2023 Dodge Charger GT | Overview
Muscle cars are meant to bark through the neighborhood between streetlights, and the Dodge Charger has been off its leash for plenty of years now. More than a decade into its current generation, the seemingly ageless Charger comes standard with a 292-hp V-6 and rear-wheel drive, with an all-wheel drive option should you need it.
Consider this version the calm older dog of the lineup. But there’s also bark and bite in the Charger family. Step up to the R/T trim for the 370-hp 5.7-liter V-8 engine. Scat Pack models get even more power, with a 6.4-liter, 485-hp V-8. The tire-killing supercharged Hellcat models get even wilder but are reviewed separately. If the Charger drives like an old cop car, that’s because it is. And while the world shifts to alternative energy, the Charger keeps on chugging along as a sedan version of the coupe-bodied, gasoline-fired Challenger. One day cars like the Charger will be against all the rules, but for now this V-8-powered sedan remains loud and proud.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Charger channels its NASCAR roots with big V-8 power and rowdy sounds. However, not every Charger has a mighty Hemi V-8 under the hood—what a pity—but they do all share an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. In contrast, the V-6 is subdued but does add the availability of all-wheel drive. Dodge doesn’t build a Charger with a manual gearbox, but it would be so much cooler if it did. The standard V-6 is no slouch, yet it lacks the giddy-up of front-drivers such as the Nissan Maxima. The more powerful versions excel at the strip, where the 485-hp Charger R/T Scat Pack posted an impressive 3.8-second sprint to 60 mph. The 370-hp Charger has enough ponies to outrun most family sedans. The bright (Green Go) Charger we paraded around town had a quiet and composed ride. Its large 20-inch wheels were relaxed on most surfaces, but obstacles such as railroad crossings and potholes disrupted its composure. The big-bodied sedan was remarkably balanced when cornering, too. Although the V-6 version we tested had nearly identical cornering grip, the Daytona’s hefty horsepower advantage amplified the fun. The electrically assisted power steering contributes to the Charger’s purposeful control, but its feedback is too heavy and slow to be engaging. We’ve tested several Chargers for emergency braking, and the best results came from the high-performance models with upgraded brakes and stickier summer performance tires.
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