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Old 01-28-2012, 04:24 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default 2012 Dodge Charger SXT V6/ tested


Quote:
What Is It?
It’s the recently redesigned Dodge Charger with the Pentastar V-6. We’ve already tested a 2011 Charger with the V-6, though. That one was even rear-wheel drive, too, just like this example. So why are we testing this one now? The first car weighed just three pounds less, and it was orange with a black and tan interior; this car is all black. Also, this one has the new eight-speed ZF automatic where that orange car had a five-speed.

How Does It Drive?
It drives an awful lot like that other V-6 Charger, which is to say like a big German sports sedan. There’s a masterful balance between ride and handling, and the car is much more agile than its immense size would suggest. It still feels big from behind the wheel, even when you’re pushing it, but it moves like a much smaller car.

The eight-speed takes some of the edge off our complaints about gear spacing in the old five-speed, but doesn’t smooth them out entirely. Stretching five ratios so thin meant that the fiver held onto first until nearly 60 mph and second until beyond 90, seriously hindering around-town pep. With three extra gears, though, Chrysler allotted only one more ratio for the 0–100 window, with shifts now happening around 45, 65, and 100.

Green-light readiness is notably increased, but we wonder if maybe one more gear in that gap wouldn’t have helped more. The Audi A8 has a version of this same transmission, but with different gearing, its shifts occur around 35, 55, 85, and 105. Of course, its 80-hp advantage also helps it step off with more aggression. The shorter gearing of the eight-speed versus the five also accentuates the Pentastar V-6’s nonlinear powerband, the quicker spurt through each gear making the lulls and surges in delivery more noticeable.

It’s easy to see that Chrysler’s focus was the top end, though, in selecting ratios for its version of the eight-speed. This was not for speed, mind you, but rather fuel economy—the Charger hits its 114-mph governor in eighth, seventh, sixth, fifth, and fourth. At 70 mph in eighth, the engine turns just 1500 rpm. Heck, at 114 mph in eighth, it’s turning just over 2400. Such low engine speeds are the root of the Charger’s 31-mpg highway rating from the EPA. In the city, the car is rated at 19 mpg. We averaged 20 over the course of our 1100 miles with the car.






There’s more to this transmission than just gear count, though, and our reactions to the rest of its operation were mixed. Shifts at wide-open throttle are harsh, although few drivers are likely to ever experience more than two of them at a time, given that most are going to call for full-bore acceleration only while cruising at high speed. Here, too, the eight is disappointing, taking almost a full two seconds to kickdown from eighth to second after we’d floored the accelerator. Also, the transmission stopped obeying commands from the paddle shifters at one point during our test. Pulling over and turning the car off made the problem disappear, although not from our memory.

How Does It Stack Up?
In a world of front- and all-wheel-drive family sedans, the rear-drive Charger and its Chrysler 300 sibling mostly fight amongst themselves. Their satisfying rear-drive dynamics separate them from everything but the Hyundai Genesis, which most certainly has rear-drive dynamics, but isn’t a car that we’d call particularly satisfying.

What’s the Cost?
While the five-speed automatic remains available with the 292-hp V-6, the eight-speed automatic is the transmission of choice and a Charger so-equipped starts with the $27,420 SE. An SXT like that tested here, which adds heated power mirrors, Chrysler’s UConnect touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth and Sirius satellite radio, heated power front seats, and a remote starter, costs $29,420. At $31,420, the SXT Plus package adds leather seats—heated now in the rear, too—and a rear anti-roll bar.

The most notable option of the car we tested is the $1495 Blacktop package, which adds the black grille and 20-inch wheels, a 506-watt audio system, a sport-tuned suspension, and paddle shifters. Add in a sunroof and a couple of technology bundles, and this Charger stickered at $35,310. With smoother power delivery and better transmission calibration, this would be a great car. But in its current state, the new Charger is a very good car let down by a middling powertrain.


Specifications>

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

PRICE AS TESTED: $35,310 (base price: $29,420)

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and head, port fuel injection

Displacement: 220 cu in, 3605 cc
Power: 292 hp @ 6350 rpm
Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 120.2 in
Length: 199.9 in
Width: 75.0 in Height: 58.3 in
Curb weight: 4116 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 6.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 16.9 sec
Street start, 5–60 mph: 7.0 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.8 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 4.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.3 sec @ 95 mph
Top speed (governer limited): 114 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 163 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.85 g

FUEL ECONOMY:
EPA city/highway driving: 19/31 mpg
C/D observed: 20 mpg
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Old 01-28-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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350000 dollars!


