2018 Charger New Car Test Drive
The Dodge Charger rear-wheel-drive sedan is about the closest thing America has to an old-school muscle car, while now being comfortable and user friendly, with modern technology.
For 2015, it was refreshed at every body panel except the roof and rear doors, but its design remains retro as intended. The 2017 Charger upgrades the infotainment system with an improved touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. New wheels and retro hound's-tooth upholstery are also available on 2017 Dodge Chargers.
Base engine is a responsive 3.6-liter V6 making 292 horsepower, followed by a 5.7-liter V8 making 370 horsepower, a 6.4-liter V8 making 485 hp, and last but clearly not least is the horsepower king, the SRT Hellcat, a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 making 707 humongous horsepower. It will go 204 miles per hour. It's surprisingly composed for a beast.
Charger V6 models use an 8-speed automatic, and have available all-wheel drive. Acceleration is quick enough to stay ahead of traffic.
Charger V8 versions, also with an 8-speed automatic, bring enough acceleration to enable relaxed passing at just half throttle.
The base models are beautifully finished for the money, but if it's luxury you need, maybe you should look at the Chrysler 300, which shares the Charger platform and powertrains.
Fuel economy for the Charger V6 with rear-wheel drive is an EPA-estimated 19/30 miles per gallon City/Highway, or 23 mpg Combined. V8 models with cylinder deactivation get 19 mpg EPA Combined, while the Hellcat gets 16 mpg Combined.
The Charger gets five stars in safety from NHTSA, while the IIHS gives it the highest score in every category, including rollover and side impact, but a Marginal in the small front-overlap crash test. Standard safety features include airbags for the driver's knee and full-length curtain airbags, as well as active head restrains in front. But a rearview camera isn't standard on the base model, only upper trim levels. Features including rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitors, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking are optional, or come with packages and higher trims.
The 2017 Dodge Charger SE and SXT come with 292-hp V6 engines. Charger SE comes with touchscreen audio, power driver's seat and keyless ignition. The SXT adds heated seats, an 8.4-inch infotainment system and WiFi hotspot (with subscription), and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Rallye Group option adds cold air intake and dual exhaust that increase horsepower to 300 on Charger SE and Charger SXT.
Charger R/T comes with a 370-hp 5.7-liter V8. A Scat Pack for the R/T takes the bigger, 6.4-liter V8 of the SRT392, making 485 horsepower. Charger SRT392 adds luxury, as well as a three-mode adaptive suspension. Charger SRT Hellcat features the supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 707 horsepower.