By on May 25, 2015

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Exterior

The first car I bought new was a 2000 Chrysler LHS. (I single handedly lowered the model’s average age demographic.) It was the very pinnacle of Chrysler’s Iacocca turn-around. It was large, competitive and made from Chrysler’s universal parts bin. Then Mercedes came on the scene promising to “synergize” product development with their luxury brand. The plan had a promising start with the 300 HEMI C concept, but the production reality was a big sedan with a plastacular interior and Mercedes hand-me-down parts.

Now that Mercedes and Chrysler have divorced, we’re starting to see what a real German-American synergy looks like. For 2015, the Dodge Charger has gone under the knife to look leaner and meaner with a new German transmission. Like my 2000 LHS, this may just be the pinnacle of the Marchionne turn around. It’s big, it’s bold and it’ll make you forget why you stopped to look at that Toyota Avalon last week.

Identify the Competition
The Charger is a segment oddity because it’ll be the only four-door muscle car after the Chevrolet SS drives into the sunset. No, the Hyundai Genesis doesn’t really count – that’s a luxury entry and it’s American cross-shop would be the Chrysler 300. That leaves the Charger to battle the Avalon, Taurus, Impala, Cadenza, Maxima and Azera. (Or, if you buy the Hellcat, a ballistic missile.) Sure, you can compare anything to anything, but the Charger is tough to categorize, so I’ll just focus on this main segment.

Exterior
As the only RWD entry in this segment, the Charger has very different proportions than the rest of the crowd with its ever-so-long hood. Since 2015 is a refresh rather than a redesign, the hard points remain the same as before but the style has been significantly altered and essentially every panel has been changed. I’m not entirely sure that the “Daddy Dart” look up front is the style I would have chosen, but it looks far more grown up than the 2014 model. Out back we get better integrated exhaust tips and a refinement of the Dodge “race track” light strip.

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Interior-003

Interior
While the engineers touched every panel on the outside, interior changes are minor. The same 8.4-inch uConnect touchscreen is still nestled in the dash (SE models get a 5-inch screen) and the style is still decidedly retro. On the driver’s side we get a new 7-inch color LCD between the speedometer and tachometer in all models. There are still some hard plastics to be found and the dashboard is a little rubbery, but that places the Charger on equal footing with the Impala while the Avalon and Cadenza have slightly nicer interiors.

FCA reps said that no changes were made to the seat cushion design for 2015, but our tester lacked the pronounced hump found in the 2012 model we last tested, an issue that make me feel like I was sitting on a very large gumdrop.

In a car this big, you’d expect a big booty, but the smallish trunk lid foreshadows the decidedly mid-size trunk at 15.4 cu-ft, 7 percent smaller than a Ford Fusion’s cargo spot and only 15 percent bigger than that of the compact Ford Focus. In general, the full-size car label no longer guarantees large luggage capacity. So, on paper, the Charger’s smallish trunk is fairly competitive with the likes of the Toyota Avalon (14.4) but the Taurus’ ginormous booty will schlep 25 percent more warehouse store bagels. The rear seats fold down to reveal a large pass-thru and the wide and fairly flat rear seats make three baby seats across a tight but entirely doable adventure.

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Engine

Drivetrain
SE and SXT models use the familiar 3.6L Pentastar V6 tuned to 292 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Adding the $1,495 Rallye Group on the SXT adds eight ponies and four lb-ft. This puts the Dodge right in line with the front wheel drive competition in terms of power.

Unlike the competition, the Charger offers some more powerful engines to choose from. Scroll down the spec sheet and you find not one, not two, but three different V8s on offer. R/T and R/T Road and Track trims get the popular 5.7L V8 good for 370 hp / 395 lb-ft, R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 models make do with a 485 hp / 475 lb-ft 6.4L V8, and if you want to throw caution to the wind there’s a 6.2L supercharged V8 making a whopping 707 horsepower.

8HP

Last year most models had the old Mercedes 5-speed automatic with just some trims getting the new ZF-sourced 8-speed. This year every Charger gets the 8-speed and the difference is eye-opening.

