Let’s call the Dodge Charger what it is -- a rare breed.
It’s a full-size sedan and muscle car that is also aimed at family buyers. You really can not say that about any other car out there today. And in my opinion, that’s a thing of beauty.
I recognize what the future holds in terms of electric cars and new technology, but the throwback look of the Charger is one that I hope endures for many years to come.
Its classic look warns of the powerful performance you will get out of it, but it’s still roomy enough to take mom, dad, the grandparents and baby out for ice cream. But you’ll have to the urge to put on your shades and crank some classic rock tunes as you are pulling the family out of the driveway. A symphony just doesn’t feel right in this vehicle.
As I said earlier, the Dodge brand is all about power. Even on the SXT trim level, which I tested, you get a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 292 horsepower, plus and 8-speed automatic transmission. You can stick with the standard rear-wheel drive or upgrade to all-wheel drive (which one you get will depend on what you are planning to do with the vehicle (fun solo driving vs. family transport), and what the weather’s like where you live).
In my time with the AWD version of the Charger SXT, I quite honestly had a blast. Maybe it was just the fact that I was driving a bit of a relic that has managed to hang on, despite what some people might think of muscle cars, but the fun factor was absolutely there for me and I’m sure that’s what drives a lot of sales for the Charger. It’s fast, loud and unapologetic. And that’s OK with me.
Safety systems such as Blind Spot Detection and Rear Park Assist are offered on the Charger, along with a plethora of airbags and other safety features. While not as tech-savvy as some other new vehicles, it’s still doing pretty well in terms of keeping you safe.
The UConnect infotainment system is featured too, and as usual does not disappoint with its sharp design and easy-to-use setup. You also get USB ports, Bluetooth connection, and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Official fuel mileage numbers on the Charger are 18 city/27 highway/21 combined.
With little to no competition in this segment (only its FCA cousin the Chrysler 300 has even a remote direct correlation and also offers identical fuel mileage), fuel mileage likely won’t be a factor in people choosing the Charger or not.
My test vehicle (a 2017 Charger SXT AWD) had a base price of $31,995 and came to $36,165 with options. By comparison, a Hellcat-equipped Charger and its 707 horsepower starts at basically double that (just under $66K). So I would hesitate to make that leap under you’re a collector or headed to the drag strip. There are also several other versions of the Charger in-between with varying engines, ranging from 370 hp to 492 hp.
If you’re looking for a fun and powerful ride that will also allow you to take the family with you when needed, there are limited options -- but the muscle-packed Charger is one, and you don’t need to go overboard on the horsepower either to have a good time..
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.