If you’ve always loved driving performance cars but you don't know how you’ll fit a baby seat in a Mustang or a Camaro, the 2012 Dodge Charger could be the car for you. While it has the room and amenities of a family sedan, it also has the style and engine of a high-performing muscle car, fulfilling all of your needs and your wants, too.
The base model 2012 Dodge Charger comes standard with a V6 engine with 292 horsepower and a 5-speed AutoStick transmission that has plenty of get-up-and-go and is a lot of fun to drive. You also have the option of including the UConnect 8.4N infotainment system with Garmin navigation and voice-activated controls, as well as a number of other features and options.
Changes for 2012
In 2012, Dodge brought out an 8-speed automatic transmission option for some Charger trim levels, as well as paddle shifters and hands-free texting features.
What We Like
The Charger is the perfect compromise for anyone who wanted a Challenger but needs a sedan. It’s powerful, fun, and practical, all in one package.
What Concerns Us
For the money, there are a lot of other less expensive family sedans out there that get better fuel efficiency and have very similar features. We’re also concerned that the Charger may depreciate at a faster rate than some of its lower-priced peers.
With a few different trim levels, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from with the 2012 Dodge Charger. The biggest decision, though, will of course be which engine to go with. The 8-speed option for the 3.6-liter V6 gets the best fuel economy at 31 MPG on the highway, but has the least horsepower (still an impressive 292 HP). On the other end of the scale, the 6.1-liter HEMI V8 has 470 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque but only gets 23 MPG on the highway. Of course, you could just split the difference and get the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with 370 horsepower and 25 MPG on the highway.
There have been a few recalls on the 2012 Dodge Charger. The most significant of these have been performed to address issues with failing alternators, inadvertent side airbag deployment, loss of low-beam headlights, and rod bearing failures.
The most commonly reported issues with the 2012 Dodge Charger include electrical problems with brake lights, traction control, alternators, and windshield wipers.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Dodge Charger and was authored by Valerie Johnston.