The Dodge Charger is a mean and potent machine when equipped with one of three HEMI V8s available. But is the same true when the Charger is equipped with the 3.6L V6? The answer we found after spending a week with an SXT AWD model is it depends.
- Dodge updated the Charger back in 2015 with new front and rear end treatments. I’m not too fond of the new front with a wider crosshair grille, reshaped headlights with LEDs, and new hood just looks somewhat awkward. On the upside, the revised trundled with the long taillights works very well.
- Our test vehicle came equipped with the Blacktop Appearance Group which adds a gloss black fascia, a spoiler finished in satin black, and 19-inch wheels finished in black. Yes, our vehicle is missing the wheels and we don’t know why. But even without the wheels, the Blacktop package makes the Charger look even more menacing.
- Time has not been so kind to the Charger’s interior as it is looking even more dated since the last time we drove one. The black interior isn’t pleasant to spend a lot of time and makes the vehicle feel somewhat claustrophobic. Not helping are the materials which are either hard plastic or have a rubbery feeling.
- There is some good news concerning the Charger’s interior. For 2017, FCA has installed the latest version of UConnect which brings a number of improvements. I’ve praised this system in the 2017 Pacifica and will do the same here. Performance is noticeably improved thanks to various tweaks made to the system. FCA also gave the interface a fresh coat of paint that helps bring the UConnect into the current century. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are present and work flawlessly.
- Under the hood is the familiar 3.6L V6 that powers a number of FCA vehicles. For the Charger, the V6 produces 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed through an eight-speed automatic to either the rear-wheels or in our tester, all four wheels.
- Sufficient is the best word to describe the performance of the V6 as it gets the Charger up to speed at a decent rate. We will admit that the extra weight of the all-wheel drive does zap some of V6’s power, making it feel slightly slower.
- Fuel economy doesn’t take as much of a hit as you might think when going with AWD. EPA fuel economy figures stand at 18 City/27 Highway/21 Combined. The rear-drive Charger V6 returns 19/30/23. During my week, I saw an average 20.7 in mostly city driving.
- Compared to its V8 brethren, the Charger V6 has a much softer suspension tune. This does mean the Charger does not like being pushed around corners. You can order the Rallye package that brings a sport-tuned suspension which makes for a very entertaining vehicle. The benefit to the softer suspension is the Charger glides over bumps with no issue. Some road and wind noise makes its way into the cabin, but it is quite acceptable for most buyers.
- The Charger is quite the brash vehicle to look at no matter which variant you choose. When it comes to engines, the V6 can be a surprisingly good drive if you order the Rally package. Otherwise, the Charger V6 is a mean looker of a full-size sedan that can provide a comfortable ride. Though, if you really have your heart set on one, we would point you in the direction of the Chrysler 300 which offers most of the plus points of the Charger with a much nicer interior.
Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Charger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: SXT AWD
Engine: 3.6L 24-Valve VVT V6
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 292 @ 6,350
Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 4,800
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/27/21
Curb Weight: 4,233 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
Base Price: $31,995
As Tested Price: $36,165 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
Navigation and Travel Group - $1,095.00
Driver Confidence Group - $795.00
Redline Tri-Coat Exterior Paint - $595.00
Blacktop Appearance Group - $495.00
Premium Cloth Seats - $95.00