By Don Fuller, Contributing Editor
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
American 4-door sedans don’t get much more rambunctiously pulse-quickening than the 2016 Dodge Charger. With over a half-dozen trim choices, four engines ranging in output from 292 horsepower with an efficient V6 to a truly incredible 707-horsepower supercharged V8, handling and technology to match, road-warrior styling and a lengthy assortment of options, the 2016 Charger offers a bold motoring statement in a wide variety of flavors. It’s not the only domestic sedan with performance and style but, with its arrogant attitude and generous bang-for-the-buck, the alternatives – Chevrolet Impala, Buick LaCrosse, Ford Fusion – just don’t seem to have the in-your-face appeal.
There are lots of choices in 4-door sedans, but few with the 2016 Charger’s attitude. The “base” engine is a 292-horsepower V6, with three available Hemi V8s (three!), the pinnacle being the SRT Hellcat with its 707-horsepower supercharged Hemi and a price under $70 grand. What’s not to like?
If you’re concerned about standing out on the road or in the company parking lot, you might consider something less, well, noticeable. And not everyone needs all that performance. Not to worry; there are numerous other, tamer, choices.
KBB Expert Ratings
The Charger was all-new for 2015 and changes for 2016 are minimal. There are some trim additions, a Super Track Pak of race-bred chassis upgrades for more performance for the V6-powered SXT and, for a limited time, you can have it in Plum Crazy. Get it while it lasts.
For a “base” engine the 2016 Charger’s 3.6-liter, 292-horsepower V6 offers plenty of punch with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). The standard 8-speed automatic transmission is smooth,...
... aids fuel efficiency and doesn’t annoyingly hunt for gears, and powertrain noise is unobtrusive. The Charger is pretty much about get-up-and-go and, depending upon engine choice, the performance ranges from sprightly to flat-out awesome, with the 707-horsepower Hellcat Charger having to be experienced to be believed. Overall, the Charger’s driving dynamics are smooth and responsive, with an appropriate blend of handling precision and suspension compliance for a comfortable ride, and an interior noise level that’s entirely conversationally quiet.
With maps supplied by Garmin, and Bluetooth connectivity, Uconnect is one of the best infotainment systems on the automotive market. The navigation directions come in clear and concise and it’s easy to operate.
6.2-LITER HELLCAT SUPERCHARGED V8
There is no other sedan engine, at anywhere near this price range, that comes close to competing with the 707-horsepower, 6.2-liter, supercharged Hemi in the Hellcat version of the 2016 Charger. Considering the price, this is one of the all-out go-fast deals of all time.
For 2016 the Dodge Charger’s interior is inviting, comfortable and functional. The instrument panel has all the working stuff angled toward the driver, the gauge cluster is configurable for individual preferences, and there are numerous controls mounted within easy reach on the steering wheel. In the center is an available 8.4-inch touch screen and it and the Uconnect infotainment system are a couple of features we recommend. Front seats are comfortable for long trips, a bench in back will handle three adults and the entire well-designed presentation is also easy on the eyes.
While the roofline and general shape retain a familial linkage to previous Chargers, the 2016 is sleek and modern from front to rear. The smoothly rounded nose would seem to make obvious contributions to reduced aerodynamic drag, and the attractive rear includes Dodge’s distinctive layout of the “racetrack” taillight arrangement, which certainly stands out in after-dark traffic. It looks like what it is: an American sedan with performance potential.
LED daytime running lights, acoustic front glass and windshield, front and rear power windows with express front up/down, and a configurable, full-color, 7-inch driver-information display are all standard features on the 2016 Dodge Charger. With a wide range of trim levels there is, obviously, an equally wide range of standard-equipment listings.
Depending upon how you check the boxes you can have a 2016 Dodge Charger with a base price well under $30 grand or well over 60, and with horsepower just under 300 or way more than twice that. The trim levels are tied closely to the engine choices, with corresponding moves upward not only in performance but also in features and luxury. Major options include a power sunroof, Beats by Dr. Dre and harman/kardon sound systems, and a variety of packages: Super Track Pak, Premium Group, Technology Group, Driver Confidence Group, Navigation/Rear Backup Camera Group, and others.
The 2016 Charger is available with four engine choices. Base, in SE and SXT models, is a very nice 3.6-liter V6 with 292 horsepower and plenty of performance for just about anybody. Next up is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 of 370 horsepower, in R/T and R/T Road & Track versions. It’s one more step to a 6.4-liter Hemi of 485 horsepower, in R/T Scat Pack and SRT 392 trims. And, if a 485-horsepower Hemi isn’t quite enough, there’s the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi in the SRT Hellcat, with 707 horsepower. In all cases, the transmission is an 8-speed automatic. Truly, there is something here for just about anyone who likes to stand on the gas.
292 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/31 mpg (RWD), 18/27 mpg (AWD)
370 horsepower @ 5,250 rpm
395 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/25 mpg
485 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
475 lb-ft of torque @ 4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/25 mpg
6.2-liter supercharged V8
707 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
650 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 13/22 mpg
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for a 2016 Dodge Charger SE with rear-wheel drive is $28,990, including destination of $995; all-wheel drive is about $2,000. The nicely equipped Charger SXT is $30,990; the R/T, the lowest-priced Hemi V8 Charger, is $34,890; the R/T Scat Pack, with the 485-horsepower Hemi, is $40,990; and the SRT 392 is $51,990. The 707-horsepower SRT Hellcat monster is $68,640, which has to be among the all-time performance bargains. A “similarly equipped” competitor, such as a Chevrolet Impala, is around $28,000 but, when considering the performance levels of Chargers with Hemis, the “similarly equipped” competitors tend to be things like a BMW M5 at around $80 grand or a Porsche Panamera for well over twice that. Historically, resale values on Dodges have been below average. Before making your purchase, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a 2016 Charger.