There is no car on the road that says get your ass out of the way like the Dodge Charger. Chrysler resurrected the Iconic name in 2006. The car sits on a platform shared with the Chrysler 300 and the Dodge Challenger.
The 2011 models is new, the sides and the hood and rear end is reminiscent of the 1968 Charger. Mopar purist will remind you the Charger had always been a two door car. Chrysler dropped the 2.7 and the 3.5 six cylinder engine. for the new 3.6 Penstar V6, this engine produces 292 horsepower.
If you want more power (and who doesn’t ) there is always the 370 horsepower V8 Hemi and if your goal is to annihilate the competition, there is the STR-8(Street and Racing Technology) V8 with 470 horsepower.
The last time I was behind the wheel of a Charger was in 07, it was an R/T with a 340 horse powered HemiV8. The car was fun and powerful but the fit and finish was disapointing, I walked away saying nice but I’ll pass.
What a difference a few years make. The 2011 Charger is nicer all around, the fit and finish is excellent, the ride and steering has improved. The Automotive press has gone gaga for the STR-8.
I drove the base model with the new 3.6 Penstar V6 connected to a 5 speed automatic transmission. Initially, I thought I would be disappointed with the six and it would leave me wanting the Hemi, but the six had more than enough power and is more than adequate for most drivers.
The new dash was impressive, with a 8.4 inch touch screen which controlled the ,radio climate ,control, and navigation. The display is the largest I’ve seen on any car. It is intuitive,( are you listening Audi, BMW,Nissan, Ford and Mercedes) responds quickly. The U-Connect took less than 20 seconds to set up my bluetooth ( yes Ford it did!)
The system offers voice command. The large car was fun and tossable.
My wide 6.4 frame had ample room and with front set pushed all the way back, there was just enough room for a big guy. However, rear headroom is marginal for the tall set. I really liked the 2011 Dodge Charger, except at the pumps.
The Epa rating 18 miles per gallon city and 27 highway averaging 21 overall . With my lead foot, I averaged 17.
For 2012 the Chargers will have an new 8 speed transmission bumping fuel economy an average of 4 extra miles per gallon.
The rear wheel drive full size Dodge Charger is anything but humdrum, it isnt a dull front wheel drive Camry, Impala, or Altima. The base six has more standard horsepower than their optional six cylinder engines.
Pricing on the base model is 26,000 up to 42,000 for the frighteningly fast 175 mile per hour STR- 8. That’s faster than the Mustang 5.0 and the Camaro SS.
I passed on the last Charger, this one I would take home. Its a Big Man Ride.