For those of you unfamiliar with the transmission world, ZF is a German company that makes transmissions and licenses transmission designs for a wide variety of performance and luxury cars. You’ll find ZF transmissions lurking under the hoods of twin-turbo V12 Rolls Royces, inline-6 BMWs and AWD Audis, so the Charger is rubbing elbows with some classy company.

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track uConnect 8.4.CR2-001

Performance
Not only does the new 8-speed have a lower first gear for improved acceleration, it also has a taller top gear for improved highway economy. If you ever wondered how much difference a transmission alone can make, the Charger is a perfect test case. Last year, the V6 with the 5-speed needed 8.5 seconds to run to 60, this year it’s 7.0 flat, making the V6 Charger competitive with the pack. The 5.7L V8 model was about as fast as the last Maxima at 6.1 seconds. This year, the same engine will do it in 5.0 seconds with the Road and Track rear axle ratio and 5.1 seconds without it. That means the Taurus SHO competitor is no longer the 6.4L V8 but the 5.7L model we’re testing.

Let’s tally this up so we keep this in perspective. The V6 is now competitive with the competition and the 5.7L V8 is now a hair faster than the SHO. What makes the Charger crazy is  we still have two engines left. Add the Scat Pack to the R/T, or choose the SRT 392 and acceleration drops to 4.2-4.3 seconds as long as the tires can find grip. The Hellcat, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is the fastest production sedan with a blistering 2.9 seconds to 60 if you are willing to wear racing slicks and put your life on the line.

An interesting note of trivia is that Charger Pursuit police cars still get ye olde 5-speed with both the 3.6L and 5.7L engines. The reason likely has more to do with the 5-speed automatic’s column mounted shifter in Pursuit guise than any durability benefit.

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Exterior-001

Drive
In many of the trims the Charger comes across as “under-tired.” Before you get your flamethrowers out, allow me to explain. The Charger SE is a 4,000lb vehicle riding on low rolling resistance 215/65R17 tires; handling isn’t its forte. The SXT gets 235/55R18 all-season performance tires with a 245-width option. Handling is easily equal to the Avalon despite weighing 500lbs more due to the Charger’s near perfect weight balance. The R/T gets 245/45R20 rubber, which honestly feels a little skinny for 370 hp, especially if you get the Road and Track. On the flip side, it’s easy to smoke your tires if you’re into that. The Scat Pack feels as under-tired as the SE because it adds 115 horsepower, some curb weight and changes essentially nothing else. If you like a car that has a very lively rear end, this is your car. The SRT 392 significantly upgrades the brakes, tires (275/40R20), and suspension and I found it to be well balanced in terms of power vs grip. Then the Hellcat comes along with 222 extra horses and no extra grip. You get the picture.

Under-tired doesn’t translate to less fun – quite the opposite in my book. In fact, the Charger reminded me of the base Mustang and FR-S. Confused? Toyota’s mission with the FR-S was supposed to be a car to explore RWD dynamics without breaking the bank. Know what? That’s actually the Charger. Starting at $27,995, it’s only $1,000 more than an automatic FR-S and $2,000 more than a V6 Mustang with the auto. Unlike the FR-S, you get a power seat, dual-zone climate control, the 7-inch LCD in the gauge cluster, a much snazzier radio, three extra gears in your transmission and usable back seats. Will it dance around an autocross track like an FR-S? No, but you have almost as much fun and still use the car on the school run. Our R/T Road and Track tester was the same sort of thing taken to the next level.

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Exterior-003

All versions of the Charger deliver a civilized ride thanks to the well designed suspension and a long wheelbase as much as the size and weight of the vehicle. As with all modern cars, electric power steering sucks some of the fun out of the RWD platform, but the boost is adjustable. And because the front wheels are only responsible for steering, you get considerably more feedback than in the FWD or AWD competition. Despite the heft, braking fade was well controlled, although distances are a little longer than I’d like due mostly to the tire sizes involved.

Compared to the SHO, the Charger has a more polished ride. The SHO has an enormous trunk and a more accommodating back seat. The SHO is all-wheel-drive which gives you better traction, but the Charger has better weight balance and more accurate feel on the road. Compared to the FWD competition, the Charger feels more substantial out on the road, more precise and certainly handles the corners with less drama. There’s no torque steer and surprisingly neutral handling even in the heavier 6.4L models.

