By on June 6, 2014

ChargerFront

TTAC reader and contributor Rich Murdocco sends us his review of his brand new 2014 Dodge Charger R/T

In the middle of the harsh winter of 2013, the lease on my beloved Ford Mustang was coming to an end. That car had a special place in my heart – The 305 horsepower power plant whisked me to my first  “big boy job”, my first date with a new girlfriend, the birth of my niece and was right there as I got down on one knee and proposed to that aforementioned girlfriend. I was faced with the difficult decision every leasee faces: Do I stick around, or see what else was out there?

Sunset Logo

I had my heart set on another Mustang. Myself, uncle and cousin walked into the Ford Dealer, priced out a GT (if it wasn’t an upgrade, what’s the point?) and left satisfied. The car I had in my head – a 2014 Ford Mustang GT in dark silver, complete with the beating 5.0 Coyote heart and sense of condescension towards Camaros. As we were driving home, my uncle casually suggested we look at the Dodge dealer down the road. I’ve always been intrigued by Dodge’s offerings, and was impressed by the then-freshly redesigned Journey’s build quality when my Uncle had one on loaner. Halfheartedly we pulled in and strolled around the lot. “There is nothing you want here, is there?” I shook my head no, and that’s when my cousin called me over to come see something he found – a Charger R/T

Sitting in the car, it didn’t feel like a Dodge. The panels fit well together. There wasn’t a rattle. What felt like metal, was in fact, metal. The chunky steering wheel’s leather was soft, flanked by paddle shifters that allow your index finger to comfortable slip between them. I pressed the push-button ignition and with the soft burble of the exhaust, I was sold. It was black, brash and just plain mean looking – in a way, it reminded me of a Buick GNX.

HEMI

Before I knew it, I was handed a surprisingly quality key fob to my new 2014 Dodge Charger R/T with the new Blacktop package. The RWD (as God intended) car is powered by the 5.7 liter HEMI, has the 8.4 inch touchscreen with navigation and a 3:06 gear ratio setup.

The supportive yet comfortable seats are cloth, the HID headlights are automatic, and the sunroof is large. In fact, everything in this vehicle is large. It’s built for a supersize generation, of which my five foot seven inch height appreciates. My fiancée, who is a tiny little lady, disappears into the passenger seat, but when she drove it the power driver’s seat and adjustable steering wheel accommodated her just fine. The car’s dimensions are substantial.

At work, I’ve parked next to a BMW 5-series and dwarfed it. The Charger’s lines in the recent redesign added character to the slab-like sheet metal of the first new generation, with the most distinctive addition being the racetrack LED lights on the read end. Now, the Charger looks like well…a Charger (the odd looking 1980’s model notwithstanding). This isn’t a car for blending into the commuter pool. Even in the V6 guise, this car looks aggressive. It looks like it wants to kick puppies and wear fingerless gloves while smoke cigarettes like Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club.

Charger flag

Recently, when picking up my college roommate from the train, he said he found me by walking towards the “most obnoxiously angry looking car in the lot.” The attitude exerted by the sheet metal is only matched by its presence on the street. On Long Island, police of different stripes use the Charger Pursuit paired with their fleet of SHO’s. With the Blacktop package, you’re getting black 20’’ wheels that make many other drivers think you’re a cop. This is both awesome (when others let you pass) and annoying (people slam on their brakes to go the speed limit frequently). In my Mustang, few people ever wanted to rev their engines at me. In this, BMW’s especially, always want to start something – there are worse problems to have.

ChargerRear

Coming from a Mustang, pretty much anything would look spacious, but the Charger’s trunk truly eats whatever you put in it. I recently bought a rather large A/C unit and the trunk swallowed it up. I bet if I tried, I can fit my Marshall half-stack in the car, with a guitar, with no problems. The back seat is roomy, with three of my friends in the back sitting comfortably on the two-hour trek to New Jersey when I first got it. My buddy’s girlfriend is five foot nine, and had room to spare.  The nav is simple, while the radio, “powered by Beats Audio”, is pretty punchy, with more than enough bang for an automotive system. To be honest, I don’t use the audio to its full potential, because I prefer the sound of the HEMI. The voice recognition isn’t as intuitive as my Mustang’s SYNC, but it gets the job done. If the Chrysler UConnect system and SYNC had a baby, it would be the perfect infotainment unit. One quirk that my Charger has is the placement of Sport mode. It’s accessed via the UConnect system on the same screen as the front and passenger heated seats. “Hold on Camaro… We shall duel our automobiles shortly. Please wait while I activate Sport mode!” The difference in the transmission is marked when sport mode is activated, with the aggressive upshifts quickly snapping into the next gear.

