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2012 Dodge Charger

Overview
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2012 Dodge Charger Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan is the perfect car for the individual who loves performance driving, but must now cater to a family or business clientele. With its 4 doors, the Charger is technically classified as a sedan, but it doesn't look like any sedan we've seen recently. With dramatic styling, a single-bar taillight and aggressive alloy wheels wrapped in performance rubber, the 2012 Dodge Charger sedan is one sweet ride. And, unlike many of its competitors, the 2012 Dodge Charger can be configured in a number of ways, including with a potent HEMI V8 engine and available all-wheel drive (AWD). Of course, the Ford Taurus SHO is available with AWD, but it lacks the low-end grunt of a V8 engine. The Nissan Maxima and Volkswagen CC offer the same kind of stylish exterior, but again lack a V8 or AWD option, and neither can match the 2012 Dodge Charger for interior space or trunk room. If you're really into performance, 2012 marks the reintroduction of the high-performance Dodge Charger SRT8.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you really had your heart set on a Dodge Challenger, but your daily chores include shuttling more than two people to and fro, the 2012 Dodge Charger makes for a great alternative. Its 292-horsepower V6 is more powerful than some V8s, and its available 370-horsepower HEMI V8 leaves everything else in the segment eating the Charger's dust.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan's aggressive looks and attitude might be a bit too macho muscle car for some. There are less potent performance sedans with more upscale exteriors, such as the Nissan Maxima or VW CC, or you could get the same muscle in a more luxurious package by opting for the Chrysler 300.

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Dodge Charger sport sedan gains a new 8-speed automatic transmission as well as new trim designations. New available features for 2012 include sport seats, paddle shifters, hands-free texting and a color Vehicle Information Display screen.

Driving the Charger

Driving Impressions While you might think the 2012 Dodge Charger's V6 engine wouldn't produce much adrenaline, a few minutes behind the wheel will not only prove you wrong, it will have your...

heart pounding. When coupled to the new 8-speed automatic transmission, not only is the 2012 Dodge Charger fast, it is also extremely fuel-efficient. The Pentastar 3.6-liter V6 is one of the best V6 engines ever built by Dodge, and its smooth operation and slight growl when pushed hard make it the perfect fit to the Charger's muscle-car image. On SE trims, gear selection is handled by a 5-speed AutoStick transmission, which does a good job of finding and holding the right gears when climbing hills or navigating stop-and-go traffic. Both the 8-speed and 5-speed transmissions feature an auto shift mode. We were not impressed by the 5-speed AutoStick's manual mode, however, finding gear selection to be somewhat sluggish. The 2012 Dodge Charger is a big sedan, yet its suspension does an admirable job of handling aggressive driving, with excellent steering response and a decent but somewhat firm ride.

Garmin Navigation
The UConnect 8.4N radio features an enormous 8.4-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 3-mode electronic stability control (ESC).

2012 Dodge Charger Details
Interior

If you've ridden in a Dodge car sometime over the last five years, you probably have a pretty low opinion of Dodge's interior esthetic. But, Dodge jettisoned that image last year by revising all of its interiors to be more elegant and inviting. The 2012 Dodge Charger has one of the nicest interiors Dodge builds, with quality soft-touch materials, vivid colors and cool instrument-panel backlighting. The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan's front seats are equipped with noticeably large side bolsters and its thick-grip 3-spoke steering wheel houses controls for the audio, Bluetooth, cruise control and the driver-information center. The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan's spacious back seat can comfortably fit two adults, although the slanted rear roofline somewhat limits headroom for taller passengers. A wide, flat instrument panel places everything needing to be seen near eye level and is covered in a single-piece aluminum trim plate. A worthwhile option is the 8.4-inch touch-screen navigation radio that includes GPS maps by Garmin and controls for the UConnect infotainment system.

Exterior

The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan attempts to imitate the classic lines that comprised the original 1968 Charger coupe, as well as those found on the 1999 Charger concept. It's a successful blending of old and new, with the front doors and hood sharing deep scallop styling and a "Coke-bottle" beltline (so named because it mirrors the shape of a Coke bottle laid on its side) running the car's length. In another nod to the Charger's past, a single-unit taillight fills the entire rear fascia and is fitted with 164 illuminated LED lights that form a racetrack motif. V6 models come with standard 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, while the R/T trim has 18-inch chrome-clad wheels and the all-wheel-drive R/T boasts 19-inchers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Dodge Charger SE features a 292-horsepower V6 engine, 5-speed AutoStick transmission, cruise control, vehicle-information center, keyless Enter-N-Go, remote start, 6-speaker audio with 4.3-inch touch screen, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player, USB with iPod control and auxiliary audio input jacks, 6-way power driver's seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, and 17-inch wheels The SXT adds an 8-speed automatic transmission, foglights, 8.4-inch UConnect touch screen with a 276-watt Alpine audio system, automatic temperature control, steering-wheel-mounted buttons for cruise and audio, and 12-way power front seats with power lumbar support. The R/T trims add 18- or 19-inch wheels, a 370-horsepower HEMI V8, a 5-speed automatic transmission, HID headlights and a performance transmission. The R/T Plus adds 12-way power front seats, heated and cooling cup holders and premium leather seating.

Optional Equipment

The 2012 Dodge Charger SE offers a new Blacktop package that adds blacked-out trim, a performance suspension and Pitch-Black 20-inch wheels. Also included in the Blacktop package are UConnect audio with 8.4-inch touch screen with 9-speaker Alpine audio system pumping out 506 watts. Hard-core enthusiasts will want to opt for the R/T's Road and Track package that adds a 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 AWD.

Under the Hood

The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan is powered by a choice of three engines. The entry-level SE and SXT feature the new Pentastar 3.6-liter V6. Arguably the best V6 engine ever produced by Dodge, this engine produces an amazing 292 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, yet still delivers 31 mpg in the government's highway driving cycle. The Charger's 5.7-liter HEMI V8 has been tweaked to produce 370 horsepower and 395 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to propel this big muscle car from zero to 60 mph 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. The SRT8 features a 6.1-liter HEMI good for 470 horsepower. All three engines are coupled to a 5-speed AutoStick automatic transmission with manual shift mode, with a new ZF 8-speed automatic available on the V6 SXT trims. The ZF transmission features a Sport mode for more aggressive shift points, as well as paddle shifters for manual shifting.

3.6-liter V6
292 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 (gasoline), 19/31(8-speed), 14/20 (E85), 14/23 (E85, 8-speed), 18/27 (AWD), 14/20 (AWD, E85)


5.7-liter HEMI V8
370 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
395 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 (FWD), 15/23 (AWD)

6.1-liter HEMI V8
470 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
470 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/23

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2012 Dodge Charger Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 114 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Super responsive & Fun to drive in all weather.

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,750

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun fast comfortable & attention getting."

Cons: "only con I didn't buy the SRT8"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The best part is the all wheel drive in the snow. Its so positive. Its such an eye catching car in the toxic orange color. We are always getting compliments. Couldn't ask for a more fun car to drive. The front end design is one of the main reasons we looked at this car to purchase.Then we test drove it & loved it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

So much fun to drive

By on Wednesday, April 01, 2015

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fast,Fun,Comfortable,Spacious,Beautiful Exterior"

Cons: "Not Great on gas, Hard to go the speed limit"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I've been renting this model while my car is in the shop, and I have to admit I like it much more than I thought I would.. The acceleration this car has is almost unreal and It makes for a very fun highway commute. Not nearly as fun to drive down residential streets due to its great acceleration, I often catch myself going 15-20 MPH over the speed limit without even realizing. Personally I find it to be a very attractive car, the perfect balance of flash and elegance. You'll certainly turn a few heads driving this bad boy down a residential not only because its a nice car... but also because its a loud one! (at least compared to what I'm used to driving) The sound system is decent, It gets very loud but something about it just sound strange I can't put my finger on it. As far as the Interior its super comfortable and spacious with plenty of cup holders and space in the console. I'm only gonna have this car for 2-3 weeks when all is said and done, but can honestly say I would highly recommend this car to anybody looking to buy one."

16 people out of 25 found this review helpful

enjoyable vehicle. no mechanical issues.

By on Monday, March 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "very good value for the $; 4 door sports sedan"

Cons: "looks sporty but doesn't handle like a sports car"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have enjoyed driving my 2012 SXT ralleye plus Charger for the last 3 years. No mechanical problems and the V6 8 speed automatic transmission has power and great on gas. Overall a quality vehicle and great value for the $. Like the fact it's a 4 door American sports sedan. Highly recommend."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Fun and Cool Car to Drive

By on Monday, March 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks, power, lcd screen, rear seat heaters"

Cons: "View to rear, hard plastic interior"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought this car for son to drive distance to high school. He wanted cool. It is super fun to drive, but not a luxury model. We wanted safe, so awd and no hemi. Smaller engine has PLENTY of power and gets great mileage on the highway, around 20 overall. Handles pretty good in winter. Interior is ok, the slope of roof makes car look cool but tought to see corners especially rear. Have had no issues with reliability in first 3 years."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

A great look. Interior amenities excellent

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Weak in the snow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had the car for 3 1/2 years and it still drives like new. All black with black wheels, looks like a police cruiser and gets lots of admiring looks. Quality is still high after 70,000 miles."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Luxurious

By on Sunday, February 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 680

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive"

Cons: "Car depreciates close to 10k as soon as you sign."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have the fully loaded version, and it's super nice. The leather seats are very comfortable and you can adjust them to anyone's needs. The beats stereo system is perfect. However, the music I have on my phone seems to sound better than the Xm radio. The car also keeps the music on the inside and all the other noises out, which is so much better than the mini I had prior to this."

31 people out of 49 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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