, behold that dim yellow glow. As you might imagine from the photo above, the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 has some pretty lousy headlights. When I got back into the car after taking the photo, I actually wondered if they had somehow been turned off leaving only the fogs on. They had not. They just stink.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Great Seats Then, Great Seats Now

July 29, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The front seats in the 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 were great back when it was new, and they're still terrific now. And the last point is, in fact, two-fold.

Huh?

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Almost Perfect on Clear Roads and a Rainy Evening

July 24, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Two things generally happen when it rains in Los Angeles: it's either gridlock of unimaginable proportion, or the city's driving populace scatters into its garages like cockroaches seeing that first glint from a light bulb. Typically, it depends on when said rain begins to fall. On a recent Sunday evening, it was quite happily the latter and I had the keys to our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8.

Set course for Sunset Boulevard!

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Not Digging this Exhaust (Video)

July 21, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I'm over aftermarket exhausts, especially the one on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. I had an aftermarket unit on the last car I owned. Yes, it sounds cool when you first get it and when you show it off to friends, but after that you're left with a car that brings way too much attention to itself. I'm not really that type of guy.

Worse yet, as Mike Monticello noted, our JBA exhaust makes an annoying droning noise at sustained speeds. More on that in a bit.

We didn't have much choice in the matter when we were shopping for Chargers. Just about every SRT8 we saw in the wild had a modified exhaust. I guess it's just a thing that SRT8 owners do, but I wonder: Was the stock exhaust really that bad?

If you drive our Charger a short distance, you don't really notice anything out of the ordinary. This is why we couldn't hear the exhaust during the test-drive. Spend a day or two in it though, and you'll start to hear the noise. It's a low-pitched booming noise and rather than sounding cool, it just beats on your eardrums.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Caught Up in the Takata Airbag Recall

July 16, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The Takata airbag recall has affected about 40 million vehicles worldwide, according to the New York Times. (Honda added 4.5 million vehicles outside North America on July 9.) Takata has been working around the clock to get the replacement parts shipped, but demand is exceeding supply. Early reports were estimating that it would take two years to produce the parts needed.

If you're unfamiliar with this recall, the inflators on a number of Takata-supplied airbags proved to be defective and can rupture during an accident, resulting in metal debris that flies through the cabin and in some cases has killed drivers. The problem seems to be exacerbated if the vehicle has lived in humid climates.

The 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 was among the vehicles recalled, but we knew that before we bought ours. This was a chance for us to document the recall process and how long it would take to fix.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Fuel Economy Update for June - Thirsty Muscle Pulls Very Close to EPA Rating

July 15, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8, which is powered by a 425-horsepower, 6.1-liter V8, traveled about 1,640 miles in June. Those miles were a mix of highway and city driving, with the longest trip being a drive to the California high desert for a photo shoot.

The Charger had eight fill-ups in June. It calls for premium fuel and it sure was thirsty, but we knew that going in. I plugged the numbers into Fuelly.com ? just like we did for the departed Lexus ES300 - and in the process, became the first, and only, person on Fuelly to track fuel costs on an SRT8.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Swapping Summer Tires for a Summer Showdown

July 13, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 had brand-new, all-season, ultra-high performance Nitto Motivo tires when we bought it. It was one of the main factors that helped swing it in our favor.

And so we took them off.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Needs New Head Unit

July 9, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

The stereo interface in our long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is seriously out of date. Sure, it's got navigation and satellite radio, but the graphics are pretty bad and the tipping point for me is that there's no way to hook up my iPhone.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Tight

July 3, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Remember that story a while back about Chrysler assembly-line workers smoking a doob on their lunch break? That's one reason why I was expecting our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 to be in pretty rough shape. At the very least, I figured it would creak and rattle over bumps like, well, an eight-year-old Dodge.

Man, was I wrong.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: No Parking

June 29, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

For the most part, our flashback 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 is in great shape. There are only a few issues I noticed over the weekend. One of them is the parking brake.

It doesn't work.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Highs and Lows of the JBA Exhaust

June 24, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

I was talking about the aftermarket exhaust system on our 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 with new-guy Jonathan Elfalan, when E-I-C Oldham did a "drive-by" and stopped at my desk to critique the crappy photo I had taken.

Trying to move things away from my untrained photo eye, I dug myself a deeper hole when I said I had never heard of JBA before.

"What's the matter with you?" he asked. "They've been doing exhaust systems for years. And they're local too, based here in Southern California."

Then he docked me a day's wages for my aftermarket ineptitude.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Swagger, Heft and the Roots of the Hellcat

June 19, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

A lot can change in a decade. See our new long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8. If you had said, back when it was new, that the platform underneath it would one day support cars with 707 horsepower and top speeds of 200 mph top speeds, you would've been called crazy.

But it has. And though the Hellcat is a very different car than our SRT8, you can sense its roots from the driver's seat. The tallish seat position, the view out the glass, the sense of heft; the Hellcat's drivability is vastly improved, but its character remains in our SRT8.

Much has changed, of course.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Huge Trunk, Folding Rear Seats Make It Surprisingly Practical

June 16, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Does driving a 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 keep you from helping out a friend with some painting? Not really. In fact, with its sizable trunk and fold-down rear seats, you can fit plenty of awkward cargo.

In this case, I was able to slide in a 6-foot step ladder without much trouble, along with a Shop-Vac, a tool bucket, several gallons of paint and a few drop cloths. I could have fit more if I packed everything more tightly.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: An Approachable Sports Car

June 15, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Driving our "new" 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 over the weekend, I got four "how you doin'" nods from strange men at stop lights.

For me, this is a new record.

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2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Introduction

June 10, 2015

2007 Dodge Charger SRT8

Many of us seek to one day own the car of our dreams. Not something unrealistic, like a McLaren P1, but something, that if things were slightly different, would be just within our reach. This reach can be a real stretch, however, for the generation of car buyers between the of car buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 — the millennials.

In the spirit of the Debt-Free Car Project, our next long-term car puts us in the shoes of a millennial buyer who is on a budget but still wants a cool used car. We came up with what we think is an interesting choice: a 2007 Dodge Charger SRT-8 with 66,000 miles on the odometer. Here's how we got there.

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