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2019 Dodge Charger Review

Because Dodge doesn’t seem to fit into Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ future game plan, it just keeps tinkering around the edges of vehicles like the 2019 Dodge Charger. Last year, the number of trim levels shot up to 10. This year it’s back to a more manageable five or six (SXT AWD?). This may seem like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, but that’s not so. Dodge’s performance gurus just keep fine tuning this big sedan’s performance pieces. If there is one thing Dodge knows, it’s performance. That’s why there are three progressively more potent V8s in addition to the 292-horsepower V6 that’s standard on the lower trim levels.

There are big sedans out there that are more upscale, but none that can deliver the Charger’s range of performance at its price point.

What’s New for 2019?

Dodge radically streamlined its trim levels from 10 grades last year to five or six for 2019. The Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat receive performance updates, including Launch Assist and line lock (for performing burnouts). The SRT Hellcat also gets Torque Reserve and After-Run Chiller to cool down the supercharger as standard. The Scat Pack gets new performance options including 3-mode Bilstein adaptive damping suspension. AWD is available on the SXT only. GT and R/T trims get more standard performance gear like performance suspension and Bilstein shocks. A number of other new options are spread around the different grades.  See the 2019 Dodge Charger models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Distinctive styling and overall character
  • Glorious V8 engines
  • Huge interior space for a car of its performance potential
  • User-friendly and feature-rich infotainment system

What We Don’t

  • Less spacious, luxurious, comfortable and refined than other nonperformance full-size sedans

How Much?

$30,715-$68,740

Fuel Economy

The 2019 Dodge Charger is available with multiple engine options. All come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive.

The base 3.6-liter V6 offers 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, Fuel economy is 19 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in combined driving. With AWD it drops some to 18 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/21 mpg combined.

The R/T uses a 5.7-liter V8 good for 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. It returns 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined.

Next up, the Scat Pack has a 6.4-liter V8, touting 485 hp and 475 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy/18 mpg combined.

Finally, the Charger SRT Hellcat has a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 good for an absurd 707 hp and 650 lb-ft of torque. It gets just 13 mpg city/22 mpg hwy/16 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

For 2019, the Charger is offered in five (or six, depending on how you count them) trim levels: SXT (SXT AWD), GT, R/T, Scat Pack and SRT Hellcat. All prices include the $1,495 factory destination charge. SRT Hellcat’s price also includes the $1,700 gas guzzler tax.

The base-level Charger SXT ($30,715) comes standard with the 3.6-liter engine, dual rear exhaust, remote start, cruise control, push-button start, a capless fuel filler, automatic halogen projector headlamps, LED daytime running lamps, 17-in silver painted wheels, dual-zone manual climate control, an 8-way power passenger seat, a 6-way power driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, a tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry, a 6-speaker audio system with multi USB ports, Uconnect 4 with 7-in display, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto and satellite-radio capability. The SXT AWD ($34,815) comes with a different front axle, heated outboard mirrors, rear spoiler, upgraded disc brakes, an 8.4-in touch screen, Uconnect 4C infotainment interface, as well as AWD.

To the SXT you can add the Technology Group, which adds automatic wipers, automatic high beams, a power-adjustable steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning. Optional on all but the SRT Hellcat is the Driver Confidence Group with blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, power heated outboard mirrors and HID projector headlights. Other extras include a sunroof, an Alpine Audio system, integrated navigation and the Sport Leather Seat package that adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats. Available as an option on all grades is Uconnect 4C with navigation.

The GT ($32,990) builds on the SXT AWD (minus the AWD) with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, performance suspension, projector LED fog lights, 20-in alloy wheels and cloth performance seats. The GT has basically the same available option packages as SXT plus the Performance Handling Group with black Brembo brakes, high-performance suspension and 20-in forged black wheels.

The R/T ($37,490) is equipped similarly to the GT, but has the 5.7-liter HEMI V8, electronically tuned active exhaust and 160-mph speedometer. Optional on the R/T and Scat Pack is the Daytona Edition Group with leather/Alcantara seats, cold intake, blind spot monitoring, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel and various Daytona badging. Available to R/T and higher grades is a 19-speaker Harman Kardon upgraded audio system. It shares many of the same option packages as the lower grades.

The Scat Pack ($41,490) builds on the base-level R/T, adding 6.4-liter HEMI V8, all the features in GT’s Performance Handling Group, matte black rear spoiler, an 180-mph speedometer, SRT Performance Pages, memory for driver’s seat/radio presets/outboard mirrors, heated steering wheel, a larger rear axle, upgraded differential, bigger engine-cooling capacity, launch assist, launch control and line lock.

For drivers who want the last word in sedan performance, there’s the Charger SRT Hellcat ($68,740). It comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI V8, after-run chiller, six-piston front Brembo brakes, red brake calipers, intercooler system, performance-tuned steering, competition suspension, HID projector headlights, aluminum performance hood, features on the Driver Confidence Group, 20-in gloss-black alloy wheels, a 200-mph speedometer, ventilated leather seats and a premium leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel.

Note that many of the nonperformance extras included on upper trims are available within option packages on lower trims.

Safety

The 2019 Charger comes standard with all the safety features you’d expect, including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control and a rearview camera. Options include blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning systems, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning with automatic braking.

The federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Dodge Charger a top 5-star overall crash rating, along with 4-star frontal and 5-star side ratings. The Charger received Good marks in crash tests carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Its frontal-collision warning and prevention system also got a rating of Superior, but it got a Marginal rating in the challenging new small-overlap front crash test and a headlight rating of Poor.

Behind the Wheel

Because Charger grades often have uniquely tuned suspensions, they have dramatically different driving dynamics.

In general, the V6-powered Chargers skew toward a more comfort-oriented setup that nevertheless does fall short of other, more-luxurious and refined full-size sedans. Handling is also pretty ponderous. Handling improves moving up each rung of the suspension-tuning ladder, but no amount of suspension tuning can make the big, heavy Charger feel agile. As handling improves, ride comfort degrades.

Relative to other full-size sedans, the back seat isn’t as spacious and interior quality disappoints (the 8.4-in Uconnect touchscreen is always appreciated, however). However, it’s actually relatively enormous inside, Its comparatively rock-bottom pricing makes its otherwise unremarkable cabin far more palatable.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Dodge Challenger — If you like the Charger’s attitude and don’t need the extra doors, consider the Challenger coupe. It offers the same exuberant powertrains and an even bolder look.

2019 Chrysler 300 — The mechanically related Chrysler 300 is the Charger’s uptown sibling. That means you’ll pay more, but you’ll arguably get more. It’s also more in keeping with other full-size sedans.

2019 Kia Stinger— The new Stinger may not have the Charger’s range of muscle, but its impressive handling should appeal to those who like their performance car to take corners.

Used Dodge Charger — Want a Charger, but can’t afford a new SRT 392 or another of the high-powered upper trim levels? Well, that’s what used and certified pre-owned cars are for. Don’t count on getting a cheap Hellcat, though.

Autotrader’s Advice

The unique thing about the Dodge Charger is the unparalleled number of possible variations, but that does mean it can be tough to determine which is best for you. As such, we would at least make sure to try as many of them as possible, especially since you might find that you’re perfectly happy with one of the less-powerful engines. Even the base V6 is plenty powerful and with its Super Track Pack, still allows you to have a bit of fun. Find a Dodge Charger for sale

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