2018 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Review
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.
What's new for 2018
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.
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.
Noise & vibration6.0
Ease of use8.0
Getting in/getting out6.5
Child safety seat accommodation6.5
Audio & navigation7.0
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.