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2020 Dodge Charger Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Dodge Charger Performance Review


Performance: 7.8

The 2020 Dodge Charger is a quick sedan, whether you pick the standard V6 engine or any of the optional V8s. This is especially true of the supercharged Hellcat model. The Charger’s ride and handling are composed, though other sports sedans have more-responsive steering systems.

  • "Even the base V6 models produce significantly more horsepower than most 4-cylinder rivals, and unlike the Kia Optima and Honda Accord, the Charger offers the option of all-wheel drive. From its sporty handling to its roomy and quiet cabin, the 2020 Dodge Charger checks all the right boxes required of a family sedan, then tosses in an ample dose of attitude and performance making it unlike anything else in the segment." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "For its intended purpose, the Charger is excellent. It launches like a Saturn V rocket, makes glorious noises along the way, and has respectable handling prowess. Its steering and low-speed throttle response are disappointing. But as a performance package, the Charger is hard to beat." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "Handling is also pretty ponderous. Handling improves moving up each rung of the suspension-tuning ladder, but no amount of suspension tuning can make the big, heavy Charger feel agile. As handling improves, ride comfort degrades." -- Autotrader (2019)

Acceleration and Power

The Charger is available with multiple engine options. The Charger SXT comes equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 with 292 horsepower. The SXT all-wheel-drive and GT models have a 300-horsepower version of this engine. The Charger R/T is powered by a 5.7-liter V8 with 370 horsepower. The Charger Scat Pack comes with a 6.4-liter V8 with 485 horsepower. Lastly, the Charger SRT Hellcat harnesses the power of a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 707 horsepower, which gets a bump to 717 horsepower with the Daytona package.

All engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional only with the V6.

The standard V6 engine isn’t anything to scoff at. It hustles the Charger around town confidently and provides more than enough punch to pass other vehicles at highway speeds. It also returns the best fuel economy of the bunch, at 19 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. Critics praise the standard eight-speed automatic transmission for its smooth operation and quick gear changes.

The V8 engines move the Charger into muscle car territory. The R/T’s V8 is a blast to helm, thanks to its sonorous exhaust and responsive throttle. Acceleration is quick and satisfying. The Scat Pack and Hellcat V8s are unbelievably powerful. The dash from zero to 60 mph takes just 4.3 seconds with the Scat Pack and 3.6 seconds with the Hellcat.

Gas mileage for the V8s range from 16 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with the R/T to just 12/21 mpg city/highway with the Hellcat, which isn’t all that great.

  • "The Charger channels its NASCAR roots with big V-8 power and rowdy sounds. However, not every Charger has a mighty Hemi V-8 under the hood—what a pity—but they do all share an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. … The standard V-6 is no slouch, yet it lacks the giddy-up of front-drivers such as the Nissan Maxima and the Buick LaCrosse. The more powerful versions excel at the strip, where the 485-hp Charger R/T Scat Pack posted an impressive 4.1-second sprint to 60 mph. The 370-hp Charger has enough ponies to outrun most family sedans." -- Car and Driver
  • "Unless you’re adamant about driving a V8, the 3.6-liter V6 in the base models is more than adequate." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The gas pedal is overly sensitive at tip-in. Flex your big toe and the Charger bolts off the line. The only remedy is to be super gentle. Around town, the big Dodge is respectably maneuverable, and there's never a lack of power on long highway grades." -- Edmunds (2019)

Handling and Braking

The Charger’s driving dynamics largely depend on the trim level. The entry-level Charger SXT and GT models are great for cruising, as they soak up bumps and dips comfortably, remain stable around turns, and provide sufficient stopping power. The one nagging complaint is the steering, which can feel dull and sluggish.

The V8-equipped Chargers feel tauter and more athletic on twisting roads, especially the Hellcat and Scat Pack Widebody models, but this stiffer suspension tuning gives these models a firmer ride.

  • "The bright (Green Go) Charger we paraded around town had a quiet and composed ride. Its large 20-inch wheels were relaxed on most surfaces, but obstacles such as railroad crossings and potholes disrupted its composure. The big-bodied sedan was remarkably balanced when cornering, too. Although the V-6 version we tested had nearly identical cornering grip, the Daytona's hefty horsepower advantage amplified the fun. The electrically assisted power steering contributes to the Charger's purposeful control, but its feedback is too heavy and slow to be engaging. We've tested several Chargers for emergency braking, and the best results came from the high-performance models with upgraded brakes and stickier summer performance tires." -- Car and Driver
  • "Dodge also equips each model with sufficiently aggressive tires to deal with the varying engine output, and a sophisticated suspension that allows the Charger to corner and respond in a way no front-drive Accord or Camry ever will." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Through high-speed corners, the Charger stays surprisingly flat. Unfortunately, it's not a very engaging experience since you don't feel connected to the car. Notably, midcorner bumps can degrade stability and cause a lot of movement at the rear of the car." -- Edmunds (2019)
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2020 Dodge Charger

MSRP: $29,995 - $69,995

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