Used 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review

Edmunds expert review

Bold, brassy and loaded with old-school-inspired, rear-wheel-drive heritage, the 2015 Dodge Charger is a distinctive and spacious full-size sedan with few genuine competitors. And its wide variety of trim levels all come at highly competitive prices.




What's new for 2015

The 2015 Dodge Charger is heavily updated inside and out. An eight-speed automatic transmission is now standard across the board. The Charger's V8 engines no longer can be coupled with all-wheel drive, although AWD is still available with the V6. New R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat models join the lineup. The Hellcat features a new, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that generates an eye-bulging 707 hp. The 2015 Charger also adopts a host of new electronic driver aids and safety features, including a frontal collision warning and mitigation system.

Vehicle overview

Already a unique choice in the full-size sedan market, the Dodge Charger has been thoroughly updated for 2015. On the surface, the changes bring increased refinement to this large, retro-themed sedan. New front- and rear-end styling gives the Charger a sleeker appearance, while the overhauled interior features higher-quality materials and a larger selection of advanced electronics features. On the other hand, a quartet of new V8 models, including the outlandish Charger Hellcat and its 707-hp supercharged V8, dial up the big Dodge's performance to the point that you'll wonder if you've been transported back to the original muscle car era.

However, even if you stick with a V6-equipped 2015 Dodge Charger, you'll find the acceleration satisfyingly brisk, the ride smooth and forgiving and the handling impressively well-controlled given the car's ample weight and dimensions. Of course, it's the three V8 engines that are bound to grab your attention. The least potent still makes 370 hp, and although speed is the headline grabber, the 485-hp V8 in the Charger R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 trims is capable of 25 mpg on the highway thanks to the newly standard eight-speed automatic transmission.

You probably won't see 25 mpg in the 707-hp Charger SRT Hellcat, but we expect that anyone drawn to this specialized Dodge Charger will be far more interested in the car's inclination toward John-Force-style burnouts. The Hellcat, of course, is not for the faint of heart nor the empty of wallet, as it's more than double the price of a base V6 Charger. Even in this price territory, though, you won't find anything with four doors that matches the Charger Hellcat's almost unreal potential of speed, much less its bad-boy personality.

Regardless of which model you choose, there's plenty of room to stretch out in the 2015 Charger (though intrusion from the driveshaft makes it tough to get three adults in back), and it has one of the best touchscreen-based electronics interfaces available in a vehicle of any price. For 2015, Dodge has packed in desirable new technology features. A keyless ignition and entry system is standard on all models, and the list of available safety aids now includes lane-keeping assist and frontal collision mitigation. Among the few downsides to the Dodge Charger is lousy rearward visibility, so the available rearview camera is basically a necessity. And if fuel economy is a priority, the Charger's V8-heavy lineup probably won't win favor with you.

Still, the 2015 Dodge Charger demands your consideration if you're shopping for an affordable full-size sedan, particularly if you want one with rear-wheel drive and V8 power. You won't find many cars that match the 2015 Charger's attributes, but the Chevrolet SS, another rear-drive sedan with a potent V8 of its own, can run with the SRT models. For a more luxurious approach, there's the Charger's corporate and mechanically related sibling, the Chrysler 300. Among the many front-wheel-drive options in this class, there's the Chevrolet Impala, which has a similarly roomy interior and a wealth of easy-to-live-with tech features, and the Kia Cadenza, a value-packed relative newcomer that's smooth and refined. Such is the same with the Toyota Avalon, a large car positioned essentially 180 degrees from the Charger, focusing as it does on fuel efficiency (there's even a hybrid Avalon) and supreme refinement.

As in the past, the Charger won't please everyone, but it's a must-drive for anyone seeking family-friendly interior space and rear-wheel-drive performance.




Trim levels & features

The 2015 Dodge Charger is a full-size sedan offered in SE, SXT, R/T, R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat trims. All models are rear-wheel drive, but the SE and SXT offer optional all-wheel drive.

The 2015 Charger SE standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone manual air-conditioning, a six-way power driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a tilt-and-telescoping and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and USB and auxiliary audio inputs as well as dual charge-only USB ports. Choose all-wheel drive for the Charger SE and you'll also get 19-inch alloy wheels and larger brakes.

Move to the Charger SXT and the standard equipment list grows with 18-inch wheels, LED foglights, heated mirrors, remote ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with four-way power lumbar adjustment), an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8.4-inch touchscreen interface (with Uconnect Access integrated smartphone apps and voice commands), satellite radio and an upgraded audio system. With all-wheel drive, the Charger SXT also gets standard 19-inch wheels.

