2012 Dodge Charger SEView Vehicle Profile
Quickie review: Powerful Charger has evil styling
When most people hear the name Dodge Charger, a four door family car is not what comes to mind. Instead, the villain’s car in the famous chase scene in Steve McQueen’s flick Bullitt is a more likely visual.
The first generation four-door, built from 2006-2010, had some styling cues from the original and there were high-performance versions, but for many it just didn’t live up to the memory of the original. The second-gen version though, charged out of the gate.
The first thing one notices is the evil styling, from the deep cuts in the body sides to the sloping hood that surrounds the signature crosshair grille in a menacing snarl.
The cabin of the 2012 Charger has the masculine feel of an old school leather club chair, with sleek brushed metal accents to add a modern touch. Up front, the heated leather seats are comfortable and supportive, while the rear seat is quite roomy for adult passengers. As one might expect, the trunk is substantial.
To channel the original Charger, the newest car has to be a performer. When I arrived to pick up my tester, I must admit that I was a tad disappointed to find that it was a 6-cylinder SXT model and not the R/T that I was expecting.
Boy, was I wrong to be let down. This drivetrain is out of this world. The 292-horsepower Pentastar V6 is unbelievably smooth when mated to the groundbreaking 8-speed automatic transmission and is surprisingly quick for a car of this size.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to test the all-wheel-drive system, but you can bet it will haul the Charger through the worst that an Ontario winter has to offer.
Even with close to 300 ponies on tap, the Charger SXT AWD is rated at 11.4 L/100 km in the city and 7.3 L/100 km out on the open road.
The Charger’s closest rival is the Ford Taurus, which rings in at about $100 less than the $35,095 the Dodge I drove listed for.
The Taurus produces 29 horsepower less than the Mopar, yet consumes slightly more fuel.
Style is undeniably a personal issue, but I think few would disagree with me that the Charger is the clear winner when it comes to the visual battle.
Detective Frank Bullitt might even take notice of this Mopar.
2012 DODGE CHARGER
INTERESTING: Exterior styling brings old school muscle to a modern family car. American car interior meets Euro style quality.
UNINTERESTING: Shifter is a bit vague, causing frequent selection of Park when attempting to engage Reverse.
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY: Most definitely buy
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