Sport Mode

Smooth. That’s the word passengers I’ve had thus far have used to describe the ride. The Mercedes sourced 5-speed gets complaints from automotive journalists, but the transmission feels pretty rock solid. It seems that the German’s leftovers have worked wonders for the brand. With decently aggressive driving, I average 16.7 miles to the gallon of mid-grade fuel, and it costs roughly $55-60 per fill up here on Long Island. The transmission would benefit from an extra gear or two, but in 2015 Chrysler is putting in their popular 8-speed which should soothe the naysayers. In manumatic mode, the paddle shifters or console shifter allows for some spirited red-line hitting runs, but the electrical nannies prevent any significant overrevving and overly aggressive downshifting. One of my newfound joys is cruising in 5th, drop it to 3rd to pass. The whole experience is very gratifying.

The HEMI provides more than enough get up and go, but acceleration is never violent like it is in my cousin’s 2013 Mustang GT. It’s a smooth crescendo mostly. Passengers will be taken by surprise, and sometimes, during a boring morning’s drive, it’s fun to plant your foot to wake up both yourself, and the car. It’s powerful, and the engine, which is typically library quiet at cruising, comes to life under hard acceleration. One complaint is that it may be too quiet. For its brash looks, you’d hope it will shoot flames from the twin exhaust. In reality, the acceleration is more than entertaining enough, but isn’t as brutal as you think it would be given the specs. It does however turn heads if you drive by a group of people at full blast. It sounds proper, especially in a tunnel, and allows for acceleration to 60 in the low to mid-fives. My brother, who passed the love of cars into his younger brother, was impressed at the Charger’s throttle response and handling as he took a sweeping turn at unmentionable speeds for taking such a turn. For a heavy sedan whose trunk can eat a 12,000 BTU AC unit while seating two in the back, it’s impressive. The car feels planted at 30 mph, 60 mph and beyond 100 mph. With the Blacktop package you get a “high speed engine controller” up to 149 mph, but good luck safely and legally hitting anywhere close to those speeds on Long Island.

One of the many surprises of the car I found was that it doesn’t handle like you expect it to. During my first test drive, I was picturing similarities to my grandma’s old Grand Marquis, but it drives very similarly to my Mustang. It’s eager on turn in, and handles the curves without too much drama. The turning radius is a bit wider, but not by as much as you’d think. My fiancée’s 2010 Accord is like turning the Queen Elizabeth compared to the Charger.

This car is unapologetically American (despite the fact that shhh…it’s made in Canada). It’s big, rear-wheel driven, and powered by a big ol’ V8 up front. The interior is made of quality materials with fit and finish that was unheard of even five years ago. The street presence is ample. The fuel economy isn’t as bad as you’d think it would be given the power and weight stats. The Dodge Charger may have four doors, but it has the soul of the old Charger, and thanks to the HEMI, the heart of one as well. So far, I do not regret my decision to jump ship from Ford to MOPAR. In the future I may return, but as of right now, I’m more than content with the Charger.

MurdoccoCharger

On the web I’ve read comments such as the following: “it’s a pig…”, “it’s too fat”, “UGH A FAMILY CAR! It NEEDs TWO DOORS”, “It needs a manual transmission.” I’d answer these naysayers, but I’m too busy doing burnouts in the angriest looking family sedan on the road.  Long live the four-door, American muscle car.

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118 Comments on “Reader Review: 2014 Dodge Charger R/T...”


  • avatar
    alsorl

    Looks nice, big damn are those cars boat like. Probably the last of the big bodied autos.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Up to the mid-’70s, a car this size would be mid-sized. The full sized cars were about as big as a 4-door F150 is today. I’ve actually owned a ’61 Buick LeSabre, a ’63 Chrysler Newport, and a ’65 Chevy Impala, and they were all much bigger than a 2014 Charger. They were also actually smaller than their mid-70s namesakes.

      If you grew up seeing only the downsized ’80s Ford and GM sedans and the K cars, then I can see you being impressed by the Charger’s relative heft. But let me assure you, before 1980, well, there were giants on the roads in those days, and a car the size of a ’14 Charger was considered sensibly midsized.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Oh, so true.
        Just watch The Blues Brothers again to get a feel for those days. The cop cars are ’74-’77 Dodge Monacos/Royal Monacos. The Bluesmobile is a ’74.

