By KBB.com Editors
Combining muscle car performance with family sedan functionality, the 2011 Dodge Charger is the perfect choice for the driving enthusiast who also requires four doors. Offering such performance attributes as rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, and an available Hemi V8 engine, the 2011 Dodge Charger is no run-of-the-mill family sedan. With the exception of the all-wheel-drive Ford Taurus SHO, it's hard to find a domestic or foreign competitor capable of offering the kind of power, handling and aggressive good looks offered by the 2011 Dodge Charger. With pricing starting at about $26,000, even the most basic 2011 Dodge Charger promises a potent driving experience for very little money.
If you need room for family members or business clients, but can't stand the thought of driving a generic four-door sedan, the 2011 Dodge Charger may be your savior. With a 292-horsepower V6 and an available 370-horsepower Hemi V8, the Charger can easily satisfy your need for speed as well as provide a comfortable perch for four adults.
If you're looking for a sophisticated sedan that expresses equal measures of prestige and performance, the 2011 Dodge Charger's boy-racer exterior styling and somewhat firm ride probably won't cut it. You may be better off looking at the Charger's sister car, the Chrysler 300.
The 2011 Dodge Charger receives a new interior and exterior, a new, vastly more powerful 3.6-liter V6 engine and a number of improvements to its suspension and chassis. The 2011 Dodge Charger is offered in three trims: SE, R/T and R/T all-wheel-drive. New available features include a heated rear seat, heated and cooled front seats, hill start assist and a Garmin-supplied navigation system.
Driving Impressions While the 370-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V8 offers heart-pounding performance, the new 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 will both amaze and delight those budget-conscious consumers who opt for the SE model. With 292...horses on tap, it's 42 horsepower stronger than last year's V6 and offers acceleration once found only in exotic sports cars. The engine is silky smooth at idle and purrs seductively at full throttle. Gear selection is handled by a five-speed Auto Stick transmission, which does a good job of finding and holding the right gears when climbing hills or navigating stop-and-go traffic. We were not impressed by the Auto Stick's manual mode, however, finding gear selection to be somewhat sluggish. The Charger's steering response has always been among the best in its class, and improvements to the suspension and steering gear only serve to make a good system better. Still, the Charger is a big, heavy car and you'll feel it dip and sway when pushed hard into tight turns. We also felt the suspension might be a bit too firm for some.
The UConnect 8.4N radio features an enormous eight-inch touch screen with navigation supplied by Garmin. A simple and intuitive interface plus voice-activated controls for the phone, radio and Sirius Travel Link make this one of the best factory navigation systems we've tested.
Super Track Pac
This optional R/T package turns the Charger into a track-ready player, adding P245/45R20 Goodyear Eagle F1 summer tires, 20-inch wheels, high-performance monotube shock absorbers, larger front and rear stabilizer bars, performance brake linings, performance steering and three-mode electronic stability control (ESC).
Where shades of gray and dull plastic finishes once defined the Charger, the 2011 model is all about color, quality and comfort. Soft touch panels can be found throughout the car and the front seats include noticeably larger side bolsters The new three-spoke steering wheel features a nice, thick rim and houses controls for the audio, cruise control, Bluetooth and the driver information center. The Charger's new instrument panel is wide and flat, paying homage to the '68 Charger, and is covered in an attractive one-piece aluminum bezel. The centerpiece of the dash is an available 8.4-inch touch screen that incorporates navigation by Garmin as well as controls for the UConnect infotainment system. The 2011 Dodge Charger's spacious back seat can comfortably fit two adults, although the sloping rear roofline somewhat limits headroom for taller passengers.Exterior
The 2011 Dodge Charger mimics much of the dramatic exterior styling that first appeared on the original 1999 Charger concept car. Deep scallops grace the Charger's sides and hood, while a "Coke bottle" beltline runs the full length of the car. Around back, a single-piece tail lamp reminiscent of the classic 1968 Charger runs the width of the car and uses 164 illuminated LED lights to form a racetrack graphic. The SE V6 rides on 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, while the R/T trim has 18-inch chrome-clad wheels and the all-wheel-drive R/T comes with 19-inch wheels. Fitting with the car's performance nature, Dodge has lowered the Charger's ride height and lessened the once-obvious wheel arch gap on the all-wheel-drive models.
