With all of the pre-New York Show buzz about changes to Dodge's Mustang-rival Challenger timed to coordinate with the original pony's semi-centennial birthday, the much more dramatic revisions to its muscle-sedan sibling, the Charger, came as a bit of a surprise. Practically every panel above the floor is new — and even a few beneath the skin, to reinforce for small-overlap collision performance. Exceptions include the rear doors, roof, and windshield.
It's interesting that one goal of the redesign was to make this unabashedly large car look smaller. Dodge did this by taking an imaginary angle grinder to all four corners of the styling buck, visually pulling the "corners" of the car closer to the wheels by as much as 6 inches. Actual dimensions don't change much, but the car has a nimbler, more lithe look we're told is more in keeping with its agile dynamics.
Up front, the new family face launched on the Dart is applied, with a piano-black "mask" on R/T, body color on SXT. As on the Challenger, the big overall shape of the grille is repeated in miniature to form the grille mesh — an "Easter egg" feature the likes of which the designers at Chrysler-Fiat enjoy slipping into their designs. The headlamps feature de rigueur LED surrounds (15 in each) that double as daytime running lamps. The hood features twin-bulge sculpting that enhances the Charger's "hairy-chested" look, and the surface is unmarred by windshield washer nozzles. They're relocated to just beneath the trailing edge of the hood, where keeping the nozzles from freezing is a bit more of a challenge, but we're reassured that problem has been solved with heating.
Coming around to the side, the marker lamps are integrated into the wheel-opening surrounds and the dramatic character line on the front door has been softened a bit. There are 10 wheel designs, spanning from 17 and 18 inches on V-6 models, to 19s on all AWD models, to 20s on all V-8s. (The V-8 AWD option has been dropped for lack of interest, but it is now available on base SE and Rallye V-6 models.) Nearly all chrome has been replaced with black trim. And in the back, new taillamp lensing technology presents an even smoother looking "racetrack" with only 72 LEDs (down from 164). Fascia-mounted dual exhaust tips are standard on all models, and a new three-piece low-profile spoiler helps the airflow separate cleanly. The center stop lamp moves out of the spoiler to the top of the rear glass.
Inside, the 2015 Charger gets a general spiffing up with new colors and materials, the 7-inch TFT instrument-cluster display with hundreds of screen options (need to know your instantaneous horsepower and torque readings? Air-fuel ratio?), all of which are tailored to the Charger, with different graphics and design than you get on Challenger and other group products. Satin chrome replaces chrome nearly everywhere, and real aluminum trim in two finishes (brushed, or "Hectic Mesh") adorns the dash and console. Sport cloth is the entry upholstery, with leather on the upper models. The infuriating electronic shifter has been replaced with a new one that moves through unmistakable gates, and right next to it is a rubber mat with the vintage Dodge Brothers "DB" in an octagon and the inscription "Dodge Brothers — Designed in Detroit."
Other changes include electric power steering assist and an upgrade to an eight-speed 8HP TorqueFlite 8 automatic across the board, bringing improved fuel economy and performance. There are no power/torque revisions to report, though Dodge points out that all the Scat Pack Stage upgrades announced recently bolt onto a Charger as easily as they do a Challenger. The 3.6-liter V-6 produces 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, or 300 hp and 264 lb-ft with the Rallye Appearance Group. The 5.7-liter V-8 is good for 370 hp and 395 lb-ft.
The Road & Track package gets a 3.07:1 axle, sport transmission and engine calibration, and the Performance Pages (launch mode, Christmas-tree countdown quarter-mile timer, etc.). The Charger benefits from all the same electrical architecture upgrades that are making their way through the Fiat-Chrysler lineup: standard rear-view camera with dynamic gridlines and optional adaptive cruise, forward collision alert, blind-spot detection, Uconnect with 911 assist and smart-phone connectivity to provide remote unlocking and other features. There's also lane-keep assist that's selectable for strength of assist and sensitivity, and it can be switched off. According to Dodge brand president and CEO Tim Kuniskis, one-third of Charger buyers don't cross-shop any other car except perhaps the Challenger. Some 39 percent of buyers are new to Dodge, they're young (median age 46), and once onboard they demonstrate class-leading loyalty. These cars are not niche players — Dodge built its millionth modern L-platform Charger/Challenger in April. This latest round of improvements and enhancements should keep the faithful buzzing around Dodge dealers for years to come.
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I don't like that they call it a CHARGER, it isn't! Challenger looks like a Challenger, Charger looks like a Dart in my opinion. 4 doors and call it a Charger? REALLY?
This looks too much like a Dart. Darts are nice, but it's not the look a Charger should have. If they had to go to a "corporate-look" front end, they should have used the current Durango's grill & headlights; they're much more aggressive-looking. This might look better with the SXT treatment where the "mask", as they call it, is body colour, much like IMO the Gen II looks better with it body colour (that's why at the last minute in 2011 they had to add that as an option)
I really do like the previous style of the Charger better. The grill is what made this car stand out among all the other cars on the road, and for one who likes a bigger car, this was the one for me.
I have a 2014 Dodge Charger SXT in black trimmed in the polished silver, and it has caught the attention of many on the road, to the point of people driving up next to me and telling me they love my car.
The side view of the 2015 looks more chopped than the previous style. Why in the World the 2015 would follow the design of the Dodge Dart is beyond me, but I knew the body style would change eventually and am so happy I bought the 2014.
As far as the addition of more apps to the computer, after a while it gets to the point of just how many apps does one need? Am still discovering new things about mine.
Each to his own. If one doesn't like it, don't buy it.
Prior to purchase, read hundreds of reviews of various cars. Customers rate the Dodge Charger highly while the reviewers do not. I did read one review in which the test driver rated other cars higher, yet he enjoyed driving the Charger the best. Go figure.
Using the Charger in our Executive Dignitary Protection, classes, and participating in the annual
police vehicle evaluations, I really can't say anything bad about the Charger, the 06 model equipped with the hemi engine and 19 gallon fuel tank, had a stalling problem, caused by O ring failure, and valve integrated into the fuel tank, but is taken care of by Chrysler with a extended life time warranty,
The hemi is capable of 150+ from the factory, the 3.6 V/6 in access of 140 mph. All vehicles seem to have some kind of problem, but when it comes to handling, the Charger, and the Ford Eco Boost AWD
Police Interceptor, is hard to beat. remember the PCM can be re programmed for a higher. or lower top speed, Dodge was offering a package that limited the speed to 129 mph, so the purchasing depts. could purchase H rated tires, instead of the more expensive V & W rated tires.