This week we’re looking at the 2009 Dodge Charger R/T rear wheel drive 4-door sedan. My test vehicle was a bright fire engine red and I was concerned I would not be able to “Dodge” a ticket.
You gotta just love Chrysler innovation and guts to put out cars that are separate and apart from the pack. It would be a shame to lose this one. GM’s Cadillac division has similar courage and it produces my favorite car on the road the CTS.
But when you look at the number of cars each of these companies produce it makes you think this is an industry out of control to please a society out of control. The love affair people in America have with the automobile begins in society’s youth when they are most impressionable and searching for ways to define their independence. As they age they will make a market for nostalgic (then) classic cars and the cycle begins again with a new generation.
Parts – U.S./Canadian 66%
Assembly – Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Class: – Large cars.
Cars: – Caliber, Challenger, Charger, Dakota, Durango, Durango Hybrid, Grand Caravan, Journey, Magnum, Nitro, Ram 15-25-3500, Sprinter, Sprinter Wagon & Viper.
Boom Boxes: Ignored young people strike back with “Boom-Boxes” on our highways to offend our sensibilities. It is for us to respond with better education of these kids who apparently can find no accomplishment beyond the ability to turn the volume dial up. It reminds me of a very young obnoxious child seeking attention.
Handling & Performance:
Charger – she purrs like a cat – a big cat – and when you press down on the accelerator pedal it roars like a lion – a very healthy lion. The big HEMI engine is famous for raw power and it won’t disappoint you. But the good news is that the fuel economy is fairly respectable which is a huge departure from the original muscle cars of half a century ago.
Legendary, stylish and attractive which will draw attention with an approving eye from lots of folks. That’s not the case with the squeaky clean likes of Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, and others that are boring. Great cars but they don’t turn a head. To many buyers that is important – while others couldn’t care less what others think of their choice of cars.
Fit and Finish:
Very good 8 on a scale of 10.
Competitive in class.
Conveniences and comfort:
Ilona and I took this Charger on a short road trip from LA to Scottsdale, AZ and her first comment was how comfortable the seats were. It can seat 5 adults but a little tight in the rear seat. You wouldn’t want to tote five on more than around town. Overall it was a great road car experience for us.
An interesting resource to see beyond NEW car reviews is the follow on recommendations of a cross section of car owners over time. www.autopacific.com is a site worth your time to help with your car buying decision.
Dodge Charger $25-39,000, Buick Lucerne $29-40,000, Buick La Crosse $27-33,000, Hyundai Azera $25-29,000, Cadillac CTS $37-59,000, Pontiac G8 $28-38,000, Mercury Sable $25-31,000, Mercury Grand Marquis $29,270, Acura TL $35-43,000, Lexus ES $34,470, Chrysler 300 $27-44,000, Kia Amanti $25,855, Nissan Maxima $30-33,000, $13-17,000, Ford Fusion $19-28,000, Ford Taurus $25-37,000, Ford Shelby GT500 $47-52,000, Chevrolet Impala $24-31,000, Toyota Avalon $28-35,000.
Great styling, great road car, powerful and fun to drive.
Only fair fuel economy for fuel prices today and the future.
5.7 liter 368 hp V8 HEMI engine, dual rear exhaust, 5-speed auto transmission, power rack & pinion steering, front air bags, touring suspension, 4-wheel ABS power disc brakes, traction control, stability program, power windows and locks, sentry theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, power adjustable pedals, air filtration system, tire pressure monitoring, air conditioning with dual zone auto temp, tilt and telescoping steering column, power heated front seats, 60/40folding rear seat, radio with CD/MP3, uconnect –Sirius satellite service, steering wheel audio controls, front and rear reading lamps.
$2.59/ Gal avg. May 31, ‘09
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16 City and 25 Highway MPG
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