There’s no denying that Dodge’s Charger has been a sedan to be reckoned with since it returned in 2006. At the time, Chrysler and its brands were merged with Daimler, so the Charger was given an advanced chassis from the 1998-2005 Mercedes S-Class. Since then, the powerful sedan has seen constant evolution, and is now available with an incredible 707 hp supercharged V8.
If you don’t need that much power, several flavors are available, and we spent some time with their bread and butter R/T offering. At first glance this white sedan with a black/red interior is unassuming, but careful examination reveals serious potential. You won’t find two-tone 20” wheels on lesser models. This car had the optional Super Track Pack, which includes more aggressive brakes and a stiffer suspension compared to the V6 models. We are all about performance sedans, so we wasted no time in getting behind the wheel. Under the hood is a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 which is conservatively rated at 370 hp and 396 lb-ft of torque. Behind that is an 8-speed automatic aptly tuned for conservative cruising. Earlier this year we spent a week with the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT 392, and since it bests my R/T in every department except price, I will condense my experience into the pertinent details.
This is the first year for electric power steering, and it makes easy work of aiming the eight-inch wide wheels while returning almost no feedback to the driver. Controls on the steering wheel have all major systems at your fingertips while outside disturbances are of no concern thanks to extensive insulation. In traffic, their smallest V8 offers a classic HEMI soundtrack, and with almost 400 lb-ft of torque the R/T can overtake almost everything else on the road. Since this car is equally tuned for economy and speed, the 3.07 rear differential leaves room for improvement. The eight-speed automatic offers multiple gear downshifts with little hesitation, but the six-speed manual from the Challenger would be a welcomed offering. Just a few years ago a highway rating of 25 mpg would seem unthinkable for a large V8 sedan, but we averaged over 20 even after a few spirited starts. Our R/T was RWD, but AWD is now available as well. With traction and stability disabled, the tires erupt in a classic fashion with no axle hop or unsettling motions.
On the inside we found all the latest in safety and connectivity, which comes along with the Technology Group. It adds $3,000 over the base model, but we deem it a necessity. Beats Audio and Adaptive Cruise along with Lane Keeping Assist make the R/T completely capable as a daily driver. Red and black leather adorn most surfaces, cut in a pattern that accentuates the driver-focused layout. The 2015 Dodge Charger R/T stands as a sensible alternative to overpowered sedans, and at $43,995 it offers all the convenience and technology of any other car in this price bracket along with venerable HEMI power. This is a proven formula for a fun sedan, and with a 100,000 mile warranty, the R/T is the sensible choice that won’t break the bank.