2018 Dodge Charger

2018 Dodge Charger Sedan Review

An unapologetic American sedan with massive power, brash style and abundant ways to customize.
4 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

The 2018 Dodge Charger is a loud, "heck yeah!" salute to choice. You don't have to get the most state-of-the-art, most fuel-efficient, most refined or most boring silver car available. For that, you can turn to better options from Buick, Kia or Toyota. Instead, you can get an unapologetic American performance sedan with massive power, brash style and abundant ways to customize.

The Charger isn't exactly a sensible car for sensible drivers. Instead, it's for drivers who want a car that looks cool, that makes cool noises, and that comes in cool colors such as Go Mango, Maximum Steel and White Knuckle. It's a car for drivers who crave power. A V6 engine is the default setting, but you can get a Charger with a V8, an even bigger V8 or a V8 with so much power that it might qualify for NASCAR duty.

Sensibility aside, the Charger is still practical. Four doors, a roomy cabin and a raft of safety features make it a legitimate choice for family duty. A broad range of standard and optional creature comforts let you tailor the Charger to taste, while the Uconnect tech interface is among the best around. The Charger is even available with all-wheel drive if you often drive in slippery conditions.

Since Chevrolet discontinued its SS sedan for 2018, the Charger stands alone as an affordable American sedan that blends classic hot-rod performance with modern sensibility.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Dodge Charger as one of Edmunds' Best AWD Sedans, and the 2018 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat as one of the Best Sport Sedans for this year.



what's new

For 2018, the Dodge Charger renames some trim levels and shuffles some standard features. All-wheel-drive models are now called GT, and the base model is relabeled SXT and now comes with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A rearview camera and rear parking sensors are standard on all models. The SRT Hellcat trims feature a new grille design and new wheel and brake caliper finishes.

we recommend

There's only one place to start, and that's with as much V8-powered Charger as you can afford. Consideration should begin with the R/T, which comes well equipped with essentials (power driver seat, Bluetooth) and luxuries (heated seats) but, more importantly, a 370-horsepower V8 engine. We'd also add the Premium package for its driver assistance features and upgraded audio system. The V6 models are fine, especially if you need all-wheel drive, but you miss out on much of the car's charm.

trim levels & features

The 2018 Dodge Charger is a five-passenger, four-door sedan available in nearly a dozen trim levels: SXT, SXT Plus, GT, GT Plus, R/T, Daytona, R/T Scat Pack, Daytona 392, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat. The SXT and GT trims come with the V6, while the others come with increasingly powerful V8 engines culminating in the 707-horsepower Hellcat. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available on the GT trims.

The SXT starts with a 3.6-liter V6 engine (292 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque) matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. From there, standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, a power-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding back seat, Dodge's Uconnect infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, voice controls, dual USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

An optional Blacktop package adds 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, a rear spoiler and blacked-out styling elements.

Upgrading to the SXT Plus adds 18-inch wheels, LED foglights, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated sport seats, upgraded cloth upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Uconnect with an 8.4-inch touchscreen, HD radio and an upgraded six-speaker sound system.

There are several stand-alone options and packages for the SXT Plus, starting with the Super Track Pak that bumps up engine power to (300 hp, 264 lb-ft) and adds many of the performance-enhancing features available on the upper V8 trim levels. Others include the Blacktop package, a sunroof, a navigation system and a 10-speaker BeatsAudio sound system.

The Technology Group package includes most of today's important driver assistance features, including automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, automatic wipers, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning and intervention.

The GT models are equipped similarly to SXT Plus trims, except with all-wheel drive. GT Plus trims add features such as xenon headlights, leather upholstery, ventilated sport front seats, heated rear seats, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The R/T is equipped similarly to the SXT, but it comes with a 5.7-liter V8 engine (370 hp, 395 lb-ft), upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension, 20-inch wheels and transmission paddle shifters.

The R/T can be equipped with the Plus Group, which includes xenon headlights, heated and ventilated sport seats, leather upholstery, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel among other items. The optional Premium Group bundles those items along with automatic wipers, a power-adjustable steering wheel, safety features from the Technology Group package, navigation software added to the Uconnect system, and a 10-speaker BeatsAudio sound system.

Going with the Charger Daytona gets you the R/T's special exterior styling elements and interior trim, a further upgraded performance suspension, forged alloy wheels, leather and simulated suede upholstery, and many features from the Plus Group and Premium Group.

The R/T Scat Pack adds to the R/T a bigger 6.4-liter V8 engine (485 hp, 475 lb-ft), Brembo high-performance brakes, more aggressive suspension settings, and eight-way power front seats. Leather and simulated suede upholstery is optional, and with it you get the heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

The Daytona 392 essentially combines the Daytona and R/T Scat Pack features, along with further upgraded brakes.

The SRT 392 adds to the R/T Scat Pack an adaptive suspension, forged alloy wheels, Pirelli high-performance tires, the Daytona 392's upgraded brakes, xenon headlamps, the blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems, all-leather upholstery, a power-adjustable steering column, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and the Uconnect navigation system. The Technology Group is optional.

