2012 Dodge Charger

Powerful and roomy, the 2012 Dodge Charger is a favorite among reviewers and test drivers. The new, optional, eight-speed automatic transmission makes all the difference with this affordable midsize vehicle with its V6 engine.

The new transmission keeps it affordable compared to the Charger’s V8 version, even as it preserves the V6's lightness and agility. The 2012 Charger also has stellar fuel economy. This vehicle was made for people who want a family sedan that delivers a dynamic, responsive, and vigorous driving experience.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Sedan Base Price: $25,995.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.1 gallons (72l) MPG: 18 city / 27 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 199.9 in. (507.7 cm) Wheel Base: 120.2 in. (305.3 cm)
Height: 58.4 in. (148.3 cm) Width: 75 in. (190.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 3961 lbs (1796 kg) Ground Clearance: 5.0 in. (12.7 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 15.4 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: V6 VVT Pentastar DOHC Displacement: 3.6 Liter
Horsepower: 292 HP Max RPM: 6350 RPM
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Automatic
0-60 mph: 4.3 seconds* 1/4 Mile: 12.6 seconds*

*On SRT8 model

Available Trims & Engine
Option:SXT RWD MSRP: $28,595; MPG: 19 city / 31 hwy
Option:R/T 5.7L V8 HEMI® MSRP: $29,995; MPG: 16 city / 25 hwy
Option:SXT Plus MSRP: $30,595; MPG: 19 city / 31 hwy
Option:R/T Plus 5.7L V8 HEMI® MSRP: $31,995; MPG: 16 city / 25 hwy
Option:R/T Max 5.7L V8 HEMI® MSRP: $36,195; MPG: 16 city / 25 hwy
Option:R/T Road & Track Package MSRP: $33,995; MPG: 16 city / 25 hwy
Option:SRT8® Super Bee 6.4L V8 HEMI® MSRP: $42,625; MPG: NA
Option:SRT8® 6.4L V8 HEMI® MSRP: $47,425; MPG: NA

The 2012 Charger comes in three trims: the base SE trim, the SXT, the R/T and the SRT8. The SE and the SXT have V6 engines and the SXT has the eight speed automatic transmission. The R/T comes with a V8 engine. All wheel drive is optional on both the V6 and V8 engines.

Engine

The 2012 Charger now comes with a 3.6 liter V6 engine that delivers 292 horsepower, while the R/T model has a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine that has 370 horsepower. The V8 Charger doesn’t offer the eight speed option, though test drivers pray that that option is coming soon.

The base Charger gets about 18 miles per gallon in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with the five speed transmission. It also has an optional eight speed transmission that gets better mileage.

Performance

The performance of the Charger is unbeatable. Test drivers claim that the car doesn’t handle as well as a smaller car might, but then again, it can’t be expected to. Other say that they appreciate the car’s precise steering, while a few complained that the steering was too light for them. The brakes are up to par with the other vehicles in the same class.

Exterior

The sleek look of this new once “pony car” turn heads. Men might be interested to know that women especially seemed to like the Charger’s looks.

Interior

Some say that the back seat can be cramped for people over six feet tall, but for people under six feet, there was plenty of room. The material in the cabin were also of high quality, including the fabric covering on the pillars and the dashboard’s aluminum trim. The dashboard display was also easy to read and the optional touch screen navigation system was also good to have, though it sometimes had trouble with voice commands.

One of the few areas where the Charger might trail its competitors is the cargo space. It has 15.4 cubic feet of trunk space, while the Ford Taurus is roomier in the trunk. Some complained that the trunk lid was too high for them to comfortably handle.

Safety

The Charger received excellent safety ratings. One car safety institution gave it their highest score of “Good” in all crash tests and another named it one of its Top Safety Picks.

Reliability

J.D. Power gave the Charger a 3.0 out of 5 rating. It has a three year or 36,000 mile warranty. However, there have been three recalls associated with the Dodge Charger. One was because of problems in the electrical system, another was because of problems in the tires, and the third was because of problems with the engine cooling system.

Pros

The 2012 Charger can’t be beat for performance, and continues the tradition of mighty previous Dodge Chargers. It’s a powerful, exciting car to drive.

Cons

Some test drivers thought the back seat could be uncomfortable for very tall people.

Competition

The Charger may be compared to the likes of the Nissan Maxima (MSRP $32,420; 19 city / 26 hwy), Ford Taurus (MSRP $25,555; 18 city / 28 hwy), and the Chevy Impala (MSRP $25,760; 18 city / 30 hwy). All these vehicles are evenly matched performance wise, the only question is, what is it you want? The Charger easily outclasses other rivals like the Toyota Avalon and the Buick LaCrosse.

Overall Rating
73 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Charger is quite roomy inside, considering the stylish exterior.”Car Connection

“Charger SXTs and R/Ts are stable at highway speeds, with linear, solid-feeling steering and a planted feel. They're not nimble in quick direction changes, but they have fine balance and grip in turns. Brakes have ample stopping power, but some drivers might complain of long pedal travel.”Consumer Guide

“Chrysler has successfully reworked the Charger. The large, rear-wheel-drive sedan now handles responsively and has a steady, comfortable ride.”MSN Auto-ConsumerReports

“The 2012 Dodge Charger sedan is the perfect car for the individual who loves performance driving, but must now cater to a family or business clientele.”KBB

“Composed ride and competent handling; abundant performance options; strong brakes; available all-wheel drive; easy-to-use 8.4-inch touchscreen interface. Tight rear seat headroom; aggressive personality won't suit everybody.”Edmunds