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2021 Dodge Charger Review

The 2021 Dodge Charger finishes near the bottom of our large car rankings. It offers an array of powerful engines and a spacious interior, but its terrible predicted reliability rating drags down its overall score.

Pros & Cons

  • Incredible engine power
  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Roomy, comfortable seats
  • Composed handling
  • Lowest-possible predicted reliability rating
  • Middling interior quality

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Dodge Charger's #6 ranking is based on its score within the Large Cars category. Currently the Dodge Charger has a score of 7.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 56 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.5
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 8.4 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Dodge Charger?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Dodge Charger a Good Car?

Yes, the Dodge Charger is a good car. All of its engines are powerful, and it handles well while providing a fairly cushioned ride. The Charger has a spacious interior, user-friendly tech features, and a decent amount of trunk space. It does have a couple of hang-ups, however. There's the aforementioned poor predicted reliability rating, and some other large cars have more luxurious interiors.

Why You Can Trust Us: 56 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 Charger review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2011.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

Should I Buy the Dodge Charger?

You should buy the Dodge Charger if you want a large sedan and care more about performance than luxury. This Dodge is essentially a four-door muscle car, so it offers all of the power and attitude with a dash more practicality than a pure sports car.

Find a 2021 Dodge Charger for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Dodge Charger: What's the Difference?

The Dodge Charger's big change for 2021 is the addition of the new SRT Hellcat Redeye trim to the lineup. It features a 797-horsepower V8 engine, making it by far the most powerful sedan on the market. Otherwise, the new Charger is nearly identical to the 2020 model.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Charger »

Here are the key changes for the Dodge Charger over the last few years:

  • 2017: gained available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; Daytona and Daytona 392 models introduced
  • 2018: SE trim discontinued; GT trim debuted; more standard features added
  • 2019: revised trim lineup and feature shuffling between trims
  • 2020: widebody SRT Hellcat and Scat Pack models introduced
  • 2021: SRT Hellcat Redeye model joins lineup

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Charger, 2019 Charger, and 2020 Charger reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Dodge Charger Cost?

The Charger starts at $29,995. That's lower than the starting price of several other large cars, though it's not quite the lowest base price in the class. The all-new SRT Hellcat Redeye is the range-topping trim, and it has a starting MSRP of $78,595. That is far and away the most expensive trim that any large car offers.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

Dodge Charger Versus the Competition

Dodge Charger vs. Chrysler 300

The Chrysler 300 resembles the Charger in many ways, and both finish near the bottom of our large car rankings. Both cars have spacious cabins, the easy-to-use Uconnect infotainment system, and V6 and V8 engine options. The 300 doesn't offer any of the high-performance Hemi engines you can get in Charger trims such as the Hellcat, however. On the other hand, the Chrysler has a higher predicted reliability rating than the Dodge.

Compare the Charger and 300 »

Dodge Charger vs. Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger sits near the top of our sports car rankings, but it and the Charger are nearly twins. These cars have a similar lineup of powerful engines, the same infotainment system, and comparable trunk space. These Dodge cars also have rather spacious interiors. Body style is the main distinction. The Charger is a practical four-door sedan, while the Challenger is a two-door muscle car, making the latter a bit less family-friendly but certainly more eye-catching.

Compare the Charger and Challenger »

Compare the Charger, 300, and Challenger »

Charger Performance: Power is the Priority

Charger Engine

The Charger’s standard V6 engine more than gets the job done for city and highway driving. Acceleration is lively, and there's ample power for higher-speed passing and merging maneuvers. The V8 engines move the Charger into muscle car territory. They'll throw you back in your seat when you punch the gas, and the two Hellcats might give you heart palpitations after putting the hammer down. All engines are mated with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and on time.

Dodge Charger Powertrain/Performance Options:
  • Base engine: 3.6-liter V6 with 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque (SXT); starts at $29,995
  • Available engines:
    • 3.6-liter V6 with 300 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque (SXT AWD, GT, GT AWD); starts at $31,995
    • 5.7-liter V8 with 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque (R/T); starts at $36,995
    • 6.4-liter V8 with 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque (Scat Pack); starts at $41,095
    • 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 717 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque (Hellcat); starts at $69,995
    • 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 797 horsepower and 707 pound-feet of torque (SRT Hellcat Redeye); starts at $78,595
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Dodge Charger Appearance Packages:
  • Blacktop package: black exterior badges, a black spoiler, and 20-inch black wheels
  • Daytona Edition group: Daytona logo seats, grille, and decals
  • SRT Black package: black badges and exhaust tips, Satin Black "DODGE" tail lamp applique
Dodge Charger Performance Packages:
  • Performance Handling Group: four-piston Brembo brakes, 20-inch black wheels, a stiffer sport-tuned suspension, and a flat-bottom steering wheel
  • Dynamics package: six-piston Brembo front brakes, 20-inch wheels, and a flat-bottom steering wheel
Dodge Charger Individual Performance Options:
  • Adaptive Damping Suspension (prices start at $995; available in R/T Scat Pack)
  • SRT Performance Spoiler (prices start at $695; available in R/T Scat Pack, R/T Scat Pack Widebody, SRT Hellcat Widebody, SRT Hellcat Redeye Widebody)
Charger Gas Mileage

This Dodge isn't the car for you if you prioritize gas mileage. With its V6 engine and rear-wheel drive, the Charger gets 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, ratings that are slightly below average for the large car class.

If you opt for any of the V8 engines, the fuel economy ratings plummet. The Hellcat trims, with their 700-plus horsepower engines, get the worst fuel economy, earning 12 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway.

Charger Ride and Handling

The Charger’s driving dynamics largely depend on the trim level. The entry-level Charger SXT and GT models soak up bumps and dips comfortably, and they have poised handling around turns.

The V8-equipped Chargers have firmer suspensions to better cope with their massive power outputs. This means they feel more athletic on twisting roads, but it also means the ride isn't quite as cushioned.

How Fast Is the Dodge Charger?

Dodge hasn't released zero-to-60 mph times for all 2021 Chargers, but based on recent models (which featured the same powertrains), you can expect Charger SXT and GT models to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in around 6.5 seconds, while the Charger R/T can do it in about 5.5 seconds.

The Charger Scat Pack can hit 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, and the Charger Hellcat can sprint to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. The Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the quickest of the lineup thanks to its nearly 800-horsepower engine. The Redeye sprints from zero to 60 mph in the same 3.6 seconds as the Hellcat, and it'll sprint a quarter-mile in 10.6 seconds (0.36 seconds faster than the Hellcat). It also has a top speed of 203 mph.

The Charger Scat Pack has a top speed of 187 mph. The Charger R/T tops out at 155 mph, while the Charger SXT and GT models have a 124-mph top speed.

Does the Dodge Charger Have All-Wheel Drive?

The Dodge Charger comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available in the SXT and GT trim levels.

Read more about performance »

Charger Interior: Airy and Comfortable

Charger Cargo Space

The Charger has a typical amount of cargo space for the class, with a 16.5-cubic-foot trunk. The rear seats fold down as well, giving you some flexibility when you want to haul larger items.

How Many People Does the Charger Seat?

The Charger seats five people. Both rows provide plenty of head- and legroom, even for taller people. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, and the rear seats can even hold three adults comfortably on shorter journeys.

Charger and Child Car Seats

There are three complete sets of LATCH connectors for the Charger’s rear seats. Most sedans only have two complete sets.

Charger Interior Quality

The Charger has a roomy interior, and the cabin is functionally designed. However, many other large cars have more upscale interiors, and some have more modern cabin designs.

Charger Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Uconnect touch-screen infotainment system is user-friendly. It has simple menus, crisp graphics, and quick responses. The screen is complemented by physical buttons and knobs, making it easy to adjust settings on the go.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch touch screen, six speakers, satellite radio, four USB ports, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
  • Available infotainment features: an 8.4-inch touch screen, a six- or nine-speaker Alpine audio system, a 19-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and navigation
  • Other available features: a sunroof and dual-zone automatic climate control

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Charger Reliability

Is the Dodge Charger Reliable?

The 2021 Dodge Charger has the lowest-possible predicted reliability rating of two out of five.

Dodge Charger Warranty

Dodge covers the Charger with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Charger Safety

Charger Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Dodge Charger an overall safety rating of five out of five stars with five stars in the side crash and rollover tests and four stars in the frontal crash test.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 Charger.

Charger Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors

Available advanced safety features:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

Read more about safety »

Charger Dimensions and Weight

The Charger is 16.5 to 16.8 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,957 to 4,610 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Dodge Charger Built?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) builds the 2021 Dodge Charger in Canada.

When Did the Dodge Charger First Come Out?

Dodge launched the first-generation Charger in 1966. This model was essentially a fastback version of the midsize Dodge Coronet with two doors, four seats, and a long roofline stretching from the windshield down to the taillights. It wasn’t the sales success that Dodge had hoped for, but it laid the framework for models to come. The second-generation Charger arrived in 1968. The styling was edgier, from its recessed grille to its flying buttress roof pillars, and buyers took notice. Dodge sold nearly 100,000 Chargers in 1968 and more than 80,000 in 1969. This generation also saw the arrival of the iconic Charger Daytona, made famous by its massive rear wing and aerodynamic nose cone.

