Dodge’s largest sedan, the Charger, continues to operate in a unique sphere, offering standard rear-wheel drive, where front-wheel drive is nearly universal. All-wheel drive and an assortment of souped up models, including the bellwether Hellcat, keeps the Dodge Charger on top.

Pricing and Equipment

The 2016 Charger starts at $27,995 (plus a $995 destination charge) for the base rear-wheel drive SE edition powered by a 3.6-liter V6 making 292 horsepower and paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Six other editions are available, including the SRT Hellcat with a starting price of $67,645. The SRT Hellcat is powered by a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 making 707 horsepower and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Standard equipment for the model tested included:

  • Wraparound headlamps and racetrack design tail lamps
  • Seventeen-inch painted cast aluminum wheels
  • Power side mirrors
  • Keyless entry and pushbutton start
  • A tilt-and-telescopic steering column
  • A six-way power driver's seat
  • An eight-speed automatic transmission
  • A six-speaker audio system with a 5-inch color display

Performance Pros

Dodge Charger
  • I found the standard V-6 engine surprisingly competent, offering ample off-the-start power and sufficient passing performance. Its 31 mpg highway rating is exceptional.
  • Dodge's ZF-supplied eight-speed transmission shifts seamlessly between the gears with shifts matching revs up and down the power band.
  • V8-powered Chargers come drive-mode equipped with the UConnect color display panel controlling same.

Performance Cons

  • The Dodge Charger is a heavy car and is larger than most vehicles in its class. Opting for a larger engine provides outstanding performance, but with a corresponding loss in fuel efficiency.
  • All-wheel drive is available only with V6 models. The improved handling this option affords cannot be experienced by V8 owners.

Interior Pros

  • With 120.2 inches between the wheels, the Dodge Charger offers room for five. The drivetrain hump compromises legroom for the center-seated rear passenger. The sloping roofline means tall people’s heads may touch the rear glass.
  • The base seats are very comfortable and bolstered.
  • The 60-40 split-folding rear seat expands storage capacity of the 16.5 cubic-foot trunk.

Interior Cons

  • The sedan’s high beltline impedes outward visibility. Maneuvering such a large vehicle may prove challenging for some drivers.
  • The standard 5-inch color display is small and not easy to read. However, models equipped with the 8.4-inch color display are easy to decipher.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The possibility of purchasing a vehicle as stylish and as large as this sedan for under $30,000 should be a dealmaker for some. At the same time, there are multiple V8 choices to consider too.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

Popular safety features such as a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert are not available on the base model. We’ve already noted the visibility challenges of this sedan. To overcome it, you’ll have to opt for a higher end model and pay for the technology package upgrade, adding thousands of dollars to your price.

The Bottom Line

Dodge Charger

Among large sedans, there is nothing quite like the Dodge Charger except for the Chrysler 300. Where its competitors rely on four- and six-cylinder engines, the Charger is equipped with a standard V6 and an assortment of V8 choices. If you prefer a large, traditional rear-wheel drive sedan, the Charger offers a tempting throwback with modern touches and available blistering performance.