The Dodge Charger can either be a reasonable V6-powered rental car or the most powerful production sedan in the world, depending on how you option it. What do you need to know before you buy a Dodge Charger? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
The combination of a proper RWD-biased layout and a V8 makes this the most ‘Merican car in the bunch and if you need a full-sized car and want something with rear-wheel-drive your options are this or the Chrysler 300, but the Chrysler 300 doesn’t come with a supercharged Hellcat V8.
Whereas cars like the Chevy Impala and Ford Taurus are rational choices, the Charger is going to always be an emotional one. It looks badass, with its refreshed front fascia and DEAL WITH IT wrap-around taillights, and it offers a crazy variety of power. Speaking of variety, there are so many trim levels of the Charger. Maybe too many. The same person who decided that you need an R/T and an R/T Road & Track trim for the Charger is probably the same person who decided the world needed a “light brown” and a “regular brown” M&M.
Starting on the base level you can get a very competent Pentastar V6 mated to a class-first eight-speed automatic transmission in either AWD or RWD trim. For more power you can get an R/T and step up to a 370 horsepower naturally aspirated V8 HEMI. If you need more more power get the Scat Pack or the SRT 392 with the 6.4-liter V8 and a hood scoop and 485 naturally aspirated power.
If you need more more more power get a Hellcat. That’s a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI with 707 horsepower that makes more power than any one human being needs in two cars, let alone one.
What’s New About The 2015 Dodge Charger:
The second generation LX Charger debuted for the 2011 model year with significant changes to the interior, powertrain, and body of its predecessor. Since its debut, this second generation muscle car has been revised quite dramatically. An 8-speed automatic became available in 2012 and later became standard on all trims. The SRT8 returned in 2012 boasting a massive 470 HP from its 6.4-liter V8. Then there were a few tweaks to trim levels here and there, but the big news was the introduction of the 707 HP Charger Hellcat for the 2015 model year, making the Charger the fastest sedan on earth.
The Charger is a powerhouse. Even the cheapest Charger available comes with almost 300 horses. The most expensive Charger, the Hellcat, adds an insane 415 stallions for a grand total of 707 HP.
The 5.7-liter and 6.4-liter Hemi V8s are no slouches though, punching out 370 and 485 stallions, respectively.
So if you want power, the Charger has got it. And even though there’s no manual transmission available, all of those horses get routed through a very slick 8-speed ZF automatic, which shifts quickly and does a good job at both keeping the engine in its power band and allowing for a nice, quiet low-rpm highway cruising.
2015 Dodge Challenger Engine Options
|Engine||Max Horsepower (hp)||Max Torque (lb-ft)|
292 @ 6350 rpm
|260 @ 4800 rpm|
|5.7L V8||370 @ 5250 rpm||395 @ 4200 rpm|
|6.2L Supercharged V8|
707 @ 6000 rpm
|650 @ 4000 rpm|
|6.4L V8||485 @ 6000 rpm||475 @ 4200 rpm|
Fuel economy may not be the Charger’s strong suit, thanks largely to the car’s big engines and high curb weight. But that 8-speed automatic really helps keep this two-ton beast from draining the world’s remaining oil deposits completely. Highway fuel economy on the base model is an impressive 31 MPG, while even the 707 HP behemoth manages 22 MPG on the freeway. Not terrible.
But combined fuel economy figures are pretty abysmal, ranging from only 16 to 23 MPG.
2015 Dodge Charger Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)
|3.6L V6||5.7L V8||6.4L V8||6.2L V8 |
|Fuel Economy - Auto||19/31/23 [2wd]|
All Chargers come with a five-link rear suspension, short and long arm front suspension, and all but the Hellcat come with electric power steering. Front disks are 12.6 inches on the base car, but those go all the way up to an enormous 15.4 inches on the SRT models. The rears range from 12.6 inches on the base car to 13.8 on the SRTs.
Chargers come in seven different flavors: SE, SXT, R/T, R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392, and SRT Hellcat.
- SE: Base model. Starts at $27,995. Notable standard features: 8-speed automatic transmission, 3.6-liter V6 engine, rear-wheel drive, cloth seats, air conditioning with dual zone temperature control, 7” instrument cluster display, 6-speaker audio system, proximity keyless entry, front and side airbags, cloth seats, power driver’s seat, automatic headlamps, power mirrors, 17” aluminum wheels. Notable options: all-wheel drive ($3,000); Popular Equipment Group: rear park assist, remote start, Satellite radio ($695); Power sunroof ($1,295+Popular Equipment Group); Sport Appearance Group: 18” aluminum wheels, wider performance tires, rear body-color spoiler ($995).
- SXT: Starts at $29,995. Notable standard features over SE: 18” wheels, Automatic temperature control, heated front cloth sport seats, power driver seat, 6 premium speakers with amplifier, remote start, 8.4” touchscreen display, satellite radio, gloss black grille. Notable options: all-wheel drive ($3,000); Premium Group: 10 speaker Beats audio system with 552-Watt amp, 20” wheels with wider tires, HID headlamps, heated second row seats and steering wheel, rear park assist, performance suspension, power driver and passenger seats, ventilated front Nappa leather sport seats ($5,995); Plus Group: 18”aluminum wheels, HID projector headlamps, heated second row seats and steering wheel, rear park assist, rear backup camera, power driver and passenger seats ($2,150); Technology Group: Adaptive cruise control, brake assist, automatic high beam control, blind spot and rear cross path detection, forward collision warning power adjustable pedals with memory, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, rain sensitive wipers ($1,995+Plus Group); Rallye Group: unique fascia, unique badging, 10-speaker Beats audio system with amp, 20” black wheels, wider tires, performance suspension ($1,495); 20-Inch Wheel Sport Appearance Package: 20” wheels, performance suspension, wider tires ($1,395); Navigation/Rear Back-Up Camera Group: Navigation, satellite radio, backup camera ($995); Driver Confidence Group: Blind spot and rear croth path detection, power folding rear mirrors, rear park assist, backup camera ($1,095).
- R/T: Starts at $33,595. Notable standard features over SXT: 5.7-liter V8, heavier duty 8-speed transmission, performance suspension, performance exhaust, performance brakes, Alcantara Suede/Nappa Leather performance seats, 20” wheels. Notable options: Plus Group ($2,150); Technology Group ($1,995+Plus Group); Driver Convenience Group ($1,095); Navigation/Rear Back-Up Camera Group ($995); Premium Group ($5,995); Wheels and Tunes Group: 20” polished aluminum wheels ($1,295).
- R/T Road & Track: Starts at $36,595. Notable standard features over R/T: Unique 20” wheels with black pockets, heavy duty brakes, memory for radio, driver seat and mirrors, heated second row seats and steering wheel, illuminated rear cup holders, rear park assist, ventilated front seats, power adjustable pedals and steering wheel, Notable options: Beats Audio Group: 10 speaker audio system with 552-Watt amplifier ($995); Driver Confidence Group: rear backup camera, rear park assist, blind spot and rear cross path detection, power heated memory folding mirrors ($795); Technology Group: adaptive cruise control with brake assist, automatic high beam control, blind spot and rear cross path detection, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, power heated memory mirrors, rain sensing wipers ($1,795); Navigation/Rear Back-Up Camera Group: GPS, satellite radio, backup camera ($995).
- R/T Scat Pack: Starts at $39,995. Notable standard features over R/T: 6.4-liter HEMI V8, performance brakes, hood scoop, limited slip differential, high performance suspension, cloth performance seats, Dodge Performance Pages, unique 20” wheels, rear backup camera. Notable options: Notable options: Beats Audio Group: 10 speaker audio system with 552-Watt amplifier ($995); Driver Confidence Group: rear park assist, blind spot and rear cross path detection, power heated memory folding mirrors ($595); Technology Group: adaptive cruise control with brake assist, automatic high beam control, HID headlamps, blind spot and rear cross path detection, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, rain sensing wipers ($1,995); Power sunroof ($1,195).
- SRT 392: Starts at $47,995. Standard features over R/T Scatpack: memory for radio, driver seat and mirrors, Brembo six piston calipers, active damping, Alcantara Suede/Nappa Leather performance seats, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, configurable drive modes, heated power adjustable steering wheel, HID headlamps, unique 20” wheels and wider tires. Notable Options: Harman Kardon Audio Group: 19-speaker audio system with amplifier and subwoofer ($1,995); Laguna Leather high performance seats ($1,895); Technology Group: Adaptive cruise control with brake assist, forward collision warning, auto high beam control, blind spot and rear cross path detection, rain sensitive wipers, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel ($1,595).
- SRT Hellcat: Starts at $63,995. Standard features over SRT 392: 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 engine, heavier duty 8-speed transmission, bigger rear axle, performance tuned hydraulic power steering, competition suspension, no ventilated front seats, unique 20” wheels. Notable options: Harman Kardon Audio Group: 19-speaker audio system with amplifier and subwoofer ($1,995); Laguna Leather high performance seats with ventilated front seats ($1,795);
There’s a John Oliver joke we love where he says that while the Chinese could make an inflatable BBQ pit for your pool they’d never come up with the idea and that’s what makes America great. While we told you to get the platform-mate Dodge Challenger with the Scat Pack we’re just going to go ahead and say screw it and say that you should buy the Hellcat if you can find one for sale. Why? Because it’s America and you still can. [Build Your Own]
MSRP: $27,995-$63,995 Top Speed: 204 MPH [6.2L]
Acceleration: ~3.2 to 60 [6.2L] MPG: 19 city/ 31 hwy / 23 combined [2wd 3.6L]
Engines: 3.6L V6, 5.7L V8, 6.4L V8, 6.2L Supercharged V8
Transmissions: 8-speed Automatic Curb Weight: ~3,930-4,370 pounds
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, RWD/AWD IIHS Rating: Not A Top Safety Pick
Photo credit: Dodge