        What was large in the ’60s became immense by the middle ’70s. And they all dwarf this Charger.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          All the chase scenes were filmed in the neighborhood where I grew up. I literally know every building and who lived in most of the houses shown

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            It still takes my breath away, and not in a good way, to see how fast they drove those cars through there, especially how quickly the L supports flash by.

            Were you there during the filming?

        • 0 avatar
          Kenmore

          “And they all dwarf this Charger.”

          What I should have added is that few, however, outweigh it.

          Using factory published weights:

          R/T Charger: 4365 lbs.

          ’74 Monaco: 4160 lbs.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No, I was out of school and had taken my first good job in Atlanta, but got the “dailies” from my mother. It was the biggest thing to hit my town since Harrison Ford and the group “Chicago” Hillary (Clinton) was hardly a blip on the radar screen at this point

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Oh, it was huge. I spent a lot of time in Chicago ’71-’75 and even though I lived across the state line I still felt an enormous rush of ‘home town’ pride to see the landmarks featured in the movie.

            I was aghast at the chase scenes because I was familiar with how packed with pedestrians and vehicles those areas normally were. I was like, “How the HELL did they stop that city long enough to film this?!”

            No matter what has happened to Chicago since, when I was a kid being there was the real life analog to the crescendos in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

            Glorious

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Despite all it’s troubles, I’m still quite proud of my Chicago roots. My whole family emigrated there during the 19th century from Europe and one French Canadian.

            This scene the house is directly across the street from my grand parents

            http://www.bluesbrotherscentral.com/images/scmods/locations/cumberland-gillick.jpg

            The brighter lights in the upper left is the restaurant I worked in all through high school and two blocks from where I grew up

            http://www.bluesbrotherscentral.com/images/scmods/locations/devon-cumberland.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Very cool. Thanks.

  • avatar

    The Charger SRT has the most aggressive looks of all the SRT vehicles. fortunately , the bumpers can be swapped between Charger models and the rear deck aerowing can be added to any of them without looking gawdy.

    Frankly, I don’t think I’d buy an “R/T” with the 5.7.

    The Pentastar V6 coupled to the 8-speed and AWD would be my choice if I didn’t buy a Charger SRT.
    No point buying the 5.7-L anymore in my opinion. The V6 with AWD would serve all my needs just fine.

    Fortunately, the Charger can be optioned with everything the 300 offers with the exception of the he Panoramic roof.

    Can’t wait for the HELLCAT Charger.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      But can the V6 AWD do burnouts?

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Good point and it’s basically the only point of these vehicles.

        • 0 avatar

          alsorl

          Name another car that can comfortably seat five 6-foot-tall adults, has fold down rear seats and costs less than $40,000…

          The Genesis doesn’t have fold down rear seats LOL.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I’ve never been in a car with four other 6′ adults unless it was a company car and I had no choice.

            Oh, wait.. there was the time I was mugged…

            But otherwise, who seriously includes that in their plan for a personal ride?

            And I bet it was hard to fold down the seats with all that meat on them.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Impala, VW Passat. Not much to pick from with your criteria. But who drives around with 5 six foot tall adults in one car ? And I can’t ever remember ever seeing 5 six foot adults in a big boy Chrysler or Dodge four door. In any case if I had that much luggage I would be in a full size SUV. More head room and leg room then in a 300. Five 6 foot adults in a 300 seems cruel to everyone in the back seat. This is why there are only a few big boy sedans left to purchase out side some German brands.
            Let’s see under $40,000: Ford Expedition, Chevy Tahoe, dodge Durango, the list goes on and on for that large people mover.

          • 0 avatar
            Hillman

            @Kenmore and alsor, I was in a car with 3 other adults for a 1.5 hour road trip yesterday. Me and friends do it quite often to go to fun road trips. It is either a mini van or full size car since a 8 passenger SUV burns too much gas.

          • 0 avatar
            alsorl

            Hillman @ now a mini van would make a lot more sense then in a four door sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      How is the Charger’s AWD system? I don’t think I’ve seen a review that goes into it in-depth.

      • 0 avatar

        The Charger AWD system and 300 AWD system are identical.

        It’s very good, non-intrusive and works seamlessly.

        There is a system in place to only activate the AWD when the computer believes more traction is required: in rain, in snow, in certain driving conditions, etc.

        Decoupling it, like int he Cherokee, helps save some fuel.