21015 Dodge Charger RT Road and Track Exterior.CR2-005

At $42,265, our model as tested managed to be $1,000 less than a comparable Avalon Limited, $2,000 less than a Cadenza Limited and, although it was slightly more expensive than the Taurus SHO, it had about $1,800 more equipment. The Charger’s discount price tag honestly surprised me. I had expected our tester to be a few grand more than the SHO.

What should you buy?
I’m glad you asked. Skip the V6. What’s the point of going RWD if you’re going to get the V6? I wouldn’t get the 5.7L V8 either. If you like the 5.7, buy the Chrysler 300. It has a nicer interior, a few extra available features and I think the front end is more attractive. I wouldn’t buy the Hellcat either, because I know I’d be “that guy” who wrapped it around a tree 5 minutes after driving it off the dealer lot. I am, however, eternally grateful the engineers created the bat-shit-crazy 6.2L engine because it makes the 485 hp 6.4L HEMI seem like a rational and practical engine choice. When driven very gently on level highway at 65 mph, the 6.4L V8 can deliver 28 mpg thanks to cylinder deactivation. My fuel economy in the 6.4L engine hovered around 18, just 2 mpg shy of the last Avalon I tested (the 5.7L scored 19.5 over almost 700 miles). When driven like you stole it, massive wheel spin, effortless donuts and 4.1 second runs to 60 with one of the best soundtracks money can buy are the order of the day. When your maiden aunt asks why you needed nearly 500 horsepower, you can safely say you didn’t get the most powerful one. With logic like that, how can you go wrong?

FCA provided the vehicle, insurance, and one tank of fuel for this review.

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.05 Seconds

0-60: 5.0 Seconds

1/4 mile: 13.3 @ 114

Average fuel economy: 19.5 MPH over 678 miles

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62 Comments on “2015 Dodge Charger R/T Road and Track Review (With Video)...”


  • avatar
    Maymar

    Just as a moment of pedanticism, I’d call the LHS the pinnacle of the Lutz/Eaton era, not Iaccoca. By his time with Chrysler, Lee couldn’t find a vinyl roof he didn’t like, or a car he didn’t approve of being K-based. The Cab Forward era was really the next generation of Chrysler success.

  • avatar

    The way I see it, the V6 RWD, V6 with AWD and the SRT 392/ Hellcat models are all Chrysler really needs – even though sales data might say otherwise.

    The 5.7 HEMI doesn’t really make sense anymore in the cars unless it’s partnered with AWD – though they should always be optional in the crossovers and SUV/trucks.

    It’s for people who “want a V8” and can’t afford the SRT models. But the V6 provides just about all the power anyone would need for the average driving situation.

    A lot of guys supercharge or twin turbo their 5.7-L. It might make more sense to build a tuner-oriented Charger/ Challenger specifically for engine swaps or modding since the 392 and Hellcats are “collector cars”.

    There is only ONE other car on the market that offers the interior space, comparable engine power, daily driving enjoyment and technology for similar price – and it’s not from Ford or Lincoln…

    The Hyundai Genesis V6 AWD/ V8.

    Neither the SHO, Genesis, nor the Chevy SS have folding rear seats despite their large trunks. The Genesis has the best ride of all of them, but the Charger has better higher-speed handling.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      “The 5.7 HEMI doesn’t really make sense anymore.”

      I don’t know if this is the case (not owning a high HP car for some time), but maybe it’s about insurance rates?

      • 0 avatar

        When I say “it doesn’t make sense”, I mean that the V6 AWD with 8-speed is so good, that the V8 isn’t necessary. Especially when speed limits have been set so low to generate revenue.

        I feel that an “appropriately” sized engine should be used for specific cars. I drove the V6 with 8speed and was very impressed by it. Load it up with passengers and carge and it’s still strong enough for the majority of driving situations.

        Chrysler hasn’t produced a twin turbo V6 yet (maybe they should make a supercharged V6?). If Chrysler had a Twin turbo pentastar with 8-speed they wouldn’t need the 5.7-L at all. MKS and Taurus SHO are good daily drivers because of their TTV6 and AWD. Chrysler needs a comparable product. I drove the Maserati Ghibli and was impressed by its TTV6/AWD.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          I worry about the durability of TTV6 setups, and with cylinder deactivation on the V8, I see no fuel economy penalty, either.

