Dodge Charger Performance
Test drivers say that nimble handling and three powerful engine choices make the 2014 Dodge Charger a very fun car to drive. However, they also write that the five-speed automatic transmission on the base V6 and V8 models isn’t as refined as they would like.
- "Overall, if you need a large sedan in this price range, you'll be hard-pressed to find one that's as rewarding to drive as the 2014 Dodge Charger." -- Edmunds
- "A selection of powerful and responsive engines, a sophisticated suspension, great steering, big and strong brakes, all well-blended into a very competent package." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The standard V6 engine and smooth 8-speed automatic transmission are a fine team that we think will satisfy the majority of buyers both in terms of acceleration and, surprisingly, fuel economy." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Acceleration and Power
The base 2014 Dodge Charger SE comes with a 292-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine, which is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. An eight-speed automatic is optional. The Charger earns its best fuel economy estimates with the eight-speed automatic, returning an EPA-estimated 19/31 mpg city/highway, which is about average for a V6-powered large car. Charger R/T models come with a 370-horsepower, 5.7-liter V8 and a five-speed automatic.
The high-performance Charger SRT is powered by a 6.4-liter V8 engine that produces 470 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 470 pound-feet of torque at 4,300 rpm. A five-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard. Dodge says that the Charger SRT can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than five seconds with a top speed of 175 mph.
Reviewers have always liked the V8-equipped Charger, but they agree that the V6 and eight-speed automatic is the right choice for most shoppers. They note that the V6 is refined and powerful, and recommend the eight-speed automatic transmission, which they say operates smoothly. While test drivers dislike the five-speed automatic transmission on R/T and SRT models, they love the power that both V8-powered Chargers offer.
- "The 5-speed unit shifts abruptly at times, and its gears are spaced too widely to take advantage of the V6's capable power band, which features most of its power at mid-to-high rpm. With the 8-speed, on the other hand, the engine is allowed to access and stay in its sweet spot far more often." -- AutoTrader
- "Unfortunately, both of the Charger's available V8 engines are also stuck with a five-speed automatic, but that's where the negatives stop. The R/T's 5.7-liter V8 delivers plenty of poke for most folk, and although we wouldn't mind more rumble from the exhaust, you'll hear a nice throaty roar if you put the windows down. As for the SRT8, it's a lunatic, delivering its matching 470 horses and torque with unmistakably American gusto." -- Edmunds
- "The V6 Charger is, after all, standard issue for huge numbers of police departments and they wouldn't make that pick if it wouldn't catch bad guys. Add the 8-speed automatic and you have not only performance, but thoroughly commendable fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "While the V8s are plenty impressive in their own rights, the star of the Charger line is actually the V6/8-speed combination. It has more than enough gumption to move the car. The transmission is amazingly slick and a great match for the engine." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Handling and Braking
While test drivers write that the 2014 Charger is too large to offer sport-sedan handling, most still say that it’s fairly athletic for an affordable large car. They like the Charger’s precise steering and powerful brakes, and also note that it has a comfortable, stable ride.
- "We like what Dodge has done with the steering, taking it from rental-car vague in the previous Charger to almost sport-sedan precise in this one. The only real downside is the Charger's bigness, which can make spirited driving on tight roads more stressful than entertaining." -- AutoTrader
- "Its supple suspension calmly soaks up rough pavement, although, opting for the 20-inch wheels and tires will result in a firmer ride. Meanwhile, the Charger's noise insulation and high-speed stability are beyond reproach. In corners, body motions are admirably well-controlled, though you'll want one of the sportier models for maximum fun." -- Edmunds
- "Steering is a precise and responsive rack-and-pinion setup." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Charger is too large and heavy to be truly nimble, but it's still plenty stable. All have great stopping control and fine brake-pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
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