The base model 2011 Dodge Charger SE features a 292-horsepower V6 engine, five-speed Auto Stick transmission, cruise control, vehicle information center, keyless Enter-N-Go, remote start, six-speaker audio with 4.3-inch touch screen, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, USB with iPod control and auxiliary audio input jacks, six-way power driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, and 17-inch wheels. R/T trims add 18- or 19-inch wheels, a 370-horsepower Hemi V8, 12-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, Alpine audio with 8.4-inch touch screen, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and fog lamps.
There are a number of option packages for the base SE, including the Enforcer Package. This features black 20-inch painted wheels, blackout grille, a performance tuned suspension and a nine-speaker, 506-watt Alpine audio system. The Rallye Package adds UConnect audio with 8.4-inch touch screen, dual-zone automatic climate control, six-speaker Alpine audio, 12-way power front seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and 18-inch wheels. The R/T can be equipped with a number of upgrades including the Road and Track package that adds performance-oriented 3.06 axle ratio, supportive front seats with suede inserts and blackout honeycomb grille. Other popular options include a power sunroof, Adaptive cruise control, Garmin navigation, leather seating, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and all-wheel drive.
The 2011 Dodge Charger is powered by a choice of two engines. The entry-level SE features the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6. Arguably the best V6 engine ever produced by Chrysler, this engine produces an amazing 292 horsepower and 260 pounds-feet of torque, yet still delivers 27 miles per gallon in the government's highway driving cycle. The Charger's 5.7-liter Hemi V8, has been tweaked this year to produce 370 horsepower and 395 pounds-feet of torque, more than enough to propel this big muscle car from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than six seconds. The HEMI engine also features a fuel saving mechanism that deactivates four of the eight cylinders when cruising under a light load. Both engines are coupled to a five-speed Auto Stick automatic transmission with manual shift mode.
292 horsepower @ 6350 rpm
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (gasoline), 13/19 (E85)
5.7-liter Hemi V8
370 horsepower @ 5250 rpm
395 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 (FWD), 15/23 (AWD)
By J.H.Chrysler (CA) on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"Bought this car two years ago, and man I was impressed by the smooth ride, the quite cabin, the big uconnect screen, and even heated cloth seats! and then it began In the last two years: -The headlight wiring melted (yes MELTED) and shorted out on one side -The door handle sensors for they keyless entry broke (fixed in a recall) -the airbag warning light was triggered due to faulty wiring (fixed in a recall) -The trunk release button the decklid broke and had to be replaced -The alternator went out -A recall on the wiring for the ABS system -Rack and pinion had to be replaced -The "soft touch" interior is not holding up well and the car has turned into a big maraca on rough roads This car has been garaged and treated with kid gloves, and has still landed me back at the dealer more times than I care to count."
By DevilishKatlyn (AZ) on Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Awesome gadgets, great ride, & POWER POWER POWER!"
Cons: "Doors open too wide and mpg isn't great."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've owned this car for over 2 years now. Bought it brand new with a whole 25 miles on it. I love it just as much now as the day I bought it. It drives like a dream. Its more quiet than a lot of cars with big engines, which I actually like. I really don't want to have that rumble every single mile. However, when I put the hammer down, it goes like a jet. I do wish the mileage was a tad bit better, but for the power, I'll manage. The comfort is great. Easy to take care of inside and unrivaled seat comfort. I love the heated seats in both the front and rear. My main gripe with the design is that the doors open so wide that you literally have to put one foot outside the car to reach out to close it. Otherwise, the leg room is great, the head room is great, and I totally love all the gadgets. Best car I've ever had!"
