2008 Charger New Car Test Drive
The Dodge Charger is a full-size, four-door sedan that makes a bold design statement and backs it up with serious horsepower. A wide range of models is available, but all are comfortable cruisers, offering drivers a friendly haven from traffic and bumpy freeways.
The model line ranges from the sporty and entertaining 2.7-liter Charger SE to the 425-hp SRT8. Between them are 3.5-liter V6 and 5.7-liter V8 models. The 3.5-liter V6 delivers entirely adequate performance for the mid-grade SXT model, while the V8s generate thrilling acceleration performance and make all the right noises.
All-wheel drive is available for all-weather capability.
The Charger illustrates just how multi-talented and accomplished today's high-performance cars are compared to the unidimensional hot rods of yesteryear. The Charger has all the pavement-ripping, gut-thumping power of the old muscle cars, but it's packaged with modern creature comforts and tempered by handling competency. Put another way, it rides, turns and stops as well as it goes.
The Charger is fun to drive and enjoyable for just cruising along. It's perfectly in its element when making time on a freeway. It is a big, heavy, full-size sedan measuring more than 16 feet in length and tipping the scales near two tons, but it's responsive and entertaining.
For 2008, the Charger gets minor interior design changes and two new entertainment options. Newly available are Sirius Backseat TV for the rear entertainment system, and Dodge's MyGig, a 20 gigabyte hard drive that holds songs, pictures, and navigation system map information. The interior changes include a new instrument panel and center console, as well as upgraded soft-touch surfaces on the arm rests, center console and door trim. Dodge's UConnect hands-free cell-phone link is also upgraded with integrated iPod interface.
The Dodge Charger was launched as a 2006 model in the spring of 2005.
The base Dodge Charger SE has a 178-hp 2.7-liter V6 and a four-speed automatic transmission. SXT comes with a 250-hp 3.5-liter V6 and a five-speed automatic transmission with Dodge's AutoStick manual shift gate. R/T models have a 340-hp 5.7-liter V8 and the five-speed AutoStick automatic. The R/T can be upgraded to 350 horsepower by ordering the Road/Track or Daytona packages. SRT8 models have a 425-hp 6.1-liter V8 and the AutoStick.
The SE ($21,675) comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, cruise control, tilt/telescope steering wheel, driver and passenger lumbar adjustment, remote keyless entry, and AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input jack. Steel wheels with bolt-on covers wear all-season P215/65R17 tires, and all Chargers have a Touring suspension. Available options include an engine block heater ($40), a Smoker's Group ($30) that adds a lighter and ashtray, and the SE Convenience Group 1 that adds an eight-way power driver's seat and adjustable pedals ($505).
The SXT ($25,685) upgrades with an eight-way adjustable power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 60/40 split folding rear seat with fold-down center armrest, Boston Acoustics stereo with six speakers and 276-watt amplifier, interior air filter, power-adjustable pedals, Sirius satellite radio with one year subscription, fog lamps and cast aluminum wheels. The SXT is available with all-wheel drive ($28,035). Options include leather-trimmed seats ($640), sunroof ($950), and Dodge's UConnect hands-free cell phone link now with iPod interface. Also available are 18-inch aluminum wheels with P225/60R all-season tires coupled with a rear spoiler. In addition to the Protection Group and Smokers Group, there's a Comfort Seating Group with heated front seats, leather-trimmed bucket seats, power adjustable pedals and an eight-way power front passenger seat ($1395).
The R/T ($31,780) is a V8-powered, high-performance model also available with all-wheel drive ($33,880). The R/T adds to the SXT with folding heated mirrors, 160-mph speedometer, upgraded brakes, polished aluminum 18-inch wheels, larger fuel tank, dual exhaust, automatic headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, and power eight-way front passenger seat. Among the options are a seven-speaker Boston Acoustic stereo with a 368-watt amplifier and subwoofer ($535) and remote starting. The Electronics Convenience Group ($630) adds a security alarm, programmable universal garage door opener, trip computer, selectable vehicle information display, compass and steering wheel-mounted audio controls.
The Road/Track Performance Group ($3,350) for the R/T features unique aluminum wheels with black accents, sportier steering, self-leveling shocks, sport seats, performance suspension, a tweaked V8 making 350 horsepower, front and rear spoilers, and 20-inch wheels. The Daytona R/T package adds to the Road/Track Performance Group assorted aero add-ons, flat black graphics front and rear, and interior trim that includes a numbered plate on the instrument panel.
The SRT8 ($36,155) comes with a 6.1-liter V8 generating 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, a performance-tuned suspension, a reprogrammed electronic stability control, Brembo brakes, Goodyear Supercar F1 tires on 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, and a 180-mph speedometer.
The Super Bee package for the SRT8 comes in Surf Blue for 2008 with black graphics on the hood, trunk and flanks, along with the V8/bumblebee logo.
For 2008, two new entertainment options are available for all but SE models: Sirius Backseat TV and Chrysler's MyGig entertainment system. The rear-seat DVD entertainment system is now offered with Sirius Backseat TV with three channels. MyGig is available in two versions. The MyGig Entertainment System has 6.5-inch touchscreen and a 20-gigabyte hard drive to hold music and pictures. The MyGig Multimedia Infotainment System adds a navigation system.