A full-size sedan that carries one of the most recognizable nameplates among American performance cars, the 2017 Dodge Charger upholds the model's tradition of combining sporty looks with performance that ranges from decent to outrageous. Even at its most basic, the Charger isn't exactly your garden-variety family hauler. The backseat lacks the roominess you'll find in many of its competitors, and the sportier suspension options tend to make for a firm ride. Still, the Charger survives for a reason: It holds significant appeal for buyers in the market for the style and performance of a classic muscle car that can still manage a commute to work with reasonable aplomb.
After a major update two years ago, the Charger retains its retro '60s exterior styling for 2017. Changes include an upgraded Uconnect system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, new colors and wheel choices, an optional active exhaust system and available houndstooth upholstery. But perhaps the biggest news of the year is the return of the Charger Daytona with touches such as unique bodywork, special graphics, interior upgrades and the choice of two engines.
Inside, the driver and front seat passenger will find a generous amount of legroom, hiproom and shoulder room, although those in back won't be able to stretch out quite as much. The materials selected for interior surfaces on the base model can best be described as utilitarian, but all the latest bells and whistles are either standard or optional, so Charger buyers won't lack in the technology department. And those who crave a bit more luxury can opt for higher trim levels with available leather upholstery and other upscale touches.
The entry-level powerplant is a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Other available engines include V8s with 370 hp and 485 hp. But for those who want bragging rights to arguably the fastest sedan in the world, nothing less will do than the Hellcat's supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that puts out a whopping 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in all models.
Fuel economy with the base six-cylinder engine is EPA-rated at a combined 23 mpg (19 city/30 highway), while moving up to the 5.7-liter V8 will net a rating of 19 mpg combined (16 city/25 highway). Don't even ask about the Hellcat.
The entry-level Charger SE comes fairly well equipped, although performance with the base V6 is underwhelming. The SXT, still with a standard V6, adds some useful interior and exterior features, while the R/T, Daytona, R/T Scat Pack, Daytona 392 and SRT 392 start piling on the performance goodies. Then there's the SRT Hellcat with more power than any reasonable human could ever need on the street. But who wants to be reasonable?
If you think the 2017 Dodge Charger might be the performance sedan for you, let Edmunds help you choose the model that best fits into your lifestyle.