          Wait a minute – you’re the HELLCAT guy, and you’re liking the V6? :-)

        • 0 avatar
          Spartan

          Ummm… I’m pretty sure the Taurus SHO has a fold down seat. I know because I’ve owned a Taurus SHO for the past five years and I folded down my seat just a few days ago. It folds 60/40.

      • 0 avatar
        agroal

        Wrong BouscheDags. The original 5.7 with 390 LB/FT of torque is still 390 LB/FT of torque. Go and get your nails done.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      The folding rear seats makes a great point when comparing those models. Makes a big difference for ever day livability.

      • 0 avatar

        One of my Uncles has a new 2013 MKS. His trunk is huge, but the entry angles for items are ridiculous. He tells me all the time he wished he’d had fold down seats like my 300 SRT.

        I was able to get a 50″ Vizio TV with thick boxing in the car and close the trunk.

        • 0 avatar
          cpthaddock

          No fold down rear seats and terrible entry angles are two of the reasons I’m genuinely baffled how anyone seriously uses the term “practical” and “sedan” in the same sentence.

          Re: “I worry about the durability of TTV6 setups”, the BMW N54 the modern poster child for these concerns, but have any other TTV6’s garnered an equally bad reputation?

        • 0 avatar
          TrailerTrash

          the first version of the MKS does have a weird opening into the huge trunk. This was fixed with the 2014 design, I believe.
          The Taurus never had this problem and always had a large opening.
          And the 4 CuFt is really substantial. Again, this RWD love has to at least recognize the problems that come built in if we have to always accept the “performance” pluses.
          The long damned hoods and short trunks are nothing to just breeze over.
          There is a reason for FWD.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      The 5.7 is for regular folks who want a V8 but not the full SRT hard-suspension version.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        +1.

        I test drove a SRT8 Charger before getting my R/T and the engine was awesome but depending on the drive settings, the ride on it ranged from “Scion Tc” to “the suspension is actually concrete”. On the other hand, the R/T’s ride was right in line with the Impala, 300, and last-gen Genesis.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        Exactly. The R/T and similar models allow one to get V8 power but still have a comfortable suspension that won’t kill them going over potholes.

        Personally, it’s the trim I would pick. Hard susupensions suck.

        • 0 avatar
          SC5door

          Not to forget that you can probably pick up a base R/T for around $30K if you can deal right if you’re not a fan of leather seats.

          For what you pay, I don’t know why Chrysler makes you pay extra for a backup camera and rear park assist.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        +++

        The R/T Charger with any V8 is more Cadillac than anything Cadillac makes.

        This is even more true of the Chrysler 300, given the much better interior design/materials.

        Anyone surprised by such a statement obviously hasn’t driven in a cheap feeling, 4 banger (or 6 cylinder, IF you luck out in Cadillac’s estimation), harsh riding, cheaply finished (gauges, materials), cramped (incredibly so in rear of ATS and CTS), unreliable, incredibly overpriced ATS, CTS or XTS.

        Cadillac should $hitcan Johan, source Chrysler 300s from Chrysler, rebadge them as Cadillacs, and watch sales SOAR.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          >> The R/T Charger with any V8 is more Cadillac than anything Cadillac makes

          Someone at Cadillac may have figured things out. The Entourage preview at arigoldisback.com doesn’t have Ari chasing an ATS. It’s the best Cadillac ad in quite some time. Too bad you can’t actually buy the product or anything like it from Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar

          “Cadillac should $hitcan Johan, source Chrysler 300s from Chrysler, rebadge them as Cadillacs, and watch sales SOAR.”

          Hatespeech

    • 0 avatar
      johnny_5.0

      I’m surprised every time you share this opinion given your predilection for street racing anything you believe is trying to challenge your street dominance.

  • avatar
    shaker

    0-60 in 7.0s for a 4000lb car with a V6? That’s quite respectable actually. I suspect that the MPG would still be less than the competition’s somewhat lighter FWD offerings.