The SRT Hellcat takes the SRT 392 features and adds a more powerful supercharged V8 (707 hp, 650 lb-ft), upgraded steering and suspension tuning, and all of the above options. You'll have to adjust your own steering wheel angle, but you can get the power-adjustable steering column back through the optional Power Convenience Group.

A 19-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is optional on select Charger trims.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack (6.4-liter V8 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Charger has received revisions that include the availability of now-common driver safety aids and upgrades to the Uconnect infotainment system. Our observations of performance, comfort and utility, however, remain applicable to this year's Charger.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall4.0 / 5.0

Driving

4.0 / 5.0

Acceleration5.0 / 5.0
Braking5.0 / 5.0
Steering4.0 / 5.0
Handling3.5 / 5.0
Drivability3.5 / 5.0

Comfort

3.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort4.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration3.0 / 5.0

Interior

4.0 / 5.0

Ease of use4.5 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out2.5 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility3.0 / 5.0
Quality2.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
The Charger accelerates with the quickest of sedans in this class. The brakes stop confidently and consistently. It handles well for a large sedan when it comes to performance.

acceleration

edmunds rating
The strong 6.4-liter V8 brings this Charger from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly. For comparison, the Chevrolet SS reaches 60 mph in 4.9 seconds; the much pricier 707-hp Hellcat in 4.1 seconds.

braking

edmunds rating
The brakes are easily managed under normal conditions. Engagement is immediate and progressive, without being too sensitive. In panic situations, the car stops in 111 feet from 60 mph.

steering

edmunds rating
The steering feels heavy, maybe a bit too heavy for low-speed maneuvering. On the highway, however, the heft imparts an excellent feeling of stability.

handling

edmunds rating
The Charger is a big car, but it is tuned to handle well. Minimal body roll and real damping make it fairly controllable when you're going around turns. But it's not as nimble as its competitors. The skinny rear tires are a handicap.

drivability

edmunds rating
Throttle delivery is abrupt in the Scat Pack, especially at initial tip-in. The transmission does a half-hearted job of rev-matching on manual downshifts. The car is big, yet it remains fairly easy to drive in the real world.

comfort

edmunds rating
The moderately bolstered front seats effectively blend support and comfort. The noise levels and ride stiffness are more on par with the Charger's performance sedan intentions.

seat comfort

edmunds rating
The optional sport seats are great. They are heated, ventilated, supportive and comfortable over long distances. A tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel makes it easy to find a just-right driving position.

ride comfort

edmunds rating
The Charger rides firmly. You'll feel road imperfections whether large or small. That said, it is not as jarring as some sport-tuned suspensions, and we'd argue it's an acceptable level of comfort considering the car's performance ability.

noise & vibration

edmunds rating
The cabin is on the louder end of the noise spectrum. On the highway, tire and engine drone are constant. Some may forgive this in exchange for the enjoyable V8 bellow.

interior

edmunds rating
There are more spacious, sensible and user-friendly sedans, but the performance-focused Charger still puts up a good showing. It's roomy, and the infotainment system is easy to use. Poor outward visibility and lackluster quality are the Charger's main drawbacks.

ease of use

edmunds rating
We prefer knobs, yet the combination of touchscreen and hard buttons is well organized and easy to use. All controls are within reach of the driver. The large 8.4-inch display screen has clear, readable text and graphics.

getting in/getting out

edmunds rating
The sloping roofline impedes rear door entry; you may bump your head getting in. The doors are large and heavy, but they open wide and offer good access to the car. The trunklid opens so fully that reaching up to close it may prove a challenge for some.

roominess

edmunds rating
It offers suitably high levels of head-, legroom and elbow room up front. Rear outboard passengers get a lot of legroom as well. Rear headroom is less adult-friendly but certainly acceptable.

visibility

edmunds rating
The Charger's thick roof pillars obscure visibility. A rearview camera is standard. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems are optional.

quality

edmunds rating
No rattles to speak of on our test car, and panel gaps were consistent. Yet construction lacks the refinement and solidity of similarly priced luxury-brand rivals. For example, one trim piece appeared to be coming unglued.

utility

edmunds rating
The Charger is a big car and offers an appropriately sized trunk and cabin space. The voluminous trunk is somewhat hindered by its tapering shape, however, but a 60/40-split folding rear seatback allows for a degree of large-item transport.

technology

We've had a lot of experience with older versions of Dodge's infotainment system, Uconnect, and we've even tested the newest Uconnect 8.4 system in other cars. We haven't tested it in the Charger yet, but in those other cars, it offers crisp graphics, quick responses and simple, logical menus.

audio & navigation

Offers "basic" and "better" versions of a stock six-speaker sound system, with the 10-speaker BeatsAudio system being the most obvious upgrade. A 19-speaker Harman Kardon system is available as well.

smartphone integration

The Charger now offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard, starting with the base model.

driver aids

Offers a full suite of today's safety technology, including forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

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.