I was aware that a 2006 Dodge Charge SE would be arriving. I was also keenly aware that this would not be the chest pounding Hemi-equipped bruiser the Charger is painted to be. Our tester would be fitted with Chrysler's 3.5-liter 250-horsepower V6. In this day and age, the fuel economy offered by choosing a smaller engine may become more popular as fuel prices rise. That makes the V6 model more relevant that I had originally planned.Charger Day 1" src="http://www.weblogsinc.com/common/images/6721506526204705.JPG?0.9641992606378469" align="top" border="0" height="283" hspace="0" vspace="4" width="425" />
That was my angle when I realized I would not be able to enjoy the Herculean power of that popular push-rod V8.
After having spent my fair share of time in the brilliant SRT8 variants of Chrysler Corp?s large sedans, it was time to
pay my dues with the more pedestrian variety of the LX-platform.
Pedestrian is a harsh adjective, perhaps, because the Charge doesn?t look like anything remotely associated with the word ?pedestrian.? In fact, you imagine pedestrians running at the site of this thing. By the way, they do cautiously move away from the street when you approach. John Neff so poignantly described the Charger as a vehicle that looks like ?it would just ram anything in its way.? That is a pretty loose quote, but you get the idea. I was a bit worried that the V6 would limit my ability to ram unsuspecting vehicles, but the mass amounts of paperwork that would entail is the real limiting factor. I?ll have to do my best to keep the reins tight on this beastly Dodge.
Actually, the Dodge Charger gives you the feeling of superiority with its copious mass. Most cars in this price range don?t give you the same impression. For around $23,000, you can get a four door sedan that could seat five comfortably and feel safe in knowing that you could clobber anything that gets in your way. Seriously, as I trolled down the highway, I glanced at an innocent S10 pickup and thought to myself, ?I could seriously destroy that weenie truck with this Charger.? That?s saying a lot, especially without the aggressive influence of a Hemi. You definitely don?t get this kind of feeling behind the wheel of something like an Olds Alero or 1999 Nissan Sentra.
So you get the idea, this is a big car. The interior is extremely roomy, the trunk is huge, and it?s a comfortable package, overall. It has that full-size feel that is available in the comparably archaic Ford Crown Victoria. Don?t get me wrong, the Crown Vic is a great, durable ride, but compared to the Charger, it?s horribly overpriced. If you ignore the fact that they?re front wheel drive, the Ford Five Hundred and Chevrolet Impala are the Charger?s closest competition. And like its domestic competition, the Charger?s pricing allows it to compete with smaller sedans like the Toyota Camry and Nissan Maxima. Regardless, we will see how the Charger fits in this $21-24k segment.