    I’m not fond of the “I go fast” treatment of the flanks – it looks like a ’53 Ford…

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I remain unconvinced that the mouth-breathers and mullets who are attracted to cheap powah and nazi red/black interior schemes would ever cross-shop an Avalon.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I don’t think so either. This Charger really only compares to the Taurus SHO. The MKS, regular Taurus, Avalon, Impala, LaCrosse and 300 are for different, more quiet people.

      The Charger is what the people who have Magnum Wagons wish they could drive. Until their Magnum Wagon breaks down and they buy a previous gen Charger in rental-spec trims, and rent some wheels for it.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Great review. I still think the V6 is competitive. Not just the V8’s. And I don’t see to many Avalon driver’s cross shopping a Dodge Charger. Many Avalon drivers are truly just older Toyota drivers that would never step foot in a American branded automobile. Matured Camry driver. To put it nicely.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d take a Genesis over an Avalon. Most Toyota buyers would never cross-shop the Genesis because they’d never bother to look. The Azera is also a better choice than the Avalon. I took a chick car shopping and she ended up going for the Azera (fully loaded) over the Avalon similarly equipped because the cost was considerably lower.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Nice video review, Alex – you hit most (if not all) of the salient points in 10 minutes!

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    “R/T and R/T Road and Track trims”

    Doesn’t Dodge use “R/T” to denote “road and track”? “R/T Road and Track” is redundant then?

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yeah, it even has a PIN number and a ATM machine. Sounds like the written-out version gets a shorter rear gear.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      No.

      Dodge has an R/T and R/T Road and Track trim level of the car. Road and Track adds more options on top of the base R/T, sorta like on the Challenger you can get an SXT and SXT Plus.

      • 0 avatar
        nrd515

        When I was shopping for my Charger R/T in late 2007, I told the dealer I specifically did not want the “Road and Track” trim for one reason only, I didn’t like the seats in the “R and T”, as far as I know, they’re the SRT seats without the logo on them. I don’t like them at all. When the Challenger R/T Scat Pack was announced, I was happy as I wouldn’t have to swap the seats to get the 6.4 motor like I would have had to if I would have bought an SRT. A friend of mine didn’t pay attention and nearly bought an “R and T” trimmed charger from an out of state dealer when he bought a 2009 Charger for his wife.

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    I wasn’t a fan of this new car’s nose when it debuted, but it’s grown on me. It looks evolved, rather than soft.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      When they first introduced the racetrack rear lights back in ’10 or ’11, I approached my rental from the back and was shocked to see that the front third appeared unchanged over the original. It was as if Chrysler’s budget ran out with the job partly done. Now, whether you like it or loathe it, the Charger looks genuinely updated all round.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    LX platform, one of my all time favorite sedan platforms when properly equipped.

  • avatar
    raph

    No wonder FCA owns the domestic RWD 4dr sedan segment.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      That segment is small enough that there is room for one manufacturer to do well in it. Anyone else would end up being an afterthought in the market. Probably why Ford never bothered to make a Mustang-based sedan after the Crown Vic and its kin expired.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I own a ’14 Charger R/T and I generally agree with everything that Alex brought up in the review that is applicable to both model years.

    I will say that I found the ride on the 6.4L-equipped cars to be TERRIBLE so if that hasn’t been addressed on the ’15 refresh I wouldn’t go with one unless you are okay with a much harsher ride. I also didn’t find the 300 to really have that much nicer of an interior to justify a higher price tag plus the ride and the road/interior noise seemed about the same as on the Dodge. Finally, although the Pentastar/8A combo is nice I did notice the power difference in the V8 cars.

    I cross-shopped with the Taurus SHO, Genesis R-spec sedan (used), Charger SRT8 (used), 300C V6, Impala LTZ, and Kia Cadenza. I really liked the Genesis sedan (in fact I liked the last gen more than the new one) but the user-interfaces in the Hyundai were a freaking joke compared to what everyone else offered. It also seems like they were only bought in black, gray, or silver. FWIW, if I had the cash at the time I would have bought the Chevy SS probably without even testing anything else.

    Now the major problem with my car (and I know that I am just one data point) is that the build quality on this thing is AWFUL. Like mid-90s F-body bad. So awful that I doubt I’ll keep the car for very long. And let’s keep in mind that most vehicles I’ve owned in my life are GM cars built between ’85-’99 so I’m not coming from a Lexus here.

