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- Highs Available Hemi muscle, good handling for its size, long list of standard and optional features.
- Lows Not as plush as some rivals, middling ride comfort, unimpressive interior quality.
- Verdict The 2018 Dodge Charger's strong suit is its ability to serve as a practical family-hauler or a tire-smoking muscle car, depending on how it's equipped.
The Charger can compete with pony cars at the drag strip and with full-size sedans on family road trips, offering a combination of machismo and functionality at a reasonable price. The standard V-6 and choice of optional Hemi V-8 engines share a superb eight-speed automatic transmission, but only the six can be partnered with all-wheel drive. Compared with near-luxury rivals, the Charger is a bit rough around the edges, but the result is an affordable muscle machine for the whole family.
What's New for 2018?
Dodge reshuffled the Charger lineup for 2018, with the SXT trim replacing the base SE; the SXT Plus, GT, and GT Plus join the ranks, too. The GT line has gloss-black front-end features and standard 19-inch wheels. The list of standard equipment expands to include a backup camera, rear parking sensors, and an updated 7.0-inch Uconnect infotainment system. A set of red Brembo brake calipers is now optional on the Charger R/T Scat Pack and Daytona 392. New paint colors are F8 Green and IndiGO Blue.
- SXT: $30,390
- GT: $34,390
- R/T: $36,890
- Daytona: $40,390
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Charger models share an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is only available on the V-6 model. The standard 3.6-liter V-6 develops a decent 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, with peak outputs increasing to 300 horses and 264 lb-ft with the optional Rallye Group package. The Hemi-powered Chargers generate 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque (5.7-liter V-8) and 485 ponies and 475 lb-ft (6.4-liter V-8). Both accelerate on demand, can easily roast the rear tires, and sing a glorious ode to the muscle-car gods—the 6.4 just does it with more authority. Despite its size, the Charger can be surprisingly athletic on the road, although ride quality and general comfort both take a hit when outfitting a car this size for better handling. The ride is quiet and composed, and the big-bodied sedan is remarkably balanced when cornering.
EPA fuel economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest and most accurate fuel economy numbers on current and older vehicles, we use the U.S. Department of Energy's fueleconomy.gov website. Under the heading "Find & Compare Cars" click on the "Compare Side-by-Side" tool to find the EPA ratings for the make, model, and year you're interested in.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Charger’s interior is highly functional yet not very luxurious, and apart from excellent rear-seat legroom, its passenger space is slightly below average. But options are plentiful. The Charger Daytona we tested was fitted with embroidered seats wrapped in faux suede and leather. The front buckets had extra bolstering that was supportive but intrusive after long periods. It also had premium touches such as illuminated cupholders, a power-adjustable steering wheel, heated and cooled front seats, and heated rear seats. While its trim finishes resembled scuffed-up metal that matched the car’s vibe, the interior’s uneven panel gaps and middling quality diminished the cabin’s ambiance. Still, the Charger is a terrific travel companion, with useful interior storage space and a large trunk that can hold the most carry-ons among its rivals.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Every Charger has a version of Fiat Chrysler’s excellent Uconnect infotainment system. That means standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as part of a 7.0-inch or 8.4-inch touchscreen interface. Models equipped with a heated steering wheel and heated or cooled seats can only activate those features through the touchscreen. There's an optional navigation system, and audiophiles will appreciate the available 552-watt, 10-speaker BeatsAudio sound system.
Safety Features and Crash Test Ratings
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer's Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer's CPO program.