2007 Dodge Charger SRT8: Almost Perfect on Clear Roads and a Rainy Evening
July 24, 2015
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!
With traffic at pleasantly post-apocalyptic levels, the setting sun providing enough amber light through the overcast, and only a mist of rain falling, I realistically couldn't have asked for better conditions. I didn't even get many traffic lights. One or two, tops, from San Vicente in West Hollywood all the way to Pacific Coast Highway.
Sunset really is the perfect cruising road (when you can actually move on it), with long sweepers and countless elevation changes cutting through areas of dense trees that camouflage the ritzy homes beyond. You can go a lot faster through it, especially with an especially sporting car, but the law, rain and sporadic gnarled pavement dissuade such behavior.
Besides, the Charger SRT8 is the perfect cruising sort of car. It's big and powerful. Its ride is firm enough, its handling composed enough and its steering well-weighted enough for a big and powerful, old-school sort of car. It's the sort of car I'd happily drive every day and revel at the chance to drive on such moments of miraculous road conditions.
Having said all that, our Charger SRT8 does have its issues. First, as has previously been described, the aftermarket exhaust has to go. It sounds sweet when you're at higher rpm, but as I'd rather not cruise along in third gear driving at full, sweet whack all the time, it just isn't practical. As it is, the exhaust's deep drone gets old.
"It's giving me a headache," noted my wife and passenger.
So until the exhaust gets swapped out, I don't see us taking any CL65-like lengthy adventures, which is a pity since the SRT8 would be pretty good at those too. Some way to connect an iPhone would be nice and the headlights are woeful. Stay tuned for more on those and solutions to them in future posts.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 69,190 miles