    A week after owning it the car started pulling right, I took it to the dealer and was told that all four wheels were out of alignment. It still pulls to the right after the alignment so I expect this to be an ongoing issue. The keyless door entry fails about 20% of time and the keyless start fails to work about 10% of the time. Dealer claims both systems are fine and I need to take the key out of my pocket when starting the car and opening the doors (which seems to defeat the purpose of the system). Three of the door panels rattle at the lock plunger over bumps and at higher speeds. The dashboard creaks and pops. The seats creak when entering and exiting (dealer sprayed some lubricant on them, noise went away for only a week). When I use the window washer there is some weird mechanical echo in the dash (dealer says it is fine). Glue is seeping from the window seals (WTF?). The gear indicator on the console is already starting to get faded and cracked (car is garaged, tinted, and uses a sunshade). One of the plastic panels under the hood is warping. It also still outgasses like a ’04 Galant.

    Granted, none of these issues have left me stranded or anything but that isn’t really my reliability expectation on a ’14 car.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Interesting. I’ve had a ’13 and ’15 Lx cars and experienced none of this. The most I’ve run into was a blown out speaker, which I may have helped out with.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @ajla

      Do you tend to keep the key in the same pocket as your phone? I had similar issues with the keyless go in my BMW, keeping the key and phone in separate pockets solved it completely. Didn’t matter which pocket.

      • 0 avatar
        cpthaddock

        Modern, large smart phones will easily block smart key signals when stored together. If this happens to you, don’t be too “enthusiastic” about jiggling the contents of your pocket to free the signal – it could be misinterpreted as pocket billiards.

      • 0 avatar
        badreligion702

        Strange, I have a 2014 328i with comfort access and keep the key in my pocket with my phone, and have had zero issues with it.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @badreligion702

          Your car is a generation newer than mine.

          I had the issue with both my previous iPhone 4 and current Nexus5, and many similar reports on the e9x forums. Will be interesting to see if it is an issue on my f22 when I get it – hopefully not if you are not seeing it with an f3x.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I keep my key and phone in separate pockets.

        I do keep the key in the same pocket as my wallet and use my left pocket so maybe that had something to do with it. I haven’t had a problem since I started taking the key out. It isn’t the end of the world or anything but it does seem to defeat the purpose of the system.

    • 0 avatar
      340-4

      My ’14 SXT AWD has been flawless – almost 20k miles and not one issue found or surfaced. Haven’t seen anything you have described.

      32 mpg on the highway in 2wd mode to boot.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Although I have always loved these cars, they have issues.
    Alex breezes by the fact the SHO has AWD and thus really blows the doors off the car MPG wise.
    And hell…4 CuFt is really substantial, no?
    The government says this car will cost 3 grand more to own fuel wise over 5 years. Ad tis is NOT with AWD. Which you cannot even have.
    But I do love their sedans…although not the views from the high belt line

  • avatar
    LectroByte

    The reason so many folks like SUVs and Crossovers these days is because of cars like this. As huge as it seems to be when trying to drive it in city traffic, 4 adults and their luggage are out of the question, and you can’t see out of it.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    The problem with the SHO is that fuel economy in the real world is notably lower than the 5.7L V8 in the Charger and actually quite similar to the 6.4L. This isn’t unique to me or to TTAC, the disappointing fuel economy in 3.5L EcoBoost models has been widely criticized by owners as well.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I am stunned to read a legitimate, factually correct criticism of the ecoboost lineup of motors (if only one of many) by you, and genuinely welcome more meritorious criticisms of things automotive in your future reviews, which have been rather sadly lacking for the most part.

      • 0 avatar
        Alex L. Dykes

        Not sure what you mean, I have never achieved the EPA numbers in any Ecoboost model. Ever. I like the Ford engines and I’d buy one, but that’s mainly because I don’t really care much about fuel economy.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I get stated economy on my MkT 3.5EB and also done so with an Edge 2.0T. Everything else though….

          I actually get better FE with the 3.5TT in the MkT than I do with the 2.3T in the MKC.

