2016 Charger New Car Test Drive
The Dodge Charger is a family sedan with the heart of a muscle car, available in a range of models from powerful to outlandish. Still a heavy and fuel-thirsty vehicle, the Charger shows off its clean, modern lines, while the simple interior layout relies on premium materials. Passengers can expect satisfying space and comfort, though the back seat is snug for a car of this size.
For 2016, Charger adds a Super Track Pak for V6 models and a new Blacktop Appearance package. The 2016 Challenger SRT 392 gains additional equipment. New technical features for 2016 include Siri Eyes Free voice control, a drag-and-drop menu bar on the 8.4-inch touchscreen control interface, a digital owner's manual, and a Do Not Disturb feature. Dodge offers heritage color options, including Plum Crazy that is new for the 2016 model year. The lineup was refreshed for 2015.
Charger SE and Charger SXT models come with Chrysler's Pentastar 3.6-liter V6, producing 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, which delivers a satisfying driving experience. V6 output on the Rallye Appearance Group rises to 300 horsepower and 264 pound-feet in an SXT, consisting of cold-air intake, engine-control software revisions, and a different exhaust setup. An 8-speed automatic is the sole transmission. We have found the V6 models to be quite responsive. Few drivers really need more, unless they simply cannot do without that familiar V8 sound and response.
In the V8 group, R/T is the starting point, with a 5.7-liter Hemi that makes 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet.
Stepping up a sizable power notch, SRT 392 and R/T Scat Pack models unleash a 485-horsepower, 6.4-liter V8 that's a lot stronger than the 5.7 model, delivering 0-60 mph acceleration time in the mid four-second range.
Reaching from the sublime to the outrageous, the Charger SRT Hellcat contains the same 707-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 as the Challenger SRT Hellcat, but the sedan accelerates even more quickly (0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, says Dodge). The Hellcat and SRT 392 upgrade to huge Brembo brakes, as well as multi-mode adaptive damping.
The V6 models are fuel-responsible, but the V8s tend to guzzle, even with cylinder-deactivation on some versions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives Charger Good ratings, its highest score, in all categories except the small front overlap crash test.
The 2016 Dodge Charger comes in sSeven distinct models. Rear-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available for the V6-powered Charger SE and SXT.
Charger SE ($27,995) includes power locks and seats, Uconnect services, AM/FM/CD audio with touchscreen control, and Wi-Fi hotspot. Charger SXT ($29,995) upgrades with Alpine premium audio, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8.4-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, 18-inch alloy wheels. The Super Track Pak option lowers the suspension 0.5 inch and adds high-performance steering, firmer suspension tuning, and Performance Pages. (All prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
Charger R/T ($33,695) gets the 5.7-liter V8, die-cast paddle shifters, and a sport suspension. The R/T Road & Track includes performance tires on 20-inch wheels, a performance powertrain controller, 3.07 rear axle, and heated/ventilated sport seats.
R/T Scat Pack ($39,995) is the heritage model, with a 6.4-liter V8, power bulge hood, aluminum pedals, high-performance suspension, 20-inch black/satin wheels, Brembo four-piston brakes, and an active exhaust system.
The SRT 392 ($50,995) gets premium Laguna leather upholstery, HD radio, navigation, heated rear seats and power passenger seat, as well as a Brembo six-piston ultra-high performance brake package. Bilstein adaptive damping has Track, Sport, and Auto modes.
SRT Hellcat ($65,945) gets the monster V8, Sport, Track, and Eco modes. A red and black keyfob is included, with the black one reducing engine output to 500 horsepower. A 900-watt, 18-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system comes standard, as well as a flat-bottom heated steering wheel and T-handle shifter.
Safety features include a driver's knee bag and full-length side-curtain airbags. A rearview camera and rear park assist are also standard on the R/T Scat Pack model and above. Rear Cross Path Detection comes standard on the SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat, with Blind Spot Monitoring on the Hellcat. Also available: Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control-Plus.