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Acceleration with the 2.7-liter is tepidCar and Driver »
“The 2010 Dodge Charger is available with four engines”Edmunds »
SRT8 is never at a loss for powerCars.com »
PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Acceleration with the 2.7-liter is tepid
Car and Driver
“The 2010 Dodge Charger is available with four engines”
SRT8 is never at a loss for power
The 2010 Dodge Charger is relatively docile in V-6 form despite its strong muscle-car looks. For a proper muscle-car driving experience—like the one in "The Dukes of Hazzard"—you will need to get either the R/T or SRT8 versions.
The 2010 Dodge Charger offers four very distinguishable engines. TheCarConnection.com is unimpressed with the V-6s through its research and driving experiences, though they find that the V-8s offer enough kick. ConsumerGuide states that the “SE models have a 178 horsepower 2.7-liter V-6 engine," while "optional on SE and standard on SXT is a 250 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6." Looking at the V-8 models, ConsumerGuide tells us that the "R/T models get a new version of Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V-8 with 370 horsepower, an increase of 30 horsepower over 2008 models," and the Dodge Chrysler "SRT8 has a 425-hp 6.1-liter Hemi V-8." Cars.com agrees with them, highlighting that "the SRT8 is never at a loss for power, and Dodge claims that it can run from zero to 60 mph in a little more than 5 seconds." Car and Driver says that "acceleration with the 2.7-liter is tepid, as the engine works hard to move the Charger," though Autoblog finds that "the 3.5-liter provided perfectly adequate acceleration." Car and Driver notes that "the larger V-6 moves the Charger with much more spirit than the base engine, but it will seem a bit slow if one samples the 5.7-liter Hemi V-8."
The benefit of all-wheel drive on a mid-size sedan is not lost upon reviewers when looking at the 2010 Dodge Charger. ConsumerGuide reviewers report that the base V-6s come with "a four-speed automatic transmission...while all-wheel drive versions have a five-speed." Cars.com is a fan of the V-8 transmission, hailing it a "cooperative five-speed automatic transmission that features Dodge's AutoStick clutchless-manual mode." On the other hand, they also find that "while the response is quicker than what you might find in a model of lesser performance, there's still too much shift lag." Automobile Magazine concurs, claiming that "the only real letdown is the five-speed automatic, which has a limited, awkward manumatic function and no sport mode. If only we could order this beast with the Challenger R/T's six-speed manual."
Fuel economy is where the Dodge Charger really lets everyone down; even though there are many modern updates on this latest model, fuel economy is still abysmal. The rear-wheel-drive 3.5-liter V-6 gets an estimated 16 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, which is the same as the V-8-powered Dodge Challenger. All-wheel-drive versions of the Charger suffer from even worse fuel economy.
It’s widely known in automotive circles that muscle cars lack the refined handling of German sports cars. The 2010 Dodge Charger does not conform to the heritage of muscle cars and wins over reviewers with impressive handling. ConsumerGuide finds that "these big cars aren't nimble in quick direction changes, but they have fine balance and grip in turns." ConsumerGuide is a fan of the ride, calling it "generally smooth and composed," whereas Automobile Magazine deems it "rough, but never unbearably harsh." Cars.com is a bigger fan with the Dodge Charger featuring "a more comfortable ride than expected—even on older, worn-out roads." Autoblog contends that "the only real complaint would be the no-feedback steering," whose "weighting seems entirely relative to the steering angle and not the cornering force." In terms of braking power, Cars.com is pleased to report that "these performance brakes shed speed quickly at the lightest touch of the brake pedal."
Performance is only worthwhile with the V-8s, but the handling is sharp, considering it's a muscle car.