2016 Dodge Charger

Starting MSRP: $27,995 - $65,945

Estimated MPG: 19 city / 31 hwy

2016 Dodge Charger Review

Spacious, athletic and available with straightforward tech features, the 2016 Dodge Charger is a compelling argument against the typical front-wheel drive, full-size sedan. At the same time, a range of V8 engine choices can transform the Charger into a performance-oriented family car.

By Jim Sharifi
Last Updated 07/25/2016

With the exception of a few new color choices and a Super Track Pak suspension option for V6 models, the 2016 Dodge Charger carries over with few changes from 2015. Seven trims are offered: SE, SXT, R/T, R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat.

A V6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard on SE and SXT models. All-wheel drive is available on the V6-powered Charger, while more powerful V8 engines and rear-wheel drive are standard on R/T and higher trims.

Exterior

Exterior
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Along with a spirited driving experience, aggressive exterior styling is one of the key elements that helps the Dodge Charger distinguish itself from competing full-size cars. It draws inspiration from the Charger of the 1960s, with styling cues that include a Coke-bottle silhouette and racetrack LED taillights.

Dual exhaust tips, a scalloped aluminum hood and LED daytime running lights contribute to the Charger’s sporty nature. Seventeen-inch wheels are standard on the base Charger SE, while larger 18, 19- and 20-inch wheels are available. 

Exterior upgrades include fog lights, heated sideview mirrors, a sunroof and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Interior

Interior
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Inside, the Dodge Charger offers seating for five and a cabin with plenty of space for the driver and front-seat passenger. A sloping roofline makes the rear row feel a little more closed in, though there’s still ample room for two adults to stretch out. The trunk offers 16.5 cubic feet of cargo space, which is competitive for the segment, though full-size cars such as the Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus offer a bit more space.

The Charger’s dash features a driver-centric design, with high-quality materials and controls that fall close at hand. 

Dual-zone air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are standard. Optional equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control, sport seats, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

Performance

Performance
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The 2016 Charger SE and SXT come standard with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard and all-wheel drive is optional. The base Charger gets an EPA-estimated 19/31 mpg city/highway, which is slightly better than what the V6-powered Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus get.

The Charger R/T comes with a 5.7-liter V8 that generates 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque. 

Meanwhile, the Charger SRT Scat Pack and SRT 392 feature a 6.4-liter V8 engine with 495 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque.

At the top of the model line, the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat comes with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine with 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Dodge says that the Charger Hellcat has a top speed of 204 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

While you may be tempted to choose one of the Charger’s available V8 engines, the V6 should suit the needs of many buyers. We tested a Charger SXT Plus, which featured the V6 engine and all-wheel drive. Power comes on smoothly, and there’s plenty in reserve for highway passing and merging. The Charger continues to impress with an eight-speed automatic that’s alert, responsive and refined enough to deserve use in the luxury-oriented Chrysler 300.

The Charger also impresses as the best-handling full-size car that’s currently offered by a mainstream brand. Body motions are well controlled, yet the ride is still comfortable enough to merit consideration from buyers who might not be seeking performance. Quick steering and responsive braking also impress, and our test car’s all-wheel drive system provide assuring levels of grip after a recent snow storm.

If you want more power, Dodge certainly has options for you. From the 370-horsepower Charger R/T to the 707-horsepower Charger SRT Hellcat, enthusiasts should have no trouble finding a four-door sedan that provides an impressive level of performance.

Technology

Technology
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When it comes to technology, the 2016 Dodge Charger offers an available Uconnect infotainment system that’s among the most user-friendly interfaces in the business. While touchscreen infotainment systems are often cumbersome operate, the Charger’s optional system features a large, 8.4-inch display with quick response times and intuitive on-screen menus providing access to phone, audio, navigation and vehicle settings.

The base Charger comes with standard tech features that include a 7-inch driver information display, Bluetooth and a base Uconnect system with a 5-inch touch screen. 

Higher trims bring in standard equipment like the 8.4-inch Uconnect system and satellite radio, while options include navigation and the choice of Alpine, Harman Kardon and Beats by Dr. Dre audio systems.

Safety

Safety
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The 2016 Dodge Charger comes with standard safety features that include anti-lock brakes, a full complement of airbags, and stability and traction control. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert and a rearview camera.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2016 Charger a top score of five stars for its overall performance in crash tests.

The 2016 Charger earned top scores of Good in the majority of crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The only exception was the small overlap front test, where it earned the second-lowest score of Marginal. When equipped with a forward collision warning system, the Charger receives a Superior rating from the IIHS for front crash prevention.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The 2016 Dodge Charger SE starts at $27,995 (excluding a $995 destination charge), which slightly more than the starting prices of the 2016 Chevrolet Impala and Ford Taurus. Still, the Charger undercuts competitors like the Buick LaCrosse, Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon if you’re comparing base models.

Our test Charger SXT Plus with all-wheel drive carries a base price of $31,995. A few option packages brought the as-tested price to $37,770 after destination. That may seem a little steep at first glance, but keep in mind that our Charger carried a number of comfort and convenience features.

These include navigation, blind-spot monitoring, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel.

V8-powered R/T models start at $33,895, while the more powerful R/T Scat Pack is priced from $39,995. If you’re looking for truly impressive horsepower, the Charger SRT Hellcat is priced from $65,945.

Overall

Overall
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With dynamic exterior styling, a refined interior and performance that’s exceptional for the class, the 2016 Charger proves that owning a practical, full-size car can still be a great deal of fun. Its multiple V8 engine choices continue to provide appeal for enthusiasts, while the V6 model’s available all-wheel drive makes it balanced, sure-footed and practical.

A number of comfort, technology and safety upgrades are also strong selling points. In particular, the 8.4-inch Uconnect infotainment system is a boon to shoppers who want straightforward electronic features in their next car.