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- Terrific V-8/rear-drive fun
- V-6 is reasonably powerful and efficient
- Ride and handling still impress
- Still, an appealing look
- Still has better infotainment than any Lexus
- V-8s are heavy and thirsty
- Low-buck base interior trim
- No V-8/AWD pairing
- In the running with the Nissan Frontier as the oldest vehicle on the market
- #5 in Large Cars
The 2018 Dodge Charger has aged remarkably well–and if it’s four-door muscle you need, few sedans deliver its performance thrill.
The 2018 Dodge Charger has seen the future, and it’s retro. While other four-door, full-size and mid-size sedans have leaned forward since the 2005 model year, the Charger remains the best kind of throwback, very true to its old-school form.
Think about it: There have been three generations of the Toyota Camry in the time the Charger’s been around, though a heavy refresh happened in 2015, and, as far as we can tell, there’s still no Camry Hellcat.
The 2018 Charger comes in so many trims and models, we think of them in groups: V-6 and V-8. You can have a Charger SXT with the former, or R/Ts and Hellcats with the latter, and spend anywhere from the mid-$20,000s to almost $70,000.
On the whole, we give the latest Charger a 7.2 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Charger’s Coke-bottle, wasp-waisted look continues to wear well. Is it even possible to see its shape as anything but American? The Malden-blunt nose and nubile roofline and LED-ringed rear end are a carnival of carnal knowledge. If only the basic Charger interiors could keep up with that, um, advanced pace. They’re Goth wannabes in basic, rubbery black. Spend a lot on pricey models and the Charger changes out its interior with warmer leather and metallic trim, with a few plasticky bits left unaltered.
V-6 Chargers have classic big-car compliance without keeling over on their 18-inch heels. The 292-hp V-6 underhood couples with a sweet 8-speed automatic, and all-wheel drive can replace the Charger’s off-the-rack rear-drive setup. If the idea of spending eternity with too few cylinders troubles you—it worries us—the palette of V-8 Chargers is colorful and even sort of affordable. We love the Charger R/T’s blend of muscular 370-hp output and its sub-6-second acceleration times, but we wouldn’t hate a 485-hp Scat Pack or 392, either. We draw the everyday line before things get out of hand with the Charger SRT Hellcat: sure, it’s fun to show off in parking lots and to let its throbby 707-hp supercharged V-8 out of the cage every so often. All that power overwhelms the Charger’s otherwise amenable behavior, and it never really tames the twitchy, overzealous responses required to keep that power in line.
Four adults can find all the room they need in the Charger, provided the rear-seat people aren’t too tall. The trunk’s large, too. Safety scores aren’t as impressive, with a “Marginal” score taking the shine off the Charger’s newly standard rearview camera and blind-spot monitors.
All Chargers have power features, Bluetooth, USB ports, and touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. V-8 cars get driver-selectable modes, adaptive dampers, navigation, nappa leather, and potentially, a stiff bill for $70,000.