        Test drive a V6/AWD model…I see no reason to splurge on the 5.7-L now that the Pentastar is so good.

        Now if only Chrysler would build a Magnum out of the Charger…

        • 0 avatar
          LALoser

          I’m a MOPAR fan of sorts, but the Magnum never did it for me. It’s sloping roof reminded me of a dog taking…or leaving…a dump.
          Next car I am going to look real close at the V6 AWD 200 I bet that will move out.

        • 0 avatar
          Hemi

          I completely disagree BTSR. I own a 13 RT AWD and is leaps better than the Pentastar. Nothing beats the torque, pull and exhaust burble of the Hemi vs Pentastar. I cross shopped both and there is no comparison. The Hemi is quicker and sounds better. If MPG is your game, then get V6. Friends I spoke to who had the V6, wished they got the V8. On highways I can squeeze out 28-30mpg and about 10-20 in the city, while in RWD.

          The Hemi coupled with the AWD allows for dizzying launches, not to mention it comes with the 3.06 gears as the Blacktop and Daytona.

          Dude500 check out these to understand the AWD system
          http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=niP_xz789kQ

          http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=cV6aZ9XwhqI

          Great review btw Rich and pretty spot on. Btw what’s your winter plan for tires? I wanted the SRT, but lack of garage to change to winter tires made the RT AWD a no brainer for me.

          • 0 avatar
            Rich Murdocco

            Thank you for the kind feedback – Given the Polar Vortex, this winter was harsh, but the charger handled it surprisingly decently. The driving character of the car has changed as the pavement heat up – more grip. I never bought winter tires for my Mustang, and don’t plan on doing so with the Charger.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      No way I’d do this car – or the 300 – WITHOUT the Hemi.

      The Pentastar is surprisingly nice, but the Hemi…is BAAAD. No substitute for V8 torque in a car like this.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    I am totally down with mean-looking black cars. Just like my wife’s new Honda Fit.

    I, too, wear my cap backwards when riding in it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Don’t you get a headache from the bill constantly bumping the headrest?

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Learned how to pop the headrest out.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          They come out?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Same little tab on the base that you push to lower them lets them come up and out.

            I’m kind of astonished at that…potential liability?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Cool, now I can wear my cap backwards. So, your wife has a mean Fit? Hope it’s not serious

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Headrests have been like that on Japanese cars since the ’80s at least. Push the button in: down, up, or out.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Well, dang… went out and tried that on my car and you’re right. I’ve always just pushed them all the way down on my cars and left them there. I effin’ hate them being in my sightlines.

            My wife’s so short that the aggressive forward tilt on the Fit’s pushes her head forward no matter how they’re adjusted. Thought I might find aftermarket replacements that were more neutral but they’re just as bad.

            Since I won’t have her driving without any at all, we’ve found that a thick lumbar cushion ameliorates things.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            My ’88 Sentra has a ratcheting mechanism in the headrest that adjusts the tilt angle. If you can find something like that in an old Honda, I bet the headrest would fit in the Fit seat.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Thanks for the idea. I’ll measure the support tube diameters and distance between them and go looking.

            The rear headrests are smaller and their supports aren’t bent forward; one of them would’ve worked perfectly in the driver’s seat for her but their supports are closer together, dammit.

    • 0 avatar

      I looking hard at a Fit for my next car. I do city driving and often have to run out to local galleries to pick up stuff we’re shipping.
      Question is,do you like it and would you buy it again?

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        Yes and yes.

        I really can’t imagine a better car for what you intend. Parked right next to Prius C yesterday and the difference in interior volume on nearly identical wheelbases was immediately apparent.

        The Fit extends the A pillars further forward than the Prius and arches the roof higher above the passenger compartment. Along with that, the Fit’s dash is lower and flat except for the small hump with the speedo. Those two things combined give you unbelievably good visibility for such a tiny foorprint vehicle. Additionally, there are nice little triangular window-lets where an old car’s vent windows would be (if that’s not too archaic a reference :-)

        Now, I’m only speaking for the “2013″ model. Ours was actually delivered from Saitama to the dealership in 2014. I’ve not even seen a 2015. IIRC, the ’15s are a tad wider, longer, get a back-up camera standard and have a 130 hp engine versus our 117 hp.

        The fold-flat seats seem ideal for running framed work around as you mention. The visibility and quick, precise steering make it ideal for dart-y city driving. It’s a supremely practical and highly refined little car. I definitely give it 4 stars.