By Scott (DE) on Sunday, November 10, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,300overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great ride, lots of power, confortable, stylish"
Cons: "cruise power button."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was happily surprised at the comfort and spaciousness of the Charge. It offers lot of features that other cars in the price range don't. it has been problem fee. I have nothing praise for my charger. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for comfort, style, and roominess!"
By Love 2 Sell (NJ) on Thursday, October 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking, comfortable, powerful, my is loaded,"
Cons: "Sloppy in the corners...should be a little tighter"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"More power and smoother than my 70 396 Chevelle, my 72 GS Buick 350/4/ 73 Vette 454 275 horse...I could go on and on. The only thing that irked me was all the recalls...a real joy killer. Hemi RT AWD with K&N and Flowmaster Delta 50's for a little rumble. Almost 400 hp and 26/27 on highway and 22 around town...can't beat that!"
By JRIZZO (AZ) on Wednesday, October 16, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "performance, handling, and comfort"
Cons: "Adult getting in and out of the back seat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car handles well and is very comfortable for a bigger person. I am 275 lbs and still have plenty of room. The 292HP V6 fits this car very well. Yes the V8 has more HP, but it weighs more and the handle is not as good. I will admit the back seat due to the shape of the window is a bit harder to get into then a normal car. I am ok with that because, the baby rides in a car seat so it is not a issue. The trunk is decent sized and it's nice with the push button on the truck for easy access. Now to the interior features. I know most of the older dodge interiors looked a bit cheap, but dodge has stepped up their game in the past few years. I really like the touch screen, steering wheel controls, exra plugs in the center console, and the standard driver power seat. The design is very modern and cool looking. This is the most comfortable car I have ever owned."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By acraig (AZ) on Friday, September 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Value, RWD, Blacktop...fun to drive"
Cons: "No RV Camera, Sunroof Screen, Slapstick Shifting."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"When the 2011 Charger hit the showrooms with its restyled read and front facias, I knew this car would be a hit with the retro crowd. I learned how to drive on a 1972 Cadillac Coup De Ville so I know and love behemoth RWD cars especially with unique styling, since most modern cars appear so similar and utilitarian. When they added the 8 speed transmission to the V6 and rated the highway milage at 30, I knew the time was right to trade in my Lexus IS250 which was getting about 23 MPG (looped). I wanted a full size car with RWD and the Chargers unique styling put it right at the forefront of my choices. I made my deal (with some hiccups at the dealership), and took delivery. They sold me a SXT with the Blacktop package, and was one of the few cars on the lot with a sunroof. The Blacktop Package turns the base model into a beast with the available sport mode shifting (holds gears longer). The higher profile tires and beefed up suspension give the car a sporty and responsive feel, and really ups the ante over the base model. The interior should have come with the 8.4 radio but the factory had run out of stock so, they placed the 4.3 radio in the car. I wasn't looking for Navigation (that's what my Android phone is for). Bluetooth paired well with both my HTC and my current Samsung Galaxay S4. Pairing will also allow you to stream audio from your phone to the car. You can also have USB access to your device. If you drop a USB flash drive into the slot you will have full access to your music, but the menu options are spotty, and cannot access them while you are driving. The seating is comfortable and I had the car reupholstered with leather seating surfaces (on their dime as that is how the car was advertised, but not delivered). Rear seat and trunk are cavernous and allows me to carry all my musical gear to and fro. The rear seat folds down for expanded cargo room. Downsides No rear camera When the sunroof is open there is a mesh screen instead of a solid lip. The screen catches bugs while you are driving, so it is recommended that you inspect it and blow it clean as needed. Slapstick shifter must be watched as you shift, make sure nothing is blocking the way of the stick (i.e., cables and such) to ensure that the shifter will shift to your desired position."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful