The Dodge Charger is a big car.
Its shoulders are broad. Its hood stretches far out from the windshield. It glowers at other traffic through its wide-set headlights and sneering grill. The front doors open so far out that normal sized passengers need to hang out of the car to close them. The upright dash is thick and chunky.
The Charger commands respect when it motors down the road. It has presence. The Pitch Black paint and chrome wheels add to its menacing stance.
2015 Dodge Charger SXT AWD w/Rallye Group
|3.6L V-6||300hp @ 6,350 rpm||264 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm||8-speed automatic||$34,185|
It’s also a curious mix of old Chrysler and new Chrysler. The 8.4-inch Uconnect touchscreen and companion multi-function steering wheel are all new Chrysler, as are the instrument cluster and the asymmetric gear shifter. But they clash with the huge dash covered with thick but cheap-feeling rubber, the squared-off styling of the upper door panels, the pop-up door locks and the fragile operation of the turn signal stock, which are all very much old Chrysler.
The 2015 Dodge Charger SXT Plus that just arrived at TFL may not have a Hemi or Hellcat badge, but it does have a Rallye badge that means the stock Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6 has been bumped up to 300 horsepower. It may be down a few cylinders to the V-8s in the Charger range, but it’s a sweet engine. It propels the heavy beast with surprising alacrity and spins quickly up to 6,500 rpm during heavy acceleration.
It’s a gem of an engine and it’s well-matched to the 8-speed TorqueFlite transmission. It has a manual shift mode that’s in the proper racing pattern – back for upshifts, forward for downshifts – and redundant paddles on the steering wheel. It doesn’t shift especially quickly in manual mode, so it’s best to leave it in D and let the transmission do the work.
Driving down the road, the Charger never fails to show its size, but it doesn’t apologize for it either. It’s surprisingly nimble, with well-weighted steering and a good ride-handling balance.
Apart from the cheap-feeling dash and upper door panels, the interior is otherwise well appointed with two-tone leather seats and matching door inserts, leather steering wheel and the full Uconnect system. It also has all the power convenience features expected in a $38,475 vehicle and also has a blind spot warning system.
The test car also has all wheel drive, but a week of driving in August won’t showcase the capability of the system. Still, it’s a welcome addition and will put cold-climate buyers at ease.
Check out the full review of the 2015 Dodge Charger SXT Plus AWD Rallye here, and watch this TFLcar 0-60 mph video review of the non-Rallye 2015 Dodge Charger SXT: