Is the 2014 Dodge Charger a family sedan or hot rod? Could be both. It offers the room, ride comfort and safety features a family requires, with the style and performance the enthusiast driver wants. The roofline looks lifted from a coupe and the sculpturing on the sides and eye-catching taillight treatment note a linkage to earlier Chargers from the 1960s. But this modern Charger has features and capabilities that would leave owners of those earlier versions open-mouthed with envy, with V6 engines that far outperform those ancestral V8s, the efficiency of an 8-speed automatic transmission and all the expected electronic conveniences. Add in the availability of all-wheel drive (AWD) and the inspiring Hemi V8 engine choices, and both the family and the enthusiast can be happy.
You'll Like This Car If...
You need four doors and interior room. You want some get-with-it performance. You have a modest budget. You should look at the 2014 Dodge Charger.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Perhaps you're put off by the over-the-top, heavily-sculpted sedan styling. Perhaps your prudent side notes the resale value is not terrific. Perhaps you don't really need all that performance all the time. Don't panic: You have lots of other choices.
A new Redline Package includes 20-inch Black Chrome aluminum wheels and a 3.6-liter V6 with cold-air induction and 300 horsepower. The AWD Sport includes the 300-horsepower V6 or 370-horsepower V8. There's also a Wheel Sport Appearance Group, and new paint choices include Header Orange, TorRed and Plum Crazy historic colors.
Driving the Charger
You don't need the Hemi V8 to get the 2014 Charger sedan moving in a big hurry. The base 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 makes 292 horsepower, and the uprated version is...
... 300. The V6 Charger is, after all, standard issue for huge numbers of police departments and they wouldn't make that pick if it wouldn't catch bad guys. Add the 8-speed automatic and you have not only performance, but thoroughly commendable fuel economy. The Charger deals with corners with a sophisticated fully-independent suspension: control arms in front and a multilink arrangement in the rear, with coil springs and assertive anti-roll bars all around. Steering is a precise and responsive rack-and-pinion setup. Brakes are 4-wheel discs, and the Performance Brake Package brings large vented rotors front and rear, and twin-piston calipers in the front. Even if you never use it, the Charger is engineered and built for some serious driving.
GREAT ALL-AROUND PERFORMANCE A selection of powerful and responsive engines, a sophisticated suspension, great steering, big and strong brakes, all well-blended into a very competent package. Four-door sedan or not, he 2014 Charger can get down the road and around the corners, and doesn't cost much in the bargain.
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).
2014 Dodge Charger Details
A glance at the modest window sticker will not prepare you for the niceness of the interior. There are soft-touch surfaces, quality materials, attractive colors, appealing instrumentation, and it's all done with an appreciable level of fit and finish. The well-bolstered front seats and thick-rimmed steering wheel hold you in place and give a nice place to hold on, and the back seat is just fine for two adults, although the sloping roofline might cut headroom for taller folks. Several well-thought-out options include touch-screen navigation and worthwhile sound systems.
You won't have trouble finding the 2014 Dodge Charger sedan in the parking lot – there's more than just a little resemblance to at least the spirit of the 2-door Charger of the 1960s. The front is unmistakably bold and identifiable, the sides feature deep sculpturing and the full-width taillight treatment, with 164 LEDs forming a sort of "racetrack of lights" will not go unnoticed. Wheel choices range from 17-inch all the way to optional 20-inchers. This is not a car for shy people.
Standard equipment for the 2014 Dodge Charger SE includes a 3.6-liter V6, 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, automatic temperature control, steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio functions, 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 and other go-quick goodies.
The 2014 Dodge Charger SE Blacktop package includes blacked-out trim, a performance suspension, rear spoiler, Pitch-Black 20-inch wheels, UConnect audio with 8.4-inch touch-screen, the Beats audio system and a 300-horsepower V6. Hard-core enthusiasts will want the R/T's Road/Track package with the performance-oriented 3.06:1 axle ratio, supportive front seats with suede inserts and blackout honeycomb grille. The SXT and SXT Plus Redline Package includes 20-inch Black Chrome wheels and performance-tuned suspension. Other options include a power sunroof, Adaptive Cruise Control, Garmin navigation, leather seating, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, AWD, and a variety of wheel choices.
Under the Hood
The Dodge Charger sedan offers no shortage of engine choices. Base is the 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 with 292 horsepower, and it's no slouch. An uprated 3.6 brings 300 horsepower and more than enough performance for any reasonable street use. Both the V6 engines are EPA-rated for 31 mpg on the highway. If 300 horsepower isn't quite enough, the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 makes 370 horsepower and will move the Charger from rest to 60 mph in under six seconds. Want even more? The 6.4-liter Hemi in the SRT8 will give you 470 horsepower, which should get the job done. Depending upon the engine choice, the transmission will be either a 5-speed automatic or the 8-speed automatic that really enhances fuel economy.
The 2014 Dodge Charger SE has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $27,000, the SXT Plus is around $32,000, the R/T Plus is near $33,000 and a fully-loaded R/T MAX can easily approach the $40,000 mark. The SRT8 is close to $48,000. AWD adds about $2,500. These prices compare favorably with the Ford Taurus, which starts around $28,000 and can go 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, check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what buyers in your area are paying for the 2014 Dodge Charger. As for resale, we expect the 2014 Dodge Charger to do slightly better than past Charger sedans, but still fall short of the residual values of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry.
Cons: "None except a few early issues with the airbag sys"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love the power of the ultra smooth Hemi engine in my R/T. Driving is a joy on long or short trips, the interior is super quite and the seats comfortable. The electronic display is easy to use and controls almost everything. I would recommend this car to young and old."
"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."