Shawntey Hinton: A year after its first major redesign, the 2012 Dodge Charger carries over its retro sheetmetal, powerful engines and modern technology, making it so much more than your average full-size sedan.
Jonny Loquasto: Since its reintroduction in 2006, the four-door Charger has been walking the fine line between genuine muscle car and Dad’s favorite rent-a-car. The 2011 model year brought deeper, sharper, race-inspired styling and improved power.
Shawntey: Now for 2012, the five-passenger Charger is offered in four trims, ranging from comfort-oriented V6 sedans to genuine old school V8 muscle cars.
Jonny: And for improved ride and handling, all Chargers feature a retuned front suspension and an independent multi-link rear suspension.
Shawntey: When shopping for a Charger, you’ll need to consider what features are important to you. The base SE model includes such standard equipment as a USB audio port, dual zone air conditioning and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
Jonny: The mid-range R/T we have here adds remote start, heated mirrors and an upgraded sound system with an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, plus Bluetooth and satellite radio. Some recommended options include blind spot and cross path detection, rain-sensitive wipers, Garmin navigation, a backup camera and a power sunroof.
Shawntey: New for 2012 is the muscle-bound SRT8, fitted with a monstrous 6.4-liter Hemi V8 sending 470 horsepower to the rear wheels through a five-speed automatic.
Depending on what model selected, the Charger comes equipped with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive and a five-speed or eight-speed automatic transmission. The base model SE and XXT come equipped with 292-horsepower 3.6-liter V6.
Jonny: The R/T comes with Dodge’s iconic 5.7-liter Hemi V8 making a respectable 370 horsepower. Now the V6 offers terrific fuel economy for a car this size, especially with the eight-speed automatic. Even the V8s get a decent fuel economy considering how powerful they are. Now although the five-speed automatic doesn’t seem to maximize a Hemi V8’s output, it still has enough power to the pavement to please most enthusiasts.
Shawntey: The 2012 Charger delivers plenty of car for the dollar. With prices starting at just over $25,000 maxing out to the mid-40s, it’s well positioned to win over its buyers on a budget who are looking for a well-equipped American sedan.
Jonny: With the 2012 Dodge Charger, Dodge continues to blend retro styling with modern technology in a car designed to please both daily driver and driving enthusiast alike.