OK, I've had the car a wee bit over six months, rolling it out of the friendly neighborhood Dodge dealer July 30. We're at about 4600 eze miles.
Brief review, this is the base SE model with Package 27G including connectivity group, the 8A ZF (Kokomo comes later), and Uconnect 4.3S. Whatever all that means.
I started out wanting a Challenger. I still do. I just love the way they look. But ultimately four doors won out. I missed an excellent deal on a 300 and was really looking for a 300 because they have a bit more space here and there. End of season and there weren't many cars left in my area.
I finally ended up back at the dealer I leased my 200 from, and (again) drove a Charger that had been on the lot for some eight months. From blue Challenger to white 300 to black Charger, I finally drove off in what I needed.
This is my first RWD since my 1979 Parisienne 305 3A. You've come a long way, baby!
I traded the Poncho on a 1991 Camry 2.0 5M, an excellent car. The 2-Gen Camrys were among the best.
One of the first things I noticed was the Charger seems more sensitive to wind than any FWD I can recall. FWD as a rule are almost immune from pummeling. That includes the Concord Coach-tall Soul.
I asked the dealer about this, a tech drove it and said it drove like any other LX. They checked the alignment and almost everything got some adjustment. I'll provide specs for those so interested.
So...I thought maybe it's the stock Michelin Energy A/S tires. They ARE a bit squishy. Compared to the winter tires I ordered, the Michelins feel quite squishy when handling them.
To make a long story short, I adjusted to the vehicle's driving dynamics. That or the wind stopped blowing.
I could feel the torque steer in all my recent FWDs, and that includes the Spectra and Soul which were not overpowered cars by any stretch. So it was interesting, feeling just thrust when I nailed this puppy, and not the slightly squirrely grasping and edging that--especially--the 200 and GP GXP performed when into the go-pedal.
I replaced the Energy A/S with Nitto NT SN-2 winter tires in the stock size, 215.65.17. I think these are a little stiffer than the Energys, not Michelin's finest effort. The car doesn't seem as affected by crosswinds with these tires aboard.
The Nittos are OK in snow, not so great on ice or hard-packed snow. I'd buy Michelin Xice Xi3 or Xi2 if I had it to do over again.
So...the seats are fine. I like the dual zone, which Challengers didn't have. I like the 8A and have adapted to the weird wired-not-linked trannie linkage. The ZF is seamless, kicks down quickly, and provides about 47 MPH/1000 RPM cruising in top gear. For those who read the recent write-up on the 9A, this trans DOES get to top gear at below-ticket speeds.
The car has good roll control, the ride is close in quality to the 200 as I recall, brakes are strong. Compared to Soul, watch your head here because there's lots less headspace. The Charger and Soul have similar interior dimensions, with the Soul having more real space IMO. Yes, I know they're not competitors, but Soul was the trade-in. If the Soul had had a smoother ride and the 200 HP 2.4 it would be a great all-around car.
2. Funny popping noise, sounded like tennis balls. Dealer said it was the HVAC system blend air door, which they replaced under warranty. Noise is mostly gone.
3. Hood release lever was found hanging by its wire one day. Don't know if it was suicide or homicide.
It either let go on its own, or I kicked it when applying the parking brake. Not a great placement, release is within boot range of the parking brake. Release replaced under warranty.
You can see by my Fuelly record, which I hope the NSA is tracking also, this horse gets pretty decent MPG for two tons of road-hugging weight. The Impalas with the 3.6 do pretty well too, and when my wife had some back trouble I seriously considered trading the Soul in on an LTZ, 2012 or 2013 Impala.
I had the O&F done at about 1200 miles, going with Pennzoil Ultra 5w-20, or so they said at the dealer. The change was free.
I've gotten quite comfortable with this Charger and am glad I bought it. About all I want to do is find a set of 18" OE Challenger wheels/tires, with stiffer tire construction than the stock Energys, which I think would add a bit of spiff to the Charger's looks.
Dual zone: check.