        And if you end up preferring something else, I’d love to see your comment as to what. Anyway, good hunting.

        • 0 avatar
          iMatt

          I’ve been driving my girlfriends’ Fit for nearly two years. My only complaint is that the automatic transmission can be clunky at times, especially at low speeds.

          The 2-1 downshift while accelerating from a rolling stop is enough to cause me to swear every time.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Can’t really speak to that yet, just had ours for a week and haven’t yet noticed any roughness when it downshifts.

            Could be a wear issue that’s coming up for us or it could be that accelerating at your age and accelerating at our age may be two different things :-)

            Besides that, though, what do you think of the car? I can’t help but be all proselytizy over it. Last car I ever expected to like because it seemed so small from the outside.

          • 0 avatar
            iMatt

            @ Kenmore

            I notice it the most when gently accelerating from only a few mph. The car wants to stay in second but really, really doesn’t have the torque to give any meaningful acceleration at all. It’s almost a challenge feathering the throttle to stop it from jarring down into first gear!

            To avoid it, you either have to come to a complete stop every time or mash the gas to get it to go into first right off the bat.

            And although I am far from it, I drive like an old man in suburban areas.

            Driving more aggressively, the car does come alive. I really like to push it on isolated areas like highway on and off-ramps…even if I’m getting the death stare.

            I’ve owned a couple old Accord wagons in the past and the Fit continues their legacy of great visibility and fun, light-hearted driving dynamics.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            iMatt,

            Well described and I think I accidentally replicated those circumstances when I was toodling through our neighborhood the first afternoon we had it. Not much traffic so I lazily alternated between creeping past some garage sales, remodel work…etc., and then speeding up to move on. Fortunately all was smooth as can be.

            I don’t know the vehicle’s status vis age, warranty, maintenance and the like but I never had that problem from any other AT.

            The Rio5 my wife had before this Honda acted like that when wheezing up an on-ramp and required a firm stomp on the gas before it would LURCH into a down shift, but that was always around 40-50 mph.

  • avatar

    Sounds wonderfully retro except for the (cough! sputter!!!) paddle shifters

  • avatar
    hubcap

    “It needs a manual transmission.”

    You talkin’ to me…?

    If Dodge saw fit to offer this car with a 6MT I’d be all over a yellow Super Bee. In fact, it’s a shame that a car like this doesn’t give you the option.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say it needs a manual (nothing with that much torque needs a manual per se), but it’s disappointing that all the components exist to make a manual Charger, and yet we don’t get one.

      I already have a huge soft spot for this generation of Charger (in spite of leaning towards smaller cars), and a three-pedal variant would have me seriously questioning my priorities.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Basically, Dodge does offer this car with the Hemi and a six-speed manual…the Challenger.

      I don’t think they’d sell any manual Chargers.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    So I sat here, hair dangling in my face, listening to a track on youtube, looking over a reader-review of a recent Dodge Charger while I wondered what to do about dinner.

    Then, I just noticed that the sentence that I just typed has no point, its filler, it serves little purpose. Maybe I can extend my comment by adding even more.

    I look over my keyboard noticing that it needs a clean, but I will attend to that another day (aka never), as I have a review to critique.

    As I sit here thinking, I relise that this review taught me little about the new Charger. To sum it up, I learned that the new Charger defies typical stereotypes to American cars and ends up being competent, then I remember Chryslers proposed face-lift, which may be the single incompetent aspect of the next model.

    Honestly I’ve read more clear and informative reviews at carsurvey.org.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez_Returns

      Glad somebody said it.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      The problem with a reader reviewing their own brand new car is they are on a high of new car-ness, and any possible doubts or criticism will be justified away.

      What better way to feel great about a new purchase than write your very own glowing review.

    • 0 avatar
      Rich Murdocco

      The goal was to write a piece that asked why I decided to acquaint myself with a certain model…it was long because simply put, there was alot to cover. I poured over reviews from the traditional sources, and decided to write from a different perspective.

      If you want a more traditional review of the Charger, I found C/D’s recent write up pretty concise and informative.

  • avatar
    Baldpeak

    It’s just too big for what I’m looking for. Easy parking, carving up narrow back roads. It’s a shame that if you want a smaller sedan with RWD you have to go with one of the expensive luxury brands, Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Cadillac. What I really want is basically a shrunken Charger.

  • avatar
    pb35

    Nice job, Rich. I love my black 2012 R/T, I washed it earlier today. What a great looking car.

