By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 9/5/2012
In creating the 2013 Charger sedan, Dodge has found a way to give the average family the comfort, safety and room they need, while giving its owner a vehicle that is as attractive to show off as it is to drive. Despite having four doors, the Charger's styling is decidedly coupe-like, with a rakish rear roofline, deep scallops on the doors and a single-bar taillight reminiscent of the original Charger. Unlike its forefather, however, today's Charger is filled with modern touches, such as a potent yet fuel-efficient V6 engine, an 8-speed automatic transmission and the very latest in touch-screen navigation and entertainment technology. Toss in the Charger's available all-wheel drive (AWD) and high-performance SRT8 version, and you'll find a Charger to fit just about any need.
If a snarling V8 and razor-sharp handling seem like they'd conflict with your need for a safe, roomy and affordable family sedan, the 2013 Dodge Charger is ready to prove you wrong. Even with the 292-horsepower V6, the Charger is one mean machine and carries a price that won't break the budget.
Some may find the Charger's styling a bit too boy-racer, and its resale record is not as stellar as more mainstream sedans from Toyota and Honda. If you're looking for the same muscle in a more sophisticated sedan, the Chrysler 300 might make a better choice.What's New for 2013
A cold-air induction system and sport-tuned exhaust bump the V6's horsepower to 300 on specially-outfitted SXT and SXT Plus trims. A new black-painted roof option is offered, as is an improved Rallye Appearance Package. The Charger SRT8 receives a revised adaptive dampening suspension and standard launch control.Driving It Driving Impressions
While you might think a 3.6-liter V6 engine wouldn't produce much adrenaline, a few minutes behind the wheel of the 2013 Dodge Charger will prove you wrong, far wrong. When coupled to the new 8-speed automatic transmission, not only is the 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. The 8-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts, aided on sportier trims by the steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Though it qualifies as a full-size sedan, the 2013 Dodge Charger's suspension does an admirable job of handling aggressive driving, with excellent steering response and a decent but somewhat firm ride. The 5.7-liter HEMI V8 offers even more thrills, but the ultimate Charger is the 470-horsepower SRT8.
The UConnect 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 PAK
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).
The 2013 Charger sedan has one of the nicest interiors Dodge builds, with quality soft-touch materials, vivid colors and stylish instrument-panel backlighting. The Charger's front seats are equipped with noticeably large side bolsters and its thick-grip 3-spoke steering wheel includes controls for the audio, Bluetooth, cruise control and the driver-information center. The Charger's spacious back seat can comfortably fit two adults, although the slanted rear roofline somewhat limits headroom for taller passengers. 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
In the 2013 Charger, Dodge clearly is paying homage to the classic lines comprising the original 1968 Charger coupe. It's a successful blending of old and new, with the front doors and hood sharing deep scallop styling and a "Coke-bottle" beltline 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.
The 2013 Dodge Charger SE features a 3.6-liter V6 engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, cruise control, 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.Notable Optional Equipment
The 2013 Dodge Charger SE offers an improved Blacktop package that adds blacked-out trim, a performance suspension, rear spoiler and Pitch-Black 20-inch wheels. Also included in the Blacktop package are UConnect audio with 8.4-inch touch-screen, the Beats audio system and a 300-horsepower V6. Hard-core enthusiasts will want to opt for the R/T's Road/Track package that adds a performance-oriented 3.06:1 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. R/T Max and Road/Track trims add 20 inch-wheels.
The 2013 Dodge Charger sedan is powered by a choice of three engines. The entry-level SE and SXT feature the Pentastar 3.6-liter V6. This engine produces an impressive 292 horsepower (300 with Rallye Package), yet is still EPA-rated at 31 mpg on the highway. 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 6.4-liter HEMI good for 470 horsepower. All three engines are coupled to a 5-speed AutoStick automatic transmission with manual shift mode, with the ZF 8-speed automatic available on the SE and standard on the SXT trims.
3.6-liter V6 (SE, SXT)
292 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg (manual), 13/19 mpg (manual, E-85), 19/31 mpg (automatic), 14/23 mpg (automatic, E-85), 18/27 mpg (AWD), 14/20 mpg (AWD, E-85)
3.6-liter V6 (SXT with Rallye and Blackout package)
300 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
264 lb-ft or torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/31 mpg (RWD), 18/27 mpg (AWD)
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 mpg (FWD), 15/23 mpg (AWD)
6.4-liter HEMI V8
470 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
470 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/23 mpg
The 2013 Dodge Charger SE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $27,000, while the SXT Plus starts closer to $32,000. The R/T Plus starts closer to $33,000, while a fully-loaded R/T MAX can easily approach the $40,000 mark. AWD adds about $2,500 to the bottom line, while opting for the SRT8 trim pushes the price close to $48,000. This compares favorably with the Ford Taurus, which starts around $28,000 and can push into the $40,000 range in SHO form. A nicely-loaded Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T, however, starts under $27,000 and offers more standard equipment than the Charger SE. To get the best deal, be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are currently paying for the 2013 Dodge Charger. Also, be sure to click on the Incentives tab to see what deals the manufacturer is offering. As for resale, we expect the 2013 Dodge Charger sedan to do slightly better than the previous-generation car, but still fall short of the values currently held by the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry.