$17,112 - $42,822

2016 Dodge Charger Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Dodge Charger was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.6

The 2016 Dodge Charger wows automotive writers with its range of powerful V8 engine options. They add that it offers a smooth ride and sporty handling, and say even the most powerful models are more than capable of handling daily driving duties.

  • "But even more impressive than the Charger SRT Hellcat's confident and nimble performance at Summit Point Raceway … was its supple, refined performance on the public roads leading to and from the track. Remember, it's a four-door sedan with room for five, and even if you never sampled all of its 707 horsepower you'd still enjoy driving it." -- Forbes (2015)
  • "Overall the Charger's ride is compliant, comfortable, and it's easy to talk with passengers without having to compete with the radio." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The Charger may have aggressive styling but it rides as smoothly as some luxury sedans. The 2015 model's suspension has been further fettled from an already fine starting point, gliding rather than merely 'riding' on its absorbent independent front and rear suspension." -- Edmunds (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The Charger features a 3.6-liter V6 base engine that puts out 292 horsepower. R/T and R/T Road & Track trims feature a 5.7-liter V8 that produces 370 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines. The base Charger gets an EPA-estimated 19/31 mpg city/highway, which is competitive with other models featuring a V6.

There are three high-performance trims that come with more powerful engines. The Charger R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 trims have a 6.4-liter V8 that puts out 485 horsepower and 475 pound-feet of torque. The SRT Hellcat boasts a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that produces 707 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. According to Dodge, the Hellcat can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, covers a quarter-mile in 11 seconds and has a top speed of 204 mph.

The base V6 delivers sufficient power, according to test drivers, but they say the available V8 engines really stand out for their performance, as they deliver forceful acceleration. The eight-speed transmission draws praise for its smooth and timely shifting.

  • "Moving up to the R/T Scat Pack or SRT 392 not only brings a larger V8, but an added degree of handling capability. This extra speed and athleticism comes at the expense of a firmer ride, but after putting the 6.4-liter V8 through its paces, you may not care. This is a glorious American V8, serving up downright beastly acceleration with a soundtrack to match. Of course, the SRT Hellcat is even beastlier, though its heavier engine adds weight in the nose, blunting the car's sporting edge to a modest extent." -- Edmunds
  • "After spending time with the base 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is available on both the SE and SXT, I found it to be quiet while serving up ample power. The 8-speed auto didn't hunt for gears and ride noise was kept at a manageable level." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "With the familiar base-level 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 under the hood, the SXT is no rocket ship, but it is adequately quick for non-enthusiast buyers, especially paired to the eight-speed auto." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "Acceleration is breathtaking, vertigo-inducing and doesn't really slow for shifts. By the time you blink, you're into the next gear and getting ready to grab the right paddle again. We tried manual mode a few times, but trying to learn the track and the car, and shift, all above 120 mph, was a little too much to take. Thankfully its performance-shifting algorithm nails the changes almost every time." -- AutoWeek (SRT Hellcat - 2015)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive is standard on the 2016 Charger and all-wheel drive is available. Test drivers praise the Charger’s athletic handling and cornering ability, though some say it occasionally suffers from understeer, which is when the car doesn't turn as much as you intend for it to turn.

  • "The steering feels sporty and precise, and while the ride quality is supple and forgiving on bad surfaces, this big car offers impressive control and balance when you hustle it around tight turns. That's especially true if you specify some of the Charger's myriad performance upgrades, including multiple sport suspension offerings and an available three-mode stability control system that provides extra leeway in spirited motoring. Happily, the Charger is downright sedate in normal driving, with much lower ambient noise levels than its brash styling and performance would suggest." -- Edmunds
  • Combined with the stout and firmly damped chassis, the steering points the car just where you ordered, until you ask too much and the front tires begin to howl in a duet of understeer." -- Car and Driver (2015)
  • "We didn't perceive much body roll and the car seems to drive a little smaller than its dimensions would suggest. In fact, thanks to its improved visibility and sloping nose, the Charger is actually easier to drive than its shorter Challenger platform mate." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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