Dodge freshened the Charger for its 2011 model year, inside and out, but did not go particularly far with the drivetrain. However, the new infotainment center is an impressive piece of technology, a big touch screen that minimizes the need for plastic buttons.
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2 of 19 Josh Miller/CNET
Although inspired by the mid-'60s car of the same name, the new Charger bears only a passing resemblance to that earlier model. This car has modern, and macho, lines, with big contours in the sides, a curving roofline, and a spoiler on the trunk lid. Back to review.
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Dodge fits the Charger with its new Pentastar 3.6-liter V-6, an engine making 290 horsepower. It is adequate for the Charger, but not particularly powerful. Back to review.
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The Charger easily seats five, with plenty of legroom in the rear seats. Back to review.
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The suspension is fairly standard, fixed technology. It has a somewhat rubbery feel but does a good job of damping out bumps and keeping the car from wallowing in the turns. Back to review.
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Despite this sedan's size, the trunk of the Charger is not huge. It fits one standard CNET editor comfortably, but two would be a crowd. Back to review.
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The cabin of the Charger is surprisingly nice, and has such amenities as a push-button ignition, heated and cooled seats, and even heated and cooled cup holders. The infotainment system uses a large, 8.4-inch touch screen in the dashboard. Back to review.
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Dodge gives the Charger a hydraulic-electric power-steering unit, but the feel is on the numb side. Back to review.
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There are two buttons for voice command, one for the phone system and one for other infotainment functions. A more integrated system would be easier to use. Back to review.
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The monochromatic display on the instrument cluster not only shows trip information, but also brings up route guidance information. Back to review.
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The five-speed automatic transmission is primitive for this day and age. Dodge optimizes fuel economy by stretching out the gear ratios, making second gear handle low to moderate speeds. Back to review.
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The infotainment system uses Garmin software for navigation, with excellent route guidance. Back to review.
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Sirius Travel Link brings in all sorts of useful data for drivers, such as the weather forecast and gas prices. Back to review.
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The Bluetooth phone system copies over a paired phone's contacts, making them available onscreen and through voice command. Back to review.
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The Charger's stereo offers many digital audio sources, such as Bluetooth streaming audio, iPod integration, and even an SD card slot. Back to review.
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The system lists the folders from a USB drive, and can even parse MP3 tracks so as to show music by artist and album. The system will also display album cover art. Back to review.
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The stereo even allows a free-form search through music libraries, making it easier to go directly to a particular song or album. Back to review.
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The Alpine audio system delivers rich sound with very good vocal reproduction.
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The backup camera includes distance lines. The car is also available with blind-spot detection and adaptive cruise control. Back to review.