2010 Dodge Charger Review

2010 Dodge Charger - Dodge Charger makes for a fun family sedan.


The Dodge Charger is a crowd-pleasing large sedan with coupelike styling, available V-8 power and a spacious, comfortable cabin.

Ever since the Charger returned to the Dodge lineup, enthusiasts, and scores of police agencies, have become enamored with what Charger has to offer.

Charger's exterior is quite appealing thanks to its bold, coupelike look featuring a fastback design and a high beltline. It's a look that brings plenty of grins.

Inside, Charger is pleasing, too, with a roomy and comfortable interior. The cabin will easily accommodate a family of five. Plus, there's an available rear-seat video entertainment system to keep the kids busy during road trips.

Charger is basically a rear-wheel-drive sedan. But don't let that worry you about foul-weather driving. Electronic stability control comes standard on all but the base model, which can be ordered with ESC.

And don't confuse ESC with traction control. ESC is much more than a traction control system. ESC also helps drivers maintain control of their vehicles.

And if that's not enough, you can opt for a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system (available on all but the base model and the high-performance SRT8).

Dodge Charger models equipped with AWD feature an active transfer case and front-axle disconnect. This unique system seamlessly transitions between rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive with no driver intervention.

When all-wheel drive is not required, the system automatically disconnects the front axle to maximize fuel economy.

For 2010, the Dodge Charger is offered in five trim levels: SE, 3.5-liter, Rallye, R/T and SRT8. The base SE (about $25,000) features a 2.7-liter V-6 engine (178 horsepower) mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

The 3.5-liter and Rallye get a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 engine (250 horsepower) mated to a four-speed automatic.

The R/T benefits from the 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine (368 horsepower) mated to a five-speed automatic. By the way, only the 3.5-liter, Rallye and R/T models can be ordered with AWD.

Performance enthusiasts will want the high-performance SRT8 version, which employs a 6.1-liter HEMI V-8 engine (425 horsepower) mated to a five-speed automatic.

If you're having trouble choosing a trim level, I wouldn't recommend the SE due to its smaller V-6 engine. The more powerful 3.5-liter V-6 in the 3.5-liter and Rallye trim levels is much better. However, if you like V-8 power, you'll be much happier with the R/T or SRT8.

My tester was an R/T model with AWD. The great thing about the HEMI V-8 in the R/T is that it uses variable cam timing to improve performance and fuel-saving multi-displacement system technology that helps provide as much as a 20 percent improvement in fuel economy by deactivating four of the engine's eight cylinders when not needed. The transitions from eight- to four-cylinder mode and from four- to eight-cylinder mode are imperceptible. If you drive with a heavy foot, the power is there. If you drive with a lighter foot, you'll likely be impressed with fuel economy.

My 2010 Dodge Charger R/T AWD model was rated at 16/23 mpg while its 3.5-liter AWD counterpart is rated at 19/27.

Being a large sedan, the Charger isn't as agile as some sedans, but the V-8-powered models can throw down the rubber and produce an awesome throaty exhaust tone matched by none. Charger is a car that mom or dad will enjoy driving with, or without, the family

2010 Dodge Charger R/T

ENGINE: 368-horsepower 5.7-liter V-8

TRANSMISSION: five-speed automatic

DRIVETRAIN: all-wheel drive

FUEL ECONOMY: 16 city/23 highway

BASE PRICE: $33,470

AS TESTED: $38,500 (includes $750 for destination)