The Dodge Charger has quite a different on-the-road character depending on whether it has a V6 or V8 engine. In either version, the Charger has the same boxy yet very shapely styling that borrows retro cues from American muscle cars.
Four different models of the Charger cover the range from comfort oriented V6 sedan all the way up to true 4-door muscle car. The base SE model comes with a 178-horsepower, 2.7-liter V6 and 4-speed automatic transmission--while the SXT upgrades to a confident-inspiring 250-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine and 4-speed automatic (5-speed with the all-wheel drive powertrain). Those wanting a V8 will want to look into the R/T, with a choice of a 368-hp, 5.7-liter V8, and the 425-hp, 6.1-liter V8. Chrysler's Multi-Displacement System (MDS) helps the 5.7-liter Hemi conserve fuel when coasting or cruising.
Across the Charger model line, a short- and long-arm front suspension setup and independent multi-link rear suspension help give the Charger a smooth ride without sacrificing control. All-wheel-drive versions of the Charger are a good choice for those in snowy climates and have an active transfer case and front axle disconnect that helps improve fuel economy when the added traction of the front wheels isn't needed.
For improved performance on the Charger R/T, the Road/Track Performance Group adds a serious performance upgrade, including a load-leveling performance suspension, 20-inch chrome-clad wheels with performance tires, plus upgraded steering, brakes, induction and exhaust. Inside, the package also adds heated seats with suede inserts. In addition, a Super Track Pack focuses on handling and brings Nivomat self-leveling shocks, a larger stabilizer bar, less-intrusive stability control and 20-inch Eagle F1 supercar tires.
At the top of the Charger range is the high-performance SRT8, which brings the 425-hp, 6.1-liter Hemi for tire-smoking performance plus 0-60 times of around five seconds. The SRT8 has the braking power to match, taking just 17 seconds to get from a standstill to 100 mph and back to a stop in just 17 seconds overall. Inside, the SRT8 gets its own special appearance treatment, with Dark Slate Gray seats and agate-color stitching, plus carbon-fiber-look trim, SRT logos, and LED accent lighting. More aggressively bolstered sport seats help hold occupants in place during hard cornering, while the driver gets an enhanced trip computer with performance displays including a G-force indicator. From the outside, chromed exhaust tips, a functional hood scoop, a different front fascia and air dam, and unique 20-inch SRT wheels distinguish the SRT8 from the rest.
The Charger offers more entertainment and technology options than is customary in this affordable price range. Highlights include UConnect Phone, which enables hands-free calling; UConnect Multimedia, which offers a 30-gigabyte hard-drive system; UConnect Navigation; a video entertainment system; and a Boston Acoustics surround-sound audio system.
Electronic stability control is standard on all Charger models, along with anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist. Front side airbags and supplemental side-curtain bags are now standard across the lineup.