  • avatar
    pb35

    I love my ’12 R/T R&T, now with 25k on the clock. It’s been relatively trouble-free thus far though I’ve had some brake issues (these are the heavy duty brakes that come with the R&T package, or Suoer Track Pak). I just had to replace the front pads/rotors and have the rears cut. Otherwise, it’s still tight, quick and rattle free.

    Alex definitely has it right though, I love the car and am about to factory order an SRT 392. I want the Laguna leather package, the Harmon Kardon audio system and the Torqueflite 8-spd. I also want something other than black/black, not sure what I was thinking there living in Texas and all.

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    Alex, are you sure that trap speed isn’t from a 6.4 that you tested? That’s right in line with a Scat Pack, and much faster than I’ve seen from the 5.7 elsewhere. Thanks for the review.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    I love the Charger but to say the current Impala’s interior is on par with it is simply incorrect. I have sat in and driven both and the new generation Impala is hands down a nicer place to spend time, has nicer interior materials with more color contrast, a more attractive dash with the neat hide away storage behind the touch screen and feels more solid. The Charger in contrast almost always seems to come in only black unless you go for the higher end RT with it’s garish red seat inserts, the dash looks bland and rubbery and the SE models just look plain cheap. The Impala also has the edge on rear seat room and a noticeably larger trunk. I agree that the Charger drives a bit better than it’s FWD competition but that is let down by sub par front seats that grow tiresome on long drives.
    Also low 7 second 0-60 times were easily obtainable with the 3.6 and 5 speed transmission and 6.3-6.4 times are more in line with the RWD Charger from my observations.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I will let everyone else judge the following statement: If you truly believe that the current Malibu has a good, let alone great, interior, you are delusional beyond words.

      I don’t even think the Charger’s interior is anything write home about (the 300’s is much better), yet it is way better than the Malibu’s, which is atrocious.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    “If you truly believe that the current Malibu has a good, let alone great, interior, you are delusional beyond words.”

    I’m not sure where you got “Malibu” from the post you were responding to, which contains the word “Impala” three times and the word “Malibu” nowhere.

    For the record, I agree with the original poster that the Epsilon Impala’s interior beats that of rental-spec Chargers hands down. If you get a LTZ it’s competitive with the better-finished interior in the 300.

    Edit: Intended as a reply to DeadWeight at 12:09 a.m.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      My bad.

      I have for a long time, for whatever reason, been confusing Malibu and Impala by name only (not the actual vehicles).

      I agree that the new Impala has the better interior over the Charger, aside from the Impala’s awful steering wheel.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    If I lived in a place like Houston with nothing but wide straight flat roads, I’d be seriously interested in a SRT 392. Garish interior and all. The powertrain is just out of this world fantastic.

    Unfortunately, it’s surrounded by 4300 lbs. of high-beltline, poorly-packaged pork. The car is just too big, heavy, and unwieldy for either its amount of interior volume or the real-life roads in my hilly and twisty part of the country.

  • avatar
    JEFFSHADOW

    The next catch phrase:

    2018 Buick RWD Grand National

    daz all…

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    What’s the final drive gears, or optional choices. Is limited-slip standard or optional. No manual trans?

    • 0 avatar
      pb35

      I believe 2.73s are standard with 3.06s included with the Road and Track package. The difference is noticeable off the line, the dealer gave me a standard R/T to drive for a weekend because mine wasn’t ready when I bought it. I’m happy I got the R/T R&T.

      No manual trans available in the Charger. Also, you can get Sepia Laguna Leather in the SRT 392 and Hellcat as an option if you don’t like black seats or red inserts. The Sepia is like a baseball glove brown and very high quality semi-aniline leather.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “rubbing elbows with some classy company.”

    Well put, you’re really getting into the mindset of the Charger owner here.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Here’s my main issues with this car (same issues as the first generation) putting aside the people who buy them.

    -Door handles look extremely cheap, plain, and old to my eyes, like they’re off an old Cirrus or something.

    http://images.gtcarlot.com/pictures/38784576.jpg

    -Side trims on the window are both too chunky (reads cheap and unbalanced) and matte. Draws the attention to the overall shape of the side windows, which is not necessary in a car this shape when it’s got plenty of other interesting details going on.


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