2018 Dodge Charger

2018 Dodge Charger SRT 392 Review

An unapologetic American sedan with massive power, brash style and abundant ways to customize.
7.4 / 10
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

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

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

Overall7.4 / 10

Driving

8.0 / 10

Acceleration9.0 / 10
Braking9.0 / 10
Steering6.5 / 10
Handling7.5 / 10
Drivability6.0 / 10

Comfort

7.0 / 10

Seat comfort8.5 / 10
Ride comfort6.0 / 10
Noise & vibration6.0 / 10
Climate control7.5 / 10

Interior

7.0 / 10

Ease of use8.0 / 10
Getting in/getting out6.5 / 10
Driving position7.5 / 10
Roominess7.0 / 10
Visibility5.5 / 10
Quality6.5 / 10

Utility

6.5 / 10

Small-item storage6.5 / 10
Cargo space6.5 / 10

Technology

8.0 / 10

Audio & navigation7.0 / 10
Smartphone integration8.5 / 10
Driver aids7.5 / 10
Voice control8.0 / 10

Driving8.0

For its intended purpose, the Charger Daytona is excellent. It goes like a bat out of hell, makes glorious noises along the way, and has respectable handling prowess. The steering and low-speed throttle response are less appealing, but as a performance package, it's hard to beat.

Acceleration9.0

This is a big, heavy car that gets going in a hurry. At our test track, it sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds — very impressive for a 4,400-pound car. Shifts are smooth under partial and full throttle, but low-speed acceleration is finicky. Passing power is never an issue.

Braking9.0

Braking is excellent, especially for such a big machine. Repeated heavy brake use showed no fade. In-town, the pedal response feels a bit soft at first, but short stopping distances inspire confidence. On our test track, a simulated-panic stop from 60 mph took just 102 feet.

Steering6.5

The steering is relatively well-weighted, and the chunky steering wheel feels good in your hands, but it's about as vague as it gets. While driving, there's generally no idea what the tires are doing or where the corners of the car are. It supposedly stiffens up in Sport mode, but it's hard to notice.

Handling7.5

Through high-speed corners, the Charger is surprisingly flat, disposing of body roll well. Unfortunately, it's not a very engaging experience since you don't feel very connected to the car. Notably, midcorner bumps can significantly impact handling and cause serious movement at the rear of the car.

Drivability6.0

Throttle sensitivity is terrible at tip-in. Flex your big toe, and it jolts off the line. The only remedy is to be insanely gentle. At speed, it's maneuverable enough to cruise through narrow city streets. On long highway grades, there's never a lack of power, so constant shifting isn't a problem.

Comfort7.0

The Charger's seats and ride are firm but bearable. The climate control is adequate on hot days, and you're well-insulated from road noise inside. It's a good car for road trips, but you can tell that it has sporty intentions underneath. For a performance car of this caliber, it's very livable.

Seat comfort8.5

Big, comfy seats up front come with lots of bolstering and plenty of lumbar support. The rear seats are well-contoured with similarly supportive padding. Well-matched with the Charger's intentions, these seats will keep you comfortable on a long road trip and hold you in place when the road gets twisty.

Ride comfort6.0

You can feel just about every bump in the city and on the highway, but the significant amount of sound insulation mutes the noise that some rough roads generate. Ride comfort through corners feels a bit nerve-racking, though, since big bumps can severely upset the handling.

Noise & vibration6.0

There's always one noise or vibration of some kind happening in the Charger. The 6.4-liter engine rumbles nicely, but it wears on you on long trips. The tires are a bit noisy over 50 mph, too. Everything is damped down by a lot of sound insulation to make it bearable, but it's no hushed cabin.

Climate control7.5

The A/C is effective on hot days and is easy to operate with large buttons on the dash. Heated seats both front and rear work well, as does the front-seat ventilation. Some climate controls can be difficult to find in the touchscreen menu at first, but learning their location over time is easy.

Interior7.0

A very roomy and user-friendly interior make the Charger an excellent place to spend time in, but low visibility and troublesome rear-seat entry hurt the score a bit. From the driver's seat, though, most owners will have an enjoyable experience.

Ease of use8.0

Thanks to the combination of Dodge's easy-to-use Uconnect interface and some redundant buttons and knobs on the steering wheel and dashboard, this is a very user-friendly interior. Not much searching for controls is required.

Getting in/getting out6.5

The rear sloping roofline means you'll have a hard time getting into and out of the back seat without grazing your head. Getting into the front is no trouble, with wide door openings, even if the driver's seat is a bit low for some.

Driving position7.5

Driving position is good, with a standard tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel and with all your controls within an arm's reach. With multiple seat adjustments, you can feel like you're right up against the steering wheel for hardcore racetrack experience or lean way back for long highway cruises.

Roominess7.0

The interior, especially the front, is spacious. The back seat fits adults very well too. There are enough shoulder room, hip- and headroom for two adults and one kid in the back. It's roomier than the other two-door muscle-car options but on par with most midsize sedans.

Visibility5.5

The big pillars on the front, middle and rear of the car impede your view. A small rear window and a sloping windshield both affect visibility. You can see out of the car relatively well while moving forward, but it's nearly impossible to look through a corner adequately on a curvy road.

Quality6.5

Build quality is good but not great. Nothing rattled or squeaked in our car, and panel gaps, while not perfect, were consistent. The plastic interior surfaces feel a bit cheap for the price point. If you don't need the brawny V8, you can buy a car with much better quality for $53K.

Utility6.5

The trunk is average, while small-item storage is below par and car seat accommodation is merely acceptable. This car is not great when it comes to carrying all your stuff. Sure, it can be a usable family vehicle on daily drives, but there are many, far more utilitarian sedans for the price.

Small-item storage6.5

The door and center console pockets are relatively small with good sorting barriers, and they're paired with small can-size cupholders. Rear-seat storage is limited, too. This isn't uncharacteristic for the class, but it's also not a standout.

Cargo space6.5

The trunk has a decent 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space. But there's a high liftover height, and the space narrows significantly toward the back. This is pretty average for the American cars in the class, but non-performance-oriented competitors in the midsize segment do much better.

Child safety seat accommodation6.5

LATCH points are hard to see and get to in all three seating positions. The back seat is wide enough for bulkier models, and there's generally enough space to fit them behind the front seats. But the Charger's low roof makes it difficult to load a seat and attend to a child.

Technology8.0

Dodge's Uconnect system is one of the best in the class. It responds quickly to inputs and catalogs music collections with lightning speed. An optional 19-speaker stereo drives up the price quite a bit — we'd skip that particular option — but voice controls and navigation are excellent.

Audio & navigation7.0

The optional 19-speaker stereo gets loud, and sound quality is decent. But for most, it won't be worth the $1,995 premium over the standard sound system. Navigation is clear and easy to read on the large 8.4-inch touchscreen. Audio navigation voice prompts are easy to understand.

Smartphone integration8.5

The Uconnect system responds quickly to inputs, is easy to understand and helps you navigate through your media library very quickly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on the Charger regardless of trim level.

Driver aids7.5

A rear camera and rear parking sensors are standard. The Technology Group ($1,495) adds blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise, forward collision warning and lane keeping assist. All worked well, with no false positives. Adaptive cruise is relatively conservative, maintaining a long following distance.

Voice control8.0

Voice controls are very easy to learn, and they can control navigation, audio and connected devices. The Uconnect system understands natural language, and it has an easy-to-learn menu structure if you want voice controls to be understood quicker.

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.