The third-generation Charger arrived in 1971, bringing even sleeker styling to the mix, as well as a new split-grille design. Dodge redesigned the Charger again in 1975 but marketed this fourth-generation model as a personal luxury car rather than a muscle car. Sales dipped and then tanked, leading to the discontinuation of the Charger in 1978. Dodge brought the Charger nameplate back from 1982 to 1987, this time as a two-door version of the subcompact Omni.

Dodge relaunched the Charger in 2006 as a full-size sedan. These sixth- and seventh-generation models have become some of the brand’s best sellers.

Which Dodge Charger Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Dodge Charger comes in six trims: SXT, GT, R/T, Scat Pack, SRT Hellcat, and SRT Hellcat Redeye. The SXT and GT models are great choices for most buyers. They're plenty powerful and come with a nice assortment of features, plus they're the only trims to offer all-wheel drive.

On the other hand, if you want a high-performance muscle car, you should opt for the R/T trim or higher. These models have big V8 engines that supply the Charger with loads of power and deliver quick acceleration.

Dodge Charger SXT

The Charger SXT carries a base price of $29,995. It comes with 292-horsepower V6 engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive. You can add an all-wheel-drive system for $3,600.

Standard features include a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and satellite radio. Cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and rear parking sensors also come standard.

Available features include leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8.4-inch touch screen, navigation, a nine-speaker stereo, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a sunroof, and 19- and 20-inch wheels.

There are also several safety options available, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Dodge Charger GT

The Charger GT has a 300-horsepower version of the V6 engine. Rear-wheel-drive GT models start at $31,995, while all-wheel-drive GTs cost $34,995. The GT adds an 8.4-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a Wi-Fi hot spot, dual-zone automatic climate control, a more aggressively styled front bumper, a hood scoop, a rear lip spoiler, and 20-inch wheels.

Dodge Charger R/T

The midrange Charger R/T trim has a starting MSRP of $36,995. It’s equipped with a 370-horsepower Hemi V8 engine and rear-wheel drive, and it shares its standard features with the GT trim. Most options carry over, though a few more features are available, including a 19-speaker audio system.

Dodge Charger Scat Pack

Pricing for the Charger Scat Pack trim starts at $41,095, and it’s $46,595 for the Scat Pack widebody. This model features a 485-horsepower V8 engine and adds an upgraded cooling system, launch control and line lock modes, a stiffer suspension, a limited-slip rear differential, high-performance Brembo brakes, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat

The Charger SRT Hellcat starts at $69,995. This model comes with a 717-horsepower supercharged V8 engine and widebody fenders. Additional standard features include blind spot monitoring, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.

It’s worth noting that this trim is not available with many of the Charger’s active safety features, such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning.

Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye

The all-new SRT Hellcat Redeye has a starting MSRP of $78,595. It boasts a 797-horsepower supercharged Hemi V8 engine. Other than the extra power, the Redeye is virtually identical to the standard SRT Hellcat (if anything about a 700-horsepower sedan can be called standard).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Dodge dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Dodge deals page.

See 2021 Dodge Charger specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Dodge Charger brings the same energy as prior models, only now there's an even more powerful Hellcat in the mix. This large car boasts blistering power, solid handling ability, and a roomy, comfortable interior. It's not the most luxurious car in the class, and its poor predicted reliability rating drags down its class ranking, but few cars provide a more harmonious blend of practicality and muscle.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Like its two-door Challenger stablemate, the Charger starts out as an interesting car with useful power and a special 'Born in the USA' kind of attitude. Then it quickly heads toward the stratosphere with a brace of V8 engines, each more remarkably powerful than the one before. Sure, the Charger is also roomy, quiet (at everyday speeds), with a big trunk and a user-friendly infotainment system. It can do sensible. But sensible isn't where the Charger's real strengths and appeals lie. Think sensational instead." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2020 Dodge Charger is the choice for buyers that want or need a full-size sedan but prefer not to compromise on performance or practicality. It's precisely these qualities that have made the Charger lineup so successful over the years. … While the Charger lacks some of its competitors' richer interior materials, it makes up for this shortcoming with a superb infotainment system and an engaging driving experience. Between its lively palette of color options and nostalgia-inspiring decals, the Charger is an affordable-performance proposition that's hard to resist." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "The 2019 Dodge Charger isn't a sensible car for sensible drivers. Instead, it's for drivers who want a car that looks cool, makes cool noises, goes obscenely fast and comes in colors such as Go Mango, Plum Crazy, TorRed and White Knuckle. If you're looking for something state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient, refined and anonymously styled, the Charger is not your car. It is practical, though. Four doors, a roomy cabin, and a raft of safety features make the Charger a legitimate choice for family duty." -- Edmunds (2019)
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