Wait



BWA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....... < inhale and pause for dramatic effect >





HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:36 PM   #3
WRXHillClimb
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Port fuel injection
Really? Any company not using DI in their newest cars coming out by now is way behind the curve... I thought Chrysler was making a comeback :/
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
GT11
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I'd rather buy a V6 camry.
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #5
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I just rented one for a week. I was surprised how good the Thuggy/fleet car was. I'm no fan of Chrysler but this car was really good. It was better than the V6 Mustang I rented few months back. Better seats and road feel and handling and much better mileage too.. Nice steering for a domestic ( mustang just felt weird) Low points Hvac and fake carbon fiber dash. I was impressed !
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
Derbagger
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Wow...the haterade.

Its a big RWD sedan....most people here are never ever FWD people.

It gets good power and good MPG (19/31 where Camry V6 is 20/30) with solid performance. And while this vehicle is $35k, the one a normal person would buy is about $30k.

And for the Camry set, this vehicle is larger, more of the Avalon in size.

Not to mention the 8-speed is a ZF that goes in Audis and BMWs.

Personally, I would not buy this, but the nicer 300 in Limited form, but it's not anywhere near an embarrassment.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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looks like a cheese slicer went down the side of the car.
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Old 01-28-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
424wrx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger View Post
Wow...the haterade.

Its a big RWD sedan....most people here are never ever FWD people.

It gets good power and good MPG (19/31 where Camry V6 is 20/30) with solid performance. And while this vehicle is $35k, the one a normal person would buy is about $30k.

And for the Camry set, this vehicle is larger, more of the Avalon in size.

Not to mention the 8-speed is a ZF that goes in Audis and BMWs.

Personally, I would not buy this, but the nicer 300 in Limited form, but it's not anywhere near an embarrassment.
no fwd? how about all the cadillac models up until recently?
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:03 PM   #9
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I guess a transmission that isn't horribly outdated makes a world of difference. I drove a Challenger with the 3.6 this summer as a rental and the thing was a turd. Hesitation, stumbly upshifts and it couldn't spin the tires to save it's life. Even the crapbox previous generation V6 Mustang could light up the tires. What else is a rental muscle car good for?

I think the new Charger looks better in photos than in person. The black definitely helps as other colors when the grill is black look Audi-ish. And the LED ring out back is stupid.
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Old 01-28-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GT11 View Post
I'd rather buy a V6 camry.
or an accord or a mushtang or just almost anything with wheels and a motor
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:47 AM   #11
AVANTI R5
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Default Two Chrysler Group Vehicles Honored by Winding Road Magazine

Quote:
In case you didn’t know, this is awards season for the entertainment industry – the Golden Globes were handed out last weekend, and the Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday – and it appears awards season also extends to the auto industry. Two of Chrysler Group LLC’s latest products have received major recognition from a high-octane publication and its online outlet.

The all-new 2012 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT8® and the new 2012 Dodge Charger earned Winding Road’s “Best Car of the Year Awards,” an annual honor that recognizes the best driver’s vehicles in the market.

“SRT and Dodge are two brands that stand to make 2012 a banner year for driving enthusiasts,” said Seyth Miersma, Editor-In-Chief – Winding Road. “The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 manages to be one of the most brutally fast and easy-to-live-with super-SUVs we’ve ever tested. Meanwhile, the 2012 Dodge Charger offers more in terms of style, performance, and space than most of the vanilla-flavored competition could dream of. With completely different form factors, price points and audiences, the commonality between these two Best Cars is the way in which they can make their drivers grin.”

Winner of “Best Utility Award,” the all-new 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8® offers a unique blend of head-turning SRT performance with legendary Jeep capability and utility, luxury and refinement, and innovative advanced technologies. It’s the most powerful Jeep vehicle ever with all-new 6.4-liter HEMI® V-8 that delivers 470 horsepower and 465 lb.-ft. of torque. A new active valve exhaust system allows standard Fuel Saver Technology to engage over a wider rpm range for a 13-percent improvement in highway fuel efficiency and a 450-mile range.



Earning the “Best Everyman Sedan Award,” the 2012 Dodge Charger delivers world-class levels of quietness and handling performance, state-of-the-art technologies and premium materials once limited to elite European sport sedans.

Winding Road publishes daily automotive and lifestyle content at www.windingroad.com, and stunning monthly content via its award-winning digital magazine. The editorial staff reviews hundreds of vehicles each year and compiles the industry’s only Involvement Index, as well as the Winding Road Comfort Index, every month.
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