  • avatar
    Topher

    I think I’m over reader reviews if they mean they’re reviewed by a person who just plunked down a serious amount of cash. That’s already a self-selecting bias (only people who like the car are willing to buy one), but there’s also a psychological effect of decision confirmation, where you start to like something because you chose it over other options.

    tl;dr
    Everyone owns the best car (in their own minds).

    • 0 avatar
      masrapida

      Good point. Although it might be entertaining to read a review where the reviewer/purchaser had an “I effed up when I bought this car” moment.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        If this site existed back in 1998 when I stupidly traded my ’93 Grand Cherokee, which I really liked, for a new ’99 Grand Cherokee, I would have posted a review titled “I really f’ed up when I bought this!”. The ’93 was pushing 80K and had been paid off three years plus, and was making some odd noises from the rear end when coasting, so I thought it was time for it to go. I took the new one for a 15 minute test drive, liked it well enough, and made the deal. I took it home, and within a couple of days, said, “WTF was I thinking?”. The seats killed me after about a half hour, the steering wheel was too far to the right, and it generally just annoyed me. I began looking for a way out, but it took me about a year and a half to finally get fed up enough to just get rid of it. I traded it for a 2000 Sierra SLT Extended cab 4×4. It was great, I loved it, and had basically 3 trouble free years in it, until I was in a huge wreck, and it was never the same. I was planning on buying an identically optioned Sierra, just a different color, but the dealer pissed me off, so I went to the Dodge dealer and bought a Ram, which I had until late 2007, when I got hurt and had to get something lower. I ended up with a 2008 Charger R/T, which I liked a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Agreed, when someone pays a ton of money for a car of course they’re going to like it, its not easy paying big bucks and admitting a goof up.

      Plus long term tests yield to be more interesting, both maintenance and when the minor niggles become major issues.

    • 0 avatar
      Hemi

      Naah I knew quite a few who had purchased or leased the 2009-2011ish Accord and Civics and regretted every part of it. I’ve met people who went with “base” models of cars and wished they purchased the nicer models with V6 engines. Or all the people who bought the Toybaru twins :p

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I’ve read more than a few of those reviews, but most of them bought 2-3 year old used models, and many of their complaints could be traced to the previous owner’s (non)maintenance or failure to follow up on TSBs.

    • 0 avatar
      Dingleberrypiez_Returns

      Yeah Topher pretty much nails it. I know TTAC prides itself on not pandering to sponsors, but there is no way someone can be as impartial about their own vehicle.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Good article and congratulations on the new car. Do some follow-ups please.

  • avatar
    canddmeyer

    What I love most about the Charger is how quiet it is while driving. Road noise is non-existent, and this alone cost Toyota a Camry sale recently :)

  • avatar
    glwillia

    Sounds like a pretty nice ride. Can we get some interior pics?

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    If your tallest passenger is only 5′ 9″, then you don’t realize how small the back seat really is. There is sufficient legroom, but the 36.6″ rear headroom is lower than many cars. A Camry has 1.5″ more rear headroom, which makes a huge difference for taller passengers.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I thought the discussion on interior space was bizarre. Specifically “It’s built for a supersize generation, of which my five foot seven inch height appreciates.”

      Why would someone only 5’7″ appreciate a super-size cockpit? Is that a typo and the author meant six foot seven?

      Also “My buddy’s girlfriend is five foot nine, and had room to spare.” For a car with a 120″ wheelbase, I would certainly hope so. She would easily fit in a compact car, nevermind this behemoth.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Yeah that part of the review lost me too.

        Also the wing on the back… has to go, kind of kills the all black stealth look. I had the run-of-the-mill V6 white rental version of this car two weeks ago and I liked it. Very comfortable car without being too “floaty” or soft. The V6 pulled strong and steering feel was nice. Only complaint I had was front end seem to go forever. Visibility was good, but every time I got out I realized I pulled too far up into a parking space. I love the tail-lights and the key FOB plus interior bits are of high quality or atleast feel/look the part. I think alot of people overlook the Charger.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      The assessment of the back seat and trunk space didn’t jive with my experience. Had one as a rental and couldn’t help but wonder how a car so large could have such poor space utilization. Without being a Cadillac.

  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    The restyle will grow on people but if you don’t think it will they have bargain pricing on 2014′s down at your Dodge showroom. BTW, 8 speed HEMI’s coming in 2015!

