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2014 Dodge Charger Overview
To say that the 2014 Dodge Charger is a throwback might be a bit inaccurate. In its original inception back in the ‘60s, this mean-looking Dodge product was a muscle-bound coupe. Today it’s a 4-door, still with that threatening visage, but carrying up-to-date features, with top-end trims yet sporting some serious devil-take-the-gas-prices muscle. Alas, Chrysler retains its baffle-them-with-bull-stuff attitude regarding trim designations and options packaging.
Anyhow, once more available in 5 increasingly potent trims, the base SE, the notched-up SXT, the Hemi-toting R/T, the bigger-hemi-toting SRT8 Super Bee and the top-shelf SRT8, this throwback 5-seat sedan is touted by legions of reviewers as one of the best American-made large 4-doors out there. Furthermore, the SXT is available in an SXT Plus sub-trim, with the R/T offered in optional Plus, Road and Track, and R/T Max iterations. Each of these available sub-trims, needless to say, comes tricked out with upgrades to appearance, performance, comfort and convenience features.
This fearsome 4-door, however, even in its most basic form still flaunts plenty of bells and whistles, not to mention the traditional torque-toting rear-wheel drive (RWD). Additionally, in a departure from muscle-car sensibilities, but certainly in keeping with modern expectations, the SXT and R/T versions can each be delivered with available full-time all-wheel drive (AWD).
In any case, Dodge has decided to stand pat in offering its up-year version with no significant changes from 2013. Thus a fairly spacious 16.5 cubic feet of trunk space remains, as do cargo-enhancing split-folding rear seatbacks, while engines again range from the basic V6 to the pony-packing 6.4-liter Hemi V8.
So, that base 3.6-liter variable-valve-timed (VVT) V6 powerplant that empowers the SE and SXT trims mates with a 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission in the entry-level SE and a standard 8-speed shiftable automatic in the SXT for 292 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. Mileage estimates, meantime, run 18 mpg city/27 highway for the SE and AWD-equipped SXT, and 19/31 in the 8-speed-boasting RWD SXT.
The R/T in all its various guises totes a 5.7-liter Hemi V8, again with VVT, that is managed by a 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission to put out 370 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. Naturally, mileage suffers a bit at an estimated 16/25 in RWD editions and 15/23 in AWD trims.
The SRT8 Super Bee and the flagship SRT8 each sport the aforementioned 6.4-liter Hemi V8 and standard 5-speed shiftable automatic to flaunt 470 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. This monster motor (again with VVT) manages to keep mileage estimates at a quasi-respectable 14/23.
The 2014 Charger SE boasts 17-inch painted alloy wheels outside, with cloth upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, full power accessories and alloy cabin accents inside. Cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and dual-zone manual air conditioning also adorn this base trim, as does a single-CD player with 6 speakers and a USB port. Once again, audio functions remain under the auspices of Chrysler’s touted Uconnect 4.3 system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen interface.
The SXT, meanwhile, adds heated front seats, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, a remote garage door opener, dual-zone auto climate control and leather-trimmed appointments. This lower-midlevel trim also boasts a 276-watt audio system interfaced with the upgraded Uconnect 8.4 technology to offer a DVD monitor, satellite radio and a memory card slot, all interfaced with an 8.4-inch touchscreen.
The rigidly midlevel R/T flaunts, besides V8 power, 18-inch alloy wheels and premium cloth upholstery, while the SRT8 Super Bee throws in Brembo brakes, unique badges and graphics, an upgraded Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) and sport front bucket seats.
Finally, the top-shelf SRT8 flaunts a 3-mode Adaptive Damping Suspension, standard Launch Control for better control of straight-line acceleration and, of course, signature badges and graphics.
The optional SXT and R/T sub-trims are draped with added features such as upsized and upgraded wheels, added exterior and interior appearance bling, heated, power-adjustable front passenger seats, a heated steering wheel with paddle shifters, up-powered audio, GPS-based navigation and remote engine start. All trims and sub-trims, except the SE, are further eligible for such available add-ons as a power sunroof and a 552-watt, 10-speaker (Beat) audio upgrade.
Safety-wise, look for all 2014 Chargers to sport 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Daytime running lights, dusk-sensing headlights and a post-collision safety system also endow each Charger trim, while the SXT and above variants boast standard front fog/driving lights. Optional safety equipment, depending on the sub-trim chosen, includes blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and SmartBeam Intelligent Headlights.
Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.
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