Buyer's Guide

2021 Dodge Charger
Select a Different Model (1 Available): SXT Sedan
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2021 Dodge Charger MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Muscle car attitude
  • Tire-smoking V-8 options
  • Intuitive infotainment system

Cons

  • No standard active safety tech
  • Poor V-8 fuel economy

The Charger is Dodge's big, bad sedan, a platform-mate to the more luxuriously oriented Chrysler 300 and the muscley four-door counterpart to the Dodge Challenger coupe. Dodge offers a generous smattering of six- and eight-cylinder engine options, plus your choice of RWD or AWD. The Charger competes in the ever-shrinking segment of non-luxury full-size sedans along with the aforementioned Chrysler, Toyota Avalon, Kia Cadenza, and the Nissan Maxima.

What's New

  • Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye is the new range-topping model
  • 20-inch wheels now standard on GT AWD and available on SXT AWD

What We Think

Dodge is doubling down on performance instead of redesigning its large sedan, which was introduced for 2011 in its current generation. When we drove a 2020 Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody, we described it as "in your face, unapologetic, and, yeah, a little offensive," which is an entirely different vibe than what we receive from a Toyota Avalon or Nissan Maxima. In that regard, the Charger exists in a segment of one.

Chargers with a V-8 will indulge enthusiasts with endless plumes of tire smoke and a burly grumble at any flex of the right foot. That said, even with the SRT models' upgraded suspension and tires, the Charger's performance is best exercised in a straight line. The Charger doesn't include any active safety features as standard, and its crash test performance is nothing special, but this sedan is more about swagger and attitude than outright practicality.

This is a practical car, though. The Charger offers loads of passenger and cargo space, and its UConnect infotainment system is one of the more intuitive on the market. Sure, the Avalon is the better-rounded, more sensible choice, but driving a Charger makes you feel like a hero.

Performance and Fuel Economy

The Charger is offered with a wealth of engine options ranging from the standard, pedestrian V-6 to the fire-breathing supercharged mill under the hood of the new Charger Hellcat Redeye. Every variant pairs its engine with an eight-speed automatic and while most models exclusively offer RWD, those with the Pentastar V-6 can be had with AWD.

 

Engine: 3.6-liter V-6

Trims: SXT, SXT AWD, GT, GT AWD

Horsepower: 292-300 hp

Torque: 260-264 lb-ft

Fuel Economy (city/highway): 18-19/27-30 mpg

Performance (0-60 mph): 6.4 seconds

 

Engine: 5.7-liter V-8

Trim: R/T

Horsepower: 370 hp

Torque: 395 lb-ft

Fuel Economy (city/highway): 16/25 mpg

Performance (0-60 mph): 5.3 seconds

 

Engine: 6.4-liter V-8

Trims: Scat Pack, Scat Pack Widebody

Horsepower: 485 hp

Torque: 475 lb-ft

Fuel Economy (city/highway): 15/24 mpg

Performance (0-60 mph): 4.2 seconds

 

Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V-8

Trim: SRT Hellcat

Horsepower: 717 hp

Torque: 650 lb-ft

Fuel Economy (city/highway): 12/21 mpg

Performance (0-60 mph): 3.8 seconds

 

Engine: High output 6.2-liter supercharged V-8

Trim: SRT Hellcat Redeye

Horsepower: 797 hp

Torque: 707 lb-ft

Fuel Economy (city/highway): 12/21 mpg

Performance (0-60 mph): 3.6 seconds (est)

Safety

The Charger is not the strongest performer when it comes to safety testing. In IIHS evaluations, it receives a Marginal rating in the small overlap front crashworthiness test (on the driver's side) and Poor headlight ratings across the board. Dodge's big sedan does earn a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, though, despite a four-star frontal crash score.

Dodge doesn't include any standard active safety features, but all trims save for the Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye can be ordered with a Technology Group. The package includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Hellcats are equipped with those last two features as standard.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

Every Charger seats five with 41.8 inches of legroom up front and a generous 40.1 inches in the rear. With 16.5 cubic feet of cargo volume, the Charger offers more trunk space than the Toyota Avalon (16.1 cubic feet) and the Nissan Maxima (14.3 cubic feet).

Technology

The base RWD Charger SXT includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support and a six-speaker audio system. SXT GT models and above come standard with an 8.4-inch touchscreen system with a CD player; a version with integrated navigation is available on all models. All but the entry-level trim feature a six-speaker Alpine audio system, but a nine-speaker Alpine system and a 19-speaker Harman Kardon setup are optional.

Key Competitors:

  • Chrysler 300
  • Toyota Avalon
  • Nissan Maxima

2021 DODGE CHARGER SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
Engine Name
Transmission Name
Trim
SXT Sedan
Class
Horsepower
Standard MPG
Body Style
Sedan
Drivetrain
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Package Invoice Retail
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IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
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IIHS Front Small Overlap
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IIHS Overall Side Crash
NHTSA Rating Overall
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NHTSA Rating Rear Side
IIHS Roof Strength
NHTSA Rating Rollover