2016 Dodge Charger SXT Review

The Dodge Charger is now in its second year of an update that brought a Dart-style front fascia and a number of other new design elements. In fact, every body panel was altered with this update, not just the nose. Overall, the redesign achieved its goal of keeping the Charger fresh for a few more years.

It’s easy to try to dismiss the Charger as a vehicle from another era, when full-size three-box American sedans were the default vehicle of everybody who didn’t own a truck or a hatchback. But the addition of the newest tech and innate convenience features combined with a very modest starting price can still surprise at a time when there are much smaller sedans claiming to be premium that easily surpass the Charger’s sticker price.

 

Under the hood of the Charger is a 3.6-liter V6 good for 300 hp, with power sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission (that no longer uses the recalled Monostable shifter, by the way). This is the base engine and, even though the Hellcat Charger offers more than double the horsepower count, the performance is more than enough to keep things moving. Acceleration comes without the nose lifting, thanks to all-wheel drive, and nosediving on hard braking is kept in check as well — impressive for something this big.

 

The Charger’s wide stance would suggest a propensity to lean in the corners but this is something that Dodge engineers have managed to keep a very tight lid on. The Charger stays very well composed in the twisties even if there is a bit of protest from the wide tires, and there is not as much body lean as you’d expect in something this large. That’s perhaps one of the best parts of the chassis; the Charger is nimble enough to perform sudden maneuvers without much drama, which is probably why the police agencies of so many states are fond of it. The fact the platform itself is not exactly new makes this quality all the more impressive, even though the turning radius is not a tidy as it could be.

 


 

The Dodge Charger SXT Premium is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 producing 300 hp, connected to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
PHOTO BY AUTOWEEK


 

The interior of the Charger in SXT Premium trim is a spacious and comfortable space in which to spend time, and it makes a good use of the materials in a way that doesn’t bore the eyes. The cabin feels well put together, and despite the abundance of black plastic up front the interior looks and feels reasonably luxurious. A few details like cross-stitching on the seats and center console, as well as the door panels, add an expensive feel to the cabin. There is still plenty of plastic to go around, but it doesn’t feel like the cheap, shiny kind that some other sedans in this price range still serve up from time to time. When it comes to infotainment, the corporate UConnect touchscreen remains one of the more intuitive systems out there with easy-to-read icons and an easy-to-reach surface, and all the controls are easy to decipher.

Overall, the cabin feels well proportioned, it’s easy to climb into and out of, and there’s generous headroom.

 

With a starting price of $32,990, the Charger offers a lot for the buck, and optioned with the Rallye pack and the AWD Premium Group it arrives right at the $40,000 mark. Much smaller premium sedans have no trouble reaching this price point with a few options added on. I’d keep it closer to the starting price if ordering one, just to stay out of the Chrysler 300’s price range.

 

— Jay Ramey, associate editor


 

The Dodge Charger SXT Premium is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 producing 300 hp, connected to an eight-speed TorqueFlite automatic transmission.
PHOTO BY AUTOWEEK

 

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