$20,197 - $54,571

2017 Dodge Charger Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Dodge Charger was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

The 2017 Dodge Charger impresses with its standard V6 and range of powerful V8 engine options. The Charger offers a compliant, comfortable ride with sporty handling.

  • "The 3.6-liter, 292-horsepower V6 in the 2017 Dodge Charger SE and SXT offers plenty of punch with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). The standard 8-speed automatic transmission is smooth and doesn't annoyingly hunt for gears. It's a compelling package, but Chargers get better when you add horsepower, and the 370-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 in the R/T and Daytona is a nice wake-up call." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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)
  • "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. A 370-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 powers the R/T and Daytona trims. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engines. The base Charger gets an EPA-estimated 19/30 mpg city/highway, which is competitive with other models featuring a V6. The 5.7-liter V8 returns an EPA-estimated 16/25 mpg city/highway.

There are several high-performance trims that come with more powerful engines. The R/T Scat Pack, Daytona 392, 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 that can hit zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, covers a quarter-mile in 11 seconds, and has a top speed of 204 mph, according to Dodge.

The base V6 delivers sufficient power, but the available V8 engines really stand out for their performance, as they deliver forceful acceleration. The eight-speed transmission provides smooth and timely shifting.

  • "There's no other sedan engine, at any price, that comes close to competing with the 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter, supercharged Hemi in the Hellcat version of the 2017 Charger. It's the most powerful American sedan of all time. Considering the price, it's one of the go-fast deals of all time." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 in the 2017 Charger and all-wheel drive is available in V6 models. 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 it to.

  • "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 (2016)
  • "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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