Although the full-size sedan segment continues to shrink, Dodge’s bold Charger remains a popular mainstay. It offers lots of style, impressive equipment and a roomy cabin, all at an affordable price. And now, the 2015 Dodge Charger has been updated with several major revisions that stop just short of a full redesign. What’s changed with the Charger for the 2015 model year? We’ve rounded up all the updates to help you understand the key differences between the latest Charger and last year’s model.
Although the Charger isn’t fully redesigned for 2015, its exterior styling is so dramatically updated that you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is. The front end is entirely new, offering a narrower grille and narrower headlights that give the car a more aggressive look. In back, new taillights and turn signals also take a narrower shape. And the Charger boasts new wheel designs. Sure, the Charger still retains its same general profile, but with so many major updates, distinguishing between the outgoing model and the new one will be easy with just a quick glance.
Although changes to the Charger’s interior don’t quite go as far as updates to the sedan’s exterior styling, the 2015 Charger still boasts some revisions worth noting. There are more upscale materials, for instance, along with redesigned climate controls, a new shift lever, a new steering wheel, and a totally new LCD screen gauge cluster. There are also some slight revisions to the dashboard design. But while those updates may sound far-reaching, they aren’t as exhaustive as you might think. Anyone familiar with last year’s Charger will have no trouble quickly acquainting to the new 2015 model.
The 2015 Charger offers several major updates under the hood compared to last year’s model. Base models carry over mechanically, offering a 292-horsepower V6 that’s mated to an 8-speed automatic and standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.
But there are some big changes to V8-powered Charger models. For one, the standard 5.7-liter HEMI V8 ditches last year’s subpar 5-speed automatic in favor of a smoother, more efficient 8-speed. But it also loses optional all-wheel drive, going instead with mandatory rear-wheel drive for the 2015 model year. Meanwhile, SRT models gain 15 hp, increasing from 470 hp to a muscular 485.
There’s no greater change, however, than the addition of the all-new Charger Hellcat, a 707-hp super sedan that offers a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and 650 lb-ft of torque. It’s one of the fastest sedans on the road, and it nicely complements the coupe-only Dodge Challenger Hellcat, which is also new for 2015.
Features & Technology
Although last year’s Charger was hardly a dinosaur in the world of features and equipment, the new model adds even more of the latest in luxury car gadgets and options. For instance, the new Charger offers a lane-departure warning system and a lane-keeping assist system, neither of which were available in last year’s Charger. The new model also adds a revised forward-collision alert system with automatic braking capability.
Other high-end options, including heated rear seats, automatic high beams, ventilated front seats and Chrysler’s excellent 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system, were already available in last year’s Charger. As a result, you’ll want to strongly examine your priorities to figure out exactly whether you really want the new features offered by the latest model, or whether you can make do with the myriad of gadgets and equipment offered by the outgoing Charger.
Although the Charger has coupled major exterior styling and powertrain revisions with minor interior and technology upgrades, the sedan’s driving experience hasn’t really changed from 2014 to 2015. That’s not a demerit, though. We like the Charger’s relatively smooth ride, poised handling, palatial interior room and increasingly sharp steering feel. Still, if you liked last year’s Charger, you’ll also like the 2015 model, and we suspect you won’t notice many major on-road differences between the two.
While the new Charger has not yet been crash-tested by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), last year’s model earned a perfect 5-star rating. We have no reason to suspect that the 2015 Charger will score any differently, given that the sedan hasn’t undergone any serious structural changes. As for the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Charger has generally scored well in the agency’s tests, although the sedan has not yet submitted to the difficult small-overlap front crash test.
When it comes to safety equipment, any recent Charger is at the forefront of the full-size sedan segment. Last year’s model, for instance, offered standard side-curtain airbags, a blind spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and a forward-collision alert system. The 2015 Charger touts even more features, adding lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and an automatic braking function for the forward-collision alert system. Is it worth paying extra for a new Charger that includes these upgrades over last year’s model, which doesn’t? That’s up to you, depending on how much you prioritize safety features and high-tech gadgets.
The 2015 Dodge Charger offers some serious updates in several major areas, from its exterior styling to its powertrain, to a few new gadgets and features. But the old Charger was hardly outdated, having been overhauled only a few short years ago. So is the new model worth paying a little extra for? We think it depends on how much you like the changes to this year’s Charger as well as what kind of deal you can get on an outgoing 2014 model.