    Mopar über alles

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    I would be embarassed to be seen driving that Dodge.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @jimmy….So Rich takes the time, to write, a great {IMHO} on his new car. If your not impressed with the review, fine. Maybe the big Dodge, isn’t on your “to buy” list. Fair enough, its not on mine either.

      To say you would be “embarrassed” to be seen driving that Dodge. WTF?

      Rich put his money on the table, to buy his choice of vehicle. I see no need in the world to insult the guy.

    • 0 avatar
      Rich Murdocco

      Me too.

  • avatar

    Strongly written with a great opening hook. However I must ask, for she is not mentioned again, did you keep the girl?

    As you get older, by the way, you’ll find its better to keep the cars and rent the girls. ;-)

  • avatar
    iMatt

    Driving by a group of people at full blast as you put it will certainly get you some looks, just not for the reasons you probably think.

    Not everyone cares how loud and obnoxious you or your car can be.

    • 0 avatar
      DrGastro997

      Very well said and very much agreed. What’s up with these cars and drivers showing off stupid faux sounds??? Show off with a proper vehicle…

    • 0 avatar
      Rich Murdocco

      Thanks to the HEMI, it doesn’t matter if they care or not. They’re gonna hear it.

      The great thing is, it makes me feel like a real man. In fact, one of my favorite pastimes is doing burnouts in front of nursing homes late at night, downshifting in front of stopped school buses and peeling out in front of women with strollers.

  • avatar
    mdanda

    I’d like to hear about what you don’t like about it. That’s the most useful information!

  • avatar

    Here in da hood the black charger is THE ride. The 300 in black would come a close second. Wears rims with style. Never see the car flogged, but cruising at night? Man you stylin’

  • avatar
    Brian P

    I recently borrowed a friend’s Chrysler 300 SRT8 for a couple of days (because I had a trailer to move which is too heavy for my own vehicle). No, it’s not a Charger, but it’s a close platform-mate.

    It pulled the big trailer like it wasn’t there, and I can see why people like these cars, but I’ll give the “don’t like” points that someone who just bought the car might not …

    1. Gas mileage in city traffic. This pretty much goes without saying, but there you go, I said it. Try 17 – 18 L/100 km in traffic-jam conditions.

    2. It is TOO big. Too awkward, too hard to park. This is from someone (me) who prefers compacts and below.

    3. Can’t see out of the darn thing. The mail-slot windows are to blame.

    4. The high beltline results in no comfortable place to hang my left elbow. On every car that I’ve owned so far, the window sill is at a good height for doing this. In the 300, the window sill is too high and the arm-rest is too low.

    5. The steering is too light (overassisted). This is something I don’t like about a good many cars, and this one is no exception. It’s not nearly as numb as that of a Corolla or Versa or some other such econobox, but it’s not in keeping with the otherwise well-sorted suspension and ample grip.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “This car is unapologetically American”

    One of the last cars that can make that claim in that manner… even if it’s Italian owned and made in Canada

    Murica!

    • 0 avatar
      LectroByte

      Unapologetically American? A Fiat made in Canada, based on a Mercedes platform?

      Oh well, it has an American name at least, but the Duke boys and I agree this cramped sedan has 2 too-many doors.

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    If they let slip a Hellcat equipped Charger with a manual transmission, I may have to sell off some organs…. (no I’m not getting rid of my Jeep!)

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Congratulations! What a beautiful car. I am not really a Dodge/Mopar guy, but I have to admit for the Charger is a very tempting package. The only thing I would have added is leather, but that’s fairly subjective.

  • avatar
    MK

    Damned good choice OP!
    THIS is the one full sized car im most interested in buying (currently driving a Porsche and an f150 supercrew).
    I love the way these look, great room inside but still a great looking sports sedan.

    I’d buy this any day over BMW or Mercedes offerings…. Hell I’d buy it over a challenger. This has such perfect proportions. Mmmm

    my only regret is that the Mrs wants the next Gen mustang instead of a Charger…. I’ll have to work on her a bit.

    well done Sir, well done.

  • avatar
    340-4

    I recently purchased one of these in 3.6/8A/AWD form.

    It’s a tremendous car.

    Solid. Rattle free. Quiet. 4 adults can carry on a conversation at highway speed.

    30 mpg on the highway can happen in a 4500 lb. car.

    Heated cloth seats!

    A good sounding factory stereo!

    A tight turning radius, too. And the AWD in winter is astounding.

    This car is a winner, designed by people who pay attention and care, and built accordingly.

  • avatar
    FBS

    I am going to be working towards buying a Charger R/T RWD in a very similar trim to Mr. Murdocco’s new car this very week. I guess there won’t be a need to volunteer for the Reader Review program now…

    I moved to Dallas in February to start my first big-boy job, which involves driving all over the eastern side of the metroplex and on occasion farther out into northeastern Texas. Almost as soon as I had the job offer, I started thinking about what would replace my aging 2002 Forester 5MT. The Charger caught my attention early and I kept coming back to it, even after considering all the true “enthusiast” choices like the WRX and Focus ST. Jack Baruth’s rental Charger review on this very site almost sold me on the car all by itself, and the hours I spent on other auto reviews and Dodge’s site finished what our humble EIC had begun. The test drive I finally took last weekend was a formality.

    There are not many cars I would gladly purchase with a traditional automatic instead of a manual, but it seems like such a perfect match to this car. The sport mode and paddle shifters are welcome additions, but I wonder how much use they’ll really see in every day driving. The 8-speed will probably be nice to have, but at the same time I wonder if that isn’t ultimately too many ratios for a big American V8 in a semi-sporting application.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      “The Charger caught my attention early and I kept coming back to it, even after considering all the true “enthusiast” choices like the WRX and Focus ST.”

      I definitely consider the Charger an enthusiast choice. I think any vehicle can be an enthusiast vehicle, but I doubt many people looking for indifferent A to B transportation find themselves on a Dodge lot looking at Chargers.

  • avatar
    Trend-Shifter

    I thought the review was very well written.
    Rich gets us into his mindset of unwavering Mustang love to his unfaithful fling with the Dodge Charger.
    Pure automotive passion.

    He wasn’t writing about how effective the cup holder placement was.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Cool car. I really enjoyed the 2013 R/T track pack that I had last year. Fantastic car for the money.

  • avatar
    shaker

    The car is big, smooth and definitely “owns the road” – but it’s too darn thirsty.

    • 0 avatar
      omer333

      I’d have more trouble with the V6/8AT combo than the V8, its one of the best powertrains I’ve ever experienced.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The current Charger with the 5.7 V8 gets better fuel mileage than the original Charger with the base 5.2L/318 cid and Torqueflite (11-14 mpg). Of course, you could get premium for 32 cents/gallon in 1966, but adjusted for inflation that’s $2.34/gallon!

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    I recently rented a 2014 Charger with the V6 and was impressed by the whole package. Rich is correct; get a black one and almost everyone has second thoughts about passing you on the highway.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Great review. It’s funny that the most American car you can buy is built in Canada by and Italian owned company using a German chassis and tranny. LOL

    I have a 2013 Charger V6 AWD and for the same money I could have gotten this car instead. Oops. Sometimes the 8 speed tranny just has too many gears both for me and itself, and as a V6 it’s not that fast. My friend in his shitty 2011 Jetta 2.5 stick was able to keep up with me on an on ramp and I was winding it out.

    The Uconnect system is easy to use, and the remote starter with automatic heated seat is nice too. Overall a nice car I’m happy to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Rich Murdocco

      Thank you! I appreciate your kind feedback. The 8 speed is tempting, but given the behavior of the 5, I dunno if the electronics would know what to do with three more gears.

  • avatar
    Joss

    Boomer metal for the young-at-heart. I only see guys who were young in the 70′s driving these things.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    I certainly notice a distinct streak of envy in many of these posts.

    I echo what Kreutzer says: Keep a “significant” car from your youth. Why be nostalgic for a car if you can actually have the car? If not the Mustang then maybe this Challenger. It need not be an interesting car in itself, but if it is, so much the better. The additional cost drops off pretty quickly and the keeper car still gets pressed into duty once in a while.

  • avatar
    ktm

    Envy? Really? Envy of a Charger owner? No, I don’t think the word you are looking for is “envy”.

    Oh, and it’s a Charger not Challenger.

  • avatar
    jim brewer

    Nope, KTM, its unmistakable and in about every third post.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “This isn’t a car for blending into the commuter pool.”

    Because police car.

    I’m sorry, but the non-popo Charger (at least around here) has always had the whiff of trailer park about it, or former-Galant-owner.

  • avatar
    1st_one

    As a new Dodge Charger owner myself, I agree with most things in this article except the 5 speed transmission. It absolutely SUCKS! It seems to always hunt for a gear which sends the engine revving constantly. Hopefully, this is addressed once the 8 speed is shoehorned into the hemi. Otherwise, I love my 14” 100th Anniversary Charger.


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