In the world of muscle cars, the Dodge Charger has a storied history and the most famous Chargers were Steve McQueen’s black nemesis in the movie Bullitt and of course the orange “General Lee” on the Dukes of Hazard show. The Dodge Charger made history again when Dodge brought back the iconic four-door as a 2006 model. Nine years later, Charger is still making headlines and it gets a complete update in 2015.
This past weekend we drove the full-size four-door muscle car out and test the 2015 Dodge Charger SXT V6 AWD variant and see how it performs.
For 2015, Dodge Charger gets thoroughly updated inside and out. It now features an eight-speed automatic transmission that comes standard across the lineup. All-wheel-drive is only offered on the V6 variant and new R/T Road & Track, R/T Scat Pack, SRT 392 and SRT Hellcat models join the stable. The 2015 Charger now features a host of new electronic driver aids and safety features.
Features and options
Charger SXT AWD ($32,995) features LED fog lights, dual-zone climate control, 19-inch aluminum wheels (AWD), 276-watt Alpine audio system with AM/FM/SiriusXM/Bluetooth, cloth sport seats, 12-way power driver seat, heated front seats, heated power mirrors, remote start, auto-dimming inside mirror and universal garage door opener.
This SXT tester came with optional Navigation ($995) that also included a rear backup camera, 8.4-inch touchscreen Uconnect Access, HD Radio and Sirius XM. It also came with Ivory Tri-Coat Pearl exterior paint ($500). Total MSRP including destination: $35,485.
We got many looks from other drivers this week as we motored around the streets of Denver. The 2015 Charger gets a new front-and rear-end styling and gives the Charger a sleeker appearance. We saw a few necks snap around from people who hadn’t seen the new styling changes. We like the new looks and so do my coworkers who commented they were especially impressed with the new front end.
The cabin of the new Charger gets upgraded with higher-quality materials and comes with lots of soft-touch surfaces. Charger offers full-size room, plenty of high-tech features and practicality for hauling passengers and cargo. The 8-way power heated front seats are thick and the seating position is high which offers good visibility. The Charger’s raked rear roof does limit some visibility out the rear window.
The rear seats are also comfortable with plenty of leg and hip room. My two tall passengers did complain about that raked roof in the rear as they had to duck to get in the back door. The trunk is big enough for most cargo items and the rear seats fold down for extra cargo carrying ability if you don’t have rear seat passengers.
Engine and fuel mileage specs
The Charger SXT AWD comes with a 3.6-liter V6 powerplant that produces 292 hp and 260 lb ft of torque. It now comes mated to a sweet TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission. EPA ratings are up to 18/27 mpg with AWD and 21 mpg combined fuel mileage. Consumers can only get all-wheel-drive ($3,000 extra) with the V6 and it’s the way to go if you live in cold climates.
2015 Charger offers V8 engine options and you can get crazy with the Charger Hellcat with a mind-numbing 707 hp. This Charger SXT V6 has enough power (292 hp) for driving enthusiasts and it rates a 7 out of 10 on the fun to drive meter. That’s good for a full-size sedan and it still does justice to its muscle car heritage. The fuel mileage is decent if you can keep your foot out of the gas. Of course we were pushing this Charger hard all weekend and got about 23 mpg combined in our mostly highway driving.
Charger SXT doesn’t provide dynamic performance, but for the average driving enthusiast, the V6 offers good performance with a controlled ride and there was minimal body lean as we powered through the tight mountain curves this week. The steering is precise and fast with electric power steering that can vary the effort automatically. We were impressed with the Chargers solid substantial feel on the road at high speeds that gives the driver an extra feeling of safety and confidence.
The V6 is the only engine offered on Charger with all-wheel drive. The system works well and powers the rear wheels unless more traction is needed in the front. This saves fuel and adds to the Chargers sporty feel. AWD operation is completely automatic and transparent, we simply selected Drive and go. We would recommend spending the extra $3,000 grand for the all-weather capabilities and superior dry road handling characteristics.
If you don’t need all-out muscle car performance, the V6 with close to 300 hp is going to be agreeable for most driving enthusiasts. Charger SXT offers brisk acceleration and all-wheel-drive is available for better inclement weather propulsion. The 2015 Dodge Charger will carry four adults comfortably and child-seat in between if you have little ones. The 2015 Dodge Charger SXT is a balanced performer for dad with enough room and all the features a family will appreciate.