2017 Chevrolet Impala vs. 2017 Dodge Charger: Compare Cars

October 7, 2016
2016 Chevrolet Impala

2016 Chevrolet Impala

Enlarge Photo

The formula for the full-size sedan is pretty simple. It has to be spacious and comfortable, and a reasonable price wouldn't hurt, either. The Chevrolet Impala and Dodge Charger fit that bill.

Each takes a different route to that destination, though. With the Impala, Chevy opts for front-wheel drive and 4-cylinder or V-6 power, while the Dodge Charger goes with rear- or all-wheel drive and V-6 or V-8 power. Both work well, but which is best for you? Let's dig deeper to find out.

Both cars are equally attractive. The Impala's crisply themed sheet metal has a bit of Mercedes CLS in its rear quarters. Most cars are best approached from the front, but the elegance and sophistication of the Impala is best appreciated from the rear. Inside, the dash is ambitious, if not quite as unified. The designers shaved away unneeded dash below the beltline, but the chorus of lines, textures, and materials needs a more muted approach.

2016 Chevrolet Impala

2016 Chevrolet Impala

Enlarge Photo
2016 Chevrolet Impala

2016 Chevrolet Impala

Enlarge Photo
2016 Chevrolet Impala

2016 Chevrolet Impala

Enlarge Photo

The Charger combines elements of old muscle car styling with a modern aesthetic. The Coke-bottle shape is right out of the '60s, but the car also has the short overhangs and large wheels of a modern performance sedan. The cabin features subtle surfacing, contrasting matte metallic framing accents, and plenty of soft-touch materials.

Powertrains and performance

Performance a point in the Charger's favor, mostly because it offers V-8 power and some high-performance models.

Nonetheless, with its 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, the Impala is a sleek, athletic performer. It accelerates to 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds. Handling and comfort are balanced, and the ride is damped extremely well. Base Impalas carry a 196-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 that moves the car along smartly enough under most circumstances but struggles during hard acceleration.

MORE: Read our latest reviews of the 2017 Chevrolet Impala and 2017 Dodge Charger

The Charger's base 3.6-liter V-6 puts out 292 hp. It's all you need for keeping ahead of traffic and offers similar performance to the Chevy V-6. One step up from there is the R/T, with its 370-hp 5.7-liter V-8. The 5.7 starts to make the Charger feel like a muscle car.

Buyers can also opt for a pair of models with a 485-hp 6.4-liter V-8 that can vault the Charger from 0 to 60 mph in the mid four-second range, as well as the ridiculous 707-hp SRT Hellcat. The Hellcat accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds on its way to a holy-rolling top speed of 204 mph.

On V-8 models, the Charger's ride quality is on the firm side, but quite comfortable, until you tighten down the Hellcat's dampers. Base models have a springy feel and lots of body lean.

2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in Go Mango

2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in Go Mango

Enlarge Photo
2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in Go Mango

2016 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat in Go Mango

Enlarge Photo
2015 Dodge Charger

2015 Dodge Charger

Enlarge Photo

Of course, all that power comes at a penalty to fuel economy. With the 5.7, the Charger returns a mediocre 16/25/19 mpg. The 6.4 is rated at 18 mph combined and the Hellcat gets 16 mpg combined.

The V-6 models offer very similar fuel economy, though. The Impala is rated at 19/29/22 mpg, while the V-6 Charger returns 19/31/23 mpg. The most fuel efficient of the group is the 4-cylinder Impala, which gets EPA ratings of 22/31/25 mpg.

Interior comfort and quality

We give the nod to the Impala for interior comfort and quality. The front seats are supportive, and space is vast through the back seat, except in headroom. The trunk is large at 18.8 cubic feet. Despite some quality materials, the Impala's busy look keeps the cabin from feeling upscale.

2017
The Car Connection
See the winners »
2017
The Car Connection
 
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
Related Head to Head
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from the site. I can withdraw my consent at any time by unsubscribing.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.