2015 Dodge Charger R/TThe revised Charger with a Hemi is American muscle with some unexpected nuance.
Now what you're looking at here is the first major refresh of the 7th generation Charger, which shares a platform with the 300. This is the new Charger, if you will, but with a new look that Dodge says they derived by going back, and lifting liberally from the '69 Charger I say that indicates that marijuana must be legal in Michigan now, because I don't really see it, maybe in this new strip of a tail light back here. They did carry over that big body indentation on the sides, from, sort of, a '69 look, although that had two, this had one. But this one with its all new revisions, that touch almost all the sheet metal, no longer rings Rental car when you first see one on the road [NOISE] and when you get in the charger, any charger but especially our R-T you are greeted by what I would call a curvaceously macho cabin I'll give them a big kudos for the matching look and feel of that instrument panel in front of the driver and this head unit over here between driver and passenger. Doesn't hurt that they've got a red, black and gray theme going on that in this particular car Is echoed by the seat under your ****. The two-toned thing I can always live without, but that's just me. In between those two conventional analog gauges in the dash, you've got a whole plethora of automotive instrumentation. Now back in the head unit, this guy's generally very good. 8.4 inch Uconnect, it's very square in it's aspect ratio, as you can see. Kind of the Dead opposite of what BMW does. It's a big wide ribbon. Using it is extremely easy especially for NAV because it's Garmin powered. You should have almost no ambiguity about what your supposed to next when you wanna enter a destination. You've got just about every media choice in here including SD card and Aux and USB. HD radio comes optionally. With navigation, by the way. And behind all of this we have the optional Beats Audio which is ten speakers around the car including one very obvious sub back in the trunk and about 550 watts backing it all up. Under apps you've got a pretty good array on these Chryslers now. A lot of the usual suspects like Aha, iHeartRadio, Pandora. And slacker. You do have a hotspot technology you can get in this vehicle. I'm not really big on the concept, but, it's here if you want it. Now drive controls. Your shifter is this very cool looking kind of offset T handle for the one choice only eight speed automatic. Paddles are these very small but metal upright little horns behind the wheel here. Two buttons here are key as the driver goes. Sport mode puts you in a sport mode, which we'll dial in in a minute. But the one to the right is interesting, the super track pack. Hit that, and you load up a whole different set of screens. First of all, you've got the launch control screen, because this vehicle has that. You can activate launch control mode but most importantly down here is where you set your RPM lock point for that. You can say what sport mode means on your car including three levels of steering tightness and weight. That's an electric power steering by the way. Traction control can be normal or barely there. You can turn your paddles off and on for shifting. I've never seen that in a car. Car before, and if you want to dial in the engine and transmission personality, those are coupled. So how the shift points are handled and how power comes on under the throttle, it's all one basket. That's unusual too. Normally those are teams, not separately. The other thing you've got up here are the performance pages. And then two separate panels of discreet gauges that you can bring up, similar to what you can show on the instrument panel but you can get them all up at once. The expected G force indication as well, and then you've got this sort of master engine gauge you can bring up that I thought was fascinating. You've got horsepower on a ring around the outside, you can get a lot of stuff going on for eye candy for the driver. Okay, here's the part you wanted me to get into in the first place. The 5.7 liter Hemi, 370 horsepower and they do it the old fashion way. No turbos, no super chargers No direct injection. No overhead cam. This is a push rod V8. This is as old school you can get in the year 2015. But boy does it work. 395 pound feet of torque. Throws out rear wheel drive base or all wheel drive, hello snowy climb. With an air spring system that completely de couples the front drive apparatus when you don't need it Supposedly get you down to zero drag but definitely more weight. Oh, and speaking of weight, this car brings a lot of it. Over 4200 pounds on the hoof. That's heavy by today's standards and trend toward lightweighting. You feel it in the MPG 16/25 is your EPA rating, that's just about right. We saw it dead on 19 average over the last few days. Ok, first I want to get in the chargers. I noticed there's a little bit of a lack of head room. Now I'm 6"2', I've got the seat all the way bottomed up. People always ask me, how is the headroom in some of these cars that have this low greenhouse. And this one I'm just touching. Now I do have the optional sunroof, bare that in mind. On. Let's get on the road. Now in standard drive mode, this car is too much in love with it's own eighth gear, but put it into sport mode with that button I showed you, and now it's appropriately lively. It comes up and stays out of those top gears at least much of the time. So the power. And that nice exhaust though are not gonna surprise you. What surprised me however was my first day with this car I took it out on a nice country drive with a bunch of European import folks. And I thought I'd be driving the big clunk, right? And they'd all have the sharp, easily [CROSSTALK] Italian rides. Well you know what? I did just fine. A nice testimony to this car's underpinnings that are well done. Now of course an RT does have A much better tuned sports suspension, but it's still dead a dead feel. This is not an adaptive rig underneath in any way shape or form. Okay a charge RT done up our way is gonna start about 30 $34,000 base that includes the 5.7 hemi. Then we're gonna add a few things to get it CNET style of course, including Beats Audio for about a grand. The Tech Group brings you all of the driver assist and the Nav Group brings you navigation and HD radio. All in we end up a little under $39,000. So in all I came away more impressed by the Charger than I thought I was going to be. Now we, we do have a high trim, high powered RT here. But that engines brawny Americaness with a very finessed handling I wasn't expecting were a beautiful balance. I had to get used to being a little tight inside, however, and having to coax the power out of a car of this type, I found to be odd. I wish it was more responsive on every snap of the throttle in every mode. All in all, it's a big sedan that does a lot of things well, and does them in a uniquely American [UNKNOWN]