Choosing the SXT trim also brings access to many of the 2015 Charger's major option packages. The Plus package adds bi-xenon headlights; heated exterior mirrors; a rearview camera; parking sensors; leather upholstery; ventilated front seats; a power front passenger seat; a heated steering wheel; memory functions for the driver seat, mirror and radio; heated rear seats; LED interior lighting; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Premium Group includes all of the above, along with 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension (rear-wheel-drive models only), automatic high-beam control, automatic wipers, adaptive cruise control, a frontal collision warning and mitigation system, a lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist system, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, a navigation system, satellite radio and an upgraded 10-speaker Beats audio system. If you don't want all of these items, Dodge has also grouped many of them into smaller, less expensive option packages.

The flashy Rallye Group adds a slight power upgrade for the V6 (taking it to 300 hp), 20-inch HyperBlack alloy wheels, high-performance tires and brakes, a sport-tuned suspension (rear-wheel drive only), a rear deck lid spoiler, a Sport mode for the transmission, steering-wheel-mounted manual paddle shifters and the Beats audio system.

Moving to the Charger R/T trim brings the SXT's standard equipment and adds a 5.7-liter V8 with sport exhaust, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, upgraded brakes and a body-color rear spoiler. In addition to that list, the R/T Road & Track model comes with heated mirrors, a limited-slip rear differential, launch control, upgraded brakes, a performance-oriented calibration for the power steering, a more aggressive Super Track Pack suspension tune, three-mode stability control, Dodge Performance Pages (allowing driver adjustment of engine response, transmission shift points, steering effort, stability control intervention and launch control), rear parking sensors, driver memory functions, a heated and power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a power passenger seat, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

The 2015 Charger's performance is upgraded even more with the R/T Scat Pack trim, which brings a 485-hp 6.4-liter V8, Scat Pack-specific bodywork including an air-intake hood, upgraded Brembo high-performance brakes, unique 20-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, an even firmer suspension calibration, selectable three-mode power steering, aluminum-trimmed pedals, a special leather trim on the steering wheel and cloth sport seats. Note that the Scat Pack model loses a few of the Road & Track's interior amenities, including the ventilated front seats and power-adjustable steering wheel.

Next up is the Charger SRT 392. It's fitted with the same 6.4-liter V8 as the Scat Pack, but gets an even more impressive set of Brembo brakes with six-piston front calipers, special 20-inch forged-alloy wheels, Pirelli tires (all-season rubber is standard; summer performance tires are optional), an active exhaust system, an upgraded suspension with three-mode adaptive shock absorbers, bi-xenon headlights, leather and simulated suede upholstery, all the interior amenities from the Road & Track model, a flat-bottom steering wheel, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and SRT Performance Pages, which builds upon the Dodge Performance Pages feature with even more elaborate performance-related measurements. The price of the Charger SRT 392 also includes a one-day course at an SRT Driving Experience school.

At the top of the 2015 Dodge Charger food chain and eating everything in sight is the SRT Hellcat. In addition to most of the other models' performance-related upgrades, the Hellcat adds a more powerful supercharged 6.2-liter V8, a hood with heat-extraction vents, Hellcat-specific 20-inch forged-alloy wheels in a choice of finishes, Hellcat exterior badges, aluminum interior trim, a 200-mph speedometer, a special power-limiting keyless remote in addition to a full-power key fob, and blind-spot monitoring. Choose the Hellcat and you also are entitled to the SRT one-day driving school.

A 19-speaker Harman Kardon GreenEdge audio system is optional on both SRT models. A sunroof is optional on all 2015 Chargers, except the SE.



Performance & mpg

The 2015 Dodge Charger SE and SXT come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 292 hp and 260 pound-feet of torque. Choose the Rallye Appearance Group and modest tuning tweaks boost output to 300 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. As on all 2015 Chargers, an eight-speed automatic transmission is standard. Rear-wheel drive is also standard across the board, but the SE and SXT can be equipped with optional all-wheel drive.

The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the SE and SXT is 23 mpg combined (19 city/31 highway). Fitted with the optional all-wheel-drive system, fuel economy is 21 mpg combined (18/27).

A 5.7-liter V8 engine and a heavier-duty eight-speed automatic are standard on the Charger R/T and R/T Road & Track. It generates 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. Estimated fuel economy with the 5.7-liter V8 is 19 mpg combined (16/25).

A larger 6.4-liter V8 is standard on the Charger R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 trims. Developing 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque, this bigger V8's fuel economy isn't drastically reduced compared with the Charger's "small" 5.7-liter V8: The EPA estimates fuel economy at 18 mpg combined (15/25) for the Charger using the 6.4-liter engine. We achieved an impressive 25.6 mpg on the Edmunds evaluation route. In Edmunds testing, an R/T Scat Pack went from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

Finally, the 2015 Charger SRT Hellcat has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 under its aluminum hood. This engine pumps out a walloping 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque and is paired with an even more robust version of the eight-speed automatic transmission capable of shouldering its enormous torque load. At our test track, the SRT Hellcat sprinted to 60 mph in a blistering 4.1 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy for the SRT Hellcat at 16 mpg combined (13/22).

Safety

Standard safety features for the Charger include stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side-impact airbags, a driver knee airbag, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

Standard on some Charger models and optional for others are rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. Optional advanced safety features include a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts, a lane-departure warning system with lane-keeping assist and a frontal collision warning and mitigation system that's bundled with adaptive cruise control. The frontal collision mitigation system can initiate automatic braking at all speeds if the driver does not respond in a potential collision situation. Dodge Chargers with Uconnect Access offer remote vehicle access (via a smartphone app), emergency assistance and text notifications if the alarm goes off.

During Edmunds brake testing, a Charger R/T Scat Pack came to a stop from 60 mph in 111 feet, which is typical for a performance car with summer tires. The SRT Hellcat stopped from 60 in an impressively short 106 feet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2015 Charger its highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests. The Charger's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts. However, the Charger received a "Marginal" score (second-worst of four) in the small-overlap frontal-offset crash test.

Driving

The 2015 Dodge Charger proves that driving a large sedan doesn't have to be boring. Its steering feels sporty and precise, and while its ride quality is supple and forgiving on bad surfaces, this big car offers impressive control and balance when you hustle it around tight turns.

If you're considering the Charger SE or SXT, you'll find that the 3.6-liter V6 is quite willing and revs agreeably, though it can at times feel strained by the sedan's weight, particularly the heavier all-wheel-drive models. We've also noticed that this engine sounds a bit coarse when you're accelerating hard at higher rpm.

Stepping up to the 2015 Charger's 5.7-liter V8, at 370 hp, will accommodate just about anyone's power needs, and this engine works brilliantly with the eight-speed automatic transmission, providing effortless performance at any speed. The muscle of the V8 also keeps noise levels to a luxury car-like minimum, though in truth, all Chargers are wonderfully quiet.

Moving up to the Scat Pack or SRT 392 not only brings a larger V8, but an elevated degree of handling capability (with the SRT being the even more aggressive of the two). Note that this added speed and improved handling does come at the expense of a firmer ride. Frankly, these V8-powered models seem suitably nutty to drive, offering grin-inducing acceleration at just the slightest tap of the throttle. But then you drive the Hellcat and hang on for dear life, as its 707 hp brings new reality to the phrase "shoves you back in the seat." Its breakneck power constantly strains for release, though thanks to its carefully tuned electronic controls, the 2015 Dodge Charger Hellcat is perfectly restrained and drivable every day. Well, that's provided you can manage to exercise discretion with a gas pedal that's capable of releasing a veritable explosion of acceleration at any time.

Interior

Although the 2015 Dodge Charger is oriented toward performance, its restyled cabin is generally appealing with extensive use of quality materials, though you will notice some rather large expanses of plastic in the less expensive models. Although this is a thoroughly modern interior, there are retro-inspired touches here and there, including the T-handle shifter for the automatic transmission. We're also fans of the 8.4-inch touchscreen interface, as it has large "virtual" buttons, an intuitive layout and fairly quick responses. Even the smaller 5-inch screen in the base SE model looks good and works well.

There's a vast amount of shoulder room in the 2015 Charger, and the front seats are as roomy as you'd expect in a full-size sedan, to the point that those of small stature may feel as if they're being swallowed up by the gargantuan chairs. The mix of leather and suede upholstery in the upper-trim models is appealing and improves support during spirited driving.

Those in the rear also enjoy a wealth of hip- and shoulder room, though the massive tunnel for the driveshaft to the rear wheels does chop into legroom. Headroom can be tight for taller occupants as well. The Charger's 16.5-cubic-foot trunk capacity is a good size for this class, though given the Dodge's proportions, you might be expecting something more on the order of the Ford Taurus' 20-cubic-foot trunk. All models feature folding rear seats, so it's possible to carry bulkier items if you